I'd actually seen this coming for a couple days; the level of attachment was dangerously high, and I was getting pushed into the role of showing up to save her from her situation whenever things got bad. This morning she called six times over a three hour period, wanting to know if she could come over.
It's not that I'm not empathetic; a lot of pretty bad things have happened to her and are in the process of happening to her, but I'm not a social worker. I'm not looking for a relationship that jumps from zero to being in my apartment all the time. I'm not the way out of a bad life.
She called in the early evening with more complicated drama; a mix of depression, physical illness, and being surrounded by dodgy people. She wanted to come over. I was having dinner at a friend's house, and told her I'd call her back in a bit. Almost as an aside, she mentioned that she'd tried to kill herself today while thinking about the miscarriage she had early this year. I got off the phone with her.
My friends helped me piece together my thoughts: this isn't something I want to handle. Six days. I haven't made any commitments at this point.
When I called her back an hour or so later, she sounded better as though it hadn't happened, and started to tell me more of the day's drama; stolen keys, the ex-boyfriend dodging her phone calls about getting stuff out of the storage unit. Finally I said "I can't handle this". She started crying again. How she knew she'd screwed it up with me, how she'd really liked me, how hard it is to get out of the life she's living. I tried to be as nice as possible. She said she was sorry and wouldn't bother me.
When it was time for me to go I said "take care of yourself"; she asked me what the point was. How hard it had been to sober up, and how she really didn't like herself. I said a few more positive things and got off the phone.
Six days, one hour to go from meeting to a level of attachment that severe. I'm frightened, not of her, but just the situations I seem to create and attract. I'm not dodging responsibility; I got myself into this. But this isn't the first time, and maybe I have to ask myself what about situations like these I'm chasing.