Us,  Words

Object Permanence

He’s gone again. It was a Friday morning full of leaving. No matter how hard I try it always fore-shadows the day. I am saying good-bye before I need to, protecting myself from the pain and beginning to wrap myself up in don’t cares and see you soons that sound as hollow as they feel.

This time was different. I was monitoring myself, checking in with how I really felt rather than my habitual ways of dealing with separation. The old wounds were still there, I could feel the scar tissue itching. My old habits were waiting in the wings for their cue but centre stage was a clarity of feeling that did not overwhelm me with loss but acknowledged his going and offered a sizzle of opportunity.

I had plans, my own plans, for the weekend. Nothing special, no leap into risky behaviour or adventures to make up for a life that was being spent in service to others as would have been the case in my previous relationships. I was not lost.

I did not feel as though I had lost a limb.

I was as whole as I am when he is around.

Ah! An epiphany! This is the concept of a relationship adding to the 100% of your life, not making up for a lacklustre one in action. I cannot tell you how big a change that is for me. It is a fundamental shift in the way I approach relationships and my journey through life.

Reading Glennon Doyle’s Untamed was one of the things I planned to do this weekend. It was in tune with my sense of curiosity about how I would move between closeness and distance in this new us and I found myself highlighting many passages as I read it. I crave information on healthy relationships, on creating good habits for myself as I feel this is a place I have a lot of learning still to do. The one that speaks to me on this occasion is the commitment I have made to myself that I will not abandon me again. That my family’s needs do not trump my own. That I will stand on the centre of my own stage and say Here I am to life.

Old habits die hard though, so to quiet the voice that asked if my love would return I took myself on a trip to the hallway where I gazed at his shoes on the shoerack and said to myself.


His shoes live here now.

“All these involve something called object constancy—the ability to maintain an emotional bond with others even where there are distance and conflicts. … It is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be seen, touched, or sensed in some way”. 16 Aug 2018
Are Your Loved Ones “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”? | Psychology Today


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