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death, unhappiness and clouds

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death, unhappiness and clouds

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In my inner metaphor junkheap, I imagine relationships as clouds, made up of feelings and thoughts, that are connected to you by a cord of itself.  If it's a close relationship, the cord is thick and strong; an acquaintance would have a wisp of fog and a string.  When things are going badly, the cord frays and weakens, or stays strong but twists, depending on the kind of "going badly" in question.  When you grow distant, it thins through stretching as the cloud drifts off.

I want to write about the way I have been feeling lately about my severed relationships with elision and langs_place.  The idea of hiding it, however, makes me ill.

I am fairly well settled with langs_place

I am accustomed to the fact that, for me, female friendships end.  Many times they have gone away for reasons I did not comprehend.  At least this time I understand why - as I had certainly better, since I am the one who officially ended it.

I miss her in flashes: I will do some activity that she would have loved, and feel her absence; I will say something and know what her response would have been if she'd only been there to hear it; and sometimes, in the quiet spaces, I hear her ghostly commentary on my doings - thoughts and laughter that she is no longer able to provide in person.

As I write this, I realize that the phrase "dead to me" means more than just words to me now, on a more visceral level.  She might as well be dead, because she is gone from my life, removed in that same implacable way that death does.  To be crystal clear, I do not WISH her dead; it is just how my feelings toward her work now.*

I think I have felt the loss of my other female friendships in this same way, and mourned them.  I certainly mourned the loss of langs_place.  I think that is why I tried so hard and for so long to salvage things.  I knew how this ending would feel, because I have been through it before, but she was not going to leave me; if it was to end, I would have to end it, and I had never done that before so I did not know how... and I did not want to learn how to make someone be dead this way.

In the end, it's a choice I had to make myself, to protect myself from the pain that she could not seem to help but deliver.  I am not afraid of pain; it is part of life.  Staying in pain, though, remaining or returning to a person who has hurt you and will again, who can't avoid doing so, that's the part of life where you're being stupid and self-destructive.  You can only treat yourself that way so much before you have to stop, before it becomes self-loathing that keeps you there.

I was very angry at her, and I continued to be, for as long as I held out hope of reconciling any time soon.  Ever since I stopped letting my wish for her to remain in my life sully my judgement and severed ties with her, the cloud of us has been drifting away from me.  My anger has faded; I don't think about it much.  When I think about her (outside of certain limited contexts), I only think about the things that I miss.  This would be dangerous if it wasn't happening in conjunction with the whole dead-to-me thing, but as it is, it's easier than the alternative of hanging on to anger when it's never going to go anywhere productive.

The love I feel for her is in memoriam.

The only place I see evidence of her these days is when she comments on one of our mutual LJ friends' pages.  I find it jarring when she does so.

*  The same thing happened with my grandfather, while he was still alive but absent from himself.  His physical death was only sad to me in a very muted way, because I had already mourned the loss of him when his mind became irretrievably buried within himself.  The flashes of his old self that rose to the surface were only tragic to me.  I never shared these feelings with my family, because they always treated him as if he was still the man he always had been.  I suppose it was a kindness to do so, or perhaps it was just what they had to do in their minds in order to be able to continue to care for his body.  It is shudderingly creepy to me to think about that now, though, as I think I would rather be actually dead than to exist that way.

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It is different with elision.  I only WISH he felt dead to me.  He feels very much alive, and my anger at him, for stealing himself for me, for making it impossible for me to retain his friendship, is still very strong.  I hate that it is only anger that connects me to him any more.

I did everything I could to keep him in my life.  I twisted my own definition of friendship, a bit at a time, just for him, so that he could still fall into that category.  I bent and bent and bent, and still he was ultimately unable to meet the simplest boiling down of requirements I was able to offer.  When he was weak in our relationship (which was a considerable amount of the time), I tried my best to be his strength; I blamed myself for my failure, and I suppose I still do, but realistically, I doubt if that can ever work in the long term, and I would have realized that if I hadn't been so mazed by the happiness that he brought me.

I'm so frustrated by the avoidance and the illogic that he sustains within himself that I'm reduced to the level of the primitive - or the parent, and I'm not sure which is worse in this case - I want to try to beat those things out of him, since they can't be reasoned out (I have tried).  He uses them as tools so that he can bear what he finds unbearable by refusing to look at it with clear eyes.  I think that is a terrible way to live your life, and I know it is terrible for him - this behaviour makes of him a jungle swamp, rife with woman-eating beasts and pits of quicksand.  I survived that for a long time, longer than I probably should have, but when he finally asked me to join him in the lies he tells himself, there I could not go.

Even with all that happened, though, I didn't reject him.  He rejected me.  I simply, finally, gave up fighting to keep him in my life and acquiesced - and when I did so, I let loose the anger which I did not feel before, could not allow to develop, and which, now that it exists, continues to bind me to him.

I still love him, but the love I could let go; it would still exist, I would still be roped to that cloud, but the cord would thin, and the fact that I can't refresh it in the well of him would become a more and more distant hurt, and eventually only a memory.  That process can't start for me yet, though, because apparently I am not ready; every time I think of him, I'm reminded again that he is a poisoned well, that I want him in my life but that I can't have the good without the bad, and that the bad is too much for me.  I'm reminded of how damned unfair it all is, and I'm angered all over again.

I owe him nothing.  The only real wrong I ever did him was in the moments when I unthinkingly supported his self-delusion about what our relationship was - and when I realized what I had done, I put an end to it.  In contrast, he did me considerable wrong - and he knew it; he often referred to himself as an asshole when talking about how he had treated me.  He seemed to want to compartmentalize that self-knowledge, though - he would not reasonably discuss the way it did and does affect me, would quibble about nuance in a way that occasionally threatened to knock down all the coping structures I had built inside my head - and it was not enough to make him stop repeating those bad acts, either.  I had forgiven him for them, though, and I would have continued to forgive him anything had he not, in the end, completely refused to hear me any longer.  That is what ended forgiveness.

I would talk to him if he came to me now, but I would not accept any blanket apology from him.  I have heard many repeats of the "Sorry" chorus from him, and frankly, I believe that when it is not accompanied by a change in the behaviour that caused it to be said in the first place, that word becomes one of the most profound insults in the English language.  I won't accept that from him.

I doubt that I can be his friend again; I think that he is too weak-willed to implement the self-change that I would need to see in him before I would go back.  That is another factor that feeds my anger, and it also makes me sad.  I am still drawn by the good things he has inside him, but I have to face the fact that it doesn't matter how much he has to give if he can't actually bring himself to give it.

I am a loving and devoted friend, and I deserved much better from him.  I deserve to have what I wanted, but when it doesn't exist, and I try to find it anyway, the one I am hurting is myself.  Some injustices must be accepted, because the only alternative is a worse one.
He was not just a close friend; he was my first love.  That means a lot, but even so, it is a coin that will only buy so much.
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