Doors in the Mind

Posted on Saturday 20 August 2011

A book I am reading says:

Perhaps the greatest faculty our minds possess is the ability to cope with pain. Classic thinking teaches us of the four doors of the mind, which everyone moves through according to their need.

First is the door of sleep. Sleep offers us a retreat from the world and all its pain. Sleep marks passing time, giving us distance from the things that have hurt us. When a person is wounded they will often fall unconscious. Similarly, someone who hears traumatic news will often swoon or faint. This is the mind’s way of protecting itself from pain by stepping through the first door.

Second is the door of forgetting. Some wounds are too deep to heal or too deep to heal quickly. In addition, some memories are simply painful, and there is no healing to be done. The saying “time heals all wounds” is false. Time heals most wounds. The rest are hidden behind this door.

Third is the door of madness. There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.

Last is the door of death. The final resort. Nothing can hurt us after we are dead, or so we have been told.

Of these four doors, I have tried the fourth door only once–after my twin was killed by a drunk driver. It was only through the love of a good woman that I returned through that door. Coincidentally, it was my beloved’s father that introduced me to the woman who saved my life, as she was a new employee of his at the business he bought from my father, who started only about four weeks before my twin was killed.

Nothing will ever affect me the way losing my identical twin did. He and I were linked in ways I can not explain, nor would you truly understand unless you are a twin yourself.

The first and second doors I have used many times throughout my life, and I have avoided the third door, though some who have known me well would say I’ve knocked on it a time or two.

Right now, I am staying aboard s/v Pretty Gee, trying to rest and regain what I lost in the last eight weeks. The last three weeks, where I was trying to get the woman I love help she needs, have been more exhausting and more trying than I had thought. I have spent much of the time sleeping or resting.

This boat is the closest thing to home I have left. I have been rent asunder from the home of my heart by the illness that consumes her. I may never know if my efforts to try and get her help succeeded, and she may never return to being the woman that said “sarangheyo” to me so often this summer.

I will stay here on s/v Pretty Gee for as much of the rest of this season as I can, hopefully resting, healing, and regaining my strength. Some of the events of this summer may pass through the second door, at least for a while–until enough time has passed to dull the pain’s razor-sharp edges and soften the anguish that they currently cause me.

Losing five of the family I had chosen for myself and who had been a part of my life for almost 30 years has been a bit surreal. To think that they, mainly her father, could throw away decades of trust, love and friendship speaks volumes about the power of addiction and an addict’s denial.

I am really not surprised, after seeing what a coward and a bully her father truly is.  The fact that he would throw his daughter under a bus and use her to protect himself from me–probably the only person in his life who has ever confronted him about his illness–shows what a debased creature his addiction has made him.

I pray for her and her family, but mainly for her, her sister and her mother.  I hope the youngest learns from this summer and can avoid the illness that has claimed her father, brother and sister. 

I also hope her mother can find the strength to walk away from her husband and stop enabling him, so that he can get the help he needs.  If she does walk away, I hope she takes the three children and get all three help in dealing with growing up in an alcoholic household.

I fear for their safety, given the anger and rage her father has shown when driven by his denial of his illness. I have always known he has had a temper, but this goes far beyond that.  Like most cowards, he only attacks those not capable of defending themselves, like his wife and children.

Despite all this, I do wish her, her mother and siblings well. She and her family are people I have cared for and loved for a long time, and just because her father has forced an abyss between myself and them, it does not stop me from caring about them or loving them. The only difference is that I will no longer be able to show them my love and care, but it is still there nonetheless.

I hope that one day they will realize that I did all I did out of love and concern, and though I may have made a few mis-steps and mistakes, I did what I did out of a deep and powerful love for her and a great fear for her safety. My intentions were pure and her safety is/was my only concern.

I hope that she and her mother do realize that I will stand by her as I promised because of the commitment I made to her on June 22nd.  I hope they will remember who tried to get her help and how much I went through to try to get her the help I believe she had been asking for. I hope they will remember how much I love her and that I still do want to spend the rest of my life by her side.

And finally, I hope she or her mother will ask me to help her and that she will ask me to return to her side, to once again be her friend, confidante, guide and protector on her road to recovery, as I had been all her life until the events of this summer.

I know my beloved still loves me. I think she has created a safety net of sorts for herself. I hope she doesn’t need it, but if she does fall, I will do whatever I can to help her.

Love is eternal–losing her and her family to the illness that affects her, her father and brother, does not change how I feel about her, what she has come to mean to me, or who she is–while I will mourn and grieve for them and the loss of them, I will also be waiting.

Tomorrow, I will begin mourning for the five people I lost this week, including the amazing woman I love most of all. I will miss them. This will likely be the last post related to this topic unless a miracle happens.


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