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It's everything I want to tell people when they make small talk and profound talk, but I often can't. Sickness, sex, and the process of dealing with aging parents feel unspeakable and sometimes unreachable, but they sure aren't here.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A letter to my ex about enough

I don't know Originally uploaded by camil tulcan.

Dear D.,

Nakedness can change boundaries. There's my unremarkable first premise. Hopefully that's as obvious as a bare breast. You know me well. Cliches are the worst, but therein lie the truth(s). That's another premise. I'm telling you about cliches because I'm about to drop the motherload on you, D.

Sometimes love isn't enough.

That cliche just HAD to happen. I promise I'm not shoveling sentimentality in your path like so much rotting compost. This letter is not about sentimentality; this is about sleeping alone now, by choice and by necessity.

I know you would have stayed through awful times, but I had to leave... Because while you might be okay with the intimacy involved in navigating sick waters, I am not, particularly when I am the one with less power, fewer options, and more barfing. Because I have so many people who invade my space during illness out of necessity (e.g., nurses), I had mixed emotions about the level of access and intrusion that could come with our future.

Because someone who leaps on the role of caretaker might have other, less noble motives besides love, like control and the resulting emotional security that is ultimately predicated on false power dynamics. Because you had a tight leash, and I don't think love involves wearing a metaphorical collar. Because sometimes going through it without companionship is okay. Because illness won't cause me to insult someone by "settling" for that person. Because this was one of many issues with you where we could not find a comfortable place in each other's gravitational field. Because "hard times" are as inevitable as thunderstorms in July, and transcendence is a choice. Because it is my choice. Because staying with someone out of fear of being alone or out of fear of feeling pain alone is not good enough. Because there are many ways of partnering with many people who come into our lives (sometimes including sex, sometimes not) to meet needs and to find love. Because some souls are always going to flicker more like restless horses than hearth fires. Because I'm one of them.

Photo credit: "I don't know," by camil tulcan at flickr (click on the photo more of this artist's work). Permission obtained for use.

2 Comments:

Blogger Maria said...

"Because someone who leaps on the role of caretaker might have other, less noble motives besides love, like control and the resulting emotional security that is ultimately predicated on false power dynamics."

I've also wondered if, when people want to leap on the role of caretaker (for those who have popped up in my life during difficult times in the past), they are looking for me to *be* their life. And that's terrifying to me.

12/23/2005 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Yes, hadn't considered that angle when I was writing, but I certainly can see that; perhaps it's some species of codependence.

12/24/2005 07:25:00 PM  

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