Wordgame: Split

I have had two memorable experiences of a visceral split in my life. I’m not referring to a mere change in external factors, but rather a feeling deep within me of being torn asunder.

The first, when Polaris disappeared, was abrupt, catastrophic and incomprehensible. The only way I could describe it at the time was as the Universe being split in two, and I felt desperately stranded on one side of the chasm. The second, when I was embarking on a relationship with the father of my child, began as a bizarre and uncomfortable stretching, until eventually I felt that I, myself, had split in two. I could choose where to place my consciousness, but I wasn’t fully present on either side, and the halves were irreconcilable.

I hypothesise that this splitting was the sensation of disconnecting from my true self.

When I met Polaris I was very disconnected. I was broken and beaten from a lot of toxic situations that I had, to a large extent, willingly endured. I was exhausted and disillusioned; living in the aftermath, in a world that had become desaturated. Polaris brought colour. He wasn’t the only one; I was experiencing a pivotal moment with or without him, but he was a significant catalyst. He mirrored to me the parts of myself I had mistakenly disavowed, and highlighted the parts I had carelessly betrayed. He confronted me with all the things I wanted to be.

And he started doing this, it must be mentioned, unknowingly, before we’d even spoken, because of the way life delivered him to me. I was incredibly resistant to the very idea of him at first, despite also being inexplicably compelled. There was even an aspect of revulsion. But he kept being presented, and the resistance developed into curiosity. When we finally did speak, it didn’t take a lot. A floodgate was opened within me, and the ensuing torrent was thrilling, terrifying and confusing in equal measure. And it carried me. To a different place. To a beautiful, fantastical place, drenched in power and possibility. And I resisted that too.

Until I didn’t. And the moment I fell hook, line and sinker for the fantasy, he was gone. Presumably, because his work was done.

But mine was not. Because I had attached him to the fantasy. I had attached him to the power and possibility. I had attached him to the sense of wholeness I had found. And when he left my life, I felt suddenly bereft of all the beauty I had so recently discovered. I had no idea how to reclaim it.

I spent the next years trying diligently. Learning, and working to accept, that all of that beauty was actually within me.

By the time I met Babydaddy I was in the best place I’d even been, and I’d gotten there on my own steam. But I was still fragile. Untested. Unweathered. Babydaddy presented a challenge to my healed chasm. He still lived with a rift whose magnitude rivalled my own in younger years. At first, the challenge was fine; it felt like an opportunity for growth. Intimate contrast. An exercise in holding my ground in the face of his fear. And that was the stretching. I was dubious about living that way long term, but it felt valuable and instructive in the moment.

When I got pregnant, though, the scale tipped. The challenge was too great. I let my own chasm gape once more. I knew how to vault over it now, so I wasted much of my energy doing so, in order to avoid the real work. I wasn’t bereft this time, just exhausted from straddling incompatible worlds. I had to make a choice: disconnect from the beautiful, fantastical place I had worked so hard to recover, or leave the relationship and heal my chasm once again. It wasn’t a choice. But I still took too long to make it.

During the second, incremental split, I had been aware that it was happening. But I didn’t trust myself to know what was best. I didn’t trust, in the face of opposition, that I could live in beauty and grace. I conceded that I must be wrong about the world. That I needed to let go of the fantasy, and this was the way to do it.

It wasn’t. Because that wasn’t true for me. I was living a life that wasn’t true for me. I was out of integrity. Denying myself wholeness. Denying myself a sound structure. I made myself unseaworthy.

I’d like to think I’ll never make that mistake again. But life is long, and full of twists and turns. Who knows what calamity could emerge to shake my very foundation? And every new day is an opportunity for microfissures to appear. All it takes is a little complacency, and I’ll be splitting down the middle all over again.

Throttle

I’ve been living in a double bind for quite an extended period of time and I’m only just admitting it to myself.

Whilst languishing in denial, I’ve tried all kinds of mental and emotional gymnastics to work myself around the trap, but I think I’m going to have to concede that I can’t move forward without true and actual resolution.

