Monday, October 12, 2015

Vulnerability, Reaching out and Relationships

Vulnerability, Reaching out, and Relationships

From the time we are little girls and boys, we are led to believe that there is something wrong with being alone. It has almost become a learned fear, as if, to be alone is the worst possible thing in the world. We see it everywhere, people stay stuck in unhealthy relationships simply to avoid being alone. 

We also see ideal couples everywhere: the movies, television, and our partners are referred to as "our better halves", thus indicating that that we are just a piece of a person, a like a piece of pie, that only another person can otherwise complete. In fact, the phrase "you complete me" has become the marker for an all time dream letting us know when we are in love. 

But let's get real shall we? Being with other people throughout most of our waking hours, helps us to avoid the most difficult task of all: exploring ourselves and facing our shadow in the mirror. Solitude is not so much about becoming a hermit. Rather, it is about becoming free from emotional dependency. It is about becoming free from bad behavior and unhealthy communication that never changes. It is about setting boundaries regarding what one will or will not put up with. If we believe we are less than whole and constantly seek that missing half, how will we ever really get to know ourselves intimately? 

Recently, I inadvertently ended a relationship with someone I deeply loe and with whom I wanted to build a future. Her immediate response was "Who are you talking to again? Who are you seeing". I should have known that would be her reaction, but it still caught me off guard. For the following two weeks I dissected and analyzed the situation and why those hurtful words escaped my mouth. Over and over I kept asking myself if breaking it off was the right decision, OR, if I was trying to fit a square box thought a mouse hole for the past (almost) six months. I drove myself crazy with  questions like: am I putting up emotional barriers? Is she making me crazy by interrupting my barely spoken sentences? Is she interested in my life at all or does she just want to talk about herself all the time? Is she emotionally unavailable because she not quite out of the closet? Am I too sensitive? Am I going crazy or are her outburst of anger crazy making? 

It finally dawned on me that if I had to ask so many questions, and our communication had taken a serious downhill turn, I didn't know how to right it, and we were seriously out of balance. 

There is a price we pay for avoiding ourselves. Only through exploration of our true selves can we hope to achieve some peace in life. 

Two weeks after breaking things off I reached out, I needed to do this. I want to change my communication style.

It is also important to remember that affairs of the heart are delicate and must be handled responsibly. 

I did not ever imagine this. I did not ever want to cause her pain. Who could ever want to cause another pain? 

Yet, we are fools to think that we can smash someone's heart and walk away with a smile. There are consequences for causing intentional harm. However, there was one simple fact that I could not avoid: in the process of becoming a "we" and an "us",  I lost my individuality. And she, admittedly, did as well. 

I am an introvert by nature and not at all intimidated by being alone. I want to enjoy my hours of the day to the fullest extent. I'm not afraid of the work that a relationship takes. But I do believe that communication should not be a constant struggle, especially in the beginning of the first few months of a relationship.  But I forgot that it is in the 6th month that realities of who we really are begin to surface and this is what the relationship is, and we must wade through the goo in order to get to the honey. I want to enjoy the hours of my day with people and activities that cause the most peace, contentment and joy. I also do not believe in explosive outbursts of anger, I cannot condone that communication style in my relationships. 

When we end relationships, we often say "I need time for myself" most often that is the scapegoat statement. It usually means, " I don't want to spend time with you, but I will be filling my life with the booming social life I had before I met you".  For her, she is definitely doing that. 

After the break up I spent some time with a friend so that I may gain some clarity. She told me that, even though I initiated the break up, my heart is still broken. Broken from losing the hope I had for love and broken from breaking her heart. I too, will need some time to heal.

I understand that she may never come back, that the rift may never be healed. But I do hope that she will see my monumental fuck up as just that, a mistake made in frustration. Shock freezing me from moving further and taking immediate corrective action. That yes, it took two weeks, but I did reach out. I did apologize, I am humbled and my love never wavered. Hopefully, she will see that the courage and vulnerability that it took to reach out was just as monumental. And that a new beginning may be made. Hopefully. 

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