Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Love Terror

Entering into my relationship with Mr. Wonderful, I was in a place in my life where I felt healthier and more independent than probably ever before. Maybe it was my age. Maybe it was the heartbreak before it that caused me to become so deeply grounded within myself and my own intuition. Maybe it was the therapy…

Regardless of the cause, I was there—perched atop that place where I knew no matter what happened in my life, I would always be okay.

I remember talking to a girlfriend one night and telling her that even though I was crazy about him, I knew that if things didn’t work out, I’d be fine.

For a long time—even after I completely fell in love with him—I knew that life could go on without him.

I’m not sure when the shift occurred, but for lately I’ve been keenly aware of it. (Especially last night when I watching the animated film “Up.” What a tear-jerker. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t yet seen it.)

I no longer think I could go on normally without him. I am officially terrified by the prospect of ever losing this man I love.

I don’t know if this is some sort of emotional aftermath from his being gone for 6 months. If the thought of semi-losing him again is just enough to put me over the edge now. Or if this is the path that all great love affairs go down eventually. Whatever it is, I don’t like it.

It scares me to feel so strongly—to feel so vulnerable. It pains me to even think of a life without him. The thought that something could happen to him…I’m really not sure I could recover. And that’s really, really frightening. Would I be forever broken?

The even scarier thing is, it’s only been 2 years. What must couples feel like after 20 years? Or 50? And if romantic love isn’t as intense as the bond between mother and child, how screwed am I going to be if I have kids?

It’s sort of funny that love even has this mildewy underside to it. It’s so hot and juicy that most people don’t pay attention to the condensation collecting beneath it, forming little fear spores. But oh when you stop and look…eek!

I think some spiritual teachers would tell me to practice the art of detachment. Realize that my life and self and bliss are not inextricably linked to this other person’s presence. But if we detach and free ourselves up from love and the fright of losing it, do we miss something in the process?

If Mr. Frederickson from “Up” hadn’t loved his wife so dearly, might he have lost out on the experience of landing softly where he did at the end of the film?

Maybe the terror is part of what makes it all so thrilling.


Jane Moneypenny said...

Well, well, well, Mel (it rhymes!). Somehow, our lives parallel a lot. This time, I had the thought in the sense, "Will I ever feel that way about someone? How do people feel that way about one person so strongly?" And you went and answered it. =)

Congrats. I think it's great.

blakspring said...

i too think that this is a good thing, because i also believe that you could handle anything, even if it doesn't seem like it. sometimes thinking about the negative can make it more terrifying but when you're actually face to face with your demons, it's amazing how much strength you will find.

brookem said...

i hear you on this one. and for me, it's only been a year and a half with manfriend. i don't like those feelings either, the "what would i do without him?" type of fear. i guess on the one hand, it's really comforting to know that ive finally found that one person, that i don't want to ever live without. on the other hand, thinking TOO much about it is a slippery slope. it's scary.
which is why i guess the best thing for me to do, is shut my mind off when it goes there. just live in the moment, recognizing the sweet times in the mundane. really taking it all in, yanno?

Danielle said...

I am more impressed with how healthy you were going into it. That is why you fell so deeply. It is a good thing!

Anonymous said...

I think there's just a part of human nature that simply doesn't trust true happiness. Probably comes from way back: don't enjoy the wildabeast you just managed to kill for food too much, for the saber-toothed calico kitty may be hiding in the bushes to get you.

Eventually, your brain will figure out that the person you're sharing the wildabeast with is looking out for your back. And it's that that you'll learn to trust, that the terror will dissipate, and that you can enjoy the meal.

Sizzle said...

That movie pulls the heart strings. I love it so much I bought it for my nephew (ok, really it was for me).

I think one of the main reasons for my commitment-phobia is just what you are talking about here- loving someone so much, so deeply, that you can't imagine your life without them. I do not think I have ever been in love like that. Most of me wants to but the part that is afraid has a REALLY LOUD VOICE and so the rest gets drowned out.

And did you just compare deep love to mold? Heh.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

So here's the thing. I'm a lot like you. I was fiercely independent and happy with me when I met Sweets. And for the most part, I don't worry too much about what happens if he's no longer in my life. Part of it is because I know myself well enough to know despite being devastated, I have an amazing support network and I will find my grounding again. But the other part? I refuse to live life in fear. I could be afraid of being hit by a car. Or I could be afraid of losing my job. I could be afraid that Sweets will cheat on me. The list is endless. And while I don't think it's a bad thing to be aware of the possibility, to limit your life by such things seems to be such shame, because it takes away from all those precious moments you have with Mr. W (or in my case, Sweets) right now. Today.


missmccracken said...

I love that movie too!!! I cried a little, I totally did, I was so completely moved.

Love is wonderful. I know a little about death too, and I can tell you that initial feeling of dread will never go away completely. It will pop up unexpectedly, but I think as you grow older together, it's something you get used to, and serves as a reminder to cherish the wonderful moments.

Mandy's Kidding said...

I have loved and lost enough times to know I can survive anything. It pains me to think of having to trudge through loss again, but I know that I will have to. Life is about loss. The nice thing about this realization is that we learn to cherish what we have, while we have it.

Enjoy love. It's the good stuff, that's for sure.