Distance, Distancing, Distanced, Distant

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Titus (2000)

Christopher Titus: Normal people can live with happiness. Screwed up people try to destroy it. See, all I am looking for is the perfect match. […] Fourteen months later, I realized its not an act, that’s who she is, she is great, she is the perfect girl. I don’t deserve this kind of happiness. How can I destroy it?

I have often felt emotionally myopic. I have always failed to understand emotional distance. Still don’t. Some called it being dysfunctional. Some call it being sensitive. Some call it insecurity. Some call it maturity. Some call it depression. Some call it borderline personality disorder. Some call it pain. Some call it goodness. Some call it being lost. Some call it self-victimization. Some call it a rare asset. Some call it being obsessive. Some call it misfortune. Some call it a virtue. Some call it over-thinking. And I find myself saying, “That is the only way I function. I cannot be any other way.”

Emotionally investing in relationships to the best of my capacity then becomes a habit, a value, a way of life for me. Each relationship then becomes an emotionally intense experience. Hence, exhausting. Hence, unsustainable. Hence, a cycle of involvement and uninvolvement. Hence, a cycle of feeling close and distancing. Relationships then start becoming pseudo happiness, pseudo non-loneliness. It only gets as good as it gets and as bad as it gets. It is good, only as long as it starts getting worse.

"The Artist is Present"Marina Abramovic MoMA - New York

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present (2012)

Marina Abramovic: There is so much pain in their eyes. I am just a trigger, I am just a mirror and actually they become aware of their own life, of their own vulnerability, of their own pain, of everything- and that brings the crying. They are really crying about their own self, and that is an extremely emotional moment. […] An art is made of trust, vulnerability and connection.

The ability to understand and empathize with complex emotions then becomes a cross you bear for life. Pain is attractive. Lethally attractive. Pain is real. Pain is romantic. It is not love; but pain which is the highest possible honorable emotion one can share with another human being. Romantic love then asks only one question, “Can you handle, contain, absorb and forgive my pain?”

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Gone Girl (2014)

Nick Dunne: You fucking cunt!
Amy Dunne: I’m the cunt you married. The only time you liked yourself was when you were trying to be someone this cunt might like. I’m not a quitter, I’m that cunt. I killed for you; who else can say that? You think you’d be happy with a nice Midwestern girl? No way, baby! I’m it. […] Nick Dunne took my pride and my dignity and my hope and my money. He took and took from me until I no longer existed. That’s murder.
Nick Dunne: Fuck. You’re delusional. I mean, you’re insane, why would you even want this? Yes, I loved you and then all we did was resent each other, try to control each other. We caused each other pain.
Amy Dunne: That’s marriage.

Marriage is personal. Marriage is political. Marriage is legal. Marriage is social. Marriage is economical. Marriage is power dynamics. Marriage is self-destruction. Marriage is an act. Marriage is a performance. Marriage is therapeutic. Marriage is mutual exploitation. Marriage is dishonesty. Marriage is diplomacy. Marriage is a negotiation. Marriage is an illusion. Marriage is a delusion. Often convincing in the beginning. Marriage is a paradox. Marriage is divorce, lurking in the dark. Marriage is distance. Ever increasing distance.

Nick Dunne: The primal questions of any marriage.
What are you thinking?
How are you feeling?
What have we done to each other?

Me: I hate you enough to divorce you and love you enough to not be married to you.
He: Fuck marriage!
Me: Fuck marriage!
And we broke into a knowing laughter.

 

The Invisible Man

He has always followed me. Everywhere. Everyday. Every moment. For 19 years now and who knows for how many more. Now, he is nothingness, a non-existent entity, an irreplaceable permanent hollow in my heart, that no one can fill. No one. Never. Ever.

I remember his voice, his laughter, his handwriting, his kind, green eyes. I also remember how it felt to hug him, the excitement of receiving his letters and the joy of seeing him in person, as I felt the lump in my throat knowing he would leave in another 10 days. Time must stop. I remember how hard it was to see him off at the railway station, holding back my tears as I waved him goodbye, putting up a fake smile, for he had told me it would be painful for him to see me cry. I remember the ghastly absence I felt after I returned back home from the railway station, not knowing how to process this pain I felt and only knowing it will be a long long wait until the next time I see him.

