Kate on their anniversary


          It’s Friday in our part of the world and we are so excited about this holiday weekend coming up. If you are not a resident of the United States, our humble little country will be celebrating its independence this weekend. If you live in the UK, you are probably wondering why we continue to harp on something that took place 233 years ago. It’s not like someone is taxing my tea and sending Red Coats to march up and down our streets (please refer to the School House Rocks ‘No more king’ episode). It is simply, freedom is a concept that fascinates most human beings but is utterly terrifying. What the American Colonies did so long ago took some major cojones (for our non-hispanic readers, ‘cojones’ means ‘testicles’). Asserting independence is the topic today and it has everything to do with the fourth episode of ‘Chris and Kate’.

          Lee says: I hope you are watching before reading our response. Each episode has been building on the previous to show how two individuals create their own prison within a relationship. In this episode, Kate is talking about her upcoming anniversary with Chris. There are many revelations in her entry that describe a different side of Chris.

          First of all, she talks about how Chris is so excited about their upcoming anniversary and how she hates seeing him so happy. She mentions that he sees significance in the yearly event. Obviously, Kate can care less. Her memories of previous anniversaries are marring any possibility of her joining Chris in his understanding of the date let alone eliciting any kind of nostalgia for the event. Actually, Kate does not speak at all about their past. When she does mention her past, it never includes him even though Chris mentions that they went to school together.

          Kate discloses that Chris embarrasses her with his drinking. She would prefer they not go out and subject other people to Chris. Even if she did spend the previous year ‘picking glass out if her hair’ she is more concerned with not subjecting the ‘normal’ people with his behavior which apparently includes drinking and the possibility of getting arrested. But this begs the question, if she is so mortified, why is she still with Chris?

          This is the flip-side of co-dependence. This is the feeling of ‘no one will ever love me’. Kate has a very warped sense of love and reality. She sees emotions as extrinsic qualities that should be controlled. She is not that different than most people who have been sexually abused as children. Chris’ excitement or sadness causes her anger. The reactions of ‘normal people’ cause her embarrassment. Kate’s sense of self is completely dependent on the emotions of others. I understand, for a lot of you out there, this doesn’t seem like a big deal. So let me put in terms you may understand: If Kate doesn’t get some help and insight soon, she’ll be picking glass out of her hair for the rest of her life.

          Paul says: Recently, I did some research on social networks (Facebook, MySpace, etc) and what I found out amazed me. The math that describes the interconnectedness of people is akin to stuff that I studies in quantum mechanics. It is the Six Degrees of Separation phenomenon but with a profile picture. And it is not just who we know that is connected but also our actions, reactions, emotions and the empty space that we leave when apathy takes control. To gain emotional independence, the first step is to see how we are interdependent.  

          The funny thing is that, even through the fog of her general fucked-upedness, Kate gets this on an intuitive level. She actually sees that she is in a co-dependent relationship even if she does not have the vocabulary or insight to understand what that means. She knows that she is reactive to Chris’ happiness as well as his behavior while drinking. She understands the impact their relationship has on others around them, even if only marginally.

          The big question is whether or not she will gain the insight that she needs to transcend from reacting to acting. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

          Happy anniversary Chris and Kate.

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