04 August 2008

On Intimacy

According to Dictionary.com:
in·ti·ma·cy [in-tuh-muh-see]
noun, plural -cies.
  1. the state of being intimate.
  2. a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.
  3. a close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a place, subject, period of history, etc.: an intimacy with Japan.
  4. an act or expression serving as a token of familiarity, affection, or the like: to allow the intimacy of using first names.
  5. an amorously familiar act; liberty.
  6. sexual intercourse.
  7. the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar: the intimacy of the room.
  8. privacy, esp. as suitable to the telling of a secret: in the intimacy of his studio.
I am a fiercely private person. Getting close to people or allowing people to get close is difficult for me. There are a few people, due to the length of time we've known each other and the histories of our relationships, who have a level of knowledge and understanding that could be considered intimate. But to say that we are intimate friends would not be entirely correct.

As with the last post, the idea of intimacy has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. I think that it's due in part to recently working with my ex on repairing some of the things that we broke. I think that it's also due in part to finding two people with whom I share a brain. (There will be no explanation for that.) These two things have lead me to muse on how much of myself I am currently willing to show, how much of people I care to know, and to what ends this all will lead.

One person in particular gets and understands me more than any other person ever has. We connect on a level that transcends description. Whole conversations are had with one single look. We know when something is wrong with the other, even if there is no physical evidence of it. We seem to be the most comfortable and most at ease when we're around each other. It's the type of relationship that would drive a boyfriend into a jealous rage. Yet even with this one particular person I hold back and guard those parts of me that I deem most fragile.

One voice in my head (you know who you are) would tell me that I should drop the walls, learn to trust, and allow at least one person to know me completely. My history, however, has taught me differently - that everybody will betray the trust that is granted them.

Speaking generally, of course.

But that voice would be right. I should let go of my issues. I should send away the ghosts that haunt me. Yet history is a very large specter and will not be exorcised so easily.


The Knowledgemonger said...

Here I go launching into a cliche...It is better to have lost, than never to have loved at all.

I don't mean this cliche to necessarily represent exactly what it states. However, I know the difficulties of being completely open with people. You may not ever know just how much I used to hold back and really how much I hold back still.

Betrayal is a part of life. To allow yourself to get close with someone you run that risk. The goal is to pick and choose properly rather than to hold back completely. Love all, trust few. And learn from what people have done, but don't allow them to affect you in a way that makes you feel closed.

Show people what you want and accept from them what they want to share with you. To what ends will this all lead? You can never tell, that's the beauty of life. You can plan for the future, but it doesn't mean that you will ever see that future come. Keep your plannings in the short-term and try not to disappoint your future self.

So, as I do, I just rambled through your comments area. Oops.


The Diarist said...

I appreciate your words. This posting isn't solely about loving, losing, and whatnot. It addresses my inability to simply open up and allow people to see the real me, my obsessive need to keep everyone at arm's length (yours not mine ... I have small arms).

I'm mostly thinking out loud here and hoping for pearls of wisdom, as you have provided. My brain has churned on this for long enough with no acceptable solution.

The Knowledgemonger said...

I hinted at what I meant but since I was in a Starbucks writing this before taking the train, I failed to actually do more than hint.

I meant that if you don't allow yourself to open up to people than you miss out on allowing them to truly know you. This also makes them hold back things about themselves, meaning you only know parts of them.

One more quote, sorry :-)

"Don't take life too seriously; you'll never get out alive." -Elbert Hubbard

Stop worrying about it and live it, take the chances of knowing someone and if they do something ghastly because of it, I'll beat them about the brow with a pointy rock.


Tuffie said...

"my obsessive need to keep everyone at arm's length"

this i know all to well ^_^

but, i can't offer any advice in this department as i'm working through the same chaotic array of issues

a friend offered me a very simple yet effective bit of advice

"just keep on keeping on"

so that's my goal, to keep trying in hopes that my trying will lead me some where, or more importantly, to where i want to be

i'm here if you ever want to talk/vent