A happy new year to you all.
I know many of you have hated 2016, and for good reason; I think anyone paying attention to the state of the world *should* be a little bit on edge this fall.
I hope that the things we are afraid of do not come to pass, and that next year brings a world both more peaceful and more free.
Speaking just for myself, though, 2016 was a good year. I acknowledge this is vaguebooking, and yet: 2015 ended in disaster, and much of 2016 was about recovering from that ending; and yet as 2016 breaks into 2017, I find myself in a better emotional state than I’ve been in in years.
I hope the upswing continues, and I wish you all much love in the coming seasons. 🙂
The other night, a friend and I were talking about the Eagles, and how much he dislikes them. I get where he’s coming from – he described them as the kind of people who would fly a private jet somewhere to lecture someone on the need to conserve resources, and there is an aspect to their modern persona which screams priviliged rich people being assholes – but it still puzzled me; my association with them is more with who they were, or who they presented themselves as, in the early days of their career.
This induced me to relisten to some of their music from back in the day, and I encountered this song:
Every night I’m lyin’ in bed
Holdin’ you close in my dreams
Thinkin’ about all the things that we said
And comin’ apart at the seams
We try to talk it over
But the words come out to rough
I know you were tryin’
to give me the best of your love
There’s other stuff in the song which isn’t quite right, but that verse grabbed me; it describes really well where I am right now. I think it’s clear that my husband is trying to give me the best of his love, and I think I’m trying to give him the best of my love, but it’s still coming apart at the seams.
I’m goin’ back in time
And it’s a sweet dream
It was a quiet night
And I would be all right
If i could go on sleepin’
But every mornin’
I wake up and worry
What’s gonna happen today
You see it your way
And I see it mine
But we both see it slippin’ away
I never wanted to get here. But wishes aren’t fishes, and I can’t go back.
One of the hardest things about being in a relationship that’s undergoing severe strain is that it’s unpredictable. I can’t rely on myself to feel the same thing from day to day; and if I can’t rely on myself for that, it’s reasonable for me to expect that I can’t rely on my husband for it, either. Some days are good and it feels like maybe, just maybe, everything could get back to normal; other days I wake up in a black pit of unhappiness and despair, knowing nothing will ever get back to normal (and that inevitably even trying will simply cause both of us more pain) and wishing desperately for a way to end the pain rather than causing more.
It’s a funny thing, in a way. I can remember how the relationship made me feel when it started – how freeing and how liberating it was, how much it felt like it gave me space to be myself, how much it relieved my self-judgment and my anxiety to have this person who I admired and respected so much *like me*. I wish I knew where it turned sour, and I wish I’d caught myself when I started to fear his judgment and feel the need to hide from him to avoid the conflict that would come if I wasn’t being the person he wanted or behaving the way he wanted.
If wishes were fishes, Gurney Halleck would say, we’d all cast nets.
I don’t know anymore how I want things to end up. I don’t know anymore how much I feel a duty to keep trying. I don’t know anymore how much I want duty to control my life. All I know is I hurt, and my husband hurts. It isn’t in my power to take his hurt away without doing even more hurt to myself, and I don’t think it’s in his power to take my hurt away without doing even more hurt to himself, and neither of us is willing to draw a line in the sand and say “no more”, so we suffer alongside each other.
I could be filled with guilt and self-loathing at how my actions helped bring us here, and I could be filled with anger and other-loathing at how his actions helped bring us here, but fundamentally both are pointless: we are here, and no amount of feeling about the past is going to undo it. (I’m more inclined to guilt and self-loathing, and I can’t always keep that at bay, but I recognize its pointlessness).
There’s no way to undo the past, and there’s no hope for the future.