Good Faith, 10th February

Since this was going to be the first good faith post of the year, I wanted to wait until I had something of a worthy uptake to talk about, and I have finally come upon it this week, so may the column commence! (mental applause would be appreciated)

Today I’m here to talk of something I am certain absolutely every soul goes through at some point in their lives, breakups and closure.

Sometime over five years ago, I fell in love for the first time (it was sweet sixteen indeed!). It was magnificent, everything they (books and movies) always said it would be.

He was the tall, dark and handsome guy who was a myriad of ideals on any young woman’s checklist, and he liked me, I always thought I was the luckier one in the relation and so I loved more, who wouldn’t if it was their fairytail prince come true? It was Cinderella story no doubt, but the more real version, the one where the clock strikes twelve and you don’t lose a beautiful glass slipper, but your sanity.

My boyfriend was my senior in school and we began dating in his final year, and when he decided to move to Canada for his college we thought long distance wasn’t something we couldn’t conquer, so we gave that a whirl as well, for nearly three years.

Long distance never bothered me much, I think I am a walking talking testimony for the new age digital world relations as some of my best friendships were formed via phone/chatting/texting, but I don’t think he was really cut out for it. He wasn’t always very expressive, and I wasn’t sure how to deal with a boyfriend like that. I lost all sense of security and the doubts hounded away at every neglected mail and text and at every not so communicative conversation. I thought communication was all we had and a lack of it somehow signified a lack of sufficient desire to keep the relation going. Needless to say my so many neglected and half answered woes about our situation constantly annoyed him, and drove him further away, and his blasé inability to grasp where I came from made me obsessive and extremely neurotic.

Honestly, at that point, I don’t see how anyone would want to be in a relation with the people either of us had become, and probably for the best! We stuck together that way for years, but matters weren’t as one-track as all that.

The truth is I can count the number of times we actually met, and for a four year long relation, that cannot be a good sign. We knew each other in all the ways that I suppose truly mattered, we knew the substance we were each made of, but there were a million other things we absolutely had no clue about, things that one only experiences when they are around each other long enough, at both best and worst. I won’t say that we didn’t know who we were with, but there were so many aspects that were so easily misunderstood because we didn’t know so much about each other, and didn’t have the opportunity to do so.

As we each grew up, apart from each other, the divide only seemed to somehow widen. Furthermore, we were not two people who wanted the same kind of things from life or saw the world in a way that sure enough wasn’t alike, but neither did the differences complement each other, they conflicted. As we grew up, we grew apart.

But it’s never easy to admit that your high school sweetheart isn’t the one you are going to spend the rest of your life with, and so we held on, held on the what we thought was each other, but what wasn’t even a sure fire penumbra of what we were.

The relation came to an end in a very odd manner. I always thought it would be a final straw and then a break up, if ever(and I’d always end that sentence touching wood!) but it wasn’t quite so simple.

We met for the first time after I left home for college during the winter break of my second year of college (met after over 1 year and 7 months that is) and I spend all my ten days of the break with him. It was a very real holiday, not rose tinted, not shards and splinters, it was a succinct view of what life could be like if we end up together, and in all honesty, I rather really liked it!

Life had something very strange planned out for me though, something I couldn’t have dreamt of foreseeing. Someone entered my life who made me see things very differently, and who made me realize the discrepancies in the ‘love-of-my-life’ relation I was doing.

Entered, made me realize, drove me crazy, and left.

And there I was in a few months, taking a long hard glance at what I was holding on to, and it didn’t seem worth it anymore somehow. Mirages and facades faded away to give way to the dawn of reality, and I don’t think I liked what I saw very much. A month down the lane my boyfriend called the quits on our relation again (he had done so about twice or thrice before as well!) and it came at a very deeply melancholic time in my life.

I was nearing depression and barely left my room for weeks on end. I hated the sight of bright light or the prospect of doing things, anything. I couldn’t sleep well in weeks and was constantly haunted by eerie feelings through the night. I would fall apart into tears for the slightest things, and sometimes, for absolutely nothing. Self mutilating, thoughts of putting an end to it all if only I had a little more courage and nothing, nothing whatsoever being worth the living followed me like a shadow every day and every night. After twenty years my mother then told me about her brother who took away his own life (she had always said it was an accident he died in up till then) because of his depression that no one paid heed to and pleaded with me to seek professional help. I met with one doctor but didn’t feel the right chemistry so I promised her I would see a better doctor once I returned to college, someone I liked and thought could help me.