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19 years back, this wait turned permanent, along with a lot of other feelings.
Pain.
Loneliness.
Melancholy.
Lack of faith in people and relationships.
Suppressed, exploding anger.
Absence of happiness.
Fear of rejection.
Hopelessness.
Guilt.
Insecurity.
Feeling of worthlessness.
Longing to feel safe.
Not having a sense of belonging.
Confused sexual feelings.
Need to build survival mechanisms.

Life became a performance there on. An act of hiding my pain from people. The constant exhausting marathon of running away from loneliness and worthlessness.

He will always be the most endearing invisible man to me. The never-ending search for his presence leaves an unavoidable void in my heart. I still feel caught in time. Only this time, time has stopped. I still mourn his death. I also mourn my stagnated emotions, unprocessed pain, undissolved anger, unexpressed love, masked fear and sense of fulfillment.

The Men in My Life

Why is it that you always get into complicated relationships, they ask? Is seeking complicated relationships an addiction, a handicap, a behavioral pattern, a state of mind or is it me?

Men will come. And men will go.

Men will come. And I will go.  

The former is painful in its entirety and the latter is equally painful but has the illusion of power, the illusion of being in control.

I have cheated in my relationships and have been cheated on. Cheating makes me feel guilty, being cheated on makes me powerless.

Isn’t dealing with pain (of cheating/ being cheated on) more important than the subject/ object of pain?

Yes, true.

Do you deal with the pain?

No.

What is your focus then?

Who did it? And more importantly, who is the victim?

What happens in both cases?

If I did it, I had my reasons. If he did it, I didn’t deserve this.

Do you think this is helping you?

No. It isn’t.

What is it that you want?

Vengeance.

What is it that you want?

I have a right to be angry. I don’t deserve this.

What is it that you want?

I will get over him. I will date. I will get over him.

What is it that you want?

I want to forget.

What is it that you want?

I want him back.

What is it that you want?

I want love, warmth, acceptance, appreciation, permanence, safety, protection, validation.

What is it that you want?

. . .

What is it that you want?

. . .

What is it that you want?

. . .

What is it that you want?

For him to fulfill my insecurities, to compensate for my pain, to be the subject of my anger and to not have the right to leave me. Ever.

How does it make you feel?

Not unwanted. Not rejected. Not unhappy. Not unsafe. Not unprotected. Not vulnerable. Not lonely. Not alone.

Is this love?

. . .

. . .

No, it’s not love. It’s a not not relationship.

Is this what it means to be an adult?

. . .

Do you want to be an adult?

. . .

Men is my life, seem to me, like a suffering. And the men in my life have suffered.

I am mature. I am not an adult. I am legally, politically, socially, intellectually, emotionally, physically, sexually mature. But I am not legally, politically, socially, intellectually, emotionally, physically, sexually an adult.

I want the men in life to be legally, politically, socially, intellectually, emotionally, physically, sexually listen, understand, be available, appreciate, validate, approve, agree, want me, be interested in me. 100%. 24 x 7.

I will be in control, yet they will be responsible.

I will emotionally bully them, yet they cannot act like a victim.

I will have attention from other men, while they will exclusively be mine.

I will test them, until they fail. Every moment. Everyday.

They will be the silent subject of my anger. They will validate my pain. They will deal with my depression.

They will not reject me. Ever.

What is it that you seek?

I guess I am looking for a therapist in the men in my life.

What will you do when that does not happen?

I will look for an escape.

How?

Anger. Self-destruction. Keeping distance. Anger. Self-destruction. Not trusting people. In never ending circles.

What is at the bottom of all this?

Pain. Insecurity. Fear of loss. Fear of rejection. Fear of judgement. Fear of loneliness.

What is at the bottom of all this?

. . .

What is it that you seek?

. . .

I Can Be A Good Dog

How has your black dog been?

Its been 1 year of therapy. I haven’t learnt to manage him yet. But I have learnt to identify when he starts pulling me down. Identification makes it easier to ask for help. And help makes it easier to manage him.

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What has helped?

Being regular at therapy. Being emotionally honest. Y’s love. Non judgmental attitude. Learning to accept & forgive myself.

How does it feel seeing a therapist?

Its not the therapist that scares me. Its my own self. Being emotionally naked can be tiring. Handling vulnerability is not easy. A non judgmental safe space has certainly motivated me to be more honest. Honesty is healing.

