Friday, 5 December 2014

Forgetting Sarah Marshall Again and Again and Again

This is about to get personal. More personal than I have ever been on this blog. So if you have an issue with personal space since intimacy with another human being gives you a bad rash, maybe you should sit this one out. It might get uncomfortably intimate up in here. No lie, tears may be shed. I know I have shed more than a few.

My girlfriend broke up with me this past week. Don't worry, this isn't a pity post. I'm not looking for sympathy or for people to go "ah, poor baby". However, hugs, if offered, will be appreciated and reciprocated. Rather this is just a rambling post about break ups.

This is my third break up in two years. So you could say my heart has gotten so used to break up pains, it feels more weird when it's not breaking than when it is. Well, that's not entirely true but heartache has become a familiar friend to me over the past couple years, possibly because I've been too clumsy with my heart, dropping it all over the place.

I know clumsy hamster buddy, I know.

Now, here's the thing. I have no walls. Like metaphoric walls. Around my heart, To protect it against getting hurt by people because I let them in. Normal people have walls, I know this. And people who have intimacy issues or have been hurt in the past have many walls, often tall ones. I know this too because I've often had to scale them, which I did like wall-crawling Spider-Man going all arachnid over the place. But me? I'm an open person. Perhaps too open.

Although I have been hurt in the past, I haven't set guards around my heart protecting it against those who gain my trust only to cast it aside like an used paper coffee cup. My trust is a novelty mug from Disneyland Paris and should be treated as such. By which I mean treat that shit with care, it's from freaking France!

(Note: Neither myself nor my metaphoric novelty trust mug are in fact from France or are associated with Disneyland Paris. This was merely a metaphor for comedic hyperbolic purposes.)

Pictured: The place of magic and wonder that the metaphoric mug which symbolises my trust is not legally affiliated with.

And in all fairness, only in one of my past relationships did the person I let in betray my trust in any malicious or callous way. However, that person had a multitude of issues, like a whole host. Insecurity, trust, confidence, intimacy... No seriously, if her issues were elves, they could have stormed Mordor in an afternoon, those giant troll-pulling gates be damned.

And I tried to help her with some of those issues, I did. But I should have learnt from my previous relationship that you can't fix someone, especially if they don't really want to be fixed. You can only be there for them and hope they right themselves and that when they do, they still want or need you around, but I'm already getting my story mixed up.

Let's start at the end. Well, the end of my first relationship in the past couple of years. Relationship 1. This was with a girl I loved more than I thought it ever possible to love someone. My every waking thought was about her: what she might be doing, when I would be seeing her next, how much I liked the way she did certain things, or the things she said or how beautiful she was. I wasn't just in love, I was obsessed. To say I put her on a pedestal is an understatement of such gigantic proportions as to be laughable. I couldn't understand how someone so amazing had chosen to be with me.

I tried to find an image to convey an overwhelming sense of amazement but couldn't find anything appropriate.
Instead, enjoy this image from The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Pulling Rhino's Pants Down in Public.

The problem was that she didn't love me back. She cared for me but she didn't love me. However, even if she had loved me back, it wouldn't have really been a healthy relationship. I was far too infatuated and had wrapped my identity around her, losing myself in the process, sacrificing my needs for her time and time again. Don't get me wrong, she never used me. I did this all on my own accord. I just wanted her to be happy.

Did I mention that she suffered from depression since she was still in love with her ex and also had suicidal thoughts? No? So yeah, that was a thing. I often had to talk to her about why life, although it can be cruel and ugly, can be wonderful, beautiful, and is worth living. Also, I spoke to her about her ex, thinking that if we talked it out, she would get over him and possibly heal and start loving me. That obviously didn't quite work out the way I hoped.

Again, this is not to judge her or paint her in a negative light. She is a wonderful person that had some things she needed to sort out on her own and shouldn't have been in a relationship... which is why (long story short) she eventually broke up with me.

Which destroyed me. Absolutely ended me. I wept for weeks (months?) on end. I felt emotional pain so piercing I literally couldn't breathe at points, my chest feeling like it would burst, my mind unable to comprehend how a break up could hurt so much. That her rejection of me and my love would ruin me so, give me so much pain that I would break down in tears, gasping for breath. I had break ups in the past but nothing like that. Nothing could be like that. I was utterly broken.

I don't have an image that could possibly capture the pain I felt so here's a picture of two ducklings in a wine glass.
You're welcome.

It basically took me about a year to get over it. Problem was that I started another relationship with someone I shouldn't have. Not only because that person is the one with the host of issue elves but because I wasn't ready for a relationship and shouldn't have been anywhere near one. Especially not with someone who had issues of their own resulting from stuff that had gone down in their life which had scarred them and that they needed to deal with. This is Relationship 2.

I won't really go into much detail Relationship 2 since it just is something I realised wasn't a good thing. Essentially, I was trying to convince myself I loved her to prove I was over Relationship 1 - Fun fact: I wasn't. This meant I told her a lot of things in the first couple of months about how I still cared for my ex that I shouldn't have told her and helped fuel her insecurities for the remainder of our relationship.

When I was with her, I had to deal with the drama (and there was so much drama - like all of the drama) her issues created. And once I did get over my ex, I realised that the relationship I was in wasn't healthy and most of the stress in my life came from dealing with all the drama. It just wasn't good. But eventually Relationship 2 ended, which was good.

And I felt good. For the first time over a year or so, I felt whole again. I felt myself and not reliant on another person. Enter my latest relationship, the one which just ended. Relationship 3. It was great, my first healthy relationship in years.

We fitted together so well, it was ridiculous how natural it felt being together. It wasn't like I had another person come into my life, it was more like there was a hole in my life I didn't know about and she just fitted into it like she always should have been there but I hadn't found her yet.

I'm not sure if she is the glass slipper or I am in this scenario.
You wouldn't believe how many pictures of bra fittings you get when you put "perfect fit" as your search term in Google though.

And I wasn't obsessed or lost myself in her like I did in Relationship 1. I didn't put her on a pedestal but saw her as a person. Now, that doesn't mean I don't think she is amazing. I do. She is. So amazing. Like real pretty and smart. And such a nerd. Like a legit nerd, dorky and everything. Cute and adorable. Timid at times, and at other times stubbornly firm in her resolution and opinions. And she liked me. We were good together. We were happy together.

But it was starting to get real. As in a real relationship. Remember how I mention earlier how I don't have any walls? Well, that tends to mean that I fall in love quite easily since I don't really have any barriers. I've found this can be a problem since the people I fall in love with often don't fall in love with me at the same rate because they tend to have a lot of walls up. And that's what happened here, I was falling quite fast for her and she just couldn't keep up since she still had her walls up. I was scaling them like nobody's business because it's personal, don't pry.

Anyway, another long story short, she didn't feel ready for a long term relationship and therefore ended it before it went any further. I don't blame her. If someone isn't ready, they're not ready, and nothing you can say or do can really change that. I'm just sad it ended. It hurts but I don't think I've fully processed it yet since I haven't had a cathartic release of tears yet, although I have cried. But I'm sure that's on the way.

Oh, that's right. I'm supposed to be talking about Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Yeah, this pretty much sums up how I feel right now.

I have watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall with each of my past three girlfriends at their request. So it does seem to have some resonance, possibly because it is the greatest break up movie ever. Well, let me rephrase that, it is the greatest break up romantic comedy.

For although it is a romantic comedy and follows the formulaic narrative structure of a romcom with the cliches associated with the genre, it plays with that structure and those cliches in some clever ways. Where most romcoms are all about the couple meeting and forming a relationship, this is all about how the end of one relationship leads to another, so the forming of the relationship is still there but it is framed differently.

But where Forgetting Sarah Marshall really shines is in how honestly it depicts the hurt and grieving process one goes through after a break up. And most of that comes from the fearless performance from Jason Segel.

His character Peter starts the movie naked, literally baring himself to the audience at his most intimate and vulnerable. And it is at this point after we are introduced to his character that he is dumped by Sarah Marshall. She rejects him when he is barring all to her, she rejects him when he being his most open to her.

You can also totally find a frame grab of his penis online if you were so inclined.

Segel isn't afraid to portray Peter through all the stages of grief and insecurity that he goes through after his break up. Although played for comedy, his performance is honest and raw in the way it just shows Peter either scared, hurt, weeping, bitter, numb, depressed, and vulnerable with no real filter. The fact he wrote the film as well just elevates my respect for the man.

And it's this honesty that I think makes this movie resonate with a lot of people. Oh. it has a lot of funny moments and memorable lines, but it's the fact the film's depiction of the heartache following a break up and the difficulty of letting go to start a new relationship (with Mila Kunis' Rachel) seems real that really strikes a chord.

There's a moment when Peter is just hit by a series of memories of when he and Sarah were together and happy that just hit him one after the other via flashback and that is so true. Memories of a relationship can just strike out of nowhere and hit you in quick succession. A part of one memory makes you remember the next memory and something in that memory makes you think about another memory and it just goes from there.

Like the time when you played strip backgammon which made you think of how pretty her hair is, which made you think of that one time she tied her hair up and although it was different she still looked beautiful because her eyes are so striking, which made you think of that time you just spent ages gazing into each others eyes because you were being sappy and so on and so on.

Look. The cuteness before the impending agonising heartache.

The movie doesn't shy aware from the ugliness that happens after a break up when you just feel worthless and are so filled with hurt and anger and insecurity and loss of self. Again, this is within the context of a romantic comedy.

Also, a nice touch is that when Rachel finally accepts Peter at the end of the film, she accepts him when he is naked. Again, when he is at his most intimate and exposed, where Sarah Marshall rejected him, she accepts him. Which is a kinda touching and humorous moment.

Obviously, there have been dramas which have dealt with heartache in a more intense manner, but I doubt if it could be more true. It might go depict it with more seriousness or raw emotion, but the depiction in Forgetting Sarah Marshall is as true as can be. And I think it should be applauded for that just as much for anything Paul Rudd's character Kano says or the great gift to mankind that is Peter's Muppet Dracula musical.

Anyway, thanks for reading me ramble on about my failed romantic relationships before I declared Forgetting Sarah Marshall to be the greatest break up movie ever as matter of fact. I just wanted to share what's been going because, hey, I can. It's my blog.

Thanks for reading though.


Forgetting Sarah Marshall Wikipedia page

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This introduction is supposed to let you know that you have found the correct Caleb. 

I am here to tell that your search is over. I am indeed the correct Caleb for any given situation. Parties, hunter-gatherings, long walks on the beach, shindigs, guest appearances, and so much more. I am an multi-purpose Caleb guaranteed to impress friends and influence your uncle.

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