Catherine and Heathcliff~
Catherine and Heathcliff~
The high school sweetheart is a phenomenon that I find difficult to comprehend or resolve.
Those high school days hold potent images and my memories of my first sweetheart hold a powerful allure. He enjoyed his “bad boy” persona and used it well, to ensnare innocent young things like myself.
My first intoxicating taste of freedom was riding on the back of his motorcycle pressed closer to a boy than I’d ever been and deciding to deliberately break all the rules in my world to be with him. And then, when a girl was just having some fun he leaned against an ancient, gnarled pine tree on a hilltop, where the temple gongs reverberated down my spine and asked me to marry him.
I wanted to say “Yes, oh yes,” in the feverish overdrive of awakening hormones but even at 16 I had a good deal of self possession. There was something terribly wrong. His passion was all consuming; his affection was complete adoration; he was my protector and my shield. And then if I looked at another boy, or if I didn’t respond the way he expected, a switch was thrown and I was Eve being thrown out of Eden with violent recriminations. Looking into his eyes, I saw the adoration but I heard the recriminations.
What to do?
I said, “No” and because of that “No” I have been Catherine to his Heathcliff for 40 years.
Now we both have grown children and I am single and he is not; which Heathcliff finds immaterial and which has been the bone of contention over which we have snarled and debated for years. But Heathcliff used whatever force was necessary to batter down this Catherine’s defenses: the massive walls of her fears behind which she had sheltered for decades crumbled and through the release from fear, she found joy and a new yearning.
One unexpected day, Catherine found herself saying with aboslute conviction, “Yes, oh yes Heathcliff, I do want to be with you” and she was perplexed by the ease of those words. The response in mid heartbeat was once again …violent recrimination.
There should be a warning label on such personalities, other than the obvious and the label should say: “Do not make plans based on this individual’s excessive affection; for as intense, unexpected and endearing as the affection may be, it is guaranteed to reverse in an hour, day or week to fierce and bitter recriminations. Engage at your own peril”
Thus Catherine’s wounded heart leads her to conclude it is much better to be the observer in this “When Harry Met Sally Contradicted” theory of human behavior than to be either Harry or Sally.
Written by: LadyJoss on September 6, 2013 excerpt from “The Journal of Compassion”.