Just One Look Forum Archives
Recovery and Rehabilitation
I've been a member here for some time but don't think I've ever gone through with a post. I've oft forgotten and neglected the forum here since discovering it. I saw John's video, "At the End of Your Rope" some years ago back when Google Video was still in existence, prior to YouTube's existence. Regardless, I know I started a post a couple or few times though don't recall having ever gone through with finishing a post. Ego didn't want my first post to come across the wrong way I suppose. Well, now, I'm at such a loss I don't know what else to do but write, here, for whatever reason. Tonight, it's going on 5am, and I am struggling a great deal. I did not know where else to turn. I am at a complete loss, yet I don't see how any guidance, consolation, even empathy will help as the decision I have to make is huge, and time pertinent, yet here I am.
I have a relationship decision to make. It's been a rough road, yet also a beautiful, worthy one, I think... I don't know anymore. My partner and I had a bad fight tonight that I've been up all night pondering. I am at the end of my rope, with the negativity, with the emotional trauma of seeing my partner deal with stressors in ways I find difficult to understand anymore. I see the anger as such wasted energy, though this is not to say I don't have my own faults, merely stating the difficulty of my end. I also am fully aware of how we are products of all that came before us, and know it is not her fault. Nonetheless...
We are scheduled to sign a year lease at a new place in a couple days. I'm not sure I can go through with it anymore, though not doing so puts her in a tough position, and I am afraid of making the greatest mistake in giving up on our relationship. She recently finished school, I lived with her a few hundred miles away from our home town for the past year, working while she concentrated on her last year of school. I kept us afloat on a servers income, allowing her to concentrate on the difficult final year of schooling, but we barely had enough money to move back home. We had made several trips back here before we finally moved, looking for jobs and places to rent, though it was hard for either of us to find a job without a local place of address, and hard to find a place to rent without a job up here, of course. So we bit the bullet and each moved in with our respective families, to get jobs first and then try for a place again. We've been apart for a few months now, though we've each secured jobs and are now financially (though barely) able to get a new place together.
She has had a very tough time of it, as she does not get along well with her family, though they mean well and really aren't so bad (from this perspective). The problem, again from this perspective, is that she has a habit of seeing things negatively, and responding with so much anger. She has tried breaking up with and pushing me away multiple times, as well, only to realize afterwards this was not what she wanted, and we would make amends. I feel like I've been the only one to be willing to apologize in our relationship, even when I know I've not necessarily been wrong to her in anyway, simply to assuage the situation and hope to open that door for her, as well, for when she gets angry, she shuts off and the anger only festers.
God, I see there is so much ego, so much identification with personality of my own here as I try to explain the situation, but I don't know how else to express this. I love her very much and have worked so hard to keep us together, but I am drained. Tired of fighting, worn down by the anger she holds, whether towards me, her mother, her daughter, her father... it is like there's two of her. And I realize as I type this I have had a habit of getting into relationships with this type of personality. Again, I have my own faults, I don't think I'm better than her by any means, just expressing this side of it.
I just don't know how to make this decision, though I know I'm leaning towards breaking it off. I've never had the nerve to do so on my end though. I do know that she's absolutely miserable staying with her family, has complained constantly of this. We are both in our mid 30's at this point in our lives, so it's totally understandable. Actually, I am 36 and she is 37, so it's a tough pill to swallow when you're used to being independent, I know, though I don't understand dealing with anger anymore. Perhaps my own fault is having not been a more actualized man for her, at least in providing security, having more money for our hierarchy of needs to be fulfilled. Certainly we'd be somewhat more comfortable had we not have had to resort to staying with our families for this last few months, but this was the plan we chose together. Either way, even when money wasn't an issue, the habit of negativity was still an issue. For the majority of our time together we weren't exactly affluent, but we were secure and got by alright.
I see now that I'm writing this more to concrete my decision than anything, yet I know I will be putting her in a truly difficult position if I break up with her, but the alternative could very well be another year of emotional turmoil. My other problem is that in the process of self-inquiry I feel that somewhere along the way I became detached from life, from my inner drive, from motivation to achieve more, and only during these last few months have I begun to reconnect with something gone since perhaps my early 20's. I have always dealt with anxiety, so much so that I identified myself as a shy person for years. I feel that I am finding purpose again, than losing it, then finding presence, only to be snapped back by incessant thoughts all over again. It is an amazing challenge to hold attention, yet I have had many profound experiences of insight, and notice thoughts much more often, and easily these days. Staying with it, oh that's another story. Mind snaps back as soon as I let go, every time. That said, the seeing has helped me become very patient, and accepting of life as is... except for when dealing with another's anger in close relationship. And that's the rub.
I have been on this path of self-realization for the past decade, at least, yet this may be the first week in years that I have actually meditated more than once, for a decent amount of time, seriously forced myself to sit down and just be for 30-40 mins when I typically last just a couple of minutes at a time spontaneously. I find more time to just be, and look at what appears in consciousness now that we are not living together. I feel selfish for saying this. I have started to build new vision of doing something greater with what talent this body/mind has, finally freed at least enough of ego associations to feel safe going forward and applying myself in a new way. I felt I was losing it for a while there, internally. With no personality that I wished to hang onto anymore, seeing aspects of identification so clearly that I began losing drive and a sense of purpose in the world.
