maybe you’ve lost something precious and god’ll save you

A scene from late September of last year has been replaying in my mind almost continuously since he left me.  At first, I thought it was just my subconscious trying to torture me by showing me all the things I did wrong in our relationship, but it wasn’t displaying them all to me.  It was fixating on this one.  Why that scene?  It was so early.  Was it because it was our first real argument?  Our first real test in the relationship?

I’m an analyst, in job title and in nature.  I cannot let a puzzle go unsolved.  Certain types of disorder pain me.  (That my apartment isn’t perfectly arranged yet only means I’m still thinking about how to do it.)  He told me that something happened to cause him to retreat from me emotionally: he was completely open and vulnerable to me, a state he hadn’t been with a woman in years; but I proved to be just as human as all the rest, and he dashed back into his fortress again.  He didn’t seem to know what that pivotal moment was.

But I’ve spent my entire thinking life trying to understand why things are: why does my mother so completely believe the lies she tells herself; why does my father view the world through such a rigid and hopeless frame of reference; why do I fear [insert just about anything here]?  I’m used to the pain of introspection.  Instead of ignoring this signal from my subconscious, I rode out the emotional agony over the last few weeks, cried myself to sleep as the scene replayed, until the pain was dulled by frequency.

Then, when I could finally bear to watch it as though it were simply another home movie, I observed with my analytical eye.  And was horrified.

I am, at my core, a people-pleaser.  I have been since a very young age.  To be a really good one, I learned to be quiet and to observe the person I had to please in order to avoid punishment.  I am very good at watching and learning what makes a person happy.  The downside of all that rather calculated observation is that the data also provides all the person’s weaknesses.  I am your strongest ally…or easily your worst enemy.

It did not occur to me that I was exploiting (and had been for many years now–my ex-husband bore the brunt of this for eight years) my powers of observation until I watched that memory unfold, and I saw myself cut down the man I loved until he was nothing and did so it in front of another man.  In one devastating stroke I managed to make my lover appear helpless and powerless with just a few words (because, after all, I am logosamorbos, the “herder of words,” so of course I would use my greatest weapon).

I am not a good person.

You can argue that he chose to retreat.  You can say everyone makes mistakes.  You can say it is part of life’s dangers, that we tend to reach out and hurt those we love the most.  It doesn’t matter.  It is a bitter lesson to learn.  I played my role in losing something precious…there’s no god to save me, but I won’t lose myself.

Even though I will always be that analytical person, I can choose not to use the information I gather.  The word can is undervalued.  It means “to be able to” or “to have the opportunity or possibility to.”  It has origins in the Old English word cunnan which means “know,” which passed into Middle English as “know how to.”  I know I have this awful darkness in me, this power to hurt people where they are weakest.  Whatever my reasons for doing so are moot; the point is that I now recognize that I do this.  Now that I am aware of it, I have the ability and the opportunity to prevent myself from doing it again.

And I shall.

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~ by logosamorbos on April 17, 2011.

One Response to “maybe you’ve lost something precious and god’ll save you”

  1. I can’t wait for call of duty mw3 to come out for Gamecube!!!!

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