And the tap drips
Under the strip light
And I’m sitting
In the kitchen sink
And the tap drips
Drip drip drip drip drip drip drip…
The Cure, 10:15 Saturday Night
I’ve always had a weakness that I don’t much like admitting. I hate secrets. It’s one thing to not know about something – but when I know that something is being kept from me, it makes me crazy.
Generally I am able to keep it under control, but once in a while it ramps up. Currently, it’s this whole situation with Danny and his girlfriend. I’ve asked him about it (via email) a number of times in the last couple weeks, but he is ignoring me. Or something. I know, sometimes, he gets a little flighty, a little distracted, a little out of touch with the practical sides of life (or at least the practical sides of other people’s lives) so it may just be something that he has not quite registered as being important. But the longer it goes on, the more certain I become that he is hiding something from me. And so the beast rears it’s ugly head.
Of course, in this situation, there really is not a damn thing I can do about it – and that has been my latest tact, to tell him that I can’t do anything except wait for him to decide to tell me what’s what. But there have been other times in my life where there have been things I could do. And really, that’s worse. Because the beast drives me to do things that normally I wouldn’t even consider.
At different times over the years I have become a snoop, looking at things, and looking for things that I have no real right to look at or no real reason to suspect exist. Back in my early days, before my honey, I would drive past a boyfriend’s house repeatedly, just to try and get some sense of what was going on with him, or in hopes that we would run into one another. And of course, if he did see me, then I would be embarrassed and it would be ridiculous, but I’d still go back again another day. It’s pretty horrific. This is why people get restraining orders, you know.
Now, I’m not a big fan of laying responsibility for my actions anywhere except square on my own shoulders. I’m not suggesting that these behaviors are anything but my own weakness, but I would like to describe a bit how it feels because it helps me to understand people that do access blame elsewhere. Because it feels like one has no choice. I have, literally, had a thought occur to me: a thought that I consciously completely dismiss as something I should never, ever do. Yet I find myself physically doing it anyway. My head gets a bit fuzzy. I feel almost split down the middle. Performing this action in reality, while my mind screams at me the whole time. It’s a bit bizarre.
My question is, do I split my intellectual self off from the action as a self defense mechanism? When I see myself acting in a (to me) shameful way, does my mind make me feel out of control so that I can stand the disconnect? Or does the disconnect happen first and then the action? I don’t know. Intellectually the former makes more sense, but viscerally: that feeling is a hard thing to shake.
My honey and I have crossed a boundary recently. Even he has not known my ‘secret’ shames all these years. We started with the easy ones: body image issues and things like that. But finally, I think maybe I have shown him the secret shames that I rarely have even let myself see. It’s a relief, whilst also leaving me feeling pretty vulnerable. I’m sure as time goes by, the relief will overtake the insecurity, but for now, I need to learn to live with all of my secrets laid bare. I’m hoping, that now that they are not my own, anymore, that this will give me one more tool for moderating my own behavior. But only time will tell.
(Originally Posted February 21, 2007)