Skip to main content

P33ish045: It Was Love, Now It's War

You've probably heard it said that the amount of your pain is wrapped in the size of your love. Meaning that a person can only cause you pain up to the extent of how much pleasure they've brought you. Meaning that the disappointment only hits as much as the weight of the expectation. Meaning that your hate can only run as deep as your love: a person who never made you happy could just never make you sad; and only a person who knows where you're the weakest would know where to deal the most fatal blow. And that is one of the biggest fears of unions, for me: it becoming war, and me not knowing when it's been declared.

I used to have a couple neighbor who had nasty issues every other two days. And because I was pretty close to both husband and wife, I was the sounding board for each whenever something brewed. I remember how, when it got to a point, I would think, how could two people who so wanted to be together speak of each other so? Because they had been together for over eight years, you see; and of the eight years they had lived together for two before they decided to ceremonize it. So I'd figure surely they had to know how this makes them look? Especially when the wife would come to me with "evidence," and be like, "he doesn't know I (still) have/saved this; I'm just waiting for him to make a simple mistake, and he'll smell it." And this is where I'd think in my head, this could never be me. I mean, saving up evidence to use against the person I promised the best version of me, a memento from the last time they hurt me for the next time they hurt me? I thought it low. I thought it was an 'unpolished' thing to do—an uncivilized way to be. But I thought wrong.

The past year has shown me that it's not so much as a 'polish' thing, lol. And that anyone could be that: me too. It begins with keeping a record of wrongs, then weaponizing (every last one of) it; and it is a culture you build without even realizing it: forgiving but never forgetting, only filing the memory away as evidence for later use. My friend said to me yesterday that "I don't know how something so beautiful could end up so ugly," and I had no words. But I know the power of this memory that we have, that it can be both an angel and a demon: a blessing and a curse. And the angel can so fast become a demon, depending on what gets permanent storage in your memory, and what you do with it when it floats to the top of the pile.

And therein lies the dreaminess and nightmarishness of any relationship: memories. After all, it's only as good, or bad, as the memory you're pulling from.

Because I too am human, I have my faults, and I am not oblivious to them. As much as it depends on me, I try to not feed those faults; I also try to avoid things, places and people that tend to. But then there's always going to be somebody somewhere along your life's journey who you let feed it. My memory is one of my greatest gifts: I have memories dating back to when I was five. But I also have lived through certain child/teenagehood experiences, so I (thankfully) have certain periods of my life that my subconscious permanently blocks out, or remembers in patches. Owing to this, I like to think that I have a gift of "not remembering," by choice. I think also this is one of the reasons I do not find forgiveness difficult; and even though it more often than not makes me seem weak, I am able to continue as though it never happened—as long as I don't keep getting pulled back into the memory. But it is not so much "forgiving" for me as it is forgetting. I truly can lose all the feelings associated with a memory if I put my mind to it, but I have to be allowed to forget. 

Memories can be terrible, is my point. Especially if you have a tendency to ruminate. And in not fueling them, I have personal precautions, chief of which is—especially in this age of screenshots—not saving or keeping things that trigger heavy negative emotions. I am particularly not a chat hoarder, especially when it contains certain unpleasantness that I'd rather not revisit so my continued being isn't hampered; so I am able to file it off as resolved, and move on from it, because I am mostly visual-to-mental. I will go anywhere, lose anything, to escape a memory. Or certain feelings. That of course means I sometimes throw the figurative baby out with the bathwater, because I really do "clear history," cause if I do not need to be reminded, then I do not want to be reminded; not even by me. This also is why the last few months have been a true test for me, 'cause I am literally living in the memory; and I can't just click a button and be rid of it. But I trudge on, learning something new: that sometimes you have to stay put, eyes wide open, live it through, see what's on the other side—for once. 

I have always sort of known that it takes more than love to keep any house together; I mean, you can't live with another human for a prolonged period based only on the flutters in your stomach or the tightness in your chest. I mean, I tried it for like just a year and I know that some days get no flutters or tightness; some days it's just sharing space with another person you simply don't mind sharing with; some days, there is no chemistry, just choice: a decision, that it be them, in that space. But I didn't quite fully grasp it, until recently.

