According to Carl Jung, there are hardly any exceptions to the rule that a person must pay dearly for the divine gift of the creative fire.
I recently had a falling out with my better half. It happened right before my eyes, I let him crash at my place, without sorting out my desk. As usual, my desk was filled with Post-Its, paints, brushes, notebooks, spreadsheets, books, dictionaries and poster boards. However tucked in between the stacks of paper, the computer, and the notes, in a small space I’d hidden my diary. When we are young, a diary serves a purpose, a place to write down anything. I remember being young and having a diary with a lock and key, and one day I came home to my mom reading the pages out loud with one hand, with a belt in the other. Nothing happened out of it, but she knew some of my dirtiest thoughts. Well, I guess I didn’t learn the first time around because as I handed my so called confidant the spare key, I also handed him my complete trust. Trusting he could understand that my diary was not just a place for dirty thoughts; my diary serves as my therapist, my fantasies, and part memoir. The last thing I was thinking of as I celebrated Easter with some of the local kids, was of that journal with the Eiffel tower on the cover. I got a text message mid-barbeque that said “I know everything” coupled with “you’re a liar” and “a fake”.
I immediately felt a lump in my throat, not because he read about my secret lovers, or desires, or my alter ego mixed with my own neurosis. No I immediately felt betrayed, and disappointed. It’s not that I felt my safety was endangered, my psyche immediately began to focus on one passage. The one that surpasses any of my dream’s anecdotes, my magical or fantastical stories. The passages about unrequited love. The part of my diary that contained my painful truth. That I was in love with someone who did not feel the same. The part of me that was separate from my now ‘ex’ partner. I let the more mature version of myself respond with tact, and I expressed how disrespected I felt. But once it was all said and done, and I had my keys in my hand, I realized I lost one of my best friends. I looked back at the passages, and began to paint a picture. That picture was not a pretty one. It was the picture of an unhealthy obsession I developed with a young man from a small town.
When I moved from New York City to upstate New York, I felt as though I was in a perpetual loop of culture shock. So as I wanted to point the finger at my friend for reading my diary, he actually did me a favor. It was only after he read my journal that I realized how unhealthy my romantic interests really were. I became aware through my diary, that my mind was trapped by a particular thought loop. Trapped is the only way to describe it, as I tried to mask it under colorful language and different names. I was only telling myself my own non-fiction was fiction. Sadly, it was not a figment of my imagination, I was experiencing an unrequited love. They say true friends always come around, well if they do I’d tell my friend they shoved me on the finish line to recovery. In the days and weeks that passed, I refused to believe the pages were full of facts. I refused to accept that my friend knew anything about it, him, them, anything. But what helped me was the ability to take comfort in knowing that, as I read the pages, I am in pain.
It’s a feeling of growing comfort, because I am learning from it. I also had to forgive myself for hurting my friend. I had to forgive them (mom included) for reading my journals, because through the experience I learned that I can be more honest with myself and others. In the end, it’s my logical assessment of the situation that matters, not my immediate reaction. It also hit me, that my so-called obsession is not someone I would even want to be with. It was the want of having something I could not have. We all have a little bit of that in us. As my friend was given the trust to stay in my palace, he was looking for answers. As I was weaving fact and fiction, I was seeking truth as well. As a creative person, it is almost my duty to create a worthy future, to not be seduced by the movie version and to create the scenes myself.