In a dream you are never eighty. ~Anne Sexton
One of the conversational threads from my therapy session on Saturday afternoon revolved around the notion of the seven year itch. "What you and Tom are experiencing, is a sort of seven year itch," she told me. I just looked at her. We are well past the seven year point, after all. We are approaching the 10 year mark for the 24/7, living together, not long-distance relationship. That milestone will happen next summer.
So, she explained that, for us, the point where we might have begun to experience the "decline" that is characteristic of the "seven year itch" was fraught with incipient crisis: the bariatric surgeries, the attendant health struggles and lifestyle changes, and ... the severe ratcheting up of the impacts of drinking as a result of that passage. There was the shock and adjustment in our lives with the loss of His career. Too, we were dropped precipitously into the deaths of His parents, and then T's mother's stroke and long illness and death... And so... our "itchy" phase seems to have been delayed.
I'll admit I was a little mystified by the whole conversation, but then she went on to explain that the latest thinking is that with people our ages, the "seven year itch" is really about deciding whether you really want to grow old together. It involves the question of spending the time that is left with this person...
When I got home and told Master about that part of the session, He looked at me and said, "Well the truth is that we don't want to grow old." And that, is really so. There is no choice. The continued aging is inevitable and unavoidable, but it isn't something that we are anticipating with eagerness. We are too entirely aware that the likely trajectory from here on out is through a series of never ending diminishments. Bummer, that.
I would dearly wish to stop the progression of the years; to stay as we are; perhaps even turn the clock back and regain some bit of those more youthful, stronger years that are forever behind us. It cannot be. And given that we all understand that I'd choose not to have to go through the indignities and inevitable losses of growing older -- there is still no one that I'd rather walk that path with than Master and T. If we have to go, then I fervently hope that we will get to go all together, hand in hand in hand.