Extra-Terrestrial Relations

Let’s start with a cliche:

Everyone makes mistakes.

Never heard that before... Source: http://thetikitakalondon.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/interlull-half-time-boring-boring-yawn-boring/

Never heard that before…
Source: http://thetikitakalondon.wordpress.com

True, we all nod our head in a vaguely bored, accepting sort of way when we hear those three words. We use them as an excuse for when we slip up: I’m only human, we all make mistakes. And we do. There are times when even the best of us mumble along in speech, digging a deeper, colder, lonelier grave beneath our feet as we go. We insult, accuse, condescend. We misunderstand, misinterpret, mis-communicate. We reject, scoff, and scorn.

We have all been the victim to a lot of mistakes, especially in love. There are relationships where people say ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it’ so many times it’s easy to lose track. This apology can work up to a point. It works because of the truth of the statement we started with. Everyone makes mistakes, so I can forgive you, you didn’t mean to. The problem arises however, not when it’s multiple mistakes that are made, but when it’s the same mistake over and over again. 

It’s at this point that the apology grinds. Because there’s a hard nugget of pure honesty inside us all: you know that not everyone makes the same mistake over and over. You know that if the same mistake is made twice, then the apology becomes meaningless, because if it was meant the first time it wouldn’t have happened the second. You feel that if they loved you as much as you loved them that they wouldn’t be so human as to make mistakes. For when love is involved, you elevate the person you love to a state of more-than-human, held to unspoken promises and assumed rules.

(An eerie, alien state, not achievable with our puny human minds.)

Then comes the anger. It’s not evident at first, because you love them and don’t want to start a fight. But it’s there, waiting to be noticed. And when it does, you are faced with an impossible swell of feelings. You demand apologies that you know you won’t accept because you’ve been angry for so long you won’t believe them any more. You want gestures and touch and whispers to make it better – whilst hating being in the same breathing space as them. You fight all those fights you put off at once, and make it so much harder to pull through that you’re in danger of losing sight of that love you started with.

When reading this objectively, it’s easy to see where the thought process gets distorted and sets up impossible barriers. In fact, it seems so obvious that it’s almost a pointless thing to say. But when it’s happening to you, when you’re in the moment, there is nothing but acute betrayal and anger. There is no room left for forgiveness, not straight away – and that’s ok.

It is because we are human that we hurt and get hurt, and it’s that very same humanity that means it’s alright to be upset for a while after mistakes are made.

This is a lesson that has taken me a long time to learn. For years in my relationship, I have forced myself to shrug off repeated mistakes and hurts, to put them down as innocent error. To an extent, I believe I was right to do that, for there are times when pettiness and quarrels can – and should be – avoided if possible. But at the same time, I began to realise that I was doing that at the cost of tiny portions of myself. I would chip away at my own ethics, my self belief, my self worth, my passion and reactions. I would keep myself in check when an argument arose because I was so terrified of hurting him.

I was so terrified of hurting him that I forgot how much he hurt me in the process.

Everyone makes mistakes; we are all human.

We are all human; we all love.

We all love; we are always learning.

When love comes along it seems such a miracle, such a treasure, that we covet it. We cradle it in our hands and wrap it in cotton wool, swearing to protect it forever. But that woolly little bundle is made of everything we had and everything we were before we were in it: which means it can still be ugly sometimes, it can still be human despite our expectations of it. Those fights, those battles, those arguments, those tears and shrieked insults are what make love beautiful: surviving in the face of all that, and with acceptance of it is the true miracle.

So when that joyous bundle hurts us, we should say so. We shouldn’t balk from shouting out in protest or expressing our rage. Equally, we shouldn’t shy away from sitting someone down and calmly explaining what they’ve done and how it’s made us feel. We should do whatever we can to ensure that we don’t ever simply sit in silence and take it. You lose yourself to love in the silence.

And you’d be a fool to let yourself disappear.

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Baring my teeth and flicking my tail at passersby. Grr.

Today, I experienced that feeling of uncontrollable rage. Every nerve and every feeling I had shot to my belly, my limbs were shaking, and I was scowling at the room, muttering in incomprehensible dark syllables.

I know. Terrifying. You’re probably quaking in your socks right now.

You may have picked up from recent posts, that in the past few months le man and I have been going through some particularly difficult times. We have gone through periods of loneliness, hurt, resentment, loss – and it has, on occasion, been hard to remember the love we share.

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Right now, however, we are BACK. We are laughing again, and going out for walks at sunset, and staying up until the early hours of the morning talking with a bottle of red wine. I feel more in love with him than I ever have, which I know is a result of our survival through the tough times. We have been faced with adversity and have lived up to the fairy-tale:

We have conquered the evil.

…In all our green-skinned, mud bath glory.

Understandably though, as a result of this, I am that slightly bit (ok, incredibly) more sensitive when it comes to people commenting on our relationship. I cannot stand opinions or assumptions being put on us or our actions, especially when people don’t understand them. And this is what happened today: more than one person commented on an act of kindness le man had performed, criticising it as a guilty apology, and labeling it as cheap.

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Immediately, my blood began to boil and I leapt straight into defense mode, typing out retorts and responses, and stamping my little child feet in an extremely attractive temper tantrum.

…Though now I see I perhaps acted a bit prematurely.

Well, I’ve already said it, haven’t I? No one else is in this relationship, no one else out there knows what we’ve been going through. Which means no one else would understand that those comments might possibly hit a nerve. 

These people weren’t acting out of malice or spite. And I can see where they’re coming from because I understand as well as the next person what ‘banter’ is…but I also think there is a time and a place for it. I just can’t expect people to know when I’m going to declare that it is or is not acceptable.

…Feeling a bit silly now.

We all have things that we are easily wound up or offended by. We have all put our foot in our mouths and said something that has unintentionally hurt someone else. We are all guilty of reacting before we’ve had a chance to cool down and really think about it.

So next time, I’m going to give it a while before I respond, if I even respond at all. And I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone. We should all make it clear what we find acceptable and what we don’t, or we’ll just end up getting hurt unnecessarily.

I need to make it clear that me and le man ARE back – but we’re fragile and worn out. It’s been a long few months! I won’t apologise for defending what I love, because I think anyone else would do the same. I simply want to say that for the time being, I feel I should warn you:

It’s nothing personal, I’m just a bit of a lioness when it comes to my relationship.

Hear me roar!

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I’m out of sync with you

Relationships become a complex wiring of life the older you get. They stop being a fairytale and start to hollow out, waiting for change.

And that’s the problem: we spend too much of our lives waiting for change and then moaning when it doesn’t happen. It’s difficult to make that leap from wishing for something to change to doing something about it, especially in a relationship when previously things have gone so smoothly. It would be so easy to give up the second things became hard.

But there is a reason relationships get harder. They wouldn’t be worth having if you didn’t want to fight for it. Relationships become unrecognisable. They hurt you and heal you and make you laugh and make you cry. They are infinite and living.

And they are worth saving.

* * *

I’m out of sync with you

like a hip-hop

hopscotch

painter,

spreading a skin of butter over bread.

Electric hands implode

at a distance of millimeters,

stretched across galaxies

littered with metal cans and paper cups.

I’m twisting.

Turning,

mutating,

vibrating,

spinning free, a rubber ball

burning through space as fire.

Feathered lips contort a song

into different coloured words;

A kiss into an army of bombs

screaming in droplets of rain.

I’m out of sync with you

like a quick trick

deck of cards

swimming through cheers.

I wait and wonder

Why?

Disjointed.

Entwined.

Disconnected.

Eternal.