chapter 2: Matenia
“what is something that everybody, I mean everybody, has in common?”
I got a reply, “Love. and then more importantly, loss.”
all interviews & photos by me
Do you think we learn about how to love from our parents?
Yeah, growing up my parents fought all the time, I learned to normalize anger and a violent tendency of behavior. Obviously monkey see, monkey do, so when I started getting into relationships my view on love was skewed due to what I had seen at home. So, it was hard to know what healthy love was. I had a difficult time noticing the difference between loving passion, and angry passion. I mean, it’s artistic, but not healthy.
Did that trickle into your first relationship?
Yes, absolutely. So when I first fell in love, he didn’t want something innocent, or sweet, it was a very unbalanced. We argued all the time, but that’s what I knew. We both struggled with inner issues, we prayed on each other. We took each others insecurities and used them against each other.
So do you think you were addicted to that back and forth behavior?
Oh Yeah, I’ve been addicted to a lot of things. Unhealthy relationships, it’s number one.
What about it keeps you going back even though you know it’s so bad?
I love artists. I love someone who’s so passionate about something that it breaks them, and then me. It’s twisted. I read so much Allen Ginsberg, it’s all romanticized, and sounds pretty. Like “be the violet under your eyes”. But no. I want to be in love, just as much as you do.
The poem to real life translation is not the same feeling, as much as you want it to be.
A lot of people don’t see that.
How did you feel after it was over?
It hurt. Really bad. We’re okay now. It ended in an explosion to be completely honest. I was on the floor, and I couldn’t do it anymore. I don’t want to, I don’t need to. And the tricky thing, is that I was in love with him, but I was falling for one of my best friends too. I thought my best friend loved me. The way he talked I thought there was no way he didn’t. But I later came to find out that it’d never happen. When we broke up, we both cried.
Then it was over
It sounds like you broke up with him? Do you think you would’ve done that if the promise of the outside love wasn’t there?
I had been in love with one of my best friends since I met him. But I didn’t want to believe it. I think I would’ve broken up with him no matter what. Our priorities were different. He had dreams too. But we did drugs, had sex, and did art. That’s all he wanted. But I needed some purpose to wake up to.
Did you expect to hurt after the breakup in the way you did?
Absolutely not. I had been let down a lot, not to sound too angsty haha. But all of that made me hate being vulnerable. So when I felt that, I knew it was scary. I cut it off because once I felt that power slipping away I knew I didn’t want all my control to be lost. But then I realized, that by doing this I was regaining a piece of me. I kept my love life seperate, like I was living two different lives. So when that died a part of my life died with it.
Wow, so you when through the love and heartbreak completely alone.
Yeah, I had a few friends who knew who he was. But every heartbreak I’ve had I went through alone. I wanted to save myself the struggle of explanation.
I’ve totally been there, where I knew breaking up was the right choice but then I instantly wanted to get back together. I wanted that comfort. The two lives you held and you lost one.
I was by myself. It was a month of “I want him back” and “I don’t”. I believe in soulmates and all. But this type of feeling was new to me. The first twelve hours I was fine, I went out. But then I woke up, in her bed, and all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball. I told her “Oh I’m just hungover, I gotta go home”. She thought nothing of it, because I’d kept it all removed for so long.
It’s easy to be the supportive friend, but harder to be the one asking for support, especially when you’ve been the one there for yourself for so long.
So much harder! When you need someone there, you start questioning why you became so vulnerable. I cried, at home, every night. And distract myself. I turned to substances, I did it before with him. We broke up partially because of that. But then I kept doing it without him. I didn’t realize that I had to feel it all out, and couldn’t just wait until a new phase comes along.
Heartbreak is so different from our childhood emotions. It’s the first full feeling.
When I was in love it felt very adult. But when everything ended, I never thought it’d happen.
It’s such a physical body feeling.
I didn’t realize how physical heartbreak was. I thought you’d just be sad, emotionally. But I was physically exhausted and in pain.
This was your first love, right? So what was your second?
I find love everywhere, but my second one was my best friend. I attach people to songs. I’d listen to playlists, and think about sitting in his car talking for hours. He knows everything. I let myself be vulnerable with him. It was difficult to replace. It was a mental thing, I was attracted to his mind more than anything. After the first heartbreak I shut down. Being in love was out of the question. But then, I’d find myself daydreaming about him.
So he wasn’t romantically participating?
We have a very complex relationship. We’ve both seen other people.
He had two personalities. One he showed to me, and one he showed to the world. I hated it, but it was what I’d seen in myself previously. I was trying to figure out what to do, write a letter, call, wait until I leave. I made up excuses. I was simultaneously going on dates, and he was too. I don’t know why I was. When I finally said something, It was as direct as I wanted. My heart was going so fast. I wanted it to be romantic, but that didn’t happen. We were sitting in his car, listening to country music, I hate it. He loves it. The song was about some girl, classic country song. We had been talking about being sad. I made it very non-descript, I told him I was hiding my feelings from someone. He was like “Are you kidding! If I told you that you’d tell me to do it. Take your own advice” So I told him “I kind of have feelings for you”. With a long pause of course. He looked up from his phone and was like “what..” He said he had feelings for me too, but we were both leaving. Far apart.
I still talk to him every day, but we can’t be more than we are. But it’s okay. That day he said
“I wouldn’t spend time with you if I didn’t have feelings too”, that finally put me at peace.
It didn’t feel like a loss. For the first time.
I don’t regret falling for him, he made my idea of love a lot healthier.
It’s so hard to find. It was my worst fear. But he made it okay. He made being sad alright. And I was happy. Even though we never dated, there was a romantic shift for me. From angsty, dark, to true comfortability.