Years ago my first girlfriend broke up with me after 8 years of mutual subdued suffering
It was a typical trauma-bonding type of relationship. I remember when I first saw her in the door of a bus on the way to our university town, I was struck as if by lighting. After a few iterations of the same jolt of an experience around the university I couldn’t hold back any longer and I approached her cold one day. I was as lame as it gets and she didn’t receive me well at all—cornering her on the corridor: May I come over here?—but I approached her anyway the next time when I saw her sitting in front of a computer in the library—tapping her on her shoulder: Hello, it’s me again—and I proceeded to accompany her to the main building of the university and ask her about the wooden cross she wore tightly around her neck, I also asked about a lunch sometime. We met for lunch a couple of days later, she ate poppy-seed pasta I ate rice with fish (it was very dry) and then it went on and off for months during which time we exchanged scarves, messages on notice boards as well as numerous e-mail messages and it was driving me crazy. She had a boyfriend at the time and was conflicted about what to do. I was love-sick to my bones, unable to sleep or eat or socialize with friends. The suffering eased up a little but never really ended even after we became a couple after half a year of nerve-racking courtship. Somehow I never felt secure within the fold of our affection. There was an undercurrent of anxiety cooking us both all along.
8 years in: one gloomy winter night in the kitchen of our first flat we rented together we had a spat and at one point I suggested her moving out for a change to which she retorted by agreeing in honest.
In that instant I felt a fission, I felt as if our bubble has doubled up and suddenly a sense of unity collapsed into a distance, a gap, I felt separated, severed. In my opinion, I (re)experienced the trauma of separation and simultaneously a rebirth as well in that moment. Although I felt crushed and devastated, I also felt elated and liberated in that moment, it was a weird amalgam of an emotion. I could barely believe that this has happened to me, of course, my ego (sense of identity) cracked open and I was in immense pain in the ensuing months. It was a rebirth.
/Which explains, incidentally, why I wasn’t able to sleep—waking up with mysterious heart palpitations in the middle of the night—for weeks before that moment, the energy flow was already ’’broken’’—which just goes on to prove too how much we are energetically impacted unawares by the emotional attachments we form and hold on to/
Our relationship was a form of suffering the same way as a chronic disease is that intermittently surfaces in the form of physical symptoms but for the most part lies dormant, latent beneath the ups and downs of the comings and goings of the day. As a couple we never managed to transcend and evolve beyond this disease.
It took years for me to let her go, to not take what happened personally any more but see it for what it actually was: trauma-bound chemistry that—running its runaway course—has totally fizzled out (long before the actual end). Together we couldn’t make it through, it had to come to an end. I didn’t connect to her much in our relationship because I wasn’t there myself much either. And that’s just the way it is: the level of a relationship we (are able to) enact with someone else is directly proportional to the level of clarity and transparency we have scaled about ourselves
Clearly, I had been in love with an idea, an idealized image of her, not her. She appealed to me in her physical form primarily—stricken at first sight (till the last one in fact)—and no matter how much aspects I grew to like about her, at its core the relationship was based on a dynamics fueled by anxiety.
What more can I say? I dodged a bullet. Bless her heart.
The dynamics between me and her was dysfunctional because it was based on anxiety. I was trying to prove myself to her, to convince her that I was worthy of being loved. I was seeking approval from the get-go which (through the law of attraction) planted the seeds of inevitable rejection down the line. The context of all this was a general confusion about my direction in life. I felt ungrounded and unclear about my self, my place in the world. I was idling without a purpose at a university and her appearance filled in the gap neatly. With a subdued but all the more fierce intensity I latched onto her as the source of meaning in/of my life. I think, I also wanted her to replace my mother who provided direction (=grounding) in my childhood. She, of course, was suffocated and smothered by my abusive, idealizing adoration. Sex wasn’t that hot, either. Without direction/groundedness there is no passion in a man and without passion there is no good sex.
So long as we linger in the limbo of confusion, victimhood and reluctance we attract a reality that is crumbling around us all the time.
And I know all this because she left my sorry ass, bless her heart.