For better or worse, mostly for worse, I have always been driven by my past. I let it define me and, worse yet, I let it define my future. It was a major part of my psyche to the point of obsession.
Recently, that stopped being the case. One hopes. I went to see a show by a local and successful musician that I have not seen around for some time. After the show, I decided to chat up a young lady and mentioned seeing that musician at a festival back in 2006. The young lady informed me that back in 2006 she was in kindergarten. Nothing to make one feel old quite like that. Though normally I am not at all bothered by age differences in one direction nor the other, somehow that conversation made me feel a little creepy. To clear my mental palate, I decided to chat with the aforementioned lady musician. Not a specialist by any means, I believe I flirted. Oh, my. And she did not freak out and ran away. Oh, myyy! It did not go further than that but it did provide a valuable realisation: it serves no purpose being obsessed by the past and letting it decide one’s future because it had passed and the future is full of possibilities that are yet to happen. It is a good aim. Reality, however, can be quite different.
As I mentioned in the previous post, as my friend and I were on the way to his family’s house in the mountains (the view from the living room is beyond spectacular), I was deeply touched by Nick Lowe’s new song.
“Lately when I go steal a kiss
I feel you pulling away
I know something is amiss
But what it is, you won’t say.”
– Nick Lowe, “Sensitive Man”
It is funny how certain sounds, and especially music, get so tightly interwoven with our memories. Hearing those words reminded me of the last couple of weeks of my relationship with the ex. But it was not the memories of that that rolled over me with all of the inevitability of a steamroller but rather the memories of the climbing Road trip we have taken in the happier times. The sense memory of driving back home at night, listening to music, finding her hand in the dark and bringing it to my lips, her tender caress of my hair, it all was so incredibly vivid and powerful! Where did that come from all of the sudden? Why did the past spring forth with the strength of the volcanic magma just when it seemed to have been rendered dormant?
Reality of dealing with one’s past is a complicated affair at the best of times. As much as the right away may be evident, the unconscious’ refusal to cooperate will keep on rearing its ugly head with the force of a multi-ton metal cylinder.
As I wander this night in my neighbourhood park
And I peer inside at my self that’s so dark
I cry out “Oh, Angel! Why did you go away?
Why did you have to leave me, let my sunshine turn grey?
Will I meet some else? Will she love me as due?
Will our love be as strong as what I felt for you?”
As I wander alone in the darkness again
Your image returns like a bane of my brain.
Like a desert mirage your friendship has gone.
You left me alone with one hope forlorn.
One hope that maybe in some strange universe
You are loving me back. Is that so perverse?
As I stand here tonight, in this cold, lonely park
I strive not to dwell on the past oh so dark.
But I wish you were here. I can’t help it, I do.
And I beg your forgiveness for having fallen for you.
Last night’s dreams were pretty weird. I think I dreamt about every regret in my life. Yes, her included.
I usually enjoy my dreams. Often enough they are like big Hollywood productions. There are exciting storylines, fantastic special effects, surprising twists. It is like watching a movie and being in it at the same time.
But last night’s fare was more of an art house cinema: dark and no happy end in sight. Which is a good reminder that although I am as “over” her as one can be, my underlying problems are still hanging over me like a depressing sword of Damocles. For so long the pain over our breakup hung over Yours Truly’s eyes like a veil of pain and sorrow and obscured the view behind it. Now that this veil has been lifted, the giant snowball of problems accumulated over the last two decades is in plain view: daunting, looming, casting a shadow over everything in my life. Why did I not seek help earlier? Why did I not go see a therapist a year and a half ago when I have originally asked for a referral? Why did I not do it over ten years ago when I was initially diagnosed with ADHD and was strongly encouraged to speak to a professional about my depression issues?
Few days ago, I was chatting with my improv friends. The conversation came to a topic of age (because as it turns out, one in our midst was somewhat of an overachiever and has just completed his post-doc at the tender age of 27). So the psychology grad in the group has mentioned her view of mid-twenties as a time of self-discovery, when one goes down the dark path inside oneself and looks at the dark and horrible figure within, points at it, and asks the eternal question: “Who are you?”. (She may or may not have had a few beers by the time I joined the party. I had a good reason to be late – I was having a slight anxiety attack.) In any case, it seems I’m a decade late to that existential internal trip as well.
Today’s Daily Prompt is Perseverance. How do I some up the entirety of this blog in one post? This journey has so far been all about facing the most challenging period of my life.
It started with a broken heart. I have faced my fears. I have laid myself bare. I have done my best to overcome.
I have faced it and I am still here, still fighting.
Happy birthday! I realise that in Your response to me to my message following our breakup, You have told me to stay away and not contact You. For the last four months I have done just that and, unless at some future date both of are able and willing to change that status quo, will continue to honour Your wish, save for this one occasion of your 29th birthday.
