I'll make a transcript of the animated text:
THE DARKEST TRUTH ABOUT LOVE
I can take that. It sounds negative, but it doesn't have to be that way. This is a carefully curated series of facts. They back up my preconceptions.
But it doesn't mean it's pleasant, and it doesn't necessarily make choices any better.
Yes, we are alone. This was one of the smoulders that slowly burnt my faith to a crisp, when I realized that I and I alone knew the faith I was experiencing, that none of the other people in the congregation could possibly be experiencing or worshipping the same god as I was. And that all of us were alone, worshipping our own gods together. It made faith seem futile and extraneous, so I streamlined my thinking and eliminated faith altogether.
But love is a different beast. Love, too, is an individual experience, essentially unsharable. My love for you, like the image of the triangle and the square in the video, cannot be fully communicated to you, even if we think it should be. Unlike faith, however, my love, and your love, are predicated on that impossible sharability. We are supposed to share it, to communicate it, to understand it, to be one with one another.
But that's an illusion, a laudable, improbable goal.
And I'm terrible at carrying illusions. When I realize something is illusory, I try to fix it. I try to find the realities that are as clear as possible.
But streamlining ideas to reality, to easily understood bits of information, does not guarantee happiness. At all.
I am having trouble coming to terms with my sense of reality. For the last year, I have had multiple bouts of apparent blanking-out, of times when my emotional state is so charged that I don't even remember what I've said afterwards. If it was just one emotion that caused these blanking-outs, these spots where the tape stops, I might be able to approach it better. But I've apparently blanked-out at times of at least three different emotions, maybe even four: once in anger, another in fear, another in sadness, and perhaps one in ecstasy. This seems new to me because I've never had a reason to mistrust myself before.
But now I do. And I'm beside myself in not understanding myself. Whereas I once thought myself a rational, clear-headed person, I now have to possibly admit that my memory crashes in times of distress. And I don't like this about myself at all.
I've been reading numerous books on psychology and communication: I've worked through Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication a couple times, trying to get a hold on my needs and desires. Right now I'm working through Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence as well as Peter A. Levine's In an Unspoken Voice. as I've been trying to work through this new set of data. And this is all good. When I read these books, I say "Yes," "Interesting," and "I should be able to apply this to my life."
I saw a counsellor earlier in the year for a few sessions, and now I'm seeing a psychologist. I come out of those sessions feeling positive and capable, even sure of myself. These sessions have brought attention the ways I've ignored my needs, the ways I've been too focused on the approval of others, the ways I've generally ignored my Self for years and years. The psychologist suggested that I'm an astoundingly codependent person, probably due to how I was raised. I can believe that.
But when I get home, I feel like I got it all wrong. When I try to apply ideas, when I try to express my needs, when I try to stand up for myself, I can't seem to do it right. I roll over again and return to my previous habits that seem to have got me into the ruts I'm already experiencing.
And, like the video above suggests, I feel "irredeemably alone."
As I am. As I know is the case. For me and for everybody.
The hardest thing to come to terms with in all this is that I don't really know who I am. My standards are blown. This is not what I wanted or expected from any part of my life. I never expected or prepared for this. I developed friendships assuming I knew who I was; I nurtured relationships assuming I had a good grasp on reality and my abilities. But now I don't and I'm kind-of floored. It seems like a childish fantasy I can't break out of.
The timing is impeccable. I'm done all my coursework for my degree. Things should be opening up; choices should start piling up soon.
But good lord it sucks. I never wanted this sort of not-across-the-board existential crisis. It's hard to handle a situation like this when so many people say I'm on the right track, so many people seem to think I have a handle on things, but I can't seem to see it as fully as I'd like. If my thinking is clear, people, why does it keep smashing to bits?
I've been told that I'm only human, that I only have two responses to things like this: fight or flight. Levine's book backs up a bunch of this thinking. My partner suggests that I haven't recovered fully from the burnout I experienced back in 2010-2011, but I'm not so sure. And right now, both options, fight and flight, are unpleasant, time-consuming, and heartbreaking.
Adulting be crazy.
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