The problem with pretending that you have no feelings, or that you’re numb or that your heart is made of iron is two-fold. First you’re lying to yourself. You do have feelings no matter what you do or think. Secondly when (not if) you are finally forced to deal with them they hit you like a ton of bricks and all of a sudden you’re trying to ride a tsunami of emotion. You lose control. Love makes you lose control. For the cool, calculated, rational, logical person love is a scary concept.
I remember growing up hating the fact that I was a girl and that I had all these ooey gooey emotions. Love gave me the heebie-jeebies. If you’re not in control then you’re miserable – Why would someone ever want to put themselves through that? That was until I found myself smack dab in the middle of love. If you ask me I couldn’t tell you how I ended up there. I just was.
One problem with love is that you don’t get to choose who it is you “fall in love” with. I fell for the wise guy. That’s a double entendre. Yes he was an intellectual in his own right, wise beyond his years and wise beyond his peers. He also came with a smart mouth this package included but wasn’t limited to slick comments, witty comebacks, and annoying sarcasm. This was a problem. There we were two-strong willed, smart alec-y people in a relationship together. Someone had to give in to the emotional attachment in order for it to work.
That someone surprisingly was not me…at first. It was him. He told me he loved me. Wrote it in notes. Left clues in pictures. Still I couldn’t bring myself to feel it enough to want to say it back to him. I begged him numerous times not to say it, not to make me uncomfortable and make me feel guilty about not having the courage to give in to what was inevitable. Then one day it just felt right. We were on the phone and he was headed to an important engagement and as we were coming off the phone I said those three words that changed my perception of reality “I Love You.” And of course he couldn’t just let it go he asked what I said making me repeat myself. That was a good day.
That was the day I allowed myself to feel the love I had for Mr. Wise Guy. That smooth operator. His smile was hypnotizing. His words were laced with poison. The poison of love, attachment and belief seeped into the bloodstream of my mind and swam up the synapses of my brain making me drunk with every roll of his tongue. I believed him. I loved him.
Things went well for a long while until I made a discovery. My discovery was this – “I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have it all – my money, my time my body, my dog my dog’s money…” (quote from the movie Eat Pray Love). I had changed. I was changing. And when I realized what was happening I didn’t like it. I was losing myself. I had already lost control.
He watched me struggle with my new found knowledge. He asked me why I tried to fight my feelings? Why did I resent being a woman so much? Why did I find it so hard to be vulnerable? I didn’t have the answer. I still don’t. I just remember always being that way. I could credit it to being a tomboy when I was in grade school but I’m sure it’s more complicated than that.
In any case, that relationship came to an end. I did what I knew to do best – I censored myself especially to myself. I fought my feelings and bottled up my emotions believing there would come a day when I would deal with it but that day never came because I didn’t know how to deal with it. So I buried the bottle.
The problem with burying a bottle of emotions is that it begins to ferment and eventually the bottle swells and resurfaces and grows and grows until it Explodes!! And explode it did. But explosions don’t always have to be destructive. Sometimes in order to create things must first com-bust.
I’m not destroyed. I’m creating.