Listening: Foo Fighters -Ever Long
Drinking: Jamaican Iced Coffee
Reading: Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl
I've spent a long time believing that you define yourself by who you are, not who you are with. The paradoxical thing can be that once you are with someone for a while, they begin to effect who you are. So, even without trying, you become a part of who you spend time with. Ancient philosophy and religious texts are rife with imagery about this. Hell, your momma might have even communicated the paradox in some way: "you are who you hang out with, kid."
Quantum Physics calls this entanglement. I am no physicists, but loosely I understand entanglement to be this: Entanglement is what happens to us on a daily basis. In deep relationships, entanglement seems to happen significantly altering ways. Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon where particle pairings exist in such a way that they cease to be singular. Their interactions bond them into a single state and they are no longer independent. Two become one. If the pairing is separated, there is evidence that each part will remember the other. People in relationships with each other, in a sense, become quantum entangled. We touch each other in significant ways that create shared histories that cannot be undone. We will forever remember and react to those parts of ourselves that touched another. When sex enters the picture, this phenomenon becomes even more apparent. Hippies conceptualize this social and quantum physics phenomenon as "vibrations" and "sharing energy."
I hate when the hippie are right.
We'd like to believe we are able bodied Americans. We don't need nobody! We are individuals, damn it! The thing is that we are born of one another and we can't separate ourselves however badly we'd like to make it true. There is evidence, as well, of what happens to the human psyche under isolation. Hint: it isn't pretty. We are meant to interact with one another for well-being.
I have a point.
The point is about marriage and deep relationships. When you commit to a long term relationship there are things that are yours, there are things that are mine, and there are things that most certainly become ours. The ours part is what I am talking about.
I've spent years with Garrett. I've spent eleven years, to be exact. We met before we were fully launched into adulthood. Though we are all still growing and forming, the 17 to 18 to 19 to 20 transition is a turbulent one for many. Neither of us knew what we brought to the space between us. Neither of us knew anything about quantum entanglement; that if you crash into each other that you also crash into all the stuff that the other had swirling around them. We didn't know that we should have treated the space between us as sacristy. We should have knelt and confessed and prepared there, together, for service and life. Instead we filled that space with all our stuff and then wondered where there was room for the "us" part of marriage. The us part was there, all along, hidden under all the stuff we packed in the space between. We've done rehab, affairs, PTSD, surprise babies, Postpartum Depression, death, life, and all the in between.
You have to know that at some point what was theirs can become mine. I've taken so much ownership for Garrett's sobriety. I've tried to fix him one hundred different ways multiplied by one hundred different times. It was never for me to fix.
No matter the level of diligence you work with and autonomy you work toward, you've crashed into someone. Your particles become their particles and you will bear the signature of all their stuff. You are who you hang out with, like mom said, after all. I've tried to leave many times. I've filed twice. I've threatened more than twice. I needed to know, in the end, I exhausted every effort. I felt entangled, after all. You can't just break a particle apart expect it to be okay. Entropy, man. Particle decay.
I know. I've carried this metaphor too far. Like most things, I will keep working hard to try and make it fit.
Garrett will always be a part of me. My heart and mind and body know him and we won't move in any direction without always being tied to our shared histories. "If entangled one constituent cannot be fully described without considering the others."
It is time, though, for us to split.