Wednesday, January 6, 2010

when things don't work

Some relationships are not meant to be.

I remember at 5 or so, having the sense that when I grew up my parents wouldn't be together. That was WAY before divorce was common. In fact, when my dad moved out the day after I graduated from high school, they were the only people we knew who split up. It was shocking in our neighborhood and our extended family. No one knew what to do or say. To my parents and to me, my brother and sister. No one bothered to check on us, to lend support, to make sure we were ok. We weren't. And had no where to turn for help.

I left for college and sometimes slowly, sometimes terrifying fast, fell apart. I flunked almost every course. I drank way too much. By sophomore year, they put me on detention with the agreement that I'd go for counseling, after I had a breakdown one weekend. I couldn't stop crying for days, ending up in the infirmary, eating strawberry ice cream, waiting for the pain to subside. It didn't, but when the endless sobbing finally abated, I was allowed to go back to my dorm and my routine of cutting class, spending hours in the library looking at old LIFE magazines instead.

But, this isn't about my parents. In the end, they each found someone to be with and they're far happier than when they were together. I'm talking about relationships you can't get out of. Even when you desperately want to. I've written about this before, about how I sometimes find myself in destructive relationships where I have no voice, tied to person who has no idea or interest in who I am, leaving me frustrated and trapped, seethingly angry, misunderstood, and completely powerless.


I get emotional and end up looking and sounding like an idiot when I'm anything but. I'm a look-on-the-bright-side person who gets reduced to a hysterical, over-reacting lunatic. As I write this, I'm fighting to keep tears from streaming down my face.

What lesson am I supposed to learn? There's a slight glimmer, somewhere down this bleak, pitch black tunnel, that I need to believe in myself more—that I can do whatever it is I need to. On my own. That I need to spend more time considering rather than jumping right in. That I have to find a more constructive way of dealing with frustration. And, perhaps, that I have to be more tolerant of other points of view. I'm sure people can be just as concrete in their right-ness as I am in mine. That's one hard pill to swallow.

Day three is far more introspective than I would have preferred.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Sounds like something unpleasant has been going on. My sympathies and my empathy. I know whereof you speak.