I needed to stay in home alone tonight. I feel sad. Sad about Kristian, sad about my friends who died this year and sad that once again I am on my own: the vacuum left behind after a wonderful weekend with a great friend.
I have always had and certainly will continue to have a serious problem with goodbye. Saying goodbye permanently or even temporarily brings up huge feelings of loss, vulnerability and then the anger-the anger overwhelms me.
The genesis of these feelings: I was ripped from my mother’s breast and put up for adoption. These are primal fears of life and death. The most profoundly affecting goodbye after my mother’s abandonment was the death of my Darling Big Dog.
When my dog was violently killed the resulting anguish unleashed a torrent of sadness, a great wave of misery that may have resulted from not ever having said goodbye-ever to anyone I loved. I did not go to my grandfather’s funeral nor my grandmother’s. I have rigorously avoided any ritual goodbye and for that I am a lesser man.
Whenever I leave a party I just slip away as if saying goodbye will somehow humiliate me.
The same feelings overcome me now after the deaths of three friends in as many months. Yet the very act of writing about them lends me immediate solace.
The end of relationships causes me unrelenting heartache.
Stoically accepting the end of a relationship? No, not for me. Nearly all of the relationships I have had have ended badly. I never, it seems, get to write that scene in the movie of my life where two people say a dignified goodbye.
The end of my relationship with Joe ended thus: I knew that I was going to leave but it took me 2 years to end it and when I finally did I tried to do it with tenderness and compassion but he was so angry that he made my life miserable for a full year after I left him-ending up in court fighting over property.
In my mad head I forget that I have choices, the choice to remember that the past no longer runs the show, choices to say goodbye without the reenactment of traumatic and ruinous scenarios.
Today I waved goodbye to a new friend who has come to mean a great deal to me. Whether there is any romantic future between us is really not up to me-unless I behave in such a way that he would never want to see me again. This morning I began to get angry, angry that he was leaving but knew that it was for the best.
Even though I was only momentarily angry-until I could identify what was going on in my mad head and break the cycle of abandonment and despair by telling him that I would miss him, that I was feeling sad, that I had no mechanism for making those feelings go away…and by telling him the truth I was freed from behaviors that would alienate him from me forever.
I will say goodbye to Kristian this week, say my heartfelt adieu. His death has brought up all sorts of STUFF. I sorted out pictures of us today and will post them as soon as I can.