These videos (From “Tale of Two Brains” by Mark Gungor, DVD here) have been very helpful for my husband and me both in understanding why getting over Richard/Tracy has been so rough for me:
It seemed mostly obvious to me: Richard’s friendship meant a great deal to me, we did all sorts of things together, had many things in common, talked about everything, made connections.
So not only was it emotionally devastating, but every single thing in my life and in geek culture reminds me of him in some way, so I would get constant nudges pushing the pain onto me over and over every single day.
But as he explains it, Hubby put Richard into a “box” which he has buried deep in a warehouse next to the Ark of the Covenant, never to be dug up again:
So he couldn’t understand why I didn’t just do the same.
Because he got over it so easily (despite wanting, every time he saw Richard at church or at the store, to go up to him and knock him out), I began to feel like there was something “wrong” with me for not being over it yet.
But the above videos explain how in a woman’s brain, everything is connected to everything else. You can’t just categorize your life in boxes which do not touch each other.
Movies don’t just remind me of that movie, but of whomever I was with when I first watched it. Games remind me of whom I played them with. Cthulhu reminds me of Richard for reasons I won’t get into. Everything about Orthodoxy, my chosen path, reminds me of Richard, because he was the one guiding me into it and helping with my questions.
And also, as explained in the above videos, when we are stressed, when we are emotional, we must talk about it, or we will explode. Being told by male friends or family members not to talk about it, just drove me crazy because the feelings were still there, but couldn’t be released. Hence, this blog.
Of course, there’s also the issue that introverts tend to have fewer friendships than extroverts, so we put more meaning into those friendships, and feel the loss much more than someone who has 20 other friends to fill the void one leaves.
Also the same for those of us who tend to have trouble finding dates, and can’t just find somebody else next weekend to mend the broken heart.
So on both counts, it was hard for me to get over broken hearts in college, just as it’s hard for me now to get over the loss of Richard’s friendship. It tells me that this is perfectly normal for women and for introverts.
So those of you who are extroverts, or men, please be patient and lenient with us introverts and/or women. We don’t mend our hearts the way you do, feel our losses very keenly, and can’t just put that bad experience into a box we never look into again. It’s not a character failing or some mental issue; it is the way God made us.