Monday, January 17, 2011

We are all actors, aren't we?

This is just a short observation. I think after this I may take a life hiatus for awhile, but this I definitely need to get off my chest. Last night, the woman I love told me that she loves me with all her heart, will miss me for the rest of her life, and that she can't continue a relationship any longer. For good. No trying, no second chances, no seeing the kids every day. A confusing, terrible situation, but kind of only half the point.

Today, I watched a movie called Defiance, about four brothers from Belarus who saved over 1200 fellow Jews from annihilation by hiding them deep in the woods, moving them place to place, and using every ounce of ingenuity and bravery to keep them fed, healthy, and relatively warm. The actors who played the main three brothers were Daniel Craig, Liev Schrieber, and Jamie Bell, and one of my favorite things about their performance was how easily I could believe that they were indeed related. It was far less a physical resemblance and much more the easy camaraderie, the fierce competition, and the feeling that when all was seemingly lost, they would do anything for each other. Touching, really.

After the film, I watched the requisite interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, and Mr. Bell indeed noted that the brotherly feelings between the three actors sprung up "almost immediately", and that they translated into real friendships after the film was done. . . . which got me thinking, considering what I went through yesterday.

How real are our relationships, really? Love relationships, family relationships, friend relationships, work relationships . . . . what are they based on, and if they are so true and real, how do they die so easily?

There seems to be an arc to most of these kinships and liaisons we cultivate. It almost always starts with an intensity that never lasts. Brothers and sisters rarely hate each other before the age of 12. Lovers never love as brilliantly as they do in the first six months. Children are rarely neglected while they are still defenseless infants, though the minute they can talk it seems okay in most societies for older adults to physically assault them in the name of discipline. It's all about the "newness", the breathtaking beginnings where anything and everything seems possible.

Of course, life intrudes in almost all cases, eventually. How many people do you know that have been together for five years? Ten? Twenty? How many families do you know where there isn't at least one or two that no one seems to care for? Or that openly despise each other and try to make life miserable for the others? How many marriages are you aware of where the lovers in question still have sex frequently, laugh often, and know what is in the secret heart of the other . . . . what makes them unique?

You know the answer as well as I do. Friends lie and undercut each other for the merest of reasons. Family murders each other over money or grievance. Marriages fail because that's pretty much what they almost always do. Except for a very small list, doesn't it all just seem like a giant fucking waste of time?

I have never hurt like I do right now, and for what? I have my two kids, but this will adversely affect them at best, and at worst scar them for life. I have no control over who will eventually be their everyday father-figure, and that scares me to death and offends me to my core. Will that person care about them? Will they care ENOUGH?

I'm not saying I don't have relationships that I treasure. I have a few I even believe are real. . . . but that's the thing about these kinds of situations . . . . they always seem so bright and vibrant, right up until they time they aren't. Right now, I just don't see how to believe in this again. . . . I just don't.


  1. I, for one, will be sad to see you go on hiatus. There's always some underlying tone of the truly personal in what you write, and it's fascinating. Your blog is always a joy to read for all that you've only done twelve posts.

    As for your questions, I can't even try to answer them. Relationships change because people change. I know they say that people DON'T change, but we do and like it or love it, it's what makes us so beautifully, crazily human. That's how siblings wind up hating each other (though to be fair there was always intense dislike between my three sister and myself until after I graduated high school. Things are better between us now) and children wind up not speaking to parental units for years. It's how happy marriages fail, and impossible relationships seems to flourish. There is no sense in the different variations of love.

    We only know that we feel it. And take it from someone who tried for seven years to cut off anything that felt remotely like it could be love: it doesn't work, and it just makes everybody else, including yourself, miserable. And yeah, I know I'm young and everything, but I'd seen enough of pain and anger and hurt by the time I was eleven years old to last me a lifetime and then some, all caused in some degree by what someone else claimed was "love." I learned a long time ago that different forms of love can hurt. But I've learned in the last few years that love can also be amazing, and if you shut it out, yeah, you don't have to mess with the pain, but you don't get to feel the good stuff either.

    I...have nothing more to say without getting into the insanely personal. So, bye for now, I guess.

  2. When we are tense, stressed, or depressed, we actually lose some mental ability. We lose the ability to think as creatively, to see options. This, according to a psychologist friend of mine, is because this can (when working properly) help us to focus on a single problem at a time. However, in a situation like yours, this becomes rather useless.

    Why do I point this out? Just to remind you that just because you can't see something doesn't mean its not there. For instance, you say most marriages don't make it, which isn't true at all, about half of them do. Would you play the lottery if it were a 50/50 chance of winning? I certainly would. :)