I can’t concentrate today. I have more energy than I have recently, but I can’t seem to figure out how to direct it. Yesterday and Saturday, I was really sad and I cried a lot of the day on both days. Today, I feel less sad and more fractured and blank.
I don’t like the two extremes that much. Maybe the sadness is just too great to keep feeling and still get on with life. Maybe I just have this feeling of needing to protect my authenticity from view, because no one will ever be kind to me or like me. It makes life difficult to do that so much of the time.
I did finally speak to C. She sounded very stiff, like she didn’t know she was actually speaking to me. She wanted to know what time it was, and there was a moment of greater honesty somehow then. I told her I love her, and she said, “Okay,” in something of a different voice. Perhaps slightly happy. I laughed, because I am such a geek. I don’t know how she took that. She might not have known why I laughed. I said it was nice to hear her voice and to talk with her. She abruptly had something she wanted to do.
Does that all sound very rejecting? How might someone else read that?
I wonder if my interactions with her sound very different than how they feel to me. I wonder if I see her and maybe others through a different lens than someone else might and also than I might have in the past. The change would be a shift towards understanding her behaviour less as a response to me and more as an attempt to communicate something happening inside of her, but also that the message is much more in the subtleties of tone and manner than in what is said or done, because what is said or done is constrained by someone’s internal sense of what is allowed. Authenticity leaks through in these other ways.
I don’t know if that makes sense, but I wonder about it.
She said, “Okay,” and I heard, “THIS FEELS SO GOOD!!!!!”
She said, “I want to go,” and I heard, “I feel really sad.”
I wonder if I might have left out the emotional content of our conversation in how I constructed it in my mind because it didn’t make sense to me before. I don’t know. I felt an intense happiness all through my body for a long time after we hung up the phone though.
But I have been thinking how much of my life is a string of hyper-real moments strung through something much more boring and ordinary. I think now those moments are hyper-real because they are intensely emotional. The emotions have been leeched out of it because of my training not to feel, but the evidence of my emotions is left behind in a sensory intensity. A long time ago, I wrote a post about Lana Del Rey, and I watched a few of her videos again. If you watch Born to Die, there are all of these weird, very intense images that seem to lack any emotional content. Or Malo Tebya by Serebro. The images are intense and disjointed in a way that is very much like my life feels to me, and I think my life feels that way because of how I cope with reminders of my past.
If I look back on the time I spent with C at the lower school, it seems clear to me we were both having very intense emotional reactions to very ordinary-seeming events, and what that means is that my memories feel almost sliced up. One moment, something very emotionally important happened, and the next minute, it wasn’t. So that moment of intensity stands out from whatever else that happened. Except the emotions themselves aren’t there.
There are a lot of these, but I’ll just point out one, where she was the designated Scout and raised the flag at the appointed moment. After assembly, she was securing the flag to the pole and that moment is kind of unnaturally etched in my mind. I reacted internally in parts: a voice in my mind said he wanted to hug her. Which was disconcerting at the time.
But I look back on it and it occurs to me she was reacting to my gaze in an intense but subtly expressed way that indicated she felt vulnerable. Vulnerable people need hugs, right? If your felt emotions are shut down, that’s how information gets communicated internally. First, with impulses. Then with words about impulses.
Anyway, this is helping. Thanks for listening.