Posts tagged with "love"

projector

A while back, my therapist asked, “Do you think Heather will love you, regardless of whether you’re actively contributing to the relationship?”. I told him I wasn’t sure, cause I was still trying to understand the concept of unconditional love. As a child, my parents told me they wouldn’t love me if I wasn’t a good boy, and a good boy would do exactly what they wanted. The affection they doled out was directly related to how well I did in school, or how much I impressed other parents. They used it as a tool to control me, and this dynamic has influenced my understanding of relationships to the point that it feels like I constantly need to be making efforts in them (or they’ll decay).

So my therapist instead posed the question, “Do you think Heather will love you, no matter what?”. My first reaction was one of confusion; I heard the same question as before. When I realized it had completely different implications — would Heather still love me if I was an axe murderer; if I was racist; if I burned the house down; if I didn’t love her back — it dawned on me that I was projecting this monumental requirement on myself to be constantly making efforts towards the relationship. It wasn’t an expectation Heather was bringing, but my own; one I projected on her due to my childhood trauma.

To realize that I was doing this in such a specific and significant manner was a shock. My mind inadvertently made bounds in logic, and every time Heather said, “I’ll always love you”, I would hear, “I’ll always love you, as long as…1

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  1. It blows my mind to know that Heather’s love for me isn’t conditional, that she loves me deeper that I’m even able to understand at the moment. []

those who leave but never leave you

I’m sorry she never replied, but I’m also glad you figured out that she doesn’t owe you an answer. I think that says a lot about how much you’ve grown and how far you’ve come as a person.

It was no small step to reach out after all this time and the things you’ve been through together. I think you did the right thing cause of the way things ended. Offering to make amends by putting your feelings out there was more generous than I’d expect of anyone.

After all, you never deserved to be led on like that. I wish I could explain why she didn’t give you the space you needed at first. I’m sorry you weren’t strong enough at the time to stand up for yourself, but it doesn’t mean you deserved it. It wasn’t fair. You were lonely and vulnerable and it was the last thing your heart needed to heal. I don’t blame you for having a hard time getting over her after that.

That’s why you had every right to ask for another break. Needing it was never a reflection or judgment on who she was. Just because she didn’t like it doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. In fact, she should have respected you and your request instead of getting upset or taking it as a valuation on her as a person.

I’m sorry she never acknowledged your pain or her role in it. I’m sorry part of you still feels so badly messed up. I’m sorry you never had a chance to tell her.

The fact that you haven’t heard back is likely a sign of how much she truly cares about you. That doesn’t mean you have to stop loving her. Your feelings are completely valid. It’s okay to love someone from a distance. It doesn’t make you a bad partner or person.

So take as much time as you need. There’s no right or wrong way to mourn the end of a relationship.

a reckless careening of emotions and actions

That’s how you described yourself, soon after your dad died. A girl lost in grief, trying to drink and smoke and work and fuck her way out. Living her life like she was the only one who hadn’t figured out what to do with it.

It’s hard to imagine you being so sad once. Or sad at all, and secure enough to admit loneliness. You even had the objectiveness to know that you shrank from others even though you didn’t make yourself happy. That’s why I keep going through these entries in your old blog. Not just a dream journal, but a journal of dreams. Before you became trapped in a domestic life and your heart turned into a lump of stone.

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to drink all damage into love

My three-year anniversary with Heather came and went without fanfare or ceremony (or even notice, on my part). Our time together went by in a blink; being chronically single for me, and trapped in an abusive relationship for her, made the three years prior to that feel like an eternity by comparison for each of us. It was only halfway through that I realized part of me was keeping her at a significant distance.

When we first started spending time together, I was drawn most to her innocence. The way she viewed the world with an open mind1 made me feel comfortable in a way I immediately found attractive. I could tell her calm demeanour belied a darkness though; she knew a tremendous amount of pain in her short life, and that made her the same kind of old soul as me. Still, I never dared imagine things may work out between us, cause my previous lover was completely unexpected in both the coming and going, and the experience left me raw. Somewhat conversely, I was also too numb to believe anything was real. It was only a couple weeks after Heather entered my life that I tried to hang myself, and surviving meant everything felt posthumous.

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  1. I relate it to the concept of an “uncarved block” or “pu” in Taoism: a state of receptiveness, before the taint of experience, that gives one the potential to see things without judgment or prejudice. []

escape artist

“Suzanne is forty years old and has never had a close relationship. She spends most of her spare time reading books and browsing the web. Suzanne is most comfortable with casual, friendly relationships where nothing very personal is discussed.

Suzanne is married to a man who is out of touch with his feelings. He’s more interested in being married than in being married to Suzanne particularly. He has few friends, and does not expect closeness from Suzanne. He wants a woman just so he can fulfill the conventional role of husband. Their relationship is based on traditional roles, not on real intimacy. They rarely confide in each other.

Suzanne has smoked marijuana her entire adult life. She insists that she is not addicted — she tells herself she only does it for recreation, and that she has control. Besides using drugs on a regular basis, she tends to drink in settings when she doesn’t feel as socially capable as others.

Suzanne became depressed, but was not in touch with her feelings of abandonment and defectiveness. She spent much of her life making sure she was not in touch, and trying to escape her feelings.

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