“I thought we were a f*cking fairytale. But if you’re careless with something for long enough, you know, it breaks. And that’s how I feel. Broken. Completely and utterly broken.” –Karen
I’m not going to post this on Facebook. Hell, I don’t know if I will even publish this. I know this will automatically go to those that have subscribed to this strange little blog if I do, and that I am okay with, but I feel I should write this. I guess I just need to get it out of my head.
Right now, I am watching the 4th season of Californication. I love this show because first, the writing is fantastic. (If you haven’t seen it and you have delicate sensibilities, I suggest you avoid it. It is one of the more cruder shows out there.) Another reason I watch it tho, is in a way, it feels familiar. I’ve dealt with my Hank Moody’s. Yes, plural. I will say that none to the extent that Showtime shows, at least as far as I know, but the pain was all the same. I connect with Karen, his long time girlfriend. I hurt for her. I get angry with her. And I sit and wonder why.
For those not familiar, David Duchovny’s character, Hank Moody, is a sex addict, among other things. When you watch him, you learn he can’t really say no to anything. Drugs, alcohol, other people’s whims. He just does, as if on autopilot, seemingly oblivious to the pain he causes the people around him. Until that pain interrupts his life, causes him pain as well. And then you get to see a side of him that is broken, empty and screaming for something, a something that can’t be named.
And then I feel for him. My heart breaks for this adolescent trapped in a man’s body. Duchovney plays this character well, most certainly because of his own familiarity, and you get to see this side that people not closely involved rarely get to see. But I did. I know why Karen leaves and comes back. I’ve experienced others see a great guy, my great guy, and wonder why I’m angry and hurting. I’ve experience having to try and explain to my friends why I stay, why I go back when he’s hurt me so much. I’ve gotten to the point of breaking and vowed to never look back and then go running back into the same arms that shattered my heart, to give him “one more try”.
But there is just such a selfishness to addiction that can not be ignored. As many moments as I had of enjoying the kind, sweet person everyone else saw, I had many more where it was a “my way or the highway” kind of thinking. Sometimes I stayed, sometimes I left. Each time, tho, my heart broke a little more. And then I got to the point that I had nothing left to break. I remember those moments of feeling hollow as I said the words “I’m done”. I got to the point of being all “try’d” out.
In the middle of one of these relationships, I decided to start going to counseling. I was a mess. I honestly had no idea who I was. My identity became enmeshed in the battle of being a co-addict. Of hating what was going on and doing nothing to stop it. I sat in self pity and silence. I told no one of my struggles and I just let people assume whatever they wanted about me because I didn’t want anyone to “hate” him. I was just as sick as he was. I eventually left. I realized that you can’t help someone that doesn’t want it, or worse, doesn’t even realize he needs it.There was no magical person I could pretend to be that would make the situation better. His problem was not my problem to fix.
But self discovery is not about perfection. I found myself moving onto a relationship that was better but was still the same. I silenced myself to keep the peace. I walked on eggshells and lied about how bad it really was so that he didn’t feel bad about it. Thankfully, I realized it a lot faster than I had in the past and walked away, but not without scars.
Scars that ache when I watch this show because I am not just a viewer. I know this reality. I was Karen. I had my Hank. We had friends that played the roles like they do in this show.
Why do I watch, then? Because it’s everywhere. I can avoid this one show that screams of a problem that surrounds us, but that is the truth. It surrounds us. Remember Tiger? He wasn’t just a manwhore. He was a broken shell of a man that resembled someone of great confidence and power. And there are millions more like him that will never see their shame displayed on the tabloids for all to see.
I can run from a painful past, but then how do I celebrate the person I am today? That pain shaped me. The pain of my past allows me to fully celebrate the good I have today. It helps me appreciate the great relationships I have right now. It pushes me to appreciate authenticity as opposed to perfection. It gives me a greater sense of what true happiness really feels like.
So, I will watch. I will continue to face my anger and pain while watching a show I genuinely enjoy. And I will heal a little more everyday.