But when people are dear to me, I feel they deserve more than ghosting. They deserve at least an attempt to explain why our relationship will be changing. The choice is not binary of course, we could simply be less in each other’s lives. I could reduce contact, fobbing them off with excuses until I achieved my desired effect. But that reduces their power of consent. If they knew how I truly felt about their values and/or consequent actions, then they may choose to cut contact altogether.
There are some instances where objectification is entirely appropriate and needed. For a short while–for example–a baby cannot walk, and cannot feed itself. They have no agency, no power to decide on where they go or what they do. As parents or caregivers we take on this agency. We are literally a baby’s arms and legs… we dress them, we feed them, we pick them up and put them down.
These relationships do not live in the past, because for the women at least, there is no past. There is only today. And in my grown life I have sought to emulate that characteristic of those relationships. Why?
Some people will rarely experience that hopping up and down to have sex. Some people will never feel a ‘fuck yes’ about anything. They will make their decisions based on past experience and educated guesses more than a soul-thrilling desire to go for it. They are the emotionally blind. And there’s more of us than you might think.
As a child my memory was rewritten time and again–first by my mother who tried to erase who I was to serve her own narcissistic needs, and then as an adult by an abusive ex (ditto). At twelve years old, I experienced a car accident which must have had more of an impact than the months I don’t recall and I drank my way through my twenties, actively trying to forget many things, which I’m pretty sure had an even larger impact.
But I had broken something, something which seemed tiny and unimportant but which turned out to be the foundation of our relationship. I had broken an unspoken and sacred pact with myself. The promise to keep myself safe. And the castles we had built together started to crumble.