Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hey Baby, What Do You Know About How It Feels

This soup made from egg noodles, pork, kale and mushrooms reminded me of some dish that I can't recall but that I really liked from my past.  A ghost memory.  The taste so familiar but very thin and veiled.
I've read articles recently on ghosting.  A newish term to an old sack.  Ceasing all communication with someone to extinguish a relationship.  Coincidentally at the same time as feeling a victim of said term, I also became aware by more than two others that I was guilty of this cold front.  This made me research in order to justify my actions.  It was quickly apparent that yes, I was in fact very guilty.  Of the three times I'm choosing to concentrate on (unfortunately, there are many more), I was fully conscious of it only once.  The friendship made me feel like a victim, not standing up for myself, being bullied.  Then, I'd grown apart from that friend enough to begin resenting the more subtle but important differences.  I am guilty of not being able to tell the person to their face that I no longer wanted to continue the dance.  Perhaps because it wasn't final, just needed to stop for an indefinite period of time. Time always changea reality or perspective so why not leave it open?
But in most cases, I didn't realize the fade was naturally occurring until it was so.  I was involved in a changing process that required my full attention.  Somehow I was able to move into new skins that didn't hold pockets for carrying passengers.  These folks deserved my attention though.  I only became aware recently that they were out there feeling confused and wondering what had gone wrong.  They felt deserted and cast aside.  Never my intention.
So how did I become guilty of this heinous act I know firsthand can cut so deeply?  And the truth is that I don't know.  I can barely find the memories let alone my justifications.  I can theorize that I learned to survive, first and foremost.  I always considered life to consist of self, with God the only constant companion.  I've always admired the idea of long term friendships but it was a concept lost on me.  It was hard enough to manage myself, let alone a string of other real humans.  One would think somebody as introverted as myself would feel the need to hold on tight to any relationships I did manage to form.  But that might be it.  I may have assumed that once a friendship was established, then it always existed even if only an ember, to rekindle at a later point.  In my heart I always wished the person well and assumed they would carry on and my mere existence could not play any importance in their well-being.
And honestly even recently when I found myself on the receiving end of ghosting, I felt a little needy and selfish for insisting on correspondence.  What was this person guilty of exactly?  No answer felt fair.  You could argue an abrupt end to contact is cruel but there is no way to know intent.  In this case, you're left facing a mirror.  Funny thing is for years I would crab to my then boyfriend that you must water the garden if you ever expect to see flowers instead of a withering dying love.  I insisted he was negligent to think that love works any other way.  And he always looked so confused as to how constant attention could be required for something he felt should simply exist.  And now I recognize my own similar contradicting beliefs.

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