1. Tm

    For many years I felt I needed someone else’s permission to let go. I found I had to grant myself that permission since none was forthcoming, nor would it ever be forthcoming, not from the person whose permission I thought I needed.

    In a nutshell, I, a 62 year old man, fell, at 13, in love with a 13 year old schoolfriend, a boy, as am I. I never told him, and it turned to placing him on a pedestal he did nothing to merit, and an obsessive adoration of the boy, then young adult, then man, on that pedestal. I saw him last in 1970, and yet built my prison around what I considered to be my love for him.

    After many years, when I was 49, I tried to reconnect, on a simple level, with the objective of obtaining closure – getting his permission to live my life without the obsession – but that was withheld from me. I blamed him for this and hurt myself more.

    Over time I worked through my self inflicted pain. I am still working through the tail of the pain, something that has less and less power over me. I used many tools. I talked to as many people as would listen to me. I bared my soul in public, for the world to see. I tried to reconnect with him more than once, by letter.

    Nothing worked until I went back to my teenage years and wrote, in diary form, all of the events and longings of my teenage years as if they were written at the time. As I wrote at the start of the period I relived all the raw emotions. It was horrible. As I was half way through it was less raw, somehow. At the end I came to realise that, while I may have loved him, I found him and his teenage behaviour to be increasingly repellent. He was a lad who thrived on the affection and adoration of others, using that to be himself, but he never returned it, not to anyone.

    As I became sad for him I found my prison bars to be less solid, though still present. As I saw me for who I have been and him for what he was then and, by his lack of reaction today appears to be now, I started to see the bars dissolve. I no longer blame him.

    I am sad for him, and sad, to an extent, for the way I imprisoned myself, but I am out of that prison now. I never needed his permission to be free. I needed to realise that. I never gave myself permission to be free, either, but I allowed the prison I had built with consummate care to dismantle itself.

    The poem interests me, but it does not resonate with me. It was not without a word or a thought. It was with many words and a deal of thought. And it was painful to become free. Or as free as I am today. I think I am released but on parole!

      • Tim

        All of this was by my choices. Not the initial falling in love, that we cannot help, but I chose how I handled it. I made poor choices and heaped poor choices on top of those, perhaps to seek to justify the initial poor choices.

        It was the recognition that I had made choices that started to dawn on my subconscious and emotional state, despite my intellectual state knowing it. Emotion trumps intellect every time.

  2. Kathy

    Thank you truly for sharing the poem! It affirms what I am learning organically within myself and know in small epiphanies the real, not forced, feeling of letting go. Aah. .so freeing.

    • Thank you, Kathy – appreciate the feedback and you sharing your important and unique story. This always means a great deal. Wishing you every peace on your journey as we move into 2016.

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