Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

depression memories

There were times, in the not too distant past, when I would enter a depression almost willingly, and reach out to friends and lovers from that black hole. I think that I judged a person's affection for me by how they responded. What they said didn't ever - as I recall - actually help me out of the depression. I think I wanted them to be what they were not, or else I wanted them to know how much I wanted someone else, someone I had not yet met.

Desire is the source of depression. A wanting that we perceive is not being fulfilled, whether obviously or not.

I think, too, I wanted to engage others. But I wanted to have the baddest depression. Mine was the worst, therefore you must pay attention to me. You must love me.

I am sensing, remembering, how it was then without really reproducing it here. I bring it up because I realize now that I no longer do this. I remember wondering how to get to the insides of a person if that person is not sharing the familiar black hole. I learned that "normal" persons relate to others without having to resort to sharing common bad feelings. For a long time I did not know what I had to share except this part of me, because it was so big. Without it, who would I be?

I can remember writing emails furiously, unloading it all, then waiting anxiously for a response. A sense of being heard, of someone else being there. I don't need this any more. I can't remember the last time I waited like that for the "love" I hoped to find in the words. I couldn't imagine not living like this, not clinging to the hopes and waiting.

Before there was email there were letters. When I visited Michigan, my home, as a student, I wrote to my friend Bob. Bob was a close friend and fellow musician, and part of our little "gang". We did everything together. I was the group therapist. Bob came to me with his tales of Richard, his lover. I heard him, I tried to put things in their right places. At that time, I didn't know how far off I could go in analyzing someone. I may have done a wonderful job in some cases, but I think I was greedy. I still am. I listen to people because I want to understand them, to "figure them out". No, I am not so clinical that I will gleefully tabulate and press people into boxes. I know better than that. But I do feel my interest is not for them but for me. So I listened to Bob and I felt gratified that he felt I was one he could turn to.

I was what they called a "fruit fly". There are other names, too, for women who hang around gay men. My friend Barb was one too. And both of us were stuck on Bob! Never mind that we knew he was gay, that we knew what "gay" meant. We wanted him. I don't think either of us really wanted him sexually, so now it starts to make some sense. I wanted Bob to care about me more than about Barb. It was okay that he cared about Richard sexually. That didn't mean the same thing.

So when I was in Michigan I wrote to Bob. And I waited for his letters back. I think I used up whole days thinking about the next day's mail.

Later, when I was hooked on email instead, I would wake up in the middle of the night. There could be new mail. There was one guy, Robert, who lived in Santa Maria, not that far, 35 miles. We met by some common thread online but never met in person. We wrote crazily to each other. He was maybe a dozen years younger than I and had a girlfriend, yet I still imagined otherwise. In fact, no, I think I liked men who really were not accessible. At one time he suggested that we start a new newsgroup just for our conversations, said maybe we'd get famous. I think we both felt our words were gold, our relationship to each other fascinating.

I listened to Robert, too, to his tales of teaching little league, his woes with his girlfriend. Mostly, though, we talked about his Amigas! I think he had six of them. He explained why they are better than both PCs and MACs and I was happy to believe him (I still think he was likely correct in this). He had a web site at a time when my only access to the web was through lynx. Not enough RAM, not enough anything, on my computer at that time. His site was called "The Site that changes its name everyday". And it did. He went through many different lives there. I remember his reviews of old television shows. Don't recall what the site was called at the time. Finally his site landed in Wired magazine as one of their "hot" recommendations. I think he may have killed it by the time it was in print, however.

I had a so-called "lover" who thought he understood me. He thought that I needed to feel bad. He arranged it so that I would, time and time again. It took me way too long to get loose of that situation. When I wrote to him recently, interested in writing about his life (he runs a bondage site and produces bondage videos, has an interesting past), he suggested that we might get together again. When I said no, not interested in that, just want to write, I never heard from him again.

So today I was realizing how I no longer cling to anyone in that way, thank heaven. I still cling to hopes about other things, like people finally listening to my audio stuff and telling me what they think. I still seem to need some kind of response to things I do. Just not to my depressions. It is progress.

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