Friday, March 28, 2008

thorny thoughts

When I drink socially, with friends, or family, there is always food available to share, to enjoy together. We laugh, eat, talk, eat, joke, eat, drink. We munch and crunch. Together.

It is a sharing, these friends mixed with food and drink, it feels right.

When I drink alone, there may be food available, yet I don't eat. I can even start the evening hungry, yet it gets lost, I no longer feel it. I become numb to food.

Isn't that weird?

There are people in my life, that seem to thrive only when there is drama, lots and lots of drama.

In my observations of them, they seem to only feel alive when each emotion they experience is at full intensity. When the thorns are pricking deeply, when the bead of blood becomes a river. Then they thrive.

Their way, doesn't make sense to me...which I also find confounding, in that I make most of my decisions based on emotion.

Any yet...their way...would feel like a weight to me...this intensity would be an anchor tied to my ankles, I would drown in the utter intensity of it...yet they only seem able to live by breathing in huge vociferous gasping gulps of air, or so shallowly they become dizzy with lack of oxygen.

I cannot live such a life. I need to breathe freely, deeply, easily.

I have been there, in that place, when it seemed I was constantly mired in the depths of despair, or flying high with happiness.

I like my life much better, when it feels even, simple. I may feel sad, I may feel happy, even full of joy, but there is no drama to it, it feels as if it honestly as I can.

I wonder though, is that just how I perceive my reality?

Perhaps other's think I live dramatically?

I have created distance in my life from those that I used to be the closest too. My extended family.

In my before divorce life. I could ignore, or leave behind my own pain, to listen to theirs. I would be there for them at a moments notice.

Now, in the midst of this divorce life. I can't do it, or won't do it. It takes more energy than I possess to deal with their traumas.

Someone once told me divorce is perhaps worse than the death of a spouse, because people respect the grief, and the grieving process. Yet with divorce, life is supposed to go on as before, only different. These people who have such need, feel me pulling away, and want more and more from me. I don't have it to give, not right now.

It doesn't work that way. Someone was right. I think it is worse.

I have no body to bury, no way yet to separate the good and the bad memories, no way to fully mourn the death of this marriage. There has been no memorial service, there is no sense of finality, no closure.

I miss...something...just don't know...or...don't want to...think about what it is...whatever it is...that I miss.


Sixdegrees said...

Two thoughts: One is that humans are intrinsically social creatures. It is impossible to think about human evolution without taking into account the give and take between individual gene variation and inter-human interactions.

The social nature of food is a classic example of how our present-day behaviors are derived from selective pressures during human evolution. You are absolutely correct - it is not just calories that we need, but also the group interactions that accompany food.

And part of being in a group is the need to infer what other people in the group are thinking - to have a "theory of mind". But, do our self-perceptions match those of others? I think not - there always is a mismatch, and this mismatch in perception is variable between people.

I am particularly interested in this from the standpoint of autism/asperger's (ASDs). A common perception is that people with ASDs do not like to engage in social interactions. However, the perception of people with ASD is that they very much want to engage in social interactions - they just don't know how. I have seen this in my son and John Robinson in "Look me in the eye" described it very well.

I came across this article a couple of years ago that may relate to the neurological mechanism of self vs other perception.

My second thought relates to layers of human existence, as put forth in the concept of the seven chakras. People who appear to be fully alive only when their emotions are fully engaged, are living their life on the surface chakra's. But going deeper into the layers of our existence means letting go of the "attack-response" mode. These deeper layers are not emotion-free. Rather, it is at these layers that we really experience the emotions of happiness, sadness, etc. And then we can choose our actions appropriately so that they are in harmony with both our internal goals and our external situations.

I think you deserve time to deal with your own questions rather than always being there to help others. I am sure that other people in your life are a bit confused in terms of how to interact with you. But don't let their confusion become a guilt trip so that you go back to dealing with their situations while ignoring yours. They will always try to pull you back into how they think you should be. But you need to find your own path.

And you will.

Jonas said...

Just keep meandering forward. I'll be cheering you on every step of the way!

Sunny Delight said...

Yes we are social creatures, out of necessity in the beginning...

More and more of us are becoming isolated in this techno age, which I believe to be very detrimental.

Even when I go through my hermit-like periods, I must eventually emerge and have my senses filled through social interaction with others.

I have always been quite good at reading others, but there are times when I wonder how well I truly read myself...

The article poses interesting questions in my mind, especially when viewed from the standpoint of what the higher functioning children's brains may end up doing/creating to make up for this lack in the "mirror neuron system"... in many I imagine some other portion of the brain must eventually be strengthened.

I will find my path, or paths...eventually. Today, I think I need to find a walking path, 'tis too beautiful to stay inside any longer.

Thank you. Just as I, will you.

Jac said...

I think it is about the yearning..... yearning for something we've craved since we were youngsters -- the perfect mother/father love that eluded us in childhood, we search for as adults, and never find. Sigh. I think I'll go have a glass of wine and eat a brownie.