Adulthood Losses

There are many things one loses as one becomes an adult...Innocence is the first answer I get when I pose this question to most people...To me it has been friendships...I do have my bunch of close buddies even now...some who have journeyed with me through childhood, others who joined mid-way...But there is some way in which these relationships have evolved, which is not quite right...A reluctance to share secrets, especially painful ones...
I am not the prying kind and I am not generally good at keeping in touch, but that had never prevented us in the past from sharing everything that happens in our lives...we used to talk about boy friends, potential boy friends, crushes, exam blues, dreams for the future, nightmares of the present and what not...
Then somewhere along the line we became adults...and then we all started suffering in silence...no, I am not saying that we all have miserable lives...On the contrary, most of us have very blessed lives, especially when viewed from the outside...But then, tragedies do strike...and we know about them very late...a friend who has been talking happily about her marriage suddenly goes through a divorce...another loses someone very dear to a terminal illness...and in all these cases, we know of it much later...after the event, after the pain has transformed them...I know distance and lack of frequent communication could be reasons...But, deep inside my heart I know that even if I had constantly kept in touch, we would never have talked about these...or even the day to day problems..of adjusting to life and its requirements...we all know very well that we would support each other, if we know the other person is in pain...but still we hardly reach across and ask for help...
Somehow adulthood cocoons us...and it no longer feels right that I talk about my problems with others...or ask them , 'is everything alright?' Is it social conditioning or is it fear of being judged or is it something else? I don't know...But we all live in private worlds...and grapple with adult ghosts at night...only, this time the screams are silent...

Comments

alex said…
The notion of adulthood in some sense implies that one is mature and strong enough to shoulder problems. After all only adults can start families.

Regarding innocence, i don't know what it means any longer. Another clever way of demarcating people based on age. (religion plays an important role perhaps)

"The whole development of contemporary education, with its irreproachable aim of preserving the child from adult conflicts, accentuates the distance that separates, for a man, his life as a child and his life as an adult. that is to say, by sparing the child conflicts, it exposes him to a major conflict, to the contradiction between his childhood and his real life."-Michel Foucault
bombay dosti said…
I think its got a lot to do with keeping in touch. If you talk every week, you have to share your sorrows.What else will you talk about? Atleast thats how, it has been for me. Some friends, I am in touch with, that I end up calling them once in atleast two weeks.But you are right, they may not be the first ones to know about that first naughty thought in your mind,like it was long time back. But then eventually, they get to know, only if we were in touch. And defenitly, for me, sorrows, they get to know!
Anu said…
Bells, once you are an adult, there is a certain discretion that comes in when you talk about problems. Not everybody has the empathy to understand what you are going through - and the last thing one needs is judgment from a one-time friend. Secondly, if you are not in regular touch, one does not tend to talk about problems - one hopes for a pleasant conversation that helps you forget your problems, albeit momentarily. Reaching out is something that is largely within our control - irrespective of our age :)
Tinkerbells said…
@alex: yea, but don't know when is the right age to introduce a child to the conflicts of the world...we all try to protect kids to whatever extent possible...
@bd: not all my friends open u like you do...and also somehow it seems ok to crib about boyfriends than to crib about husbands and in-laws...social sanctioning is different in both cases i feel...Once you are married , its almost as if the other person's reputation is in your hands and you try to protect it as much as possible until everythng completely unravels...
@anu: yea discretion about what you talk...that's a crucial difference between adulthood and childhood..!

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