This is all so difficult. I have much to thank her for now. She is much more of a go-getter (there's those damn identifications again). I am finally signing up for school for the first time since I was 18, due to her encouragement, and am actually looking forward to it, though not without trepidation, of course. I always resisted the idea of paying for education, to the point of holding myself back from becoming more disciplined in life, though. I've always seen commodification of information as immoral, and wanted nothing to do with such institutions, until she encouraged me to join her for one of her psychology classes because she knew I'd enjoy the Professor. And I did. The guy spent a night in jail with Noam Chomsky, was instrumental in the Civil Rights movement, had a wonderful way about him, and I was already fascinated by psychology, really any kind of inquiry into mind, so I ate it up. She actually hated it though, she just liked the professor from other classes and knew we'd hit it off. That said, I am not so interested in political activism anymore. I see that no wider revolution will last without each of us first going through our own inner-revolutions. So, that has been the name of the game for some time now, for "me". To focus back on self-realization, that I may shine naturally some day, and perhaps then be of some real use in this world-play.
Politically, she and I see eye to eye, even spiritually in ways, but I don't see her as interested in practice of self-inquiry as I am, and that's ok, just wondering, what am I holding onto here? Certainly security, she's more responsible member of society than I am. She does her taxes on time, I've not been great at that until her. She's been a great teacher for me in these ways. I am definitely more organized now than I was before we were together! She's OCD about organization, I'm just way easy going.. at least, those are our patterns. I'm not anything, and I realize that intellectually, though rarely have I scraped that surface experientially. I understand we are the products of all human and Earthen history before us. I understand that we are not our persons, we merely have persons... all of this I grok more fully each day, though the great experiential breakthroughs have only truly ever occurred under the influence of certain substances. And I don't want to have to rely on anything to be free of this mess of personality complex! Though I am still lost.
I am comfortable with this woman, and when it's good I am quite content. But if I am honest, I am not entirely fulfilled enough to feel secure in our relationship, and also know I've thought of others, mostly when it's become too intense, but that's there, as well. I have no particular alternatives in mind to her, though I truly long to be free of the stress when it gets to these points. I cannot heal her, I cannot fix her, I thought by example perhaps, but what an ego game! And I become blind to my own faults my focusing on hers, as well. I don't want to rely on her to be more organized and secure in this society. I need to find myself, and not revert back to habit of ego games over and over and again in this life. I know what I've wanted all along, but of course that has also given ego something to cling on too. How clever our fearful minds are. So many phases, so many blind alleys, so many u-turns. I'm spinning wheels here. And how can I ask anyone to tell me what to do?! I've heard every piece of advice, every pointer, just have such a struggle committing to applying attention consistently, long enough, or have not been able to let go enough to be free. I still smoke cigarettes, a 20 years love affair that is an awful way to treat this body, and an awful crutch. Though I have finally had a month without smoking weed, that's a big deal here as that only occurs once every few years for this body. I'm enjoying the new clarity of mind, for sure, and have gotten past the psychological withdraws of that at least.
I feel the want to end this rambling mess with a question like, "What do I do?" but I know better. Just so, so confused. And sorry to bombard you all with this. Thank you for caring, to anyone that even reads one paragraph of this. I apologize for my ego spewing all over the place here. I wish to be honest with where I'm at and not feign some higher level understanding. Those moments are fleeting.
To sum all this up, I have to decide, tomorrow, what I'm doing. I've spent over a decade searching for what's already here. I've injested hundreds hours of J. Krishnamurit, Gangaji, Ramana, Adya, Mooji ... their guidance rings in my head when I try to be still. Saying after saying turns into thought after thought about how to recenter myself, take a step back, just be, breath.... bah.. what a mess. This is when we get to the end of that rope right? But I'm concerned over the fact that I've been to this point many times already. Must I go even further into the pits of despair to be able to finally give up enough to truly see? I know every trick in the book, ego's made quite a game of it. That's not to say so many layers haven't pulled back and it gets easier everyday, but how to find one's way in the world again after so fully divesting from egoic interests. How to find the drive to be of purpose in life again? How to even make a serious life decision anymore?
Ah, there's the question. Love you guys. Thank you for being.
Hi Chris..yes I read with empathy all your story which of course could be much of my story with different characters perhaps..an insight appeared around dealing with my own issues with anger so thought I'd share it with you..I have always had a hard time with this energy coming at me..I felt always a collapsing fear around anger and as if my nervous system since a small child was so affected I can not imagine recovering completely...of course I too have investigated this personality and this issue in a million ways and found calm from the storms but the looking..the power of this simple act to cut the roots of the fear has the effect that over time that old fearful personality just doesn't have the same hold over me..new ways of responding to situations appear arising from a strong self reliance..so for example I tend to just tell the truth and set boundaries with people and respect others boundaries. I think we will always walk away if we don't learn how to communicate honestly there is a lot going on with everyone ..so anger arising in myself or others is a natural bi-product of the fear..always feeling something at stake..it takes time to see all this but for me it is incredibly freeing..love Maureen
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