Sunday, February 03, 2008

Love, The Loss of Love, and Self-Confession

Friday was Soon-to-be-Ex's Birthday. On Saturday he celebrated that birthday, with family and friends.

His family, our children, and our friends.

The only one missing was me.

This sent me into a tailspin of memories, of lost dreams, and finally, maybe, into the reality of our life together and the reality of our lives apart.


"Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings." ~ Anais Nin~


Destructive Words:

Ten years ago, 18 years into our marriage, I was told by Soon-to-be-Ex that if I was not planning to be his wife forever, I should get out then, to stop wasting his time, before it was too late.

Is a long term relationship? Time wasted? Is not any time spent...especially time hoping to save that wasting our time, our life?

I didn't see it that way then, and I still don't, he may, I don't know. I haven't ask. Maybe, I am afraid to hear his answer.

* * * * * * *

"When two people meet and fall in love, there's a sudden rush of magic. Magic is just naturally present then. We tend to feed on that gratuitous magic without striving to make any more. One day we wake up and find that the magic is gone. We hustle to get it back, but by then it's usually too late, we've used it up. What we have to do is work like hell at making additional magic right from the start. It's hard work, but if we can remember to do it, we greatly improve our chances of making love stay." ~Tim Robbins~

* * * * * * *

Uncomfortable Truths:

I used to get so angry with my mother when she recreated, what I viewed as, our mutual reality to fit her own sanitized version.

I have come to the realization, that unknowingly, or at least unconsciously, I may have done the same.

Maybe it was a necessity, there was no other way I could function in my world if I did not. It hurt too much. If I did not give and feel my love fully, completely, then the loss of the one love in my life that was supposed to last forever would not be so painful.

So, somewhere along the way, quite early on, I convinced myself that the love I felt for my husband was never given fully. Thus, only I was to blame for the foundering, and eventual failure of the relationship. I was so convinced of this, that it took an eternity of memories suffusing me to realize what I had done. I don't think I recreated all of my reality, because, I always knew living in, and sustaining myself along with, the relationship would be difficult.

When we met, when we fell in love, we each had within us the need to love, and be loved, so badly, that once I let my doubts go, he became my love, the focus of my love, and I his, thus I felt there was no choice but one.

I now have to admit to myself. I did hold an all encompassing love for him . (We need more words/definitions for love, I still love him, only differently). He was only the third young man I had ever felt such a deep emotional connection with. In addition, with him, I also felt the tumult of infatuation and sexual desire. He was only the second young man whose kiss was felt as if it brushed against my soul. We loved. We loved in the idealistic way of the young, in the soul hungry way of the abused. We loved as only the insecure can, we loved to destruction, his and mine. I loved him the way my own parents inadvertently taught me to love my partner. On my part, I believed our differences were part of the old adage, "opposites attract". I believed those very differences would make each of us better as we grew older. I believed we would learn from each other, until one day, we would be less opposite...of course to be very truthful, I thought he would become more like me in ideology, and I would become more like him in the practical matters of life.

So, finally after denying it for more years than I can count, I admit, he was one of the true loves of my life, but it was also a love doomed.

* * * * * * *

"I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out."
~Pablo Neruda~

* * * * * * *

Love as Life Itself:

Only twice in my life have I felt the loss of love so deeply that I thought my very soul would not recover. I experienced psychic pain so intense I was sure it was unsurvivable.

The memories of those first days of grief will never leave me. Each time, if someone had told me I would go on to love again, I would have told them it was an impossibility, I could never love anyone like I loved him,(or him), I would never allow myself to feel such a pain again. But I did, we do, I may again.

The physical manifestations of my grief were undeniable: I was suffocated by the grasp of a giant fist intent upon rendering me dead. I could not breathe, nor could my heart beat, it was ripped from my body and squeezed, as one would squeeze the water from a wet sponge, I was eviscerated, and my entrails set aflame. I felt as if my soul had been annihilated. An annihilation that I relived minute by minute, hour after hour, day after day. Thick hot tears spilled from me in that initial deluge of pain, until I felt as if I had no moisture left within, I was lost in a forever desert of pain. I longed for true death.

Such emotional intensity take its toll though. I eventually became worn out, worn down, a deep sleep overcame me, a healing sleep. Upon each subsequent awakening the pain would be somewhat dulled. And, I became more rational, I could intellectualize my pain, my loss. I knew, I would continue to breathe, one inhale, one exhale at a time. I was lost though, lost in a cave of despair. I searched for ways to deaden the pain, the first time I used drugs, alcohol and another young man. The second...I closed off of my heart and used denial, a denial so strong that for a long while I couldn't even allow the memory of his face to come forth in my mind.

And, so, it went for me. During the recovery, from the love addiction, I was alive, but I was not. I suppose what I experienced is what we all experience when we lose someone we love with our entire being, someone we love because in loving them we feel as if we are a part of something bigger, something gloriously ours alone. That very love makes us more than we are if we do not have that love.

