Friday, February 27, 2015

DUALITY

When George told me he was bisexual i had a moment of disconnection. It wasn't so much the information he imparted as much as my difficulty in assimilating this fact. That he was bisexual was known to me. I don't know how i procured this knowledge. Certainly he didn't show by his behaviour that he might be thus inclined. Nor did i probe him about his past to extract scandalous information. It was just something i knew emotionally though i neither processed this fact nor allowed its implications to ramify in my consciousness.
George says he is divorced now and that is a relief . But suddenly i am assailed with a longing, irrational perhaps, to traverse his areas of experience. I want to sojourn the territory of his life to know him better or to know that part of him which is unknown to me. The man i thought i knew and loved is composed of many realities. I am mindful that certain of these realities are inaccessible to me. Nor do i desire to plumb those dimensions of his being which do not pertain to me. I neither seek to possess him nor disavow the significance of those aspects of his existence which do impinge on me.
So i wrote a nice, long email to his wife Heather. She called me over to visit her and i agreed immediately. Heather lives, with her son Peter, in a flat whose accoutrements are postmodern. It is a functional house with all the comfortable apparatuses of convenient living. The kitchen is kitted out with all necessitous appurtenances. I sit down and accept a diet coke. And we talk, ineluctably, about George.
Heather seems warm and agreeable. There is no rancour or wistfulness in her. She accepts that George has moved on and so has she. She seems genuinely happy to know me, knowing a part of George's experience that the divorce made unavailable to her. I am seeking to know a George of the past while she is accessing information about a George of the future. Our intersection commingles these two realms yet both of us,at an underlying level, can't stave off the anxiety that the George we conjure up for each other ,through our experience, is a stranger to both of us.
I feel resentment for Heather. I am jealous that an aspect of the man i loved is entombed in her forever. I meet her frequently, ask of her many questions but the information she transmits doesn't loosen her hold of the George i don't know and transmutes it to me. Inalienably and it seems intractably she is crystallizing her grasp. And i sense that the man i love, who claims that he has expunged his past, seems to recede further and further. My voracity worries me. It seems to me that i seek to devour Heather too, devour that space she shared with George and stake my territory over it.
My relationship with George becomes troublesome too. I strive to conceal my misgivings but my detachment and revulsion are communicable, by a force beyond my conscious control. I sense that he regrets sharing the fact of his bisexuality with me. But i am not jealous of Heather for having been married to him or to have known him. My anger is at myself, for my naive expectations, for my consuming desire to know something in its contingent entirety.
And what, might such knowledge ,betoken. It crystallizes my self doubt and weakens my self possession. But i don't want George to realize that i feel Heather is inimical to our relationship. Nor do i want Heather to be wounded by my incessant, importunate pillaging into her life with George. I invite them both for dinner.
Heather is dressed in a lovely silk frock and George looks handsomely ponderous in his shirt and tie. They sit side by side. I go in to bring out the pasta. Seeing them interchange shows me, in a disembodied sense, their respective selves held in their respective hearts. George wears a smile of fond affection. He is solicitous and attentive. Inwardly i know that this solicitousness is valedictory and their interchange a rueful commemoration of what they never had but thought they did. But something in my heart unlooses. It is perhaps the realization,that even if retrospective, this perfect moment they share congeals a closeness i never could and will have. Their countenances blur, they become composite conglomerations of each other,in the aegis of my dispossessed self. I feel vertiginous. The chasm opens up. And i plunge 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

DUPLICITOUS DECEPTION

I suppose i knew of him back then. We'd had a stormy encounter on facebook and i had , after due consideration, desisted from further interchange. Meeting him face to face, in the flesh couldn't conceal to me, much to my chagrin, the fact that i was indubitably impressed. It was his misanthropy and the contumelious nature of his asseverations, drawled out confidently and with certitude, that drew me in. Besides, i shared, if theoretically, certain impugnable insights into the male sex. My disquiet was unformulated and undoubtedly chimerical but his arrogant execrations, uttered with a seeming modicum of self  denigration but hinting at a greater self complacence , were irresistibly attractive.

I would be untruthful if i said that i didn't feel intimations of future tumult. But i suppressed them. I was to seek him out subsequently, with a subterranean awareness of the grovelling i was evincing but impelled by something beyond me or pathologically immanent in me. All around me i found evidence of things falling apart, of relationships in his orbit that disintegrated and flaked away into constituent bitchy sub groups. Though the constellation of sycophants or neophytes, which i unwittingly was, varied in texture and constitution, the numbers were alarmingly unvarying. That is when it struck me that i was in this complex relationship with a narcissist. I had had a relationship with a narcissist earlier that had left me a broken wreck. Psychotherapy, it seems, left me unprepared for a subsequent re immersion into it.

