Friday, December 23, 2011

I Don't Care What You Think As Long As It's About Me

"Yeah, you could kiss like fire and you made me feel
like every word you said was meant to be.
No, it couldn't have been that easy to forget about me."
                                                                 -Tom Petty

"When you close your eyes, do you dream about me?"
                                                                  -Night Ranger

One of my biggest fears is being forgotten.

If forced to perform a psychoanalysis (which I am in no way qualified to do), I suppose I'd say that it's my insecurities that make me care whether or not I cross the minds of people who are no longer a part of my life. Whatever the reason, I do it, and I do it constantly.

You name the people from my past, I wonder if they wonder about me.

I guess I feel like if people don't think about the people from their past, it's almost as if the time spent with those people never existed.  And if that's the case, how sad is that? How sad is it to think that Somebody could spend hoursdaysweeksmonthsyears with Someone, and then one day  Someone will cease to exist to Somebody? How sad is it that the
inside jokes
sweetly awkward moments
will one day be lost to one, if not both, or all, parties?

I (begrudgingly) accept that relationships don't last forever. But memories should. Because, really, in the end aren't memories all we have?

If we aren't
(If I'm)
remembered, did we
(did I)
matter at all?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Incredible Weirdness of Beings

I posted a long time ago, maybe on my now-defunct If I Had My Own World blog, about how sad it makes me when people who were once close no longer communicate, and although it doesn't make me sad exactly, I was just kinda sorta in a situation that would fall under the heading of People Who Were Once Close and No Longer Communicate, and it made me think of how weird we people are.

You'll need a little back story, so--

A Little Back Story

Twenty years ago I had a boyfriend. He was my high school boyfriend, and you know how relationships like that go: It was tumultuous; it was hectic; it was passionate; it was melodramatic; it was heart wrenching. It was an episode of Buffy come to life (if you really want an idea of what my life was like for the almost two years that I went out with this guy, check out one of the episodes of Buffy in season 2 after Angel goes bad. Passions would be good. So would I Only Have Eyes for You).

While this guy and I were together, we went through crap that some people don't go through in an entire lifetime. You'll just need a general overview, so--

A General Overview (in no particular order)

Forbidden relationship
Pregnancy attempts
Being on the lam
Physical abuse
Emotional abuse
Surreptitious sex
The absolute opposite of surreptitious sex
Bad Break Up (like institutionalization this one you can repeat, repeat, and repeat again)

The last time I saw or talked to this guy was when I was twenty-one or twenty-two, three or four years after we broke up for the last time, when we ran into each other at a restaurant where I was eating with my now-husband and I found him waiting for me when I left the bathroom. It's not for lack of trying, though. I've googled him on a semi-regular basis for the last few years, looked for him on myspace when that was the place to be, and now look for him on facebook whenever I don't have anything better to do. It's all been to no avail. This guy is nowhere to be found. Or so it seemed.

Because I once knew this guy as well as I did, and because people never really change, I suspected that if he was on facebook, he might be on facebook under some kind of alias. I checked around in all the usual places but for the longest time found nothing. A few days ago, though, I found a profile that I believe to be his. It's private, so I can't check for sure, but I feel pretty comfortable in my assumption. And this is the point where the weirdness of people comes in, so--

The Weirdness of People

Once I found this guy (or maybe found this guy), I didn't know what to do. I wanted to send him a message, but I felt totally uncomfortable doing it. I felt nervous and unsure and stupid and insecure. I started to message him and ended up just staring at the little message box, writing and deleting and second-guessing everything that crossed my mind.

Why is this weird? Well, it's weird because this is somebody who I once spent every possible minute with, someone who I ran away from home for and who ran away from home for me, someone who wrote me poetry, someone whose window I used to climb through in the middle of the night and whose closet I hid in, naked, for more hours than I want to think about, someone who I tried like a damn fool over and over again to have a baby with, someone who I planned out my entire life with, and now...well, now he's someone I'm afraid to initiate a conversation with.

And that is weird.

It's not just me, either. I've had several friends over the years who have been in similar situations, under varying circumstances, and they've had that same fear, that same feeling of awkwardness and the same state of being unsure. They've been in relationships with people, whether romantic or not, close relationships in which they've shared private thoughts and intimate moments with people who they've felt they know as well as they know themselves, and then one day for whatever reason, it's like they don't know them at all, and then when they're confronted with the opportunity to somehow communicate with them again, they're afraid to do it.

And when you think about it, that's weird.
And it's sad.
It's sadly weird.

At least it is to me.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mama Doesn't Wanna Help Build the Wall

Having been imprisoned in South Florida in a cage composed of matrilineal fears, I've told myself several times that I won't do to my kids what my mother did to me. I've told myself that I won't scare them out of going to Gainesville by constructing tales about the monetary failure they're sure to experience or moving to Chicago by sharing stories about the hundreds of water bugs that abound in garden apartments. I've also told myself that I won't make them feel guilty for abandoning me and leaving me all alone after I did every possible thing I ever could for them, nor will I put the idea that they can't find success on their own into their heads. I've told myself all of these things, and I mean them sincerely.

Sincere and well-meaning as I am, though, I have to admit it's not going to be easy. I thought it would be, but this week something happened that made me realize just how not easy not doing everything in my power to keep my kids close by is going to be:  Griffin went away to Williamsburg and Washington, DC.

I didn't think his going away was going to be a big deal; it's only five days, after all. Let me tell you something, though; I was wrong. It is a big deal, and five days isn't "only five days"; five days is FIVE DAYS! It's five days without kissing him goodnight or touching his hair or hearing his voice or seeing his face. Five days is four-and-a-half days too much. And that scares me.

If I'm unhappy being away from Griffin for five days, how am I going to deal with my children going away for four years and then, potentially, forever? How am I going to go from seeing my kids every day to talking to them once or twice a week (or maybe even less) and seeing them a few times a year? To sharing holiday time with a significant other's family? To cards in the mail instead of kisses and hugs? How will I uphold my promise to myself that I won't repeat my mother's mistakes and control my neurosis long enough not to negatively affect my sons' natural development?

As a parent, I  know I have a responsibility to help my children grow, but how am I going to do that if I don't want to let them go?