I’m participating in the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge through October and will be following the prompts suggested. I’ve also decided to focus on the theme of Anonymously Me – stories that people have shared with me and that we could all learn lessons from. Today’s Anonymously Me story, Nostalgia Almost Cost Me My Marriage’ comes from a woman in her mid-thirties who lives in urban India.
If you have a story you’d like to share anonymously on Everyday Gyaan, do contact me. You can be assured that I will keep your name and details confidential.
Is it possible to be too nostalgic? Is too much nostalgia a bad thing? Perhaps, we should ask that of Lot’s wife, who in the Biblical story looked back and turned into a pillar of salt!
I’ve been reading about nostalgia and found some interesting stuff:
In the 1600s, the ‘disease’ was considered similar to paranoia – with sufferers exhibiting melancholy and loss of appetite. Malnutrition, inflammation of the brain, feverishness, seeing ghosts, hearing voices and cardiac arrest were also symptoms slapped under the nostalgia umbrella.
The ‘dangerous’ condition was mainly associated with those sent away from home for long periods – children, domestic servants and soldiers (in the army, nostalgia was occasionally punishable by death).
Other causes were thought to be poor education, masturbation, love and being a mountain-dweller. In the 19th century, doctors even thought nostalgia was the product of a ‘pathological bone’ in the human body (unsurprisingly, they couldn’t locate it).
Treatments included leeches, stomach purges and the terrifying sounding ‘warm hypnotic emulsions’.
– Via The Guardian
For someone who is committed to living in the present, I am not so hung up on nostalgia. I often think that we idealize what was and make it into a beautiful time that we yearn to go back to. It often takes us away from reality. So to me, although nostalgia is not an illness, being wrapped up in it can be a way of escaping our present.
Nostalgia is a yearning for an idealized past — “a longing for a sanitized impression of the past, what in psychoanalysis is referred to as a screen memory — not a true recreation of the past, but rather a combination of many different memories, all integrated together, and in the process all negative emotions filtered out.” – Alan R. Hirsch, Nostalgia: a Neuropsychiatric Understanding
Nostalgia Almost Cost Me My Marriage
I’m embarrassed to tell this story in my own name, but I feel I must share it with you. I’ve been in and out of love many times. A huge romantic, sometimes I think I was more in love with the notion of love than the reality of it.
It was only when I was in my late 20s did I meet someone who I got seriously involved with. I met this stereotypical tall dark and handsome guy online and we started chatting with each other. He was fun. He seemed successful. And I fell for his charms pretty quickly. We lived in two different cities, but couldn’t wait to meet each other. Within a month, we planned a meeting and decided that we’d go on a holiday together. He met me with flowers and chocolates at the airport. We had a great time and were drawn into a physical relationship. Even in that brief time, there were arguments and one huge tantrum from him. Quick to see everything through the lenses of love, I put it down to his passionate nature.
Reluctantly, we went back to our respective cities, but would make sure we met at least once a month. Long chats, gifts and lots of loving text messages kept us going between meetings.
I found his need for a privacy a bit odd, but he told me that it was for my sake. When he stormed out of the hotel we were staying in after a big fight, I rifled through his stuff and found his passport that told me he was married! Heart-broken, I ended our relationship immediately.
A few years later, through common friends, I met the man who became my husband. He didn’t have the dashing personality or charm of my ex. His friends spoke highly of him and he came across as a very loving person. I soon fell in love with my husband. He saw me through illness, the loss of my parents, my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter. In other words, I had no reason to be unhappy with my husband.
But I was.
When my husband failed to get me flowers and gifts for our anniversaries, or make big, romantic gestures, I would be upset. This would start off a spiral of looking back on the relationship with my ex with nostalgia and longing. After the birth of my daughter, this got worse. I would take out all the teddy bears that my ex had given me (and I stupidly kept) and look at them longingly. Nostalgia would lead to bouts of sulking and temper tantrums. I couldn’t tell my husband what was bothering me, and he, poor guy, tried to his best to find out. I was ashamed at myself. How could I look back with longing on a cheat (oh yes, I forgot to tell you that he took large sums of money from me) and a philanderer? But I did.
One day, when I almost threw a vase at him, I realized that this trip down nostalgia lane was getting too much. I sought help. I spoke to friends and eventually sought counselling. My counselor, through various exercises, made me realize how blessed I was in my husband. She also helped me to work on parts of myself that needed healing. I realized that I could be the one to initiate romance in my marriage. And I’m happy to report that I did. And I said good-bye to those damn teddy bears as well!
I hope my story can help another woman somewhere to learn to live in the present and count her blessings.
If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away.
Sanch Vee and yours truly give you one writing prompt a week to blog about and link to every Friday. The link will be open till the Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked in too.
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The prompt for this week is ‘Nostalgic’. Use this word in your post.
Image of teddy bears via Shutterstock
Image Credits: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-illustration/four-watercolor-vintage-teddy-bears-75353290