Monday, February 2, 2009
Transitions and rituals
Today I had an epiphany of sorts. I've been really hurting lately and wondering if this hole in my heart will ever heal, and if I'll ever be able to let go of what I lost when Paul betrayed me. I'm honestly surprised that it's still with me to the degree that it is, even given the severity of everything that happened. And then I thought back on my friend Lukas and his tattoo, which he spent the better part of Saturday night showing me and explaining his motivation for getting. At the time it seemed melodramatic and a tad drastic, but talking to my therapist yesterday about it, something clicked in my head and it suddenly dawned on me why he had gotten that tattoo. I had been trying to explain to her how much of Paul I'm still carrying around with me, and that if I could just take this pain out of my heart and do something with it, I'd feel a lot lighter. I can't carry it anymore, honestly. Then it hit me...what a perfect way of marking the pain in a visible and beautiful way by burning it onto another part of my body, purifying it, localizing it, once and for all making it small and moving it away from my core.
All that to say I'm going to get a tattoo. I want to feel the hurt of getting it, and celebrate it as a way of moving on beyond the pain of Paul and into a new era. I can't carry this around anymore in my heart, honestly I can't take it anymore. So I welcome the pain and the beauty that I know will result. Now I just need a design. Here are a few I've considered:
Each of these knots represent either healing, unity of soul, heart and mind, strength or power.
I realize that the pain is not going to go away on its own. What Paul took from me is not the ability to trust someone, or to feel love again or anything trite and soap opera-ish like that. He took something deeper, and that's why it won't stop hurting. When we were together I was beautiful, young, special, irreplaceable and most importantly I could be myself. I'd never experienced that before, and haven't since, to not have to pretend to be witty or interested or interesting or anything other than who I am. I'm mourning that, cause I don't ever feel it now. I play at being a professor, or a student, or mom or a good friend. I can't get back the feeling that I can let down my hair, be myself and it's okay. I realized today that what he gave me was a soft place to fall, and most of all, the security that he loved me no matter what, and there was nothing I could do that would make him stop loving me. I didn't have to BE anything, and it was okay.
But there was something that would make him stop loving me, that I did have to be on my guard, and when I wasn't, he replaced me. Now I'm stuck in that self-consciousness I've had my whole life, that if you don't act a certain way and say certain things people won't like you. It's what I've fought against my entire life, but Paul, whom I loved and trusted, verified it as actually and in fact, true. I don't want to believe that, because surely it isn't.
Despite the fact that a year and a few months have passed, I still am in the same pain and loss as October of 2007. I want to move beyond that and I need something tangible, a ritual of some sort, to mark the move away from that hurt and betrayal and into something positive, where I am the center of my being. I don't know if that makes sense, but this tattoo seems like the perfect way of getting there....burn it, let it go, leave something beautiful permanently in its place.