I can’t describe what this is. I’m not even sure if there is a word for it. Of course there’s some sort of realization factoring into it but that word alone cannot represent what I’m learning or seeing or feeling. This is something new. It’s familiar in the way that it tastes bitter yet completely unknown to me in that it is remarkable, absolute, terrible, wonderful, unimaginable, and also indefinite.
Some of these adjectives are contradictory. This happens in life. Nothing actually is absolute. At any moment, something can change. Change is inevitable. It’s necessary. Something that may be terrible for some, may be wonderful for another.
My situation is not unfamiliar to me. I have been battling myself most of my life. I have made it my sole purpose to love everyone else but myself. While doing this, I have destroyed myself, over and over again. I self destruct publicly. I take out my frustrations on the people closest to me. I’ve destroyed relationships. I’ve lost jobs. I fucked off in school just because that’s what I wanted to do. For a large portion of the time, I had no clue how destructive I really was. Until about three years ago. I got back on my medication. I started to pick up the pieces of me I had left scattered about in the dark. I fell in love and and I worked my ass off.
I recently changed my medication. It was something that had to be done. It worked out but the transition was difficult as all transitions are. I had accepted a new position. Essentially, I am working as a caregiver now, in a facility day program. Soon, I will be working direct in-home care. Mental illness runs in the family. My mother hadn’t been treated, medicated or re-evaluated in over ten years. My grandmother bought the condo I’m living in for my uncle who is also mentally ill but at the last minute, he decided he’d prefer to stay in his apartment, so my partner and I got the place to ourselves. A few months later, we discovered my parents would be joining us. My mother does not receive any benefits from the government for her illness, unlike her brother. For years, she had displayed all characteristics of a paranoid schizophrenic while also already having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Within the first week, I petitioned her to stay at a hospital for the care she truly needed. When she finally returned, it was astonishing how much of a change there was in her. It was miraculous. She’ll never be the person she was but she actually leaves the house now so, A+++. I can make jokes about it now.
I’ve been with my partner since December 18th, 2011. Minus two months. From the moment I saw her tiny shadow creep out from her parents door at about two o’clock in the morning, I had jitters. Within seconds, I was flicking on the dome light in my car to see her face in the dark. Within another few seconds, I was flicking it off again and my first words were “Oh Shit.” I knew she had me. I’ll never forget that moment. Immediately, I KNEW she had me. From the bright light in her eyes to the defined curves of her face. She had me. I was kind of lost then, still wandering from the point I referred to earlier - when I realized how broken I really was - and she was too.
She was married to a man. She married a man at the age of 21 and he was awful to her. He took her for granted. He spent all of his time on her computer, her TV. He said terrible things to her. He asked her to do things that no one should ever ask of the one they love. She was miserable. Miserable for too long and he tried with all of his might to make her feel guilty. Make her feel like it was HER fault. He hid behind God and his friends, trying to use them as an excuse, a scapegoat. He turned their friends against her. He was a horrible lover, a wretched husband, and a poor excuse for a human being. Who the fuck could even dare blame her for leaving him?
Recently, we have been experiencing some major issues and she had to go away. I have now acknowledged that I have not been taking proper recognition of these issues. I knew they were there but subconsciously, I kept pushing them aside. I didn’t do it on purpose. It just happened. I know that everything I couldn’t say has been rushing towards me like a tsunami, or an avalanche, or a hurricane. Every day, there has been a heavy storm going on inside of my head. My work is the only thing that distracts me from what is going on in my personal life. Luckily, I have still been able to function at work. It’s a great thing that I love my job. Previously, in my life, I have lost jobs in times of crisis. I think I am improving. I have so many ideas now, that maybe were there before but were suppressed? Maybe I couldn’t find them. Maybe I needed this time to see things clearly. There was so much stress, with my parents and with money and with fucking automobiles and even the fucking weather! Holy F bombs, there they are. Stress is everywhere. If you can’t deal with it alone, can you deal with it at all? I have been hiding behind my illness now for months, without making an effort to try new techniques to advert disaster. Shit, I could try something as simple as a breathing exercise. At times, I really cannot control it. Other times, I say that I can’t but I really think that I can and I’m just not giving myself any credit at all. I take it all out on her. I don’t beat her but emotional aggression is just as bad. Who the fuck could blame her for walking out on me?
I know that I love her. I know that I can’t stop and don’t want to stop it, either. I don’t know if she will come back. All I can do is hope. She needs this just as much as I do, if not more. I know that I want to change and that I need to change. I’ve known that for a long time, I guess I just couldn’t figure it out. I needed this time and space and emptiness to pinpoint the sources of my negative traits so that I can eliminate them. And I know that it’s not that easy. I know it’s going to be a process. I know I’m going to have to learn how to literally pull the trigger and kill off these issues that are not only destroying me but destroying those I love and cherish and will inevitably destroy the good things I finally have going for me. I also know that words mean absolutely nothing until they are converted into action.
In fact a mature person does not fall in love, he rises in love. The word ’fall’ is not right. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. They cannot manage and they cannot stand – they find a woman and they are gone, they find a man and they are gone. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have that integrity to stand alone.
A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love. And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone; they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality, in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual.
Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it. Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced – they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned.
Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness.