I understand transition. I understand change. I understand non-permanence. I grasp the concept of ebb & flow. I know that all connections are in a constant state of flux.
Even with all of this understanding I still have a hard time when someone that I care about fades away or disappears. It’s not the actual fading that gets me it is the silence associated with the fading or disappearing act that hurts me most. It results in feelings of being unappreciated, used, and disposable. If I have known the person beyond a few months to a few years it can be even more traumatic. When someone I like, trust, love, or care for & who I believe cares for me, disengages & disappears from contact without any explanation at all it feels like a very deep deception.
One of the most insidious aspects of silent fading & disappearing is that it doesn’t just cause you to question the validity of the relationship or connection you had, it causes you to question yourself.
Why don’t people communicate openly more? If your feelings, path, plans, desires, motivations, attraction, thoughts, or point of focus have changed and you wish to move in a different direction I think it is the kind & mature thing to do to communicate said changes. Even if that conversation will be a little uncomfortable. Mind you, you don’t have to go into full detail but a simple “I need some time to myself” or “I am going to focus on xyz right now” etc. would suffice.
Silent fading & Disappearing is the ultimate use of the silent treatment, a tactic that has often been viewed by mental health professionals as a form of emotional cruelty. It essentially renders you powerless and leaves you with no opportunity to ask questions or be provided with information that would help you emotionally process the experience. It silences you and prevents you from expressing your emotions and being heard, which is important for maintaining your self-esteem.
Regardless of the Faders or Disappearers intent, this behavior is a passive-aggressive interpersonal tactic that can leave psychological bruises and scars.
I have to soothe myself and remember that when someone employs these tactics, it says nothing about me or my worthiness but speaks volumes about the person doing it. It shows he/she doesn’t have the courage to deal with the discomfort of their emotions or yours, and they either don’t understand the impact of their behavior or worse don’t care. In any case they have sent you an extremely loud message that says: I don’t have what it takes to have a mature healthy relationship with you. I then choose to be a mature person, retain my dignity, and let him/her go peacefully.
But I would be a liar if I said it doesn’t sting me a little whenever it happens.
Ah well…thus is life. I shall continue to be Authentically & Unapologetically Me. I shall keep Living and Loving freely knowing that not everyone will value what I bring to table but I will never turn down my capacity to connect and feel deeply out of fear.