20 October 2008

Breaking Up - 3 Acts

I. The other day I was talking about my imminent divorce to a friend with one of his own. I listed these alternating feelings:
  • ...like a failure for the relationship ending.
  • ...like a jerk for thinking for so long that the relationship would work when it so obviously was not going to work.
  • ...relieved and free.
  • ...love/connection.
  • ...grief.
  • ...for moments not remembering why I wanted it to end.
My friend said he had had all these feelings about his relationship too.

II. A group of friends last night helped me realize that when I am in pain I have a very hard time relating to people, especially to people I'm close to. I probably have the hardest time relating to myself, just feeling it, not fighting it or holding it at bay. I had had a few slightly disjointed-feeling conversations, where I appeared to be, and no doubt was, insensitive. It's very weird, and not unfamiliar. A feeling of being remote, like an astronaut looking at the earth.

So today when someone I don't know very well asked me how I was, I said "slightly depressed."
She replied that she was very depressed. Turned out it was a good way to start a conversation.

III. We are connected to who we are connected to. We don't really know why. We can act like we're not, or cope with it in various ways, but we can't stop the connection.

I have noticed that people make assumptions about a relationship, like that if you're married and you don't live together, there is something wrong. You may not notice this if your relationship conforms to expectations. There are many more assumptions about a marriage, but perhaps it is simply that I am the one with the wrong - or at least not that useful - perspective on marriage. Perhaps it is an area that I have little confidence in myself, so I feel, or care, that I am being judged.

Other people seem to be more into their relationship, more interested in being in a relationship, than I am. But perhaps no, perhaps it's something else...about how possible it is to appreciate and maintain that particular connection in the face of actual personalities and every day life. So maybe it's not so much about how 'into' relationships I am, but rather with whom that mysterious connection tends to happen, and how much said person resembles someone I would be friends with, and how problematic that connection ends up being. In other words, am I often drawn toward characters that I have a difficult relationship to, and that's why I'm perhaps less interested than most in being in a relationship? Or am I just ambivalent about relationships and that is all? Or are we drawn toward each other to work out some unconscious karmic knot, but neither of us have the patience or perseverance to work it out?

Videos to Watch
The Story of Love and Hate by Radio Raheem

Otters Holding Hands at the Vancouver Zoo

Otter photo above came from The Journal of Young Investigators

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I've been going through the same feelings. Why do we choose our partners? These threads we hang our well being on are so tenuous at best. After all, mortality is always looming in the best of circumstances.

I'm sorry you're in pain. I think when we disassociate with people during these painful times it is exactly because our true friends really see us. Perhaps these are tough times to be witnessed. Anyway, sometimes just having friends around next to us while we do our routine can be comforting when we lose a lover. So anytime.

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