Wednesday, 9 April 2014
I was going to call this posting “Some random thoughts on love” but that seemed the wrong thing to do as I shall be delving into my personal relationship with that emotion so I have elected to just leave the title at “Love” and let you, dear reader, make up your own more appropriate title.
There are different types of love that one can experience – familial, romantic, passion and the un-named love that forms part of the bond between friends that some may call Platonic love. I don’t actually agree with the term ‘Platonic love’ in the way it is used because I feel that it is more to do with the purer love between those bonded at the spiritual level or, as some might call it, soul mates, if one believes in a soul.
My relationship with each type of love is complex, ultimately doomed and totally unsatisfactory and probably added to my depression.
I am, at an extremely deep level, a romantic but my depression and the constant rejections I have suffered throughout my life have rendered me almost completely unable to show that deeply romantic side in any way other than possibly in my poetry which is more me faking the feelings than actually living them.
My relationship with familial love is rather sad because, although the feelings are there in my family, being made to feel like a second thought or a companion for my older brother upon the deaths of my parents has left me knowing what I should feel as a recipient of such love but never actually feeling it. And for my part as a giver of such love, I feel unable to deny that there are feelings of familial love for my parents but I feel unable to show them because of the deep-seated need to withhold from my parents that which I feel they withheld from me.
Familial love with regards to my parents and my brother are more tied to my deep-rooted feelings of familial duty demonstrated in my need to be there for my family during emotional crises or when there are threats of any sort to their welfare. I cannot say that I love my family because that would be a lie but I can also not deny that there is a familial duty to them that I cannot ignore.
The only member of my family who showed me any measure of familial love that was not duty-oriented was my Grandma and she was the only family member who I could genuinely say I loved beyond mere family duty. She treated me as an individual and not as the spare part that my parents made me feel like. If I was ever to have had a family, it is my Grandma’s example that would have ensured that I had a paradigm for familial love to follow. Pity then, that I will never have the chance to put that paradigm into action and so her legacy will forever be wasted on me.
As I have already stated, I am a deeply romantic man at heart. My heart has always longed for that deep connection with another person but it seems that although I thought I had that with my wife, I have been denied that connection. I have a great respect for women, totally at odds with the fact that I have an addiction to porn, and would willingly put them all on a pedestal even if I find their beliefs repugnant (just to clarify why I dislike and am openly hostile to certain female MPs). There is no woman, to my mind, who is not beautiful in their own way and I always try to see the beauty that is there no matter how deeply buried beneath a hostile and unpleasant personality. Women are the better half of the human race in my opinion.
I have had experience of feeling romantic love only three times in my adult life and each time it has been a one-way experience. The first was Layla, an older woman, who I idolised. She wasn’t the best looking woman in the world and she had been around the block more times than I care to think about but there was something about her that made my heart sing every time I saw her. I would have done anything for her just for a smile and the opportunity to be by her side but she wanted nothing to do with me. I think it is probably this rejection that made me build up such defences that I am almost totally unable to express romantic love.
The second experience of romantic love was with Lisa. I was overwhelmed by her compassion and sensitivity and she seemed to embody for me the best attributes associated with romantic love; however, she too rejected me. I don’t blame her for the rejection because even if she had been interested in me, I was too far gone to be able to demonstrate my feelings towards her.
My final experience of romantic love was with my wife Diana. I truly felt that Diana was ‘the one’ but it seems that where I thought I saw her displaying romantic feelings towards me, it may have all been a lie. I don’t know for sure if it was an illusion or not because of the incidents that have driven us apart and caused my wife to file for divorce. However, it seemed as though Diana made the first romantic overtures at the outset of our relationship and it stirred in me similar feelings, although perhaps those feelings were an illusion too. I suppose I’ll never know the truth behind the feelings between Diana and me because I was an emotional cripple by the time we met and perhaps it was merely desperation on both our parts as we had both had a lifetime of rejection. We did, however, show each other some kindness and mutual interest which could have grown to become romantic love over time if I had not been such an emotional wreck who was unable to truly allow anyone close enough to my heart to hurt me again.
Passion has never really been a part of my life. Passion requires a certain chemistry between two people that never happened. Yes, it may well have been possible with Layla if she had shown interest in me but Lisa was more of a very good friend than a passionate love affair and Diana has certain demons that have prevented us from ever having the necessary ingredients for the right chemistry. And there is the feeling that both of us had lived with so much rejection in our lives that we simply ‘settled’ for the first person who showed any interest in us.
I have always tried to show the women I have been interested in that they are desirable and that their negative opinion of themselves and their bodies was erroneous but that has never really been reciprocated. I have, therefore, ended up feeling undesirable myself even when I made the effort before my depression really dug in for the long haul.
The closest to passion I have ever felt was with a woman I met online when my relationship with my wife had reached a critical turning point. The woman, Tracey, made me feel desirable even when she saw more recent photos of me with my large stomach and man boobs. We never could have met as she was in Canada and I live in the UK but the feelings she brought out of me were pure passion. I actually doubt that our relationship would have gone further than a few nights of passionate love-making if we had met but it showed just how devoid of passion my life really was. It showed that my marriage was in worse shape than I had imagined or was willing to believe.
I still miss the way that Tracey made me feel because she’s the only person who made me feel that way and I was able to express passion myself, something I have not been able to do with any of the women I have had romantic feelings for. Perhaps this says more about me than I care to admit and perhaps I’m unable to express passion in any other way than in my writing. And if that’s true, then I am truly doomed.
The final type is love, the un-named type between friends, is virtually unknown to me as most of the friends I have had ended up being users who did not engender that type of feeling. There are a couple of people in the ‘real’ world who have gotten close enough to almost cross that threshold but they haven’t been friends with me long enough to have reached that stage yet.
There is, however, another form of love and that is the unconditional love shown by animals to their ‘owners’ and vice versa. This is the only form of love that I have been truly blessed with and I can honestly say that it is also the only form of love I can still exhibit. My beloved cat, Merlin, is the most precious entity in my life as he never rejects me and is always there for me when I’m ill or depressed or lonely. He sees the need I have and fulfils it simply by being there. It’s a love unsullied by any other emotions and therefore probably the purest.
In my life, familial love has become almost completely conditional; passion and the un-named love between friends are almost completely absent. Romantic love has been a feature in my life but has proven to be time-limited rather than the eternal thing I have always sought. It seems to me that love in all its forms is more of an illusion than a true reality.
In an episode of the TV series Babylon 5, a character is mourning a friend who gave up his life to save hers and she states during the scene that “all love is unrequited” and from my own experience, at least with humans, I think she’s probably right.