Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Missing

This week I starting re-watching Fringe from the beginning which is rare for me.
Movies, I can watch over and over again for weeks on end.
But a TV show? We develop a relationship that has grown over seasons and years.
Those are my friends. I can't just dive back in mostly because I can't dive right back out.
But this week I really missed Olivia, Peter and Walter.

This also comes right on the heels of a two-week visitation to many of my old homes across the Southeast.
I imagine that contributes significantly to my missing things as well.

Again, Fringe is my exception.

  • I haven't finished Breaking Bad. It's ready and waiting on Netflix but I won't watch it.
  • I won't finish the last half of the Mortal Instruments book series because I can't think about the possibility of my favorite characters not surviving.
  • I do this thing where I'll leave tabs open on my computer for DAYS because I won't want to bookmark it because I'll forget and I don't want to take 5 minutes to listen to the song or read the article right then, so it'll sit there. Waiting and waiting.

What I'm saying is I'm bad with goodbyes.
I'm bad with things being over.

Leaving first? That I can do.
I can be in my bed before the candles are blown out on the cake, no problem.
This means our relationship is on my terms.
I have minimized the risk.
We've surrounded the blast perimeter to limit the destruction.

In the school of Irish Goodbyes, I'm a Grand Master.

The thing that's been baking in my brain-oven recently is the reality that there's something to all this.
It wasn't until one of my most darling friends asked me,

"What would you do if I just up and moved away?
Like to Canada?"

"I would be mad that I missed you."
"Why would you be mad?"
"Because I couldn't do anything about it. What's the point."
"Why couldn't you just miss me?"

Why couldn't I?
Maybe you have some things that need working out, huh?)

For a long time, I think my brain used this flow chart:
1. If I miss something, it means I need it
2. If I need something, I should have it
3. If I can't have it, did I really need it?
4. If I decide I really needed it, well now I'm just screwed.

And that's the thing about living, breathing humans.
They have this thing about moving and going and you can be left with just the missing. 
There's a good chance you won't find that in any psychology books. 
(And I'm not going to define "need" for you in these circumstances. I'm not entirely sure I knew what it meant.
Instead, decide to be okay with joining me in the world of not fully understanding the thoughts I was living out.)

How does a person who has never been abandoned suffer so thoroughly from a penetrating fear of abandonment?
Is that what this is?
Maybe. Maybe not.

A little bit ago, one of my favorite humans and writers, Elizabeth Hyndman shared some good advice about getting started with something you were writing from Natalie Goldberg. She said write "What I really want to say is..." and go.

What I really want to say is I see it now.
I get it.
If you've been in my life and you've been waiting for me to recognize my fear of what it means to miss someone or something, consider it done. If you're waiting around for me to get over my intense fear of outer space or deep water, not happening. Sorry.

Anyway, I see it.
Not sure how to fix it. Not sure how it started.
But I see it and that's a good first step, right?
If I were a psychologist, I'd say yes.

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