I particularly marvel when I see couples celebrate milestone anniversaries, and it also makes my mind spin, because I wonder how many times they've had to "clear history," or how many memories one or both of them have had to slap on the ground and firmly grind their heels on every time it swims to the surface. Because my cameo neighbors are still living together, some days all loved up and other days just good ol' heated "I'm still going to kill so-so, can you believe that he/she..." and even when the wife visits me with her newly planned war strategy and why she's on that path this time, or when the husband calls with how he's truly tired of "this woman; if I knew she would turn out like this, I wouldn't have done that wedding," I know that they still go home and choose to stay put. And I dare say they will be together till old age. Even on days when they want to be anywhere but, what with all the records of wrong stored in their head—and mine; and I just marvel. I also have another couple friend who you'd never hear fight, but can be in the house for days and not utter a word to each other. And it's just interesting to listen to when they make a joke of it long after it's passed. Like, how many memories have they had to kill so they can live? How many more will they have to kill? How many more times will they have to "clear history" just to begin again?

And I wonder if maybe not everyone has the grace for it. Because there's this whispering fear at the back of my head, about love unions in general...and this is a fear that I had in the latter months of my last experience: that when do you know when you've fought the last fight? On which fight does the love make a full metamorphosis into hate? On which fight does the last poisonous memory get filed? And when is the resulting fatal blow dealt? Because even though I've only ever had this one experience where everything was put on the table to be tried and tested for substance, I know now that the memory begets everything else: the hate, the blow. And half the time, like the cancer that it is, you don't even realize it until it's all the image swimming in your head at the slightest trigger. Or until it is the memory that you pull from on every provocation.

And the time between the filing and the fatal blow, I have learned, is the absolute scariest, especially when it's the other person who never clears history, when it's them with the ugly memory that is pulled from on every provocation; and it's you who has to live in fearful expectation of the blow, and just hope it's not fatal. But how do you know?

Or maybe I just have it all figured out backwards.
Maybe it's about being with your person.
Maybe when the fit is right, nobody keeps a record of wrongs...


A/N: Thank you for reading. 

I made a post last week just for the sake of getting the bad air out, which was why I didn't share the link on any social media, but then it got read—got more reads than the shared one before it even; and that was all the conscience trigger that I needed to unpublish it. There are just some things you don't want immortalized, and that was one. Yeah, color me weak. But there are certain feelings I have an inability to store: anger, for one. Words puncture it for me: all I have to do is speak on it, and then it's all just a bag of air from there. And...since I made an open letter of it that, I'm not so proud that I can't make an open letter of this: to the 'subject' of my last open letter, I apologize. I hope that we both heal. I hope that you find your fit. I hope that they help you forget. And I hope that you let them. 



Popular posts from this blog

P33ish065: Silent Treatment II - The Art Of Silence, By K.W.C

Guess who decided to guest-blog and provide some male perspective on Page33ish this weekend?? My retired twin (find him here). He does it with a "RE" to the Silent Treatment article too and I liked it, but of course I am biased; you read first and let's see how you like his voice.

By the way, I turned on the 'anonymous' feature in the comment section so at least those of you who don't "like to comment on blogs" could please leave him a kind feedback, pretty please...please? I mean, who knows, a comment or two might just make him pick on a few other articles to spin off on. But enjoy this one first!

P33ish050: Progress, Perfection, And The Art Of Intentional Loving

I love love. I love it as an intentional decision. I love it as a repeated unwavering choice. Deliberate love is a gift. It is life itself. But life is getting harder by the day. What with love becoming more conditional and intentions getting less trusted. We actually now live (or maybe it's me who's just now catching up) in a world where people extra scrutinize a genuine in-the-moment kind act and are usually just taking an intentionally good gesture with bated breath for when the mask falls off. But hey, trust issues aside now, nobody really wants to see what's behind that put-together exterior, don't matter what they say. And "living your truth" has now become more of a slogan than an actual lifestyle because your lovers don't really wanna see your truth. They can't handle it. Force 'em to hear it and folks might even stone you for it. People want to be a part of your life without your demons or your suitcase of issues. But of course, they'…

P33ish073: Confessions Of A Man Whore - Korede Sins


The mind of a young boy can be filled with fantasies too lofty for his head and mine was no different, add that to being a 'fine' boy, and here's what you have.

Back at school, girls would drool over and daydream about me -- not that many of them had the guts to walk up to me and make their orders off my menu; I just heard these things from friends and mates alike. Not that it would have mattered, though, because I had been in a serious relationship which hadn't hit the rock until the end of our second year so I had some big issues stemming from the love of my life leaving me because I was, in her words, a "no way." By the start of year three, though, I had just one mission: to prove my ex wrong.

Upon resumption, I made a new friend, Tola; and thanks to our shared love of music, something she was planning to build a career in, we hit it right off. And then there was my guts which she admitted fancying.

