Examining the Impact of Roles and Social Pressures on My Life

1794 WordsJun 20, 20188 Pages
Examining the Impact of Roles and Social Pressures on My Life I spent a recent evening watching a movie with my erstwhile girlfriend Jaimie, along with two of our mutually close friends, Jason and Michael. In the half hour before starting the video, we rearranged Jaimie's furniture to make room for the four of us. During the screening, we laughed together at a child's antics, made jokes about trite and improbable situations, and watched silently as the story drew to an emotional climax. As the credit scroll began, it was clear that I was both welcome and expected to stay in the room in a casual social gathering with the other three. However, my response was to mumble something about having to leave, and, retreating to…show more content…
I felt emasculated by the sudden decrease in affection, both physical and emotional, and began to associate this feeling of inadequacy with my time spent with Jaimie. As Erich Fromm understood, "Both helplessness and doubt paralyze life, and in order to live man tries to escape from freedom, negative freedom" (283). My rational desire to escape conflicted with the love I felt for Jaimie during our happier moments and the Relationship I had so idealized. After a month of equivocating, I realized unconsciously, although my ego refused to admit it, that we would not be together much longer. Indeed, the fated breakup occurred, on a Sunday morning 11 days before what would be our four-month anniversary -- and 10 days before Valentine's Day. Jaimie made it clear that she needed time to discover her own role in life, and that being my girlfriend impeded that discovery. Suddenly the realization that I had been avoiding was thrust upon me. Due to influences beyond my control -- for it would be both ridiculous and pretentious for me to attempt to change her mind -- my role had been changed from Boyfriend to Miserable Wretch. "Identities... must also be socially sustained, and fairly steadily so.... If this recognition is suddenly withdrawn, it usually does not take very long before the self-image collapses" (Berger 100). The right brain / left brain split at which I hinted earlier was now in full effect. Intellectually, I was glad the
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