We Cannot Go Back

I have been in situations recently both orchestrated and unintentional that have resulted in the reuniting of exes.  My group of family friends seems littered with exes and new ones sadly seem to appear too frequently.  I like to imagine that with all my knowledge of divorce and breakups, that I can go from group to group seamlessly, or at the very least positive and emotion free.  This is one of those circumstances that I force in myself in hopes that one day it will be true.  The truth is, I sometimes wish people could go back in time, find that moment of pure happiness and just start over with each other.  It is a fantasy wish that I think any child of divorce understands on some, and unfortunately intangible level.
As an outsider to many relationships, I have been witness to that image of perfection or better yet, real happiness.  I can nostalgically look back upon the good times and with fond memories in mind wish to go back.  I rationally know that breakups are for a reason, but until this week, I am not sure that I truly understood.  I thought I had made peace with my mom and step dad divorcing, but until I saw them in the same room together, I personally did not have closure.  I had that nostalgic memory of better times, and that innocent hope that time permitting wounds would heal and things could move forward.  Not necessarily in a way that would have the two of them back together, more in a way that they could attend social functions together comfortably.  Although this is not for me to decide, I saw something in the two of them that was just peaceful.  Knowledge that the other person was well, was in fact enough, and that things are as they should be.  And more importantly, having them in the same room together is just not something that should occur with any regular frequency.  They are not friends, they simply have memories together, that are personal.
And as for my own experience that allowed me to fully appreciate the same, I have my ex to thank.  I had that fearful adrenaline induced nervousness of running into him at a bar a while ago.  Once that band aid was ripped off in a booze filled setting, I was curious about what would happen if we were sober in the same room.  I often have heard of exes being friends in the future.  I cannot say for certain what I thought would happen over a very casual coffee setting, with some specific questions for a book I am writing.  But I did not anticipate the entire absence of emotion, neither positive nor negative.  We are simply two people that shared memories, and were each other’s first love.  Simple, not poetic, just reality.
I also learned that we are in fact exes for very precise and specific reasons.  And those reason are mine.  I made a choice to live my life with happiness, adventure, and with confidence in all my actions, clearly I do not like my judgement being questioned at every turn.  I could never do that with him in my life.  Our ultimate core values and how we view the world are just different.  And what’s more, that is absolutely ok.  I often imagined that we could be friends in the future, and laugh about our time together with fondness.  I can now fully appreciate that is just not the case.  It was full closure, just as it was for me seeing my parents hug each other, with kindness and respect for the memories.  But with knowledge that they were memories, and would remain that way, we just cannot ever go back.

The Anti – Seductive Power of Touch

“I can’t believe that no one has ever scrubbed your back in the shower before” Yes this is a real quote that was said to none other than yours truly.  I was 26 at the time and really didn’t think much about it.  Now though this thought really is helping me understand just how far I have come over the past little while.  Touch and physical contact is so important in development and building relationships from infancy to growing into mature adults.  I have attached a really interesting article about touch in infant development.

As the article states at the end, “those who have had little physical contact over the years might become hypersensitive to such touch, so that they found it physically uncomfortable”.  What a depressing thought! However speaking from personal experience I can relate very directly with this.  Please do not read my personal experience with any sort of judgment or pity.  I am simply relating the experience that I had as it is a first hand account and the effect that it had on me from there on. 
In what I call my previous life with my ex, I was not shown any sort of physical contact, especially in the beginning.  There was touching during sex and well, that was it.  No hand holding, hugging, kissing or anything outside of the bedroom.  Now that is not to say that I wasn’t constantly trying to seek some sort of touch, but every time I did I was pushed away.  This built into our relationship a very sick sort of result, in which the only thing I knew was that when I went in for a hug I was rewarded with a shove and thus I shoved back.  Let me tell you that this developed into us having shoving or hitting matches in public.  And there was laughter of all things… and bruises. Many of my readers have actually witnessed this first hand, this strange behavior.
Once we moved in together I tried to demand things change and every time there was violence that we switched it to kissing or cuddling, but that is a very slow process when there are years of this negative re-enforcement to contact.  We tried therapy for a number of issues, and I will admit that many were mine, but overall the foundation was of teenagers and not compatible adults.  This is incredibly hard to write, but the last straw for me was when I tried to kiss his tummy and I was thrown off the bed.  I landed so hard that I was winded and had a massive bump on my head from it hitting the dresser on the way to the ground.  I never slept with him again and he move out a few weeks later.  
So in summation I learned first hand the anti-seduction of touch.  Breaking down that wall and hugging my friends and having physical contact was actually a stretch for me for many years.  My emotions were closed right off and it wasn’t until recently that I even put two and two together.  But I have learned the hard way just how important human contact is.  The euphoric effect of skin to skin contact, and the amazing results this can have on your health and happiness.   When I started writing this blog earlier this week I had no idea the journey it would take me on, but as in this case sometimes you have to go to a darker place to find the real joys in new discoveries.  I will be writing part II shortly which will not be as dark and soul searching, thanks for reading.