I have this friend. She’s beautiful, and has like a million friends, and everything in her life went easy. Always. She always gets her way, and she can see the sense in that. She never doubts it, for a second. Her right to the things she wants.
There is no rejection in her life. No telling her 'no'. There's no way she cannot have it all - all that she wants. And she cannot stand pain. Any, no matter how small. She doesn't see how it can make sense in getting something she wants. She doesn’t understand suffering for the sake of a greater good. I do.
Now why is that?
It doesn’t make me wiser, just more compliant. It doesn’t mean that I understand more about life, or whatever. My karma theories only help cover the feeling of discontent and helplessness with how my life always seem to lead to some sort of suffering, or letting go of things I cannot have. I need to give it some sort of sense, and it helps me to think that all things worth having are worth paying for. But what it all comes down to – do I end up paying more for the things others get for free?
And did I learn not to bother wanting things to cover for not having them? Did I learn being wise as a way to cope with rejection?
All the things I know now, all the things that make me look so wise and knowledgeable I had to figure them out because things seldom turn out the way I want them to. I'm often left with wondering what the hell went wrong, or why the hell can’t I have what I want, just for once? What it must be life for those who always get the best before they even move a neuron! I never get what I want, ever. Unless I can give it to myself, unless I can make it happen -and that usually means ‘things’ – because I have this innate fear of playing with people’s lives. It’s like… if I make someone do something, it’s not real. It’s manipulation, it’s fake, it’s not their free choice and it won’t last. Hence, it means nothing.
Yes, I do believe people can make people do things and bypass free choice. Not because I’m better or more powerful than others, not bc of some magical thinking on my part, but bc people often do give away their responsibility and fake participation and don’t own up to the things they do. I have tons of examples – friends, people who have confided in me over the years I’ve heard so many men wine about how they didn’t really want to get married and have kids, someone else made them do it – that I never dare tell a man “stay with me, I’m the best option for you”. Heck, what the hell do I know? I’m not the best anything. What would I do with a prisoner?
All my friends are (happily?) married. Half of them have children, quite nice ones I’d say. The other half desperately want some. And I feel caught in the middle of all this, the blank screen for everyone's projections. Often unsure of how I stand on these issues. I was the first of them to get drunk, have a serious rel, talk freely about sex, use drugs, or whatever. I still am the one who’s had the longest rel, longer than their marriages. The cleanest breakup. The more interesting life, I should say. I can usually face up to their criticism and pushing. About what I do, or don't - with my life. But now my ex has a baby, and I can’t help feeling like the looser.
Was there a competition I wasn’t aware of?
It feels like all my dreams and wants only managed to make a mess of things. No, I didn’t want to get married then. And probably not to him, as he was then. Didn’t like him that much actually. had stopped loving him at some point. Although I did love him - so much - it got lost on the way. I know it started with him sitting in next to the taxi driver and not me coming home from the hospital. I felt lonely then. And that woke me somehow to whom he really was and had been all along: a stranger. Someone looking at me from a distance, but never holding my hand.
But I listen to him to him now and he’s different. He’s alive, he’s real, he’s perceptive, for the first time ever he notices my feelings, talks about them, pays them respect. How is this possible? Is it he’s growing older? Is it the baby, and being a father – something I didn’t use to think would work that well for him? Or is it her – the woman we never really talk about. Did she change him? Is this her influence? And further, and more important – was it me, back then? Was I the one who “made” him so cold, and distant, and unresponsive.
How can my feelings matter now, when they never mattered then, for the whole 9 years we were together? Now that I don’t matter anymore...
Am I the secret, unrecognized architect behind my failures? Is it that despite my bestest efforts not to control others, my very refusal fuels their participation in the process and becomes their motivation?
Or is that by refusing to control them, I also refuse to control my own life - thus declining my responsibility for the whole damn thing that eventually becomes my life?
Is it too much to want the other to bear the responsibility of choosing me?
So I can’t stop feeling like I lost. All the way. I traded him for the one that didn’t really love me after all. The one that never even acknowledged me - nor my feelings, or his; the one that pretended that nothing ever happened and I didn’t matter at all. The one I could never look in the eyes and tell "choose me!".
The one that wouldn’t even allow me the right to mourn his loss, as how could I have lost something that never happened? How my behavior could had been appropriate, how could my anger be just, when I never existed in the first place? Or maybe he never existed, I’m... I don't know anymore. I remember someone making me feel special, and loved. Someone encouraging me to do what’s right for me, someone who’s eyes kept smiling when looking at me. Someone who loved touching me. But I never got to have all that. It just went poof! the second I tried to touch it back. And I was left wondering.
Now why is that?
Why do I understand suffering as a just price to pay for the things I want?
Now I know I have a lot of nice things; but that's just not the point. Why do I never get what I want, even though I keep wanting less and less over the years?
Do we really ever get to choose what we get?
I know it looks like we had it all. Maybe we did, but I didn’t.
I wanted love.
And I never really got that either, did I? Now why is that?