Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rewriting History

I had a really interesting discussion with a counsellor over lunch. Not my counsellor, but a friend of my girlfriend's Mother's who also just happens to be a counsellor. She's been counselling for over 30 years and has pretty much seen it all!

She was talking about "moving on," in light of the fact the my girlfriend's ex has told their mutual friends a lot of rather nasty lies about their relationship. She's admitted they were lies when pushed, sent an apology and the two of them are still friends and they're doing ok... but Chloe was trying to figure out why someone she has continued to be friends would do that.

Apparently we rewrite history when we are trying to get over a relationship. We erase the good stuff and turn it into bad stuff in our own minds in order that we convince ourselves that we don't want that anymore anyway. And apparently, we all do it.... some just more obviously than others.

I actually realised that I rewrite history on my head too. For example, whenever I think back to relationship I was in a few years ago with a girl I actually lived with for a while, I automatically think, "What a freakin' awful relationship." Granted, it ended in her sleeping with my best friend which isn't great. But it's only when I really started analysing my overview of that relationship that I realised I never, ever, ever pick out the positives anymore. And there were some. We had a lot of fun the first year. We got on incredibly well, were always laughing and had a very passionate and affectionate relationship. There were so many happy times. But even though I am long since over that particular relationship, I still have the "bad" version of it in my head.

Apparently, when we do this in the aftermath of a breakup, we can actually affect how we consider that relationship for the rest of our lives - long after we are over it.

The human mind is fascinating. How we deal with incredibly complex emotions - just by simply overwriting history and overwriting the countless postitives in a relationship with the few negatives.

There are not many I look back on as completely negative. But I was told today only the "nastiest" breakups tend to leave that sort of flavour and the nastiest breakups are apparently born of "reluctance," to really end something. It makes sense. With the girl I lived with, she and I were both reluctant to let it go at the time - I just felt like I could never trust the girl again after she cheated.

Anyway.... made for an interesting conversation.

1 comment:

C xx said...

Anna's brain is amazing. That was a wonderful lunch break with you and her.

I do this too I look back and see only bad sometimes. But being aware we do it helps us not to I think.