Things with Figaro are great. I could go on and on about how great they are, but that’s not a gentlemanly thing to do, so I won’t. What is disconcerting me enough that I want to write about it here is how this has changed my attitude to other people’s relationships in a very narcissistic way. The massive egoism, I see now, was always there; it’s just different now, and suddenly more obvious.
When I was in a miserable relationship, I looked at people around me and saw them only from that point of view – the single ones were unutterably fortunate to be single and the ones who seemed happy in relationships were living in a vale of tears that was due to flood any second. When I was single again afterwards, things were pretty much the same; other single people were simply insane to not like being single and to try to change that situation, and people in relationships who thought they were happy were just fooling themselves.
So I always just assumed, depending on my mood, that I was either overly cynical or wonderfully realistic about relationships. Now that things with Figaro are great, I realize I was in fact simply completely unempathetic and egotistical. Because now people keep breaking up around me who I had persuaded myself were in real love matches, and I’m like, “whaaaaaa? People don’t do that. People are happy together. Yeah? What? Where are my pants?” I still think single people have both sides of their bread buttered – being single is the second best thing to being with Figaro, as far as I’m concerned – but I guess I’ve deluded myself into figuring if I’m happy, everybody either is or should be – geez.
To be a Jungian analyst, which is still third or fourth on my list of professional ambitions, you need vast amounts of head shrinking both before and during the course – they describe the need for it as the capacity to distinguish between your own emotions and the patients’ . . . that’s hard. I thought it was hard before and now I think it’s really hard.