25 November 2005

Intimacy

Intimacy. A touchy subject for most. Sometimes I struggle to find the best way to touch the hearts of my loved ones. It’s not always easy to find the appropriate balance between expressing affection and respecting boundaries. While I am very grateful that my two most important relationships feel both close and nurturing with mutual appreciation and admiration, when I look outside the walls of my home I find that sustenance is not always so present. Perhaps, the good Lord just saw it in Her infinite wisdom to place me among family and friends that prefer to be emotionally distant. I’m not saying this to be cruel to any one in particular, but in general, it seems that if contact is made at all I am often the one who must initiate it. I do realise that I am responsible for fulfilling my own emotional needs but it does make me wonder just where the circuits are breaking down. Is it in my own inability to feel others or do I fail to elicit a sense of emotional availability? Or is it just the way people are? Maybe I want more than they can possibly give. I do think on these things. I never seem to find any answers but I think on them until I think on them no longer.

Relationships require attention. I tend to believe that most relationships fail not from some specific act of betrayal but more often from little acts of omission over time until the negligence slowly erodes all familiarity.

I grew up in a large family with a dozen or more cousins and second cousins, aunts and uncles who would often get together at holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. There would be good food all around and stories would be told and re-told. The adults would catch up with each other while the kids got reacquainted through play. I loved this sense of family connectedness. But after the grandparents passed away and everyone grew older I became more sensitive to certain dynamics that hindered that closeness. Undercurrents of slight to which I’ve not been privy. The families drifted apart.

For my part I have set up internet groups to try to keep everyone in touch. But it seems we go through long stretches of time where no one says a word. I’ve also been known to just call a distant cousin out of the blue for no reason other than to say hello. Sometimes my efforts are met with a warm response but other times it feels as if the recipient of my attention is suspicious of just what I might want from them. And then I just go back to my life, the daily work-a-day week, pay bills, watch boring tv and try not to wonder too much just why it feels this way.

I've learned the importance of not measuring our lives by their losses but by their blessings. This has been a crucial model for me this past week. My Lovely Daughter had her first child on Wednesday morning, she did not call me to let me know until 30 hours later. In fact, I had not heard from her for over four months prior to that call. She had already arranged to have the baby adopted. I plan to support my daughter as she tries to build a future for herself and I plan to be a part of my grandson’s life. But something very precious has been denied us all. A gaping maw of silence is left where an abundance of love and appreciation might have been. And I am struggling to find ways to re-build a misplaced intimacy in spite of that deprivation.

2 comments:

The Opinionated Bastard said...

My Love, trust in me when I say that your ability to feel others is beyond any, in my life.

I cannot tell you how much I hurt for you and with you when I see the pain that this causes you, my best heart and best friend.

The problem, My Love, is not thee.

"If I could change the world,
I would bring your loved ones
Close beside you.
I would bring happiness to
all of them.
Baby, if I could.....change.....
The World!

I Love You, Little Wing.

You are the Sunshine of My Life.

Your Love~

Jim said...

Hi Sharon, We're hoping that a new intimacy will, over time, be forged. We're striving to honor your pain in the midst of our joy, although I think we were mostly blind to it at the start of our relationship. We hope you can forgive our lack of empathy for your position.

Jim and Cathy