Tears consistently throw themselves over the cliff of my eyelids as I shout, “I feel angry because you never listen to me!” My nails dig into the palms of my hands. I blame him. Make myself the victim again. I spin my engagement ring and clench my fists even more tightly.
I get to take revenge now: “You are so selfish.”
I watch my words ravage him. I can sense the shadow part of me — what I call my Underworld — relish in his pain. His eyes cloud over. I sense the wall solidifying itself between us.
“You’re the one that doesn’t actually care about me. It’s always about you,” he says, taking away the victim role.
I stare at my hand, nausea rising through my chest to the back of my throat. I take off my ring, and tell him “I can’t wear this anymore.”
For weeks, months, we live in emotional reactivity and blame, taking turns avoiding responsibility. I call this Low Drama: the victim-persecutor-rescuer game.
Some moments are ecstatic: cooking and eating, having sex, going for long walks and laughing together.
The ecstasy doesn’t last. We get sucked into Low Drama again. Time goes by. We get older.
Why the fuck are we doing this? I ask myself. I ask him. How do I know when we’ve worked hard enough to make it work? I carry this question with me until I meet Possibility Management: a body of research including distinctions, tools and processes with the purpose of serving the evolution of consciousness and the Earth.
Journey Into the Underworld
Possibility Management allowed me to commit to and consciously embark on my path of authentic adulthood initiation. Through this process, I have discovered that every part of my Underworld that I do not own, owns me. It became clear that my next step in my research was to “dig through the mud to get to the sky”, as Lee Lozowick would say.
Meet the Gremlin, King or Queen of your Underworld. Gremin is the part of me, the part of you that has an insatiable hunger for avoiding responsibility. “It’s his fault! It’s because of the circumstances! Someone help me!” Your Gremlin relishes destroying any space for no reason.
Gremlin creates assumptions and believes they are true. I am smart, how could any of my assumptions not be true? As soon as you believe that your assumptions are true, they magically turn into expectations. This is the perfect setup for creating resentment.
1)Unconsciously create an assumption; I assume that if people love each other, they listen to each other.
2) create an unconscious expectation; Because you say that you love me, you must listen to me.
3) wait until the expectation is not met; I share about my day with you, and you don’t listen.
4) get pissed off because you didn’t read my mind and create resentment; You did not listen to me, therefore you do not love me. I resent you.
5) permission to take revenge; I make you pay for not loving me. I tell you that you are selfish. Aha! Gremlin has won.
It takes only one resentment to completely kill intimacy. I discovered that I had created 40 resentments towards my fiancé. Every time my partner touched me, I felt resentment. Every time he spoke, I thought of all the times I “sacrificed” myself for him.
Relationships don’t die from a lack of love; they die from a lack of intimacy.
For each resentment, I wrote down the expectation created and the original assumption behind it. Each of them had an unconscious purpose. I called in my partner. I admitted that I had unconsciously created resentment towards him, and apologized for letting my Gremlin destroy our intimacy. I felt and shared my sadness, anger, fear, and joy.
I proposed that we end our previous relationship, and start over in an ongoing non-linear co-creative process of relating to one another from moment to moment. This was completely new territory for both of us.
I grieved my old identity, the desperate young-woman-to-be trying to please, to receive validation, to be rescued by the knight in shining armour. My fantasy world shattered. I could no longer live in the illusion that I needed somebody by my side.
I was stepping into adulthood. Who am I if I don’t let my Gremlin create expectations to manipulate the person that I am most intimate with?
A Woman’s Anger
Learning how to feel my anger completely changed the dynamic of my relationship. I stopped living to please my partner. I got my voice back, started making boundaries and proposals to negotiate intimacy.
This created more Low Drama. His Gremlin would not allow him to go through the meltdown process that was needed for us to continue on parallel paths. It became clear that we were diverging.
We took time to say what hadn’t been said and to grieve our relationship. I left.
I wish my story to serve those of you that also carry this question of “when have we worked hard enough to make it work?”
For the first time in five years, I do not have my attention on a man. I am nourished by putting my attention on myself and focusing on my creative projects.
Possibility Coach, Rage Club Spaceholder and Trainer-in-Training