His objurgations were excoriating. Even in his orbit the flashing of his malicious wit left me shocked. Being propitious and some of us seemed we laughed about feebly at this malice knowing it was meretricious and in poor taste. Because my involvement was largely with him i was subject to his decimations of people around me. He would bitch, and that too shamelessly, with a candour that was horrifying. It almost seemed as though each sentence he uttered had, as an accompaniment, an animadversion or scurrilous observation on someone else. People in my orbit were revealed to me, through his aegis as shameless solipsists, inherently dangerous, to be avoided at all costs. Not once did i hear him articulate anything agreeable. These alternated with his self proclaimed sense of probity.

He claimed everyone misunderstood him. But he never understood himself. So much of his energy went into undermining others, and often about things which were visibly untrue, that falsehood seemed inextricably interwoven with him. He revelled in his anomalousness but his incongruities were not just differences that were unassimilable, they were poisonous propensities that sullied any decency one might be possessed of.

Eventually i was to relinquish all contact with him. I had discovered accidentally that while the traffic of our intersection was all about me giving generously he had been subtly but incontrovertibly spreading nasty rumours about me. I met, over the course of the year, numerous people who felt for him only repugnance and who had not a single atom of empathy for him. Had my predicament been solitary my self dispossession would have rent me irreversibly. But knowing that there were many who had felt what i had was a relief. And ultimately obviating the machinations of a narcissist was big relief, even more this time around. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

POINTS OF CONTACT

I have an ex partner who is manic depressive. I bethought myself to have severed all contact with him. Our separation seemed unambiguous.Yet when i received a phone call from him saying he was too depressed to even perform basic ablutions, i relented. If he felt i could be useful then i could, perhaps, help him out a bit. Besides, with my present relationship having ended abruptly i had time on my hands. This was a good opportunity to metamorphose myself from a helpless pivot in exploitative relationships to a useful, functional person.
Caring for Edward, which is his name, emboldened me to work out my own life. My patterns were concentered around predictable vignettes. A propulsion towards attraction, a tolerance of anomalies and an abrupt dismissal from the psychic convolutions of the other. Men in my life couldn't countenance complexity. Their lapses into primal emotions were intenser and destructive. The moment they felt i had divined their depths they retracted, unleashing in the process expletives that were more to do with their awareness of their inadequacy than the veracity of my regard for them.
Similarly had Edward repulsed me. He kept his inner life concealed from me. I caught him having a manic episode though it was the bizarreness of his behaviour that struck me. He demanded constant sex and wore me out with his unceasing expostulations and protestations of his sanity. I believed him then. It is now, in retrospect, in looking back that i realize that his manic episode scared him. Presumably to offset my presence in his psychic dilemma though concealing it with a patina of my lack of empathy, he precipitately left.
And now i bathe him, shave him, feed him and take him to the therapist. His therapist insists that i share a few sessions knowing that i was once a part of his life. Revelations unspool, parentheses are given verbal form, the subterranean is rendered tangible. What i haven't told Edward is that i have myself been saying an analyst for a long time. If the concealment of this disagreeable fact retains his image of my strength then that is all right.
Having seen an analyst for so long did not prevent me from seeking out men who reinforced my self loathing. The pattern had congealed and coagulated too intractably to loosen or liquefy. But being with Edward helps. It helps to have an anchoring point in a life of indeterminacy and self doubt. Having someone else to care for obviates my self centrality, however self critical it may be. And i have discovered in Edward a vulnerability that brings out the tenderness immanent in me. Perhaps we could start afresh. Or even otherwise his craziness has prevented me from breaking down myself. I see with clarity that had he not implored me for aid i'd be in a private ward with anti depressants. He has given me the gift of a lifeline and clutching it and being stronger for its presence, i will navigate vicissitudes better.

