I just finished watching the movie Lars and the Real Girl.
Cinema speaks to me in a way no other medium does. Movies draw me in to their stories and out of my own head, like a small, much needed vacation. A break from my own reality. A sabbatical. And often times movies, like books, change me. They expand my horizons, grant me forays into another perspective, and sometimes–on very rare occasions–they teach me something about myself.
I feel like i can relate to the character Lars. Like me, he’s lonely. He’s broken. But as much as I feel compassion for him, I also envy him in a small way, because he can afford to lose himself in his delusion. He has the luxury of going a little crazy. And when he does fall into that rabbit hole, he is so very well supported and loved by his community.
I don’t think I have that luxury. I feel like I have to always be strong, in control, and competent. I don’t feel like I have the option to be weak. I’m not allowed to be needy. But I am. Oh how needy I am! I need companionship. I need love. I need to feel like I have worth, like I’m important, like I matter.
I wonder what would happen if I just let go of it all. …if I let myself fall into my own rabbit hole of mental/emotional illness… Would people surround me in kindness as they did with Lars? Would I ever find my way out?
J and I talked about she-who-must-not-be-named today. I asked him why it was so easy for him to talk to her… How he could so easily share the real parts of him that he is so reluctant to reveal to me and to other people in his life. Why was she different, I wanted to know. He’s told me multiple times that it’s not just me. “I have a hard time being authentic with everyone, Sophie, not just you.” Well, why was it different with her? How could he let it happen? And how can I know that it won’t happen again? In answer, he said that it’s easier to be authentic through the written word. Something about not being face-to-face with someone makes it easier for him to feel safe, so he feels freer to be authentic. As to my other questions, he didn’t have a good answer.
I feel like something is irreparably broken in us now. It’s not bad like it was right after her, but I also know that things will never be how they used to be. The broken part – the part that I worry will always be with us – is that I can’t look up to him with the same doe-eyed trust. Regardless of the forgiveness I have given him (and must continue to grant him on a daily basis), the betrayal happened. It will always be there between us. I will never be the same, and I expect that he’ll never be the same person to me. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at him like he’s my hero, my protector, my champion, the one upon whom I can depend when everyone else fails… Not anymore. Back before the betrayal, it wasn’t a great marriage relationship, but regardless of what the world threw at us, we had each other. Now? Now I feel like I have to face the world alone. J may be there near me, but I can’t rely on him the same way as before. Now I have to learn to be my own hero. I wonder if that broken part can be healed. I think maybe not. …kind of like when someone you love dies… Life is never the same again, but you learn to live with a new normal. Maybe I just have to mourn the loss of that blind adoration and trust, and learn how to live in our new, fractured normal.
It feels a lot like when dad abandoned mom and me. I became a different person at that moment. For better or for worse, I’ll never be the same. Neither will he. I guess that’s how it is with J and me, too.