December 11, 2007

I have been pondering whether to write this post or not for some time now. Actually I wrote it a while back and sent it to my friend, I wasn’t sure if I want to make it public. I wasn’t sure what holds me back, either, I still am not sure – maybe it’s just to personal, maybe there is something “off” about it that I can’t see but can sense, maybe it’s incomplete – I really don’t know. But I do feel that I can’t just jump over it, ignore it, move on to writing of other things. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea, it’s just how it feels and I don’t understand and, according to Brooks, I don’t have to understand. So here it is: There is an experience of connection that I had with three people in my life – my best friend, a strange man I worked with for few days and Christopher, my husband. It’s the deep, naked, soul to soul sort of connection that is staggering. That makes you feel like you can see to the very bottom of someone’s heart, and they can see to the bottom of yours. There is no trauma, no games, no shoulds, no expectations, no needs – nothing. Just two naked souls communicating openly. Fully, completely open to each other. With this sort of connection there is no need to define the relationship, no need to call it “friendship” or “marriage” or anything. No need to keep it, to prolong it. There is no need. There is only freedom. Both people are fully present as who they are, fully autonomous, fully independent. When I was in high school I had a best friend. We became friends instantly, we understood each other wonderfully, we were into the same things, reading the same books, listening to the same music, thinking along the same lines. I felt free to tell him everything, and I mean everything. So did he. After about 2 years he told me that he loved me and he wanted us to be together. But I said no. I didn’t think I loved him. I was not in love with him, that’s for sure – there was no “chemistry”, no sparks, no attachment, no need to have him. I was happy to be as we are. And yet there was something like love in my feelings for him, I thought there was, only it was somehow different. I didn’t understand it – I was no jealous of him (he had a girlfriend eventually), I didn’t want to be with him – but I would run to him in a middle of a date, cause he needed me. Sometimes I would feel that I love him, I would have it at the tip of my tongue – and I couldn’t say it to him. I would literally not be able to articulate those words – even though I could tell him anything else. Finally i decided not to say it. He dealt with his love for me, made peace with it, had a girlfriend – I did not want to ruin it, I did not want to mess his life again, I wanted him to be happy, and he seemed happy. And I still didn’t want him – but I did love him. At that time in my life I was traumatized out of my mind, I was really barely alive, out of my pain and terror of life I was absolutely unable to think of anyone other than me. Except for him. He was more important than me. I couldn’t pretend and give him what he wanted – but I would do anything I could to at least spare him pain. That was very, very abnormal behavior for me. And I was profoundly confused by the whole thing. Finally we graduated high school, he went off to college, I went off to different college, we met few times – and that was it. I haven’t seen him or heard from him for 12 years – and on Friday I found him on the online forum. I emailed him, he emailed me back, it was the standard: “where are you, what are you doing, how are you doing” kind of thing. But suddenly I started feeling things – I didn’t know what, but whatever it was it was really strong and painful – I wanted him, but didn’t really want him. I missed him terribly – but couldn’t imagine what I would do with him if I got him. I felt 17 years old again, I felt like something has transported me back to high school. I could not figure out what it is I’m feeling and why at first, then, as I kept looking into this, I realized that we had this connection I described. I realized that I did indeed love him, really loved him – as opposite to being in love with him. And I wasn’t ready for it then. I didn’t want to love, I wanted to fall in love. I didn’t want this clear, open and ultimately true space where I could not avoid being myself – I wanted chemistry, I wanted the hormonal rush, I wanted the high that comes with being in love – when you can’t think of anything other than him and when everything is just wonderful, I wanted to go unconscious and just be happy. I couldn’t do it with him because what we shared was love – where I was totally myself, responsible for myself. Being with him would not make my life better, would not make me better – and I wanted to be saved. I didn’t know all this then and so the wonderful connection we had was traumatic to me, the whole situation was traumatic, and the trauma of it was coming out now. Until I realized that this is what it was. Out of that, and the two other incidents – I believe that the kind of connection I described at the beginning is love. It has nothing to do with being together, living together, nothing to do with sex, nothing to do with chemistry, nothing to do with hormones, nothing to do with need or attachment. It is like two wild wolfs meeting. They don’t own each other in any way – because they don’t need to. They are perfect, complete, as they are. They may choose to stay together, to make a nest, to have children — but it is their free choice in a moment and they are completely free to leave whenever they wish to, because neither of them needs the other.

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