P33ish067: Reflections - Hello December, Goodbye 2019

Say "Hi" if this hadn't been the 2019 you ordered too...?

'Cause there has to be a manager we could talk to about product quality, dammit!

God, this year has been IT! A really crazy it, because it started out so beautifully. So so beautifully. And then it was as though I took a test and failed. Or maybe it was that I took too many things for granted and wasn't thankful enough, or fussing when I shoulda been nursing or whatever. Because just like that, (almost) everything went to shits. And Lord, how I'm still here and able to stay standing, is a miracle I'll never take for granted. Because this year demanded my very life. Almost got it too.

P33ish042: Movie Review - Kemi Adetiba's King Of Boys

The first thing I thought of as Alhaja Salami walked into that room where her goons were holding the bleeding man was Ghost walking into the basement at TRUTH in the pilot episode of Power season one. It just so happened that both characters had left their parties to do the same thing: be evil. I loved the precision in the similarity. It was just so...there; from the 'who you working for', to the language switch, and the blood on the shirt/ipele ish, right down to the bleeding guy's refusal to snitch on who he'd been working for. You better holler at your girl if you caught that math too, TV people.

Despite being a godfatherism/dog-eat-dog story—not unlike many before it—that chronicles the rise-fall-and-whatever-else-followed of the protagonist, Eniola Salami (Sola Sobowale), I think that what takes King Of Boys off the 'typical' list is its realism: that good or evil isn't absolute; that if the line must be drawn, then sometimes 'evil' wins; that …

P33ish047: #WorldMentalHealthDay - Confessions Of A Survivor

I didn't realize how emotionally dependent I had been on other people: first my son, then my partner; until the son had to go on vacation too soon after the partner left. And on an exceptionally bad day, I took a lot extra anti-allergy pills (that I had already been abusing for its side effects) just 'cause I wanted to 'sleep'. I just didn't know how to be me outside of my mom/partner duties; it got too quiet in the house, thus giving the voices in my head more audio, and then there was the part of me that was still bleeding so much from being left that, to stem it, I did the one thing all the counselling materials warn against: trigger my own self for temporary relief.

P33ish028: The Heaviness Of Hope & The Timeline For Healing

It's exactly sixty-four days today that my once-upon-a-time ended once and for all. Hmmn! I got a shiver as I was typing that, so I'm gonna go again: it is exactly sixty-four days today that my once-upon-a-time ended once and for all (there, better: acceptance) and it was not until three days ago that I truly let go.

Yes, it took me two full months. And change. To simply stop wishing the 'bad dream' away.
There were moments in those two months when my mind went all, hey, suck it up he's moved on, your spot is filled, he's not out somewhere being miserable and a shadow of himself looking like a scarecrow, he's back on his game, he's happy, so quit whining, B...quit praying, Mary, bury this Lazarus!

Ahhh, child...

P33ish021: Meeting The Parents - Why It Should Be The First Thing You Do

Two years ago, a 26-year-old declared love for me. I told him to tell his mom first. Felt like a callous thing to say/do, but it was a cut-or-get-cut situation. And I'd been cut once. Because two years ago, I was 32. And I am a mom. And the last time I allowed myself get Mills-and-Boomed by someone who was that younger than I am, let's just say the mommy took him back...and there wasn't even a child then.

I had a buddy at the time who thought I'd been harsh with my 26-year-old, but he -- I presumed -- understood where I was coming from. Turned out he didn't. But that's not the point of this write up.

P33ish022: Self Check - How Toxic Are You?

How about everyone steps aside and stop by the confessionary before we go any further? Are you toxic or not? Whether your answer is yes or no -- especially if your answer is no: get in here.
The priest will see you now...

P33ish025: Solitude

I probably shouldn't be trying to write anything right now: my head is empty and my mind is out of even my own reach, so it's not like I have anything ready to go. But words been all I got for a long time, so I'm hoping they haven't chosen to ditch me now.

My friend said something to me very recently, she said, "it's just a freaking breakup babes, why are you falling apart like this?" The answer to that question is one I've been trying to find in the rare voidness that is my current mind ever since. What that has led me to, however, is a backtrack into my life the past ten or so years, and the one realization that has come up staring me in the face is one I don't think I've ever actively pondered before: the fact that I have never been alone.

Like alone.

And that's crazy. Because I was never even the typical relationship person. I mean, I don't need all my fingers to count the number of guys I've gotten naked with. I have never b…