I've been in love before. It's been a while, though. I recently watched a film that got me thinking about it -- all about young romantic love and the heartache and the emptiness, and the relentless longing that accompanies it. I was watching it with a good friend, and we both agreed that although film was supposed to glorify love, it made love seem horrible, completely unpalatable -- like a disease. I felt for the characters. I have always been able to identify better with characters in a film than with most of the characters in my real life -- I guess filmmakers deserve the awards and accolades we give them. But more than that, I recognized the characters. I saw in their behavior things I had seen before in people who had been in love with me.
I recognized the facial expressions and the behavior of the people in the film. I'd seen them before: the unrestrained attachment, the devotion, the loss of self, the anxiety, the jealousies, the fear -- above all I recognized the fear. Love really is horrible that way. Even if you love someone and they love you back and you can spend time together, and there are no hindrances or obstacles keeping you from being together, there is always the worry that the person will leave you, or change, or both. I have wondered before how empaths could commit such violent crimes of passion -- I caught a glimpse of how while watching this film.
I could see how the crime of passion starts much earlier than coming home to find your cheating spouse in bed with another. It starts when you have substituted everything else in your world for this person in the sense that this is the one person whose life or death could mean your own. I know that love is helplessness. I feel helplessness when in love, and I can only imagine that to an empath it feels like there is no choice, no volition, that you are no longer the master of your own destiny. You are a prisoner, a slave. I think some people begin to resent that loss of control. I could see how for some love could quickly turn to hate. And why not? Is not the object of your love also the source of your torture? Of an unbearable pain? A heaviness in your life that can only be relieved when in the beloved's presence? You could weep a thousand tears and there would still be no relief.
I wonder about these people who loved me. I'm curious about how they felt about me, and how they feel about me now. Was I faithless in their eyes? Uncontrollable? Was I their life's sorrow? Was i quickly forgotten? Did they always know what or why they were feeling? Did they hate me for it? I've actually stayed in touch with one of them -- we've managed to stay very good friends, trusted confidantes, and I know I'm not the only one who asks these questions. Why love? Why you? Why not anymore? Was there any purpose? Any gain? Apart from months and even years of their affliction, what was it all for?
And yet I yearn to be in contact with all my other loves: those who have moved on, and (to a lesser extent?) those who have not. I don't know what i want from them -- maybe just to have them acknowledge it, just to see behind the curtain into their minds eye. It's a symptom of this new age of media that we have little patience for unknowns. We're so used to having our questions answered, near instantly. I would give anything to watch those times together from their point of view, to be inside my lover's minds when it was all happening. More than anything, I want to feel the depth of their ache for me. I want to know that it was/is real just like I am real. Somehow I feel that it is their ache that defines me, that that is who I am. But their ache, their nauseousness, their fear, their void seem to say so little about who they are as people, and so much about who I am as a person. I created that ache. I caused that pain. Is that why people want to be in love? So they can hurt someone in a way so completely original and unique to them? So they can feel real?