Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Economics of a Recalcitrant Heart 101

I also thought about entitling this post: Why I´m Such a Bitch to My Family.

I am writing this post in an attempt to sort out in my own brain why I go through moments of family disconnect while living abroad. I´ve got my mom currently up my ass over this and it has got me thinking about why I act this way.

I have posted about it before. Maybe you have had enough. Homesickness. But this post is about how I deal with it, or decide not to deal with it.

Sometimes I let it rush over me and drown me in a sickly sad cesspool of agony and tears and I feel the pain of it and wallow fully in it in the most pathetic way imaginable. And sometimes that wallowing feels kinda good to get out.

Other times, I have a completely different strategy. It is the strategy of completely ignoring that there are two different universes of culture, people, family, friends, love in my head and in my life simultaneously (one obviously being more salient than the other for reasons of proximity). When I need to deal with homesickness and am exhausted by my first strategy, I use this second strategy; total withdrawal from second, less salient, non-present universe.

And this pisses off my family big time.

And hurts them.

Because, after weeks and maybe months of daily phone calls, emails, picture sending, etc (things that usually happen when I´m NOT homesick), I completely drop off the radar and disappear like a damn bandit. To me in these moments, it feels more harmful to my aching little nostalgic heart to actually speak to them and hear about THEM in particular, than to just not call, not know, not think, not care. My Spain world becomes my only world, the only world whose existence I can deal with. It is called economizing the heart. Sometimes my love is zero-sum. It just is.

The irony is that this way of dealing with homesickness actually induces more homesickness in me.

But my heart behaves like an incapable moron sometimes, and does what it damn well pleases.

I leave on Saturday to see them. I can´t even describe how that feels, so I´ll end here.


Photography: "The Infamy of a Story Never Told" from Flickr by Felipe Morin


Sarita said...

Oh man, I hear you. Sometimes it's just easier to pretend they're not a part of your life when they're so far away. It's SO hard.

Mamacita Chilena said...

Totally understand. It can be easier to shut everything out rather than try and deal. I feel ya.

Immoral Matriarch said...

Your heart only does what it thinks is best for you. :)

Fned said...

But it's still there.... eating at ya. You feel the weight of the guilt of strategy number 2 crushing you.

You remember your mom mentioning something about a Dr appointment but you never called back to see how it went. You know that your brother left on a road-trip but you figure he got to his destination safe and sound.

Because.you.can't.deal. with the feeling of making a phone call that you know will feel more like a check-list to go through on various subjects rather than actually living them with your loved ones.

Fned (the ostrich)

Bluestreak said...

Fned - oh yeah, you do totally get me.