Do you ever separate things into different compartments to help you cope?
I was thinking about how this became a kind of coping mechanism in my younger years.
I won’t think about ‘that’ right now, I’ll think about ‘that’ later. Neat compartments. I’d take the bearable aspect of almost anything, and separate it somehow. I think I often acknowledged to myself what I was setting on a shelf or tucking in a ‘closet’, but in the Scarlett O’Hara sense; i.e. I’ll think about it tomorrow.
For example, I would have friends, but I didn’t like having friends over in my home. It was easier to arrange the compartment by interacting with my friends outside my home. My relationships with my friends had to be navigated so that I never found myself in a situation wherein the truth of my troubled marriage and unstable world would be exposed. For instance, I remember when another family invited us to vacation with them. That would have been completely stressful on multiple levels. I don’t remember details (it’s fogged over), but I’m absolutely sure I would have found a reason that we ‘couldn’t’ accept the invitation.
It makes me sad to remember that. Now I’d just tell someone the truth. The older I get, the less I have within me to not just tell the truth. Life is just too short not to be real.
Still, even when I’m honest with myself about falling back on compartmentalizing, I wonder if it’s possible to have a more integrated in each moment kind of life. I wonder if that’s a simplistic childlike impossible wish, because even when I’m in a happy moment, part of me is acknowledging that within that same precious moment, somewhere there is a breaking heart, and my heart feels that too.