Monday, July 12, 2010

Against me

Sometimes, mostly, I hate him. Hate is less painful than pity. His cynicism, timidity and fear are corrosive, they have rusted away my life. I know you'll say, you cannot blame him, he is just the product of chemistry and nurture, but if I didn't believe he was better than that... well, it doesn't bear thinking about. Some of the time, all that keeps me alive is the belief that within him is a small piece, vanishingly small, of something golden.

If I could have loved him, I would have done more for him, but I didn't find him loveable. And that has made him a drain for the love of others, a needy whining child who needs reminding constantly that he matters, believing that he will fade away if he doesn't have it.

It's one of the hardest lessons in life to learn that deserts don't matter, that people do not do what is fair, or even what is compassionate; they do what works for them. If that means you are trampled and broken, well, it's you that is shattered. And he is no more equitable than others in how he is to them. How can he say he is?

I stopped caring about him when the person he needed the most stopped caring about him. (And we did stop caring about him, although we may protest otherwise, because another lesson we learn in life is that nurture is more about giving what someone needs than about giving what you want to give: I hate him more than anything for his pretence that the latter is often enough the former, and for his hurt when others react as they surely must when it is not. As in so many other things, I hate him not for lack of sensitivity, but for his willingness to ignore what he is sensible of because it is too hard, or he cannot gain from it.) But it is very hard not to care about someone you are intimate with (it is so much easier if you can keep them absent). Slowly, contempt fills the cracks that love should be filling. (If you could not be with them, they remain maybe a statue, an ossification of what they were to you; and it may crumble some but its quality would not change--where it was beautiful, it would remain so, and perhaps come more burnished, as you rubbed it with memories.)

I feel burdened because he does not have a future. I feel weighed down by anxiety about how to live. How could he have built so little for me? He has left me concerned that I cannot live beyond this spring, that I will finally have run out of options. Yet I chose to do the right thing; I suffered for years because I had obligations I believed I should meet, even if spiritually, emotionally, my reward for meeting them was to lose everything that matters at all to me, leaving me unable even to be proud that I had done the right thing, because now I must drown in chaos for it.

Why doesn't he think I am worthwhile? Why does he hate me so much? Well, I know, he cannot love because he is unloveable. I have always known that; it's not something you can fix. It is a weight you have to carry, sometimes cheerfully, cynically and brutally, sometimes regretfully, sometimes with despair.

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