synthetic zero

August 27th, 2009

I am someone who rarely feels depressed; I tend to take up a position of preparing for the “worst case scenario” in my mind, no matter what, and because of this relatively pessimistic view of things, as life goes on, I find myself almost always pleasantly surprised at how things rarely end up as bad as in my imagination. But there are some things that are very difficult for me to handle; in particular, being cut off from someone I love or am close to. In my family, growing up, any conflict was always resolved through intensive interaction, conversation, discussion, which could get heated, but in the end was always based on mutual respect and willingness at all times to try to find a way to resolve issues in a way where everyone was satisfied. Paramount above all was the sense that, no matter what our disagreements, we were intensely connected, and so disagreements or disputes never became matters that could result in a real schism. This is a generally Japanese cultural trait — within the family there is great closeness, connectedness, communication, and a willingness and almost duty to be very direct and open with each other about anything, and a commitment to working things through, no matter what.

So I can handle almost anything when it comes to people I love or are close to me; if they want to reframe the relationship, that’s fine, if they want me to relate to them in a different way, I can deal with that. I am always preparing myself for the death of my loved ones, thinking I must appreciate them as much as possible in the here and now, so even death I am generally prepared for. But the thing that, emotionally, I can’t handle well is simply being totally cut off from people I was close with, be it an individual or a group, when they are still alive. That notion is terrifying to me on an emotional level, and gives me a feeling of utter despair, even a feeling of death. I can handle the falling apart of a particular form of a relationship, but being cut off entirely is extremely difficult for me, and that is a tremendous understatement.

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one response to this post:
  1. amarilla says:

    Your family’s interactions and passionate communication are greatly inspiring and appreciated and very different I think than what I’ve inherited growing up in the US where families are often very fragmented. There’s so much running away from. In much American literature the protagonist is in some way an orphan searching for wholeness. You have to wonder about the emotional state of someone like Peter Claesen Wykoff of Brooklyn who came to America from Holland on his own as an indentured servant when he was 11. Perhaps adventure and ambition filled in for connection in some cases. Or perhaps a few kind strangers fill in the gaps in the cases of the lucky.

    August 29th, 2009 at 10:10 am

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