Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Scars Will Remain

I was thinking recently that breaking up gets easier as you age.

You've been through it all before. You've felt the worst you can feel and got through it. You know that even if the pain kills now, you'll come through it stronger and better and find someone on the other side that matches who you are afterward.

And those things are true....but…

Maybe it doesn't get easier at all, just vaguely familiar. The older we get, the nearer we are to death. The body still absorbs these shocks, but just as our physical wounds take longer to heal, rather than being more capable of dealing with them, maybe we become less so.

Plus each time we fall in love, we have a unique experience. If we go as deep as we'd like and really tap in to the full feeling—really merge with the person we love—then the cessation of that merging will be all the more painful. Or at least uniquely painful, abrogating the sense of having gotten through it before.

And then, of course, with each new break up comes the possibility of becoming jaded or bitter or just plain emotionally spent.


The connection I had with Debbie was so deep, so rich, so nourishing, so full, so real. It was literally transformative. I'm not the man I was 10 months ago. And living without that connection is shocking. It's a waking nightmare (god help those who lose a loved one to murder or, worse, lose a child).

I never understood before why the proverbial old man or woman who lost their partner would die soon after just from sheer heart ache. I always figured, hell, mourn, grieve, rebuild your life and start anew. But I get it now. I mean, I'm too young to really have the fullness of that experience, but I have a taste of it. I get it now.

I don't know, I don't need to be melodramatic about this. We'll both still get through this and come out stronger on the other side. We'll move on and in all likelihood find someone who better suits the newer, older us. But the wounds will take longer and need more tending to heal.

And the scars...they'll remain.


Pete said...

I'm sorry, man. Sucks. I know it won't ease your pain, but I like your writing in this post (and in general). More please.

Jeff Altemus, Align said...

Thanks, Pete. I plan on writing more.