If You have not by now, shortly You will receive a gift that I had posted to you few days ago from a store in the Dominican Republic. I remember Your preference for colour blue and wooden jewellery. Add to that the colour of Your eyes and I think the Dominican blue-green amber would fit You quite nicely.
It is my sincerest hope that You will accept that gift in the spirit that it is given. It pains me deeply to know that our post-breakup communication has caused You to be so incredibly angry with me so as to cut off all lines of communication. Please believe me when I say that it was never my intention to upset You or cause You pain or discomfort, nor do I wish that Your last memory of me be such a negative one. For the all too short a time that we were together, You have given me such happiness and a feeling of peace. You have made me believe that my life needs not be one of misery and despair. You gave me hope when I had none, nor knew what one felt like. And for that I will be eternally grateful to You.
Goodbye (perhaps?), I. I miss You dearly.
It is helpful to be able to express my feelings and share them immediately. This community has been very supportive and inspiring. More so than many realise.
The way I personally chose to go about blogging is to do it as anonymously as possible. It gives me freedom to be as honest and open as possible without fear of judgement spilling into my offline world.
This right here, is – for me – the difference between putting down in writing my inner struggles and being too dead to do so.
And, predictably, everything that has to do with Her turns to shit.
My mind technician thinks that the true source of the excruciating pain from my breakup is because of having lived without true emotional intimacy for so very long and then putting all my eggs of emotional connection need into one basket. I do not think that is what the pain is really all about. Sure, that is a part of it but what really hurts beyond hurt is the loss of hope. I would not have admitted it to anyone including myslef but deep down I knew my life was broken and needed to be fixed. So when She came along and made me feel so safe that She could quiet my worried mind with Her mere presence rather than me taking Ritalin, I fell so desperately in love. It felt that with Her in my life everything would be fixed. And the sad, sad trouth is that if She had stuck around long enough to help me open my eyes to the true nature of my issues so that I could get help, my life would have been fixed. The other part of that sad, sad truth is that had I paid more attention to what She was saying, had paid more attention to Her, she would likely still be a part of my life. There is a great deal of blame on me for the breakup.
Having left, She not only took Herself out of my life, She took my hope and my dreams with Her. It feels so empty and so cold now.
And I still love Her.
I must’ve dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
When Genesis wrote this song they were not talking about my situation. But in many ways it still applies. I have been living in the Land of Confusion for the past 6? 7? 8 months? Considering how things turned out I have clearly been the one in the dark since before the breakup. Since the breakup though, I have really understood what it means to live through those thousand dreams and million screams. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes. Other times, it hits me like a tank during the days. I want to scream so hard that my vocal cords are ripped out by the force of the escaping air. There does not seem to be an end to this despair. I know there are others struggling with the same questions but it makes not my burden any less crushing.
And not much love to go round
Can’t you see
This is a land of confusion.
In this case, my problem is quite the opposite: there is way too much love. It fills me to the brink and it has nowhere to go for She is not with me. I think of Her and my eyes fill with tears. Some say it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Bullshit! How could that possibly be true?! How could that pain be worth anything?! How could running out of the office to escape in the bathroom and collapse on the floor hyperventilating and crying be worth anything?!
The refrain of the song represents which direction I need to choose. Though lacking in ability to see where to go, or the strength to continue for much longer, or the belief that the world without Her is not the one worth living in, let’s hope that one day I will be able to get better.
This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in.
Amen to that.
Once upon a time, there lived… me. For a long time things worked exactly the same way. Not in a good way, mind you, but there was consistency to my choices in life. And although not a conscious one, it was a habit nevertheless. A habit that I did not break. Until one day I did. I met a girl and we hit it off. It did not work out and I was heartbroken. Now, dear reader, if you have been reading this blog prior to getting to this post, you might think that the girl in question is the one I have been writing about for the past few months. It is not that girl. But I digress. I was heartbroken and it took me a while to get over her. That fact that she was batshit insane helped me out a lot. And so things went back to normal. Well… My normal. Which is to say not normal for most people but whatever it was that made up normality for me. You get the point.
So I started walling myself off from people and emotions. Again. It is a sound emotional defence. If you do not get close to anybody than they cannot hurt you. It can only get you so far though. We need to feel emotional intimacy. Having felt it before, meant that I could not go back to the way things were. I broke my habit of taking myself out of the human equation. I tried other solutions. I started doing improv. Yet even there my habit of building a defensive shield around myself was a problem. Nobody wants to see a Dalek on stage. I started making new friends and getting perspective on my life. I started to feel more freely.
And then I met Her and my life has changed forever. I fell in love. I fell in love harder and with more openness than ever before. I had been living without feeling any emotional intimacy for so long that, having tasted it once before, I dove in head first with complete disregard for the likely dangers of doing so. The rest is history. You can pretty much guess what happened from the name of the blog alone. I went into a complete emotional breakdown.
And so hear I am. Broken. Wondering if it was worth it. If I figure it out, I will be sure to make another post.