Thursday, September 28, 2006

Aftermath, Part Two: Inner Voice: Despair

This is one of my subpersonalities, one filled with despair. This is an old friend, a voice I have known for many years. It holds a lot of relationship pain and comes to the surface during the ending of relationships -- its role seems to be to convince me not to be so vulnerable ever again. It wants to protect me from further pain by convincing me that I am unable to be in relationships, that it is better to be alone.

It's the absence of her presence.

For more than five years every action, every word, every thought, every heartbeat and breath was bringing me unavoidably to this day, this suffering, this absence.

The slightest change could have shifted the narrative -- a tender word, a gentle touch, a smile in the middle of a fight, anything. If only I could have made the slightest change. But I was too stubborn, too distant, too cold.

Why did I think it would be any different this time? Why did I think it was okay to define myself by another's expectations? I've lived that life twice now and failed both times. Why did I think this time would be any different?

I couldn't let myself need her. I couldn't put myself through that suffering again. And so it turns out that I did need her, and here, at night, I feel her absence most of all.

I am becoming a mass of scar tissue. At what point does new growth become suppressed by all the calcified scars? At what point does the past become nothing more than the foreshadowing of my future?

As I am able to identify these voices, and isolate them, they lose some of their power to act like body snatchers and take over my brain. They become objects rather than subjects. And as I can look at them as objects, I can see the flawed thinking, the self-loathing that I have lived with for so many years.

This is the first true test of everything I have been working on for so long. I don't expect to be able to fix everything with mindfulness and observation, but I am hoping that it will ease the process.


Anonymous said...

Bill I am so sorry that you have to go through with this. I wish that it could be easier. Your friends are with you.


Unknown said...


I am in disagreement with Erica; I think you should be gently whacked in the head.

I know nothing, but I think you should put your subpersonalities in a bag and lock 'em in the closet. Stop reproaching yourself! You acted in inspiration of the moment; you made "mistakes," probably, but maybe not. That was then.

Look. I found this in my reading. Some of your subpersonalities will find it reproachful. May be a suppressed subpersonality of two will find it inspiring.

"In letting someone else into your life, you open yourself to the risk of being astonished. For intimacy to remain alive, the ohter must remain a mystery for you. To know someone intimately is to honor them as embodying an unknown. However well you know and trust them, you cannot afford the complacency of taking them for granted. A beloved partner in a life-long relationship can be capricious and unpredictable. When caught in Mara's snare you prefer not to see this. Over time, you tend to enclose the other within limits that define them according to your own needs an desires."

It is the last paragraph in a chapter called "Do Not Hurt Me" in a book by Stephen Batchelor.

william harryman said...

Thanks Erica -- I'm learning who my real friends are. :)

Nice quote Tom, I agree.

But I respectfully disagree about the subs. If I bury them, they go into the shadow and become disowned selves. Then they get projected all over the people in my life. That's a mess I don't want to ever deal with again -- once was enough.