Archive | Quoth the Raving

The Russian Dolls We Carry

I broke up with the Legend–or, really, my relationship with the Legend ended–because he ignored me in front of his ex-wife’s current wife and her infant son. If that sounds complicated, it’s actually a lot more complicated, but the bottom line is he clung to the sense of family that his ex and her clan provided him, and played uncle to her son as well as her sister’s kid. I’d always empathized with his desire to do so. But this meant that he in that moment he was ignoring me in front of his people, and the sting was profound. It was hardly the first time he’d thrown me under a bus, but I suddenly saw how little he’d ever rally for me, how little I meant to him, and that only one path extended from that moment on my personal timeline.

And that path was Legend-free.

That’s exactly how I saw it. Even as I blew up in a subsequent text battle with him (he refused to pick up the phone), even as I railed to friends, even as I masturbated with a raging grief, some part of me already was watching dispassionately from a future I now knew existed. A future in which this man I loved had no place.

That’s how I explained the breakup to people as soon as I was sure it would stick. With concern and maybe a little ennui knitting their features, they’d say, “How are you doing?” And I’d say, “I’m in the future now.”

I knew it was true even if I didn’t yet understand what I was saying. Continue Reading →

Pardon the Mess, I Live Here

I have known K since our late 20s–actually I turned 30 a few days after meeting him*–but we only became solid friends in our 40s. First he had a crush on me and I found him esoteric. Then I had a crush on him and he found me extra. Only now that we’ve outgrown feeling slighted by people who don’t desire us have we become good friends.

It’s the best.

Because we are neighbors, we often meet up for coffee, go on rambling walks, help each other out. We have seen each other through some very hard times–illnesses, deaths, breakups, poverty. Neither of us are out of the woods in that final category, and we talk about how being broke is different when you get older. Aging is a constant undercurrent of our conversations.

Perhaps I should say overcurrent because the topic looms. Continue Reading →

Words That Help (Venus Goes Direct)

“Mother and Child,” by Milton Avery

So says Andrew Vachss: “If you are a victim of emotional abuse, there can be no self–help until you learn to self–reference. That means developing your own standards, deciding for yourself what “goodness” really is. Adopting the abuser’s calculated labels—”You’re crazy. You’re ungrateful. It didn’t happen the way you say”—only continues the cycle. Adult survivors of emotional child abuse have only two life-choices: learn to self–reference or remain a victim. When your self–concept has been shredded, when you have been deeply injured and made to feel the injury was all your fault, when you look for approval and love from those who can not or will not provide it—you play the role assigned to you by your abusers. It’s time to stop playing that role, time to write your own script. Victims of emotional abuse carry the cure in their own hearts and souls. Knowing you deserve to be loved and respected and empowering yourself with a commitment to try is much more than half the battle. And it is never too soon—or too late—to start.”

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy