Attachment Blues

The first cut is just the first in a long line...even if it is the deepest

Attachment Blues

SUMMER 1976

The last time Diana was this distraught about doing the right thing, she’d been 15 years old. But actually back then she didn’t do the right thing at all.... she poured her heart out on lined notepaper torn from her science folder. That still wasn’t the wrong thing, she didn’t believe so ... after all it served to clarify her roiling emotions, the wrong thing was that she posted it. Oh, this was back in the day when people sent each other letters, just to be clear. The internet and Facebook were decades in the future. An agonising fortnight had passed... then the familiar blue envelope hit the doormat... it felt lighter than usual...

Feeling uneasy, Diana had stuffed the unopened envelope into her blazer pocket.. and set off for school via her best friend Sarah’s house

She had walked to school every day with Sarah, and that day she had a gut feeling... she was going to really need her.

FRIENDSHIP

“I got a letter from Steve today... “, Diana muttered as they started to walk together, having met at the bottom of the hill that was Sarah’s street. “Well, aren’t you going to open it?, you have been going on about every possible outcome ... since you posted yours... ? “. Look, you said what you wanted to say...

Diana had felt the thin envelope in her pocket, she knew she’d have to look at it sooner or later, but considering Steve used to get in to trouble with his mother for “using up all the good writing paper” it’s slenderness was ringing alarm bells....

Ok, bite the bullet Diana.. he has probably been busy ... it’s just a brief catch up...

She had torn open the blue envelope with the oh so familiar writing... then she felt her world tilt....

SHE KNEW IT

The one sheet of paper wasn’t even filled. Only a few lines that delivered the full force of a punch.. “it’s not working” “we need to finish this...” and not much more than that... there was certainly no reason why....

Diana knew, as she sobbed, because she started to howl almost immediately, that the reason why was that she’d poured all the feelings she had for him into the page. Feelings that had grown over the months and that he had encouraged, she had made herself incredibly vulnerable... these days she’d probably be ghosted. Then blocked for good measure.

LESSON LEARNED

And here she was again.. 40 years later, this was not a romance though... but she had been reminded so much of a teenage trauma ( a different one) by the actions of a so called friend who had, it initially appeared to have understood her quite well... that she’d gone into a kind of shocked state that only getting the emotions out would mitigate. So she did that... by writing a message she would never send.. she was wary now of ever communicating what she felt... as she had never forgotten her earliest trauma.. and on a practical level she knew the unkindness wasn’t personal though she was very pissed off, it was only thoughtlessness she was dealing with.. but she was so disappointed that her friend hadn’t sought to avoid the completely avoidable, particularly as that would have been easy to do without them missing out on anything. It was as if they had deliberately sought to behave in a hurtful manner, or at least actually understood so little about her that they acted without care. At this point Diana felt done with the friendship. She wasn’t actually sure of that, but as she wrote out her feelings she realised how little about herself she’d been able to convey to her friend. And that the fact was, they really weren’t that interested. She moved to erase her rant.. it was self indulgent, no matter how true it was....

TECHNOLOGY SUCKS

Oh holy crap. She sent it. Oh well ok it was a true reflection of her feelings in that moment....

And now as she surveyed the broken friendship a few years down the track.. first they .. then she had tried to fix things with the caveat that things would not be the same. They couldn’t and shouldn’t be expected to be the same, but there had been enough good feeling between them to keep goodwill...but it irked Diana still that she had tried very hard to meet expectations... and this had never been acknowledged.. only her bad behaviour ... she realised too that they had been equal in the game because this time she had been very unforgiving too. She had tried to put this kindly as she was aware that it was her issue. However even years later she felt unheard... and fear had made it impossible for her to speak, if she had said she wanted peace and had still been met with anger, she could not face it. She felt the right thing was just to let it lie.... even though there was originally potential to heal things. Her earliest trauma had taught her to not say what she felt, no matter how strongly she felt it. Like most people she let fear rule her actions, and nothing much had changed in four decades.

The first cut is a lesson on the danger of entanglements and attachments when you don’t really care enough about yourself... Diana mused on this as she liked herself more now than she ever did as a teenager...but still recently caused and received hurt in circumstances that were easily avoidable. Seemed that until you truly gave zero weight to things... that people say and do..that knife was there with its sharp edge ready to get you anytime...

friendship
Gillian Lesley Scott
Gillian Lesley Scott
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Gillian Lesley Scott

Scots born Australian. Tales of being human. Despite aiming for the highest good of all, not always successful

See all posts by Gillian Lesley Scott