Monday, February 23, 2015

AMBIVALENCE

His was a form of egotism of which he was entirely unaware. It has always seemed a misnomer, the unawareness of the self from itself. By which i mean that a residual awareness does exist. Perhaps the more importunate the signals from the burgeoning ,knowing self greater is the effort to overcompensate.Though these processes are quite unconscious and undiscerned and sometimes greeted with incredulity.
I have always believed in a certain austerity in language. I am familiar with irony and the varying intonations of sarcasm which, if subtly deployed, can be admired for the sheer artistry of their delivery but which, if uttered gracelessly and an intention to wound, can grate and induce resentment and hatred for the one who succumbs to these meretricious impulses.
Tawdry is the sentiment which relies on a vulgar display of belligerence, unconcealed and shamelessly revelled in. If there is an underlying reason for virulence, a smart, or a rebarbative rejoinder directed at oneself, then there is sufficient ground for justification. But unprompted, unsolicited malice is repugnant.
Such was the nature of his inveterate objurgations. Our intersections were fleeting though there were occasions that necessitated an outwardly amiable though internally fractious propinquity. He'd call up sometimes and drawl out his mean, sarcastic comments with promptitude and a not inconsiderable sense of pride, enjoying the delivery of this barb. And more often than not, as i initially promulgated, take great pride in his knowledge of inflicting a wound . And it was this self congratulatory smirk that brought out in me , though unconsciously immanent, a spurt of hatred so intense that it seemed, psychically uncontrollable.
It is also conspicuous that he was aware also of the force of his unprepossessing sarcasm. He knew it irked me and that precipitated him, at carefully protracted though frequent interludes, into inundating me with a deluge of it when least anticipated. His calls were infrequently regular though timely in their incontrovertible contumeliousness.I could possibly have cut the call but circumstances engendered a relationship where a disavowal of ties could have resulted in an irrevocable breach. It was a sundering i desired but could not actualize.
Gradually ,though, a steely resolve, incipient but irremovable from my unconscious, is gathering strength. His repulsive demeanour requires a check. And, at this stage, i am past caring if the ever widening gulf becomes irreparable. My self esteem, always tenuous, is now interrelated with this evisceration of him. I expect,with the full knowledge of the enactment of my expectation, the resultant humiliation..

Sunday, February 22, 2015

CONUNDRUM

I mistook self consciousness to be the pathway to self healing. Being aware of myself, my every nuance, being aware also ,that implicit in that awareness was the inevitability of retrospective constructions, i assumed that a breakthrough was immanent. Some time elapsed before it become palpable to me that i was withdrawing from life and people, cocooning myself in a spurious self sufficiency that would take me further away from how i was to engage with and navigate life. And it was this inveterate self consciousness which drew the fact of my growing self alienation to myself. That the sagacity i treasured was makeshift didn't discomfit me as much as the fact that i couldn't figure out a mechanism of transcendence.
When i lived and loved my partner i often noted in myself a ceaseless dialectic between concealment and exhibitionism. I wanted to affirm to him the fact that despite my misgivings i cared for him. Simultaneously i fabricated all sorts of blueprints he might be moulding me into and strove, with my behaviour, to circumvent them. I was aware that a neurotic self consciousness was what beset me but i wanted him to perceive it as a sign of my maturity and thoughtfulness. I staved off his disquiet by projecting and superimposing my aegis. Needless to say it was a futile exercise.
What made it worse was the knowledge that my behaviour was not only self conscious but self destructive. I was witness to the accretion of my disintegrating sense of self. And even then ,while i was self congratulatory about my perspicacity i was also in deep despair about the irrevocability of this predicament i was so irretrievably enmeshed in. What this circumlocutory rationalization did was to precipitate and spawn further self negating actions. But by then i lost all track of what i had ever desired or wanted. Like in a mirror image, my self and its reflection to me existed in a closed circle. It was narcissistic. And my awareness of it, while prompting unnerving intimations of pathology nonetheless partook of and augmented the solipsism i sought to escape.
The problem is that one is taught to dissimulate. Even in an atmosphere of candour a certain dissembling is ineluctable. While one is enjoined to bare all in a culture of confessionality the darkest recesses of our unconscious are best kept secret. It is a mistake to assume from one's interlocutors the propensity of frankness. More often they are suffused with terror about their own survival and repulse any hint of unconstrained confession. And those who invite such confidences have, in my experience, unconscionably manipulated them and exploited me, with their demeanour, with the terrifying possibility that disclosure of my putative fraudulence is imminent.
As i did with my partner so i do now. I construct abstractions and facsimiles of who i can be. With sufficient sleight of hand i enact my pantomime of self consciousness knowing the chimerical nature of it. But what else can i do? A compendium of deceptions has been inveigled . I can loathe this dissembling,implode with the incipient burgeoning knowledge of my performance but what, i often ask is the alternative. Willy nilly i have fallen in love with the image in the mirror, purely to survive. Because on the other side lies an abyss which, with a precipitous plunge, would snuff out all remainders of life. That is where madness lies.