Thursday, 22 December 2016

The Seizers

Can all acts in life be summarised succinctly as theft? Not just acts of crime, including murder since it steals life, but even adultery?
The theft of someone else's partner, though not usually achieved through kidnapping but conducted on a mutual basis, could be considered by the injured party a form of thievery, which once unearthed might cause the relationship to irretrievably break down, and which is then aggravated further if the new squeeze moves in: takes over what was your position as if the vacancy, naturally without your consent or knowledge, had been advertised and filled. Tempers flare, suspicions rise. Anger and jealously reigns, reigns big time.
If there's kids it's more complicated. There's this person who's not you with your ex-partner in your ex-property and acting as a parent would in a 'guardian' capacity and around them far more often than you are in spite of access arrangements, which if you feel this situation has been 'done to you', it must be weird – almost a looking in at your old life, feeling that it's been snatched away and you've been forced to make a new one. You can't rectify what you're seeing, and even if at some point in the future you do reconcile, time will have passed, aged, and yet not erased the hurt.
But then what I'm doing is conjecturing. I have no idea, really. It's never happened to me, but then I have issues with intimacy, coupled with the fact that, in truth, I'm a solitary being. Sure, I know of failed relationships and the acrimony and tensions that can follow, but relationships fall apart for many reasons, with adultery cited rather less than you think, but if you really ruminate on it, long and hard, 'theft' is likely to be involved, somewhere, when it comes to the split, as in the dividing of finances and property accumulated in the years together. What each partner thinks is rightfully theirs, due to either the investment of time or money, or both. And that's before the thorny issue of alimony, which if kids are not a factor either because there are none or because they've grown, can be an even bigger thorn so that the wronged partner, the one that didn't walk out, can feel more wronged, more stolen from, and that can be a hell of a knot to untangle. I sure wouldn't want to be a mediator, in this life or any other.
But as I said, I'm inexpert when it comes to such matters and so I take a pragmatic view, because what interests me rather more is the puzzle of human behaviour: why we do what we do, why we respond differently to a set of circumstances, and why, if our reactions are questioned, we find they lead to a source: some kind of experience so deeply embedded that we imagine our actions are independent when in fact they're not, though that's not, I hasten to add, an excuse, yet recognising such conditioning helps us understand more – about ourselves, about our nearest and dearest, about external others we have dealings with – and how these reactions don't have to be primed like a detonator or an alarm clock.
At the same time it's important to note that whilst there are a range of emotions, we each demonstrate and employ these to varying degrees. If 'Thou shalt not judge' were a commandment, and successfully kept, would that prevent presumptions and accusations from being not just thought but flung? 'Thou shalt not steal' has not had the desired effect.
Theft is a motivator which if applied on broader terms to the acquisition of human beings alongside material items and status symbols can feed personalities that, above all else, like to crush and win; those who are comfortable selling ideas to get what they want. However, at the opposite end of this scale is a self-fulfilled prophecy: Suicide, where someone has intentionally robbed themselves, and in-between there's far, far pettier crimes: 'borrowed' office stationery, and even birds who steal knickers off washing lines for their nests.
Is that what it, this life and the next (if you are that way inclined), is all about? Always wanting something you haven't got and are unlikely to get unless you resort to a form of theft.

Picture credit: The Lovers II, 1928, Rene Magritte