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Left Alone (Mouse Over)

Dear Kim,

Pseudonym asked a good question. Why am I gone so much?

I don't really like the way she asks it because it makes the issue about her, instead of me. The implication is that if I cared about her, I would not be gone. And this essential unspoken demand is at the heart of our struggle with each other.

(Kim: Wow. Does she have issues with abandonment!)

Sometimes when I get tired of feeling like I am defending myself, I answer, I'm gone because I'm gone.

Which states the case but not really the reason.

Sometimes I think about how lovely it would be if people could trust each other and neutrally accept various behaviors, knowing that the other person will be back and present when they are ready.

There is a logic to this. Why would someone want for someone to be there if they didn't want to be or were not able to be fully present?

Obviously, this presents different issues for parents and children, or perhaps in a family or marriage. But there is something to what I am saying in many contexts.

One might need to absent themselves from conversation or their usual routine for a while to tend to something personal. And how much easier all the way around if questions were suspended—at least for a while—and judgments were not made.

Think about how many power struggles that might eliminate. I wonder how much struggles around power are the crux of most relational problems.

(Kim: I'm thinking at this moment that most relational problems have more to do with satisfaction/dissatisfaction with one's own life, and has very little to do with the relationship itself. Trying to find "ultimate meaning" in a relationship can be deadly. People will just eat each other up.)

(Kim: And now, a few days later, I'm thinking about how hard it is to relate to others—to respect their space and to be there for them when they really need you.)

Tomorrow I will write about why I am gone.

Later,

Joan

Tues., Feb. 7, 2006

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