Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sunday Scribblings #147

From Sunday Scribblings, the prompt, Phantoms and Shadows:
- things and people, times, places, events and how your memory has treated them. Are there people you try to remember more clearly, phantoms you'd like to reach back into the past and take a firm hold of? What do you remember of your early school years? College years? Your grandparents? First pets, first houses, first friends? Do you have a good or poor memory? If you could go back to any particular time/place to recall more vividly what it was like, what would that be?

I have few regrets in life, but recently, I've grown to regret my almost pathological detachment of people from the past. But, am I ready to do something about it?

I've lived most of my life like a one-way road trip. I make stops in towns along the way; take the occasional detour or side-trip; meet interesting people; connect with individuals for a short time; then move on to the next town and the next experience with only the obligatory we-should-keep-in-touch handshake. I seldom do – keep in touch, that is. I'm not quite sure why.

I've posited that my early childhood experiences have left me with a fear of abandonment, hence it's easier to let those who aren't in my immediate life drift into the shadows. Out of sight, out of mind. What you can't see, can't hurt you. I'm sure there's grist for years of psychoanalysis here.

If others get in touch with me, I'm more than happy to hear from them, talk to them, socialize. But, as for me taking the initiative to get in touch without a specific reason? Not likely. I have cousins I haven't spoken to since the last family funeral, friends I haven't spoken to since the last reunion – and these are just the ones that live nearby. As for people out of town, they may as well have been sucked through a wormhole into another universe.

I've operated under the assumption that it wouldn't make any difference whether I see these people again or not. On one level, it is true. I would continue living my life in my own sphere and they in theirs (that old out of sight, out of mind philosophy again). On another level, it could reconnect me with portions of my past and, perhaps, re-order my present. Who knows what gems would turn up; what shared memories or renewed friendships?

All this being said, I don't see myself jumping up to the nearest phone to call anyone from the past. Maybe I'm just not ready. Maybe I'm a coward. Maybe I really do need psychoanalysis. Maybe this is my form of therapy.


Anonymous said...

i can relate a lot to this. i also have fear of abandonment issues. it's easier to just not get attached to people..

Anonymous said...

I have held on to friendships all my life and enjoyed doing so. Yet now that we're all old and I don't think I'll see any of them again (I'm in another country) I don't mourn. PRESENT friendships are my great joy, that and looking forward.

Anonymous said...

I love the thought of the past re-ordering the present. I've had that sense ever sense I joined Facebook a couple of years ago and have been reconnecting on a daily basis with people from my past that I thought I'd never "see" again. It certainly does make me reevaluate who I am/was.

Anonymous said...

I think I understand this. Ell, I have become excellent at distancing myself from a lot of people, places and things. At this point, it's me against the world -- and I'm okay with that mostly. Then again . . . I wonder.

I'm glad you like your award. I just like the idea of VanGogh's ear because I love his art.

Anonymous said...

Fear of being left out...that's mine. so I leave myself out before others do. When I stop and think about it, I have friendships that are very very long in duration. Perhaps it's not a psychotic thing at all that as we get older, we get busier; and even older, we get nostalgic but don't necessarily miss having to keep up with everybody. I rather like my isolation. Occasionally someone will walk in the door to the tune of "my God, I thought you was dead!"
You may be more self-sctualized more than you think you are.
xoxo Charlie

Anonymous said...

I definitely identify with this and haven't figured it out yet. Thank you for that thought-provoking post. You've given me other ways to think about it - all of you. Facebook has done that for me, too SWaH.

Anonymous said...

well i have lived my life in much the same way... few bridges burned,, most contacts simply slipped away given time and place... and being older,, i wish now i had not so flippantly just tossed everyone to the wayside... sure,, there is always someone else... but somehow it isn't the same.......

Anonymous said...

This resonates with me. I've recently had occasion to socialize with 'old' friends and found it dull and discouraging. So, I quit. Then I felt guilt. :) What's it all about?