bearthinking

About recovering from depression and suicide.

Intimacy Pt. 1

This post has been edited and revised from its original form.  It seems that I was not clear that these posts, aside from where I quote, are nothing more or less than the expression of one person’s perceptions and experiences.  Also, it seems this is nothing more than an attention seeking device.  um, ok, whatever.  – andartos

A thought struck me just now. I was emailing back and forth with my sister, explaining why yesterday I did not emerge from my room. It was not the isolating with the onset of a down-spiral, but because I was very irritable and likely to react poorly to things.
Anyway, as part of it I mentioned that I missed emotional intimacy. It is all very well to talk to friends and family or a therapist or pshrink, but it is not the same as sitting, cuddling with a lover/partner/spouse and sharing.
I followed that thought, thinking about the sharing I had lost when my ex suddenly decided to divorce. It dawned on me then that I could feel the true loss starting when I began to actually get help with my depression; when I was becoming less vulnerable, less malleable. My ex seemed to like it better when I was depressed – and therefor more tractable, and was unable to handle the idea that she was not the only one with health issues.
The fact that I was now formally diagnosed as having depression seemed like it was a threat to her.  She had frequently mentioned over the years that she hated it when people, even jokingly, alluded to her being crazy.  I think my depression was a threat she was not strong enough to handle it; but I could, of course, be wrong
I know this indicates we were not truly intimate, at least in the last years of the marriage. I still miss even the illusion of intimacy, though. Knowing that there was one person who I could say anything, literally anything, to.

I do not blame her. I honestly think she did what she felt she needed to in order to protect herself psychologically and she was smart to do so. I think she no longer loved me as she had and could not remain in what she saw as a dead and potentially damaging relationship. Our spiritual vows did not include ‘for better or worse’ or ‘until death do us part’, so there was no violation of them. There was nothing more for her, and so she moved on.

I think she did the right thing. I only wish that when I had thought of it, I had done it.  A lot of grief would have been avoided for all concerned.

I think we need emotional intimacy. We need someone we can be vulnerable to, who can be vulnerable to us; someone who can be strong for us, and who we can be strong for. When I lost that, my world ceased to exist.
I am fumbling my way to getting that intimacy back. It has not been easy. I might have had it sooner, but I became afraid of my instability and so, pushed the developing relationship back into friendship. I did something unforgivable in that; I decided for her that she was not strong enough to withstand my illness. I removed the option from her, because I was afraid that she would abandon me (as I felt that my ex had done) when she would be exposed to the full extent of my depression. And worse, I used my ex as a measure for someone else.

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July 8, 2010 - Posted by | autobio, depression, intimacy, love, recovery, trust | , , , , , , ,

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