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What hasn’t changed?

Social anxiety. Obsessive behavior. Anger. Indiscipline. Impatience. Feeling hopeless. Boredom. Feeling of emptiness. Lack of self confidence. Feeling vulnerable. Lack of control. Constant guilt. Unstable relationships. Impulsive behavior. Stress.

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What does it make you do?

Avoid social interactions. Depend on alcohol. Sleepless nights. Cheat. Act lazy. Act self destructive.

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What has changed?

Degree of self awareness. Have learnt to identify my evils. Its almost like a system reset, like laying a new foundation of self identity. Makes me question all my beliefs, morals and emotions. Most of the times it gets overwhelming. And makes me go to lengths that I have never been to.

How do you deal with it?

I talk about it, in all honesty. I am learning to let go off the shame and embarrassment. Its not easy but that is the only way that has worked for me, by talking about it.

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Do you think you are making progress?

My therapist says, it gets worse before it gets better. I feel certain about my progress, slowly but surely I will get there.

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What keeps you going?

I don’t think I am high on motivation. I have always been haunted by existentialist questions. Its just the fact that I am alive. I also disbelieve there is any inherent meaning to life.

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(You can check out my favorite blogger Allie Brosh’s blog, Hyperbole & A Half here – http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.in/

The illustrations/ comics in this blog are done by her.

Here is the link to my previous blog on Depression – https://rutugole.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/my-black-dog-me/)

I Am You And What I See Is Me

My first memory of meeting a dog is when I am 5. A street dog has given birth to puppies and my mother takes me to meet them. I have vivid memories of how she teaches me to assure the dog mother that I don’t mean harm and how to pet the small puppies and scrub their bellies. I am excited about the experience. My parents never let me fear animals. There is no us and them. We are all one. Fear is never the word, it is always love and assurance. I forever thank them for this. My father has all sorts of pets – owl, monkey, dog, birds, rabbits. I am amazed by his trust. Love is trust.

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As a child I am drawn to animals but am not allowed to have pets due to several complicated reasons. I always long to have a dog. After many years I meet these puppies. This is right after Vipasanna course and I feel this is a gift for me in store. I bring the puppies home and take care of them. Name them Gubbi and Laadu. They look so lost and delicate and vulnerable and carefree and alone. I instantly fall in love with them.

I am you and what I see is me.

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Later I meet Mithoo. She is a metaphor for abandonment, abuse, pain, insecurities, fear and loneliness. The fear in her is gripping. I want to protect her, protect her from this unforgiving world and rescue her from her fears. If only she could trust me. That choice is hers to be. I hope I can earn her trust. Even before I realize I become her mother. Is rescuing love?

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I explain to Y, V & k about how entangled I feel with her. There is no space between us.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

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Mithoo develops behavioral issues. I take it personally that I failed her. I lose confidence in my parenthood. I want to be by her side. I want to be able to give her time . I want to trust her to deal with her anxiety. Trust. Trust is crucial. Trusting uncertainty. The complexities of parenthood. Of wanting to give your children freedom and yet expect them to do the right thing, right thing by you. We are all selfish in our act of love and too egoistic to accept it gracefully. Love is selfishness.

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Mithoo takes her own sweet time. She learns to trust the world around her. “It is alright to be scared, Mithoo! I am always here for you, my darling,” I tell her. Love is acceptance.

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And she also learns to be aware of her choices. She learns to accept. And she learns to reject. I want to listen to her. Love is listening.

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I meet Dalmatian. I see a wonderful mother in her. She knows when to be strict and when to pamper. It is a fine, delicate balance. I learn from her. I admire her because she is so real. Love is being yourself.

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I meet Mili. I instantly feel a strong connection with her. I want to take her in my arms. I want to adopt her. She is so delicate and vulnerable and so infinitesimally small. Death kills her after a week. I don’t make peace with her death. I dont grieve. I obsess. I obsess for months on end. I feel addicted to a replacement. Y says, “It is unhealthy.” I say, “So be it, I want another Mili.” Mithoo is unable to understand.

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I meet Tubbu. I long for the same connection. I never feel it with him. He is wonderful but he is not mine. I have lost Mili. Mili is never coming back. Mili cannot be replaced. Death is brutally honest. Love is death.

