Getting a Visual

September 10, 2009 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

A while back, I wrote a post about how I felt I related to the main character in the movie Wolverine. I identified with him and his lack of identity. A lot of tragic characters are relatable to people. After all, why would we want to spend ten dollars to sit in a dark room and watch these people’s stories if we were not at least on some level, able to relate to them?

Last night I went to see the film adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. The film tells the story of Henry, who time travels due to a genetic anomaly, and his love, Clare over the span of twenty years in and out of time.

When I originally read the book, I never really thought too deeply into the significance of the constant abandonment and how potentially triggering that really was for me. But as I sat in the theater and watched him disappear time after time in front of his wife’s eyes, I could not help but think about how afraid I would be to constantly be alone. There was just something about getting a visual of constantly being left that brought a lot of issues to the surface.

It’s interesting to me that I see abandonment everywhere. In books and movies, in a song on the radio, and in the way that the last little bit of sun leaves the patio at the end of the day. I seek these tales of abandonment like I’m looking for the fountain of youth. I really yearn for the ones that turn out okay. Maybe the abandoner finds his way back to the abandonee. Maybe the abandonee takes revenge. Maybe the abandoner grovels his or her way back into the abandonees heart and everything works out perfectly okay. In these scenarios I constantly see all the ways I could end up alone and try to work myself out of them.

Maybe it’s a survival mechanism. You know, in case it happens again?

In The Time Traveler’s Wife, Clare knows that Henry is coming back to her eventually. Each time he leaves, she knows he will be back after he’s done with his travels. In my real life, I wait for my mother to come back to me. For us to find one another. But I don’t know that she will ever make it back to me. Heck, I’m not 100 percent sure she would even want me back if she could get me back. Maybe our story is more meant to mirror a bad breakup. The farther she tries to go from me, the more I want her?

I desperately hope not. I really hope she misses me just as much as Fievel missed his little brother in An American Tale.

So are these displays of my innermost thoughts and fears yet another way that I allow my subconscious to torture me? Or are they really a teaching tool designed to help me through some of these difficult emotions?

I really can’t be sure.

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Papers….Not Babies

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