Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sharp Turns

For one sweet summer, David and Brian had an intense love affair. David was crazy about Brian; spent all his spare time with him, gave him gifts, was interested in all aspects of his life. And then, one day, he wasn't. The best summer of Brian's life turned into the worst autumn of his life, and then the worst winter and spring. Nothing Brian did brought David back and he tried everything. David's single explanation for the break-up was, "You're just not worth it to me." Brian heard, "You're worthless."

After several sad years, Brian allowed himself to hear the very important, "to me" part of David's sentence and realized that what David said was true, and that David had a right to speak what was true for him. David had no desire to invest in any relationship beyond a first stage of romantic titillation. The words he spoke said everything about David, but because Brian had a fairly low opinion of himself, he readily misinterpreted David's statement. Funny thing about people, they like to be right, no matter the cost.

The sad part of this story for me is that it took so long for Brian to let himself know what had really happened. He hoped for a dream life with David but life went in a different direction. Instead of navigating the sharp turn, Brian took a long detour.

Sharp turns are part of life. Sometimes they are wonderful, sometimes awful. After one or two such turns, you learn to value the wonderful and, as much as possible, diminish the awful by not prolonging it. That is, you go through pain, not around it. You deal with the reality of what has happened and do the best you can to cope, to stay on the road. There are people who can help you do that. Pain confronted can be very intense but it can also lead to healing. Prolonged detours in the way of drugs, self-victimization and blaming, increase and prolong pain. Jung made the distinction between "healthy" and "neurotic" pain. Nobody wants either... but that's life.


MtC said...

Hazard yet forward!

Bridget said...

Hi MtC
Not bad, that old motto.