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Marley & me. I am not ready to foster her. I feel angry on the inside. I hate her. She is annoyingly adorable. I now understand violence. Love is hatred.

Never tickle the dragon if you can’t bear the heat.

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I meet Inoo. I have forced myself to foster her. But I have grown to feel attached to her. Inoo resembles Mili. Inoo isn’t Mili. Love is learning to love.

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Love is Identifying. Love is Patience. Love is Letting Go. Love is Observing.

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Love is knowing. Love is not knowing. Love is half knowing.


Present tense has its own charm. I want to explore this artistic decision of writing in the present tense. Please note : Most events in the blog are a past memory.


Thank you, dear Y for the beautiful photos!


Mithoo & Inoo know their names but dont recognize me by my name. It is literallly a nameless relation. (Pun intended!)


Take It Back

I cheat on him. I do it knowingly. I have been feeling suffocated in the relationship for too long. We have been unhappy however hard we try. We aren’t meant to be. Eventually it doesn’t work out. I am uncourageous in my act. I cheat. He finds out. We break up. I feel emotionally naked and vulnerable. I cry all the time. Every moment reminds me of him, of the good times we have had. I cannot accept how touchy I have become. I have learnt to trust and break my own trust. Every song I hear, every space I visit is a constant reminder of him. Uneasiness haunts me. I lose appetite. I feel nauseous. I lose weight and sleep. I want to be more self reliant. Love is...a house of cards I oscillate between intense emotions and a complete lack. At times I feel comfortably numb. I want to collapse. I want to destruct my own self. And be far far away from the world. I want to hide my face in the brown brown soft warm earth. It is a sinking feeling. Constant sinking feeling. It is dark and hopless. I listen to Pink Floyd. I appreciate poetry and art better. 872a0aafba69437f56be2ce51848e670 I feel nostalgic and attached to him. I am still emotionally dependent on him. I sometimes feel I should bring him back. But my mind tells me otherwise. I feel emotionally raw. I feel intense shame and guilt. I will never be able to forgive myself. I will carry this feeling onto my next relationship and the next and the next. I feel I don’t deserve forgiveness, not from myself, not from him. I want to feel hurt. I don’t deserve joy, not in my next relationship and the next and the next. love-is-kim-grove-comics-25 I write to him. I apologize. I put my heart out there. He forgives me. Very graciously. He is aloof and graceful in his act. I am lost for words. I cry, like I have never been forgiven.

Are you unforgiven too?

Take it Back – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDH7JqF_EFg

Rethinking Infidelity – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2AUat93a8Q


The Forbidden Fruit & Me

As my psychotherapy progresses, I am exploring more hidden parts of my unperceivable unfathomable mind. Each therapy session is a tap on another unexplored area. Sometimes it is more than I can handle. But I would rather know than not know and it takes what it takes. All these unknown doors are waiting to open.

There are things known and things unknown and in between are the Doors.

Jim Morrison, The Doors

Dominique Francon from The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, as a character has always intrigued me. It has been ten years of thought. Only now do I understand her better. In fact I can relate to her sometimes. Not her confident, self assured self, but her choices. People often think she is a lost soul. I think she is too intelligent and unanswerable and uninhibited and undenying and free and passionate. And self destructive and depressed. No one seems to understand her pain and anguish and disappointment and hopelessness. Men are especially fascinated by her sexual being. As I study myself in therapy I can more often than not, identify with her. Brenda Chenowith from Six Feet Under is another character that I can often relate to. She is a sex addict.

  • Self destruction
  • Ego
  • Addiction
  • Falling for temptations
  • Hopelessness
  • Depression
  • Disappointment in the world & its people
  • Irony of life
  • Humour
  • Unstable relationships
  • Impulsive behaviour
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Issues with self identity
  • Asocial behaviour
  • Extreme Rationality
  • Idea of a Free Woman?

I believe, below their confident and free demeanor, lie these harsh truths of their personality. Yes, I can relate to it.

Borderline Personality Disorder –

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhOotNCqg2E.

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/borderline-personality-disorder-symptoms/

The question always is a borderline,

Do we eat the Forbidden Fruit or do we not?

And the choice always is,

Do we eat the the Fruit of Temptation or the Fruit of Balance?

And the next questions always is,

Do we really have a choice?

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P.S. How my kitten disapproves of my blog.

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