You all know I’m crazy already (notice no quotes), but the inspiration for this title slide came from the way my best friend of four yrs, my dog Oakley, has been treating me recently.
Not sure how many of you live in & around NY, but a little over a wk ago there were areas in the city & LI that had storms so harsh at night, & for which we were so at the center, that the lightning & thunder were coming simultaneously. I always sleep w my window open, & I sleep like a bear, so I hardly noticed it. But Oakley did.
I realized the next morning, he wasn’t in his usual place next to me on my bed. He’d “fled” the storm.
Again, over a wk has passed, & Oakley is not just scared of my room, he’s remains scared even of me. He seems to be associating me, w the idea of coming into my room, & reliving that nightmare of the storm all over again. Four yrs this dog & I have loved each other…done so much together…& now he’s afraid when I come near him. He’s not a person. I cant reason with him. Nonetheless, it’s incredibly hurtful to love someone or something so much, & not have the feelings returned.
I remember going back to my earliest “serious” relationship w my college girlfriend & even then, I guess being risk averse, during one of our deep convos when things were GREAT, I said to her: “Cheating, lying, doing something purposely malicious all could hurt me if you ever did them. But…the one thing I could never take out on you is if your feelings changed. Why? Bc you most often can’t control your feelings. Especially in interpersonal relationships, you just have them, or you don’t.”
I get that sometimes feelings change – you can still “love” someone in a diff way than you did before, & develop/realize new & diff reasons why you want to keep spending time w them. Nonetheless, it’s friggin’ SCARY that what binds us together w someone – best friend, social friend, lover, is something we generally, each, have little control over. (Believe me, when your brain chemistry has competed in Olympics for many yrs, you become used to thinking about how these brains, neurons, neurotransmitters, neural pathways can control so much, & have a “mind” of their own).
Am I the only “Crazy” (ok now I’ll give you an out w the quotes) one who thinks about these things? Who thinks about being married for 35 yrs to someone & being at risk of their feelings just changing (& not bc they want them to). Of the friend you’ve have for 20 yrs just becoming a diff person bc life is diff now than it was then, & you don’t see them having the same feelings & caring about the same things they did when you felt so bonded?
Does this not scare the crap out of you and make you feel alone? It’s almost like the MORE time you spend in any type of relationship, the more risk there is.
For me, when I get this way, I think about close close family members who have always been by my side through thick & thin. And I know not everyone has that…or that it may only be one or a few in your fam you feel that way about. But those relationships can be your lifelines.
Most importantly though, if you’re reading this & you’ve thought about similar things I’ve brought up, I just want you to know that – you’re not alone, in feeling alone. Maybe that’s ultimately what can make us feel closer – that even those of us who barely know each other, if we open up & share, we can see how much we actually have in common that binds us.
Oh & if anyone has any suggestions for therapy for an animal that doesn’t speak or understand English, I’m all ears, bc this disconnection sucks right now.