I survived, I lived. The first time, because it was a first love, and I was young. The second, because I could not put the daily living of life on hold to wallow in my pain. I had responsibilities. Eventually I did recover. Little pieces of me eventually came back. I was able to see my world and those who inhabited once more. The last time, I had choices to make, I chose the known over the unknown, I chose what I had, over what I did not, and never would. I chose what I thought would in the end create the lessor amount of pain. When I was somewhat healed, I realized even though I felt that I had loved and lost, I had still been given a gift. I accepted, healed, and moved on with life. Or, I thought I had. I had become more aware though...of the nuances silence breeds.

* * * * * * *

"People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in... " ~Elizabeth Gilbert~

* * * * * * *

Today and Tomorrow:

So here I am, today, writing all of this out. Trying to make sense of it all the memories and thoughts. Not really being able to, but somehow understanding that I am Ok with not being able to.

I have felt, do feel, and will feel love for many others as my life continues. This I know. Some of those feelings I have not, and will not completely trust myself with yet.

There have been times, will be times, when I look off into the future and hope that I love again. I hope to give my love again, I hope to be loved again. It is a hope for love undefinable in many ways. I have a hope to experience the passion of youth, tempered by the knowledge learned by mistakes made, and the wisdom of a gentler heart.

I have that hope.

For although there is so very much I do not know...there is one thing I do know.

I am a woman who revels in intimate connections. My soul seeks to provide shelter and nourishment to the soul of another, just as I seek the same in return. I gain strength from such intimacy shared, and in turn provide strength. We each grow stronger. When I am enveloped in love, love given and love received, we become...we become gifts, we become priceless treasures, we become beauty.

I am saddened it took me so long to find that out.

I have a long way to go before I can freely give complete intimacy, but I will continue to hope.

* * * * * * *

"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein~

* * *

"He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her. Petra Cotes, for her part, loved him more and more as she felt his love increasing, and that was how in the ripeness of autumn she began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love. Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of living each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs. " ~Gabriel Marcia Marquez~



deb said...

Two years ago I fell in love with another man, my girlfriend's husband. He was my soul mate and he tore me open, tore me apart and then left me. We had a connection that I've never had with another man, ever. But I was uneasy as well. He was deeply spiritual and a recovering alchoholic and sex addict. There were red flags that I chose to ignore.

In the end I realized what I was, I was there to reassure him that he still had a sex drive. Such a cliche. A middle aged man who worries about his declining libido. And I bought it, hook, line and sinker. What a fool I was. He never had any intention of leaving his wife, whom I actually care about a great deal and still keep in contact with. She's a lovely woman and I'm glad she never found out.

So, I made a huge mess, came to the end of my rope, contemplated suicide and then fought my way back to life. In the end it was worth it. Loving him pushed me to the edge and forced me to deal with my depression and how I wanted to live my life.

It's been a slow process. Two years now and I'm still trying to make my life what I want it to be, but I'm getting there, slowly. I'm living more honestly, I'm certainly much more happy now, more willing to look at the dark stuff that resides within me, that is as much a part of me as all the good stuff that I like so much.

So I don't regret what happened. I was fool for love and I imagine I will be again before I die but it was a risk I was willing to take. I'm sure you will too sweetie.

Sunny Delight said...

Thank you for sharing your memory, and your pain with me.

I have many incomplete thoughts going on within me right now...

I believe the special connections we feel with certain people are a part of life's most important lessons, they help shape who we become, even how we love in the future, if we choose to let them be such. (A reason I like what Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about soul mates so much, I have always believed we have many)

Loving has been a continual learning process for me. In my marriage, it wasn't ever a truly healthy love to judge things by. Thus, when it comes to my Soon-to-be-Ex, I have spent much of my lifetime, denying the depth of the love I felt, but I still tried...I guess I can look at the marriage in a more positive light...I am persistent--I don't give up easily, (instead of viewing myself as a coward).

Love is not something I will ever stop doing...I may try my best to rein it in right now (I still have fear of the remembered pain, even when I know the pain was worth it), but I also know giving my love freely is better than not allowing love out...or in. Maybe living with a jealous lover taught me that, or maybe I always knew it.

Perhaps you and I are two people who have learned from our loves...We gather up the gifts from our love experiences, in turn we grow, our lives are richer because we loved not because of the outcome of that love.

As I said my thoughts are not fully formed...but hey that's me...I never make a lot of sense...take care sweet woman...hugs.

Jonas said...

Beautifully written. Honest and true.

S'mee said...

Some of your posts leave me with nothing to say Sunny. I just feel a little of your pain. Wish I had a magic wand.
IanS x

Mia said...

oh wow. all i can say is "exactly".

Are you inside my head?

::BIG hug::

freebird said...

You have taken my breath away with this post, Sunny. Absolutely perfect. I can only echo what jonas, s'mee and mia have said.

"my thoughts are not fully formed...but hey that's me...I never make a lot of sense..."

That's the only wrong thing you've said!