Reflection 04-24-2010

There are only three reasons for pure silence; disgust, despair, or deceit. A person who is disgusted, be it with themselves or another, will resort to silence as a means of trying to avoid association or to try and save another from association with them. A person who is despairing thinks silence will “be best” for all concerned and assumes the right of choice and control (which is, itself, an act of selfishness and avoidance). A person who is deceitful uses silence in a (futile) attempt to hide; the old “it cannot be proven” saw.

Were I to make the guess, I would choose to assign this silence as representative of disgust and despair. I suppose, were I cynical enough, I could say it was deceit, but deceit does not align with the things that have been said, so it seems easily, readily eliminated.

The tracings of phraseology and the words within the archive point to self-loathing; a profound and deep sense of unworthiness and guilt. Frankly, I marvel at it and wonder to myself how it can be that someone as richly beautiful as you are could possibly see themselves as anything otherwise. But I know enough of how the world works to know that it is often the sensitive, beautiful, tender minds and souls that carry the heaviest weight and stagger under these twins.

I know it in you because I have known it in me. Different causes, but the same patterns of imbuing and thus, the same result. For you, the alcoholic mother and the stoic father. For me, the alcoholic mother and the abusive father. Not the same, but similar; never the open acceptance, never the feeling of unshakable trust in parental investment, never quite enough to keep the feeling that, somehow, it really was and is our fault at bay.

The whispers were set early and nourished often, “Not good enough”, “Not giving enough”, “Not strong enough”, “Not worthy”, “Not loveable”. And every instant of less than perfection thereafter, a pebble in the sack; another reason why it all must be true. Another reason why beautiful things, truly nourishing things, can never be yours; at most, brief glimpses and tastes. After a while, the lightest touch of them is enough to send us backpedaling and turning away; after all, not having doesn’t hurt nearly as much as having and losing.

You call it torture and claim it is something that you inflict on others, on me. But that is just a flail that you use to torment yourself and keep yourself from losing again. Better to deny ourselves than have another person deny us, yes?

Oh yes, I recognize this.

You think you are incapable of living in balance and so, you say that it is impossible for you to engage with me without destroying your world. You hint that perhaps I would do so. Initially, that veiled hint angered and hurt me, but I understand it a little better for spending time with myself and thinking about how and why I would have such a reaction…. so as to try and better understand why it manifests in you: You think you cannot, dare not let yourself engage with me. But under it, the fear trembles and whispers more truthfully, “You cannot, you dare not let yourself believe in you, fully engage you, yourself.”

Catch-22, the exquisite hook upon which you tremble. It is, perhaps, pointless for me to say this to you, but I will say it anyway; mostly because it is true, but also because if no one ever says it, you can never reach the point where you can find the way to believe it, because you while you may occasionally say it to yourself in secret exultations, you’ll never say it in a way that someone who chooses to care for you will bear witness (I understand why):

I can live in balance with you, but only by experiencing the imbalance and working with you to find the correction between us for it. I know it is possible because I have done it many, many times. I know you can do it because, whether you choose to see it or not, you’ve been doing it all your life.

Granted, most often you try to manage it by shutting off and shutting out anything that could result in the need to recalibrate. Who could blame you? When the feeling of failing is so hurtful and anytime it is present, it’s all echoes of ancient aches and old wounds that have never fully healed.

I am not without my own wounds. This, you know. But how well our wounds might soothe one another. Do you remember the day you came to me so I might help you with your headache? Do you remember that my only interest was to know you felt relief? That my only concern was that you receive what you needed? That my best nourishment was in being someone who could give it to you?

This is what I want with you, Patrick. It is all I want. I don’t want to change your life. I don’t want to take you away from others. I don’t want or need to piss on the threshold of your soul, your mind, your heart. I just want to be good to you; good with you, good for you. Don’t you see?

Yes, on occasion, I want to nestle with you and sleep. Yes, on occasion, I want to wake ahead of you and listen to your heart and feel, smell, and hear you peaceful and at rest. Is that really so terrible a thing? Could an intermittent night of such sharing truly be unbearable?

It is all conjecture and projection, this. I know it, and still I put it on the page and record it, and dutifully send it. I have to… it’s the only way to demonstrate to you that I want very much to understand and that I’m willing to try and find it in myself until you will agree to share of yourself with me. I have no idea if I’m right about any of this; if I see you clearly or if I see only the reflection of myself in you. You told me once that I see directly into you. You said that I understood and because of it, you no longer felt lonely.

Here, in the quiet, even now, I hold that saying and rock it; I cradle it and whisper softly to it. It warms me as I wish you would more fully.

I lie every time I say that I can forget this or you. It is a silly and pathetic attempt to comfort my own fear of abandonment. But at the moment, it’s all I have. Please give me more.

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