When I think about the toll this has taken on my life in the past few years, I wince, because it hasn’t been spiky and dramatic, but it has been chronic and profound.

I have denied myself clarity, peace, joy, desire, love, decision; All Good Things. Not entirely, which is how I got away with it for so long. And probably not even as much as many people deny themselves those things without ever even knowing any different. But I did know different. I have known so much more of All Good Things than I have allowed myself to experience these past few years. And I’ve been disappointed, honestly, that I haven’t been able to access them in their full vibrant ferocity. I’ve missed them in my life. But I hadn’t really considered that I was throttling the supply. Or rather, I had considered it, and I judged myself innocent. Isn’t that always the way.

Nearly seven years ago now (the anniversary is approaching), I fell in love with – what – the image of a man? And then, when faced with the facts that, firstly, I had indeed fallen in love, and secondly, pursuing a romantic relationship wasn’t an option, I made the decision to just let myself, in all my crazy fucking glory, and in complete absence of reason, love that image as hard as I fucking wanted to anyway. And, boy, did I love hard. And, boy, was it excruciating. And, boy, was it enlightening.

Through that Love, I found God. And I don’t mean I found belief, or faith, or understanding, I mean I felt God. And not a God that’s going to be confined by any petty ideations. A God much vaster than anything I could conceive of. A Reality much richer than I’d ever thought possible. A Universe more minutely beautiful than anything running through my dreams. It was everything I’d ever wanted and more.

For a while I didn’t know my love was wrong. By which I mean I still lived in the paradigm where the point of being in love was to get something, and I still believed it was possible to get that thing. To be with the man I was in love with. And so I reached emotional heights unlike anything I’d known before, not only with full permission from myself, but with encouragement, because I took it as confirmation that this meant it was ‘real’.

Eventually, that illusion cracked wide open to make way for something more expansive. I shed a lot of pain, a lot of patterns, a lot of lies, a lot of limits. Everyday living was a psychedelic experience. I gave up clinging to the notion of a traditionally romantic outcome and instead explored the nebulous boundaries of this free-flowing Whole New World.

For a while that was good. And then it was fine.

But he never went away. I kept doing the work, healing the broken parts, giving up the attachments, integrating the lessons; all on the assumption that one day I’d reach the natural conclusion of this revelation and be permitted to go onto the next stage of my journey, without him. Because he was never there, anyway, right? He didn’t want to be a part of this. So why the fuck is he?

At some point, it didn’t seem fine anymore. I started to deny myself, because, even though it never felt wrong, it surely couldn’t be right.

And this is the crux of the matter. I am trying to live in my integrity. I’m trying to live a life true to myself. But he is literally the benchmark for my integrity. He is my ‘full-body yes’. If I need to think about what certainty feels like for me, I have to think of him, because nothing feels more certain than that. Everything I know about how I want to live tells me to follow that feeling; to trust that intuition that he is All Good Things. Not to chase an outcome; just to be true. But at the same time, following it feels so fucking intrusive. He didn’t want to be a part of this. How dare I make him?

And, what’s more, if the truest thing isn’t true, how can I trust Truth anyway?

No wonder I’ve been stuck on this one.

The mess

Life is messy.

I’m sure I’ve talked about this before. I wholeheartedly support life being a mess. I believe it is really the only way for it to ever be beautiful.

And so, many times, I have made it a point to embrace the mess…until the overwhelming compulsion to clean up the whole debacle has overtaken me.

I’ve been working to soothe my flash-sterilising tendencies over this past year. And I haven’t had any uncontrollable urges to paint the whole thing white and start over in a good long while.

But there is a certain mess right now that I may or may not be trying to prematurely organise. Morality and self-worth are tied up in it, and so I am needing to examine whether my inclination to keep things straight and tidy is, on the one hand, a wholesome desire to uphold my integrity or, on the other hand, a simple discomfort with letting it hang where it is until it’s dry.

Sometimes things are what they seem. Sometimes they are not.