This is going to be a much more personal blog than usual… so if you’re uninterested in that, you might as well go back to browsing the rest of the internet.
My biggest fear is creating an emotional connection with another person.
About 2 years ago was the last time I had a proper emotional connection with a person I was dating. It didn’t end well and ever since I got over that I’ve worked very hard to ensure I don’t establish or feel too much for someone else until they feel it. This is a defence mechanism to ensure if they do end it (and usually it is them ending it) I am less hurt than I would be.
Tonight I visited my granddad. The one I blogged about a while ago. Quick update: his wife, my nan, is slowly deteriating due to dementia. She now lives in a home which he visits every day from the moment they open visiting hours, to the moment they have to ask him to leave.
His dedication to her both inspires me and worries me.
I am amazingly self-involved. My friends know this, some people who have spoken to me for a pro-longed period also know it. And if you didn’t, you do now.
You might be thinking “but Simon, how self-involved could you possible be?” Well, I am not proud of this, but I was seeing a girl that ended in October last year. And at the middle of December I wrote a text (sober) in a moment of madness (that I didn’t send) saying I was sorry for not contacting her for so long and if she was free in Jan we should hang out. I remembered she had abruptly stopped talking to me a month or so earlier so didn’t send it.
I was so self-involved I’d forgotten bits of my own life. And I was clearly so unattached to her I didn’t mind that she literally removed me from all social networks and didn’t give me a reason.
This is one example of many.
At the start of this year I made a real effort to change this. When I met up with someone, I really tried to not block myself from feeling things. I told people stuff I would ordinarily keep to myself. And I took them to places which mean something to me – for the 2 years previous I wouldn’t take a girl to anywhere I liked as I didn’t want a memory of them in a place if they broke up with me.
I went to my granddads house tonight after taking my mum out for mothers day. It was a bit odd being back in the house I spent so much time in when I was younger. I felt like a visitor, who was welcome. He was welcoming as ever.
The main thing I noticed was he had got out a lot of old photos of him and nan. He had sprinkled them around the house, presumably to remind himself of better times with her. I had a lump in my throat for a lot of the visit.
He has such a strong bond with her he can’t do anything but sit with her for 12 hours a day while she slowly dies. Then he goes home to what must a shrine to her memory and be reminded of better days, until the release of sleep takes him away for a few hours before it all begins again.
I can’t even imagine that level of pain.
The dichotomy of living in an emotional bubble of memories, wanting to move out (which he has expressed privately to me a couple of times) but not wanting to leave the house he shared the vast majority of his marriage in.
His attempts to make her better are futile at best, so now he must just dream of the time when she passes on. He’s actively told me he would want me to kill him if he got like that… he knows she has no quality of life.
I was on stage a few weeks ago, and did an off the cuff bit (that I am still working on) about how you should never dream. And if you do dream, make sure you include the fewest number of people possible in your dream. Because the more people, the higher the chances of failure are. It’s sad, but true, in my head.