I am not sure what brought any of it on, I suppose I was always a little pre disposed to being neurotic and rather extreme, but it was just years and years of accumulated small injuries and fears that resulted in a wacked out of proportion blow sometime.

My boyfriend didn’t know how to help me. He didn’t understand what he did to trigger such ‘psychotic behaviour’ as he called it and he couldn’t empathize in any of the right ways I needed back then and I couldn’t blame him because he didn’t know where I was coming from, and I couldn’t make him understand, because some things, require too many words, and for the first time in almost four years, I didn’t think I wanted to make the effort. Fighting constantly to regain the life force I could no longer seem to place, I saw my relationship lacklustre of all the shine it ever held, bereft of all the countless fears and worries I held onto about him, and for the first time I saw that this wasn’t how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

He said he couldn’t do it anymore, and I honestly couldn’t, my fairytail thus ended.

That would be an end of sorts, but it didn’t really end there.

He, having not gone down my road, wanted to give it another shot and asked me to reconsider soon, but I heaved a ho and said I couldn’t. I was trying to whip myself back into life (with a lot little things and stillness, and a million ways in which everyday mirth swooped in and played its role during the next year was incredible! I made a couple of appointments as I promised my mother but never called back to confirm anything, I was too frightened of ‘professionals’.) and along with it came a confused rebound, the exact opposite of the guy I loved for years on end.

He was supportive and attentive, he understood or atleast pretended to rather well, he was glad he had me and not the other way around, but truth was I decided to give it a go because I knew this relation would be everything the other wasn’t, I would have the upper hand.

Turns out, having the upper hand isn’t the most important thing though, who woulda guessed?! Being in love is.

I morphed into every little experience I had had in the four years that preceded and its safe to say, that didn’t end too well. We soon (very very soon!) realized we wanted entirely different things from life and decided to end the relation as friends. (the ‘friendship’ still stands on dubious to rapidly caving ground but that is the story for another good faith column!).

There was also another devil of a problem that I faced before the second breakup, nostalgia! For the first time since we broke up, my first ex and I met up during winter break and hell broke lose in my nostalgic heart. What became of the dreams and the plans we sketched together? What became of all the love we harboured safely for years? What became of any of it? Was it worth it?

My confused heart cried, wailed and broke every day for a good few months but time does wonders very very gently. It began gradually with baby steps, there were countless fall backs and a hundred sob-fest days, but very very very (yes that much!) slowly, I began to extricate myself from the mess I had landed myself in with it all.

A lot of time, a lot of distance, some amount of self discipline (this was a taste I had truly to struggle to acquire!) and a lot of other drama and recreational projects helped me through the past year and through the heart break of it all.

I realized long ago that my ex (the one this post was about originally!, sorry for the confusion with the second one!) was someone who meant something to me no matter what. Being in love was not required when you loved someone as purely and deeply as all that once, first love? There is indeed nothing like it.

I wanted it to someday amount to something more than a vacant ‘I-still-care-for-you’ silence but he didn’t seem likely to accede to it so I gave up the idea of it for a long time, and along with it, the idea of an ideal closure.

I thought I could do without any of it, and sure enough life went on.

A couple of weeks back I decided to give it another shot and texted him, I told him what I hoped and (although he didn’t reply instantly like I’d hoped) he called me in a few days and we talked. We spoke for hours and I dare say, that was the best conversation I have had with him in over two years!

He apologized as did I (wait, did I? Oh well, I did silently anyway!) and we spoke about a vast array of things including an intense discussion (as we always did) on the manga we read as well as a small talk about his current partner.

I didn’t think I needed it, and I tried to live without it, but until I got it, I had absolutely NO IDEA what the meaning of the word closure was. It is the most beautiful word in the canopy of a relationship (hell I’d say it almost gives ‘love’ a run for her money!) and something I think every couple, every person, deserves.

My (very long drawn out) message of good faith is closure, help yourselves and those you once loved achieve it. I don’t regret a moment I spent being in love, letting go of all my pride, being ‘psychotic’ even, because there really is nothing more of an experience than it, but without a rock solid closure, none of it can be appreciated in it’s due glory.


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