Monday, January 16, 2012

Somebody That I Never Knew

   I, along with what seems like the entirety of the internet, 'discovered' a song the other day called "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye. I was, and still am, mesmerized by it. It articulated something that I think a large majority of people experience at one point or another in their quest to find a suitable life-partner/spouse/companion/what-have-you. So, yes, I related. But it took me roughly 27 times through to realize something. Something I will come back to shortly.

   The song together with the video perfectly illustrates that kind of lingering pain. The hurt that sticks around after those relationships that were just all wrong. Intense despite, or maybe because of, their inevitable demise. It doesn't matter how much time has passed. The sting is tangible. Especially upon discovering bold, honest, brave music such as this that points so ferociously to that experience. That time. That hurt.

   I personally feel that these relationships are an example of a different kind of love. It is love. It fully is being in love. But not the in love talked about in romance books and movies. Not unrequited love. Not even tragic love. Something different, but still real. Something that never goes away. Something that while burning and at times passionate is the antithesis of romantic love. Companionship, yes, but in the loneliest most isolating of ways. Especially once it "ends".

   So here it is: I had one. One of those relationships. Plain and simple right? But truth is that it still haunts me, much as I hate to admit it. In fact, I never really have. At least not publicly. I've been scared of the implications to be quite honest. Scared it would put unsettling thoughts into the minds of the people I care about the most.

   I also feared it would more so be an admission of weakness. Frailty. Maybe even immaturity. Proof that I was still hung up... but when I saw this video I sensed nothing but strength in his pain-filled facial expressions. Bravery. Groundedness.  It reminded me of something unrelated, yet somehow so very much the same. A moment in my past when brash unabashed vulnerability made me feel stronger than anything else could have in that second. It was after a different break up, at a time when I was indulging my need to vent about my hurt over the situation... at lunch, in the extremely crowded cafeteria of my high school, at a table of my peers (in more ways than one but at the same time not at all). When it felt as is out of thin air the "ex" appeared hurling violent accusations about me "talking shit" and before I could catch myself I sputtered out "If by that you mean admitting that I'm hurt and that I miss you? Then, ya! I was." ...Or something less articulate but along the same lines. I recoiled instantly from my own words waiting for the other shoe to drop. For laughing or yelling or some other form of humiliation as punishment for my discretion. My admission that I did in fact care. How dare I? But all I got was a dumbfounded look and a sense that defenses had been dropped involuntarily due to what I had said. The moment was over as quickly as it had started and I was shocked at how good it wound up feeling.

   So here I am admitting that I still get that sad, desperate, lonely feeling whenever you cross my mind. A gross, unwelcome pit in my stomach. Not because I still love you, but because you didn't love me... and I fully believed that you did. And I really don't care anymore if that admission gets used as fuel against me. Because it has needed to be said for years.

   For me.

   I'm saying this now, to prove to myself that it is more than just okay to be vulnerable. It's a necessary piece to the puzzle. It is an aspect of strength. The aspect I often forget to develop in my endeavors of self improvement.

   It is usually the things that hurt most to write, that are worth reading....

   Am I sure that publishing this will have the desired effect? Not at all. I don't know if it's too far or just far enough. I don't know whether I will feel I have gained strength or lost ground. Will I feel embarrassed in "being found out"? Probably not as embarrassed as I was internally all this time I spent caring when I shouldn't have. But who knows? This could wind up being worse. But at least I will have finally spoken my peace. Who knows, maybe I will finally stop caring. Because what I didn't have then is of little importance compared to what I do have now. The right kind of love.

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