Thursday, June 24, 2010

the mechanics of abandonment

hmm, a friend said last nite she'd always been the one to be abandoned. and, alas, i have to admit, most of the time i've been the one to run. yet these two forms of action may not be that far from each other.

first of all, as julia kristeva says in the black sun, depression comes from never mourning the loss of the mother. and let's face it, we lose our mothers, to distance, to death, to time. and the psychologist winnecott wrote we learn independence by playing at the feet of our mothers, crawling away, and coming back for the reassuring presence, over and over again.

the lucky few feel the earth as the source and comfort. in modern times most of us don't have the capability. we depend on others, fallible human beings like ourselves. yes, until puberty our parents tower over us like gods. suddenly, we look down and see they have clay feet. my god, we have to go our own way. how will we protect ourselves?

that said, the seeds sown much earlier. perhaps through traumas of divorce, or we have a sibling come along too quickly - in my case my sister in one year - and we're kicked off the throne, abandoned. i remember cutting off my sister's blond curls which every one thought so cute. and i returned to babbling baby talk to rival her. we'll do almost anything for attention, and i was hell on wheels.

jumping ahead, to those fateful romances of the future, it's well known we'd rather be the dumper than dumpee. however, as one of the first, i must say i do it when i feel overwhelmed by dependence on the object of my affection. she begins as a goddess and ends as a fallen angel. i experience a loss of self, and though i've deserted her, it's myself i've lost first.

and i wonder if it isn't the same for those who wait to be dropped. have they facilitated it in some way for the same reason, to avoid the feeling of having given up too much. perhaps they withdraw, giving less and less to the one who asks for more and more?

i don't really know. we desire support and protection, yet at times it comes at too high a price. hard to know our own limits. we learn through experience, dumped and dumping. one of samuel beckett's characters exclaims, there's no cure for life. as our friends leave as we grow older, it feels an awful lot like he's right.

a new series of pictures. i decided titles might help you see what i see: