Oh god, my heart hurts
having recently gone through a break-up
this is… v real :(((
This comic made me sit here for five minutes and think about the extent to which being in a relationship involves maintaining an investment in the emotional well-being of another person.
And what the hell do you do when the relationship ends but that investment in the other person's well-being sticks around….
I've had an awkward moment when I had to kind of… ignore my ex, sort of. He was always self-conscious in crowds and would always check in with me in how he was doing, I would check in with him and tell him how he's doing a good job. When we broke up but still went to the same party, I had to break that.
I felt it was weird to offer that comfort when he was the one who broke things off. I felt like I would be trying to retain the relationship that he didn't want to be in anymore. Unfortunately, I could tell it hit him hard when he was talked over and I sort of wasn't the one to listen to him anymore, especially since I'm usually the person who gives my full attention to the one person who gets talked over. It wasn't great.
I'm sorry, I know I'm rambling. I just haven't been able to vent about this particular experience and OP has done such a good job at illustrating such a specific situation like that that it feels like the first time I don't feel so bad about it.
I am in that situation actually. It is hard, and confusing.
I broke up with him even though our relationship was not bad. I was happy(ish), but we both wanted different things in our lives. I needed the freedom to move forward with my life so I broke it off (a 6 year relationship, we were engaged). Sometimes in life you have to admit that you need the space, and freedom to gain the clarity for your life.
I love him so much, but I don't feel "in love" with him. We still hangout (more than that too), he is my best friend. Establishing the just friend part is difficult since we have always been that plus more. I do care about his feelings, and I do things to make sure I protect him still.
It's so difficult when you still care about each other…
Wow. "I wish I could quit you."
I completely understand it, but I wish Hannah's default reaction to negative feelings wasn't to go right to anger.
If it was a different situation I might agree, but sometimes anger is the healthiest and cleanest thing, especially when you're able to express it at the moment it comes. She is establishing a boundary and anger is good for that, it pushes people a bit back and establishes the new space between two people who used to be close and who struggles to find a new dynamic. Marek comes into the situation with his sore feelings and need to be validated, but Hannah can not do that for him withouth making the situation feel intimate between them. It's too raw. Anger is the sharp knife, it cuts clean.
I don't know f I am wrong about this, but I've felt all this time that Marek's reason to break with Hanna was complete BS. Yes, Hanna was kind of aware that it'd happen (much as she clearly hoped it wouldn't), but it doesn't make it any less BS. So while Marek is and was in all his right to end a relationship for whatever reasons were important for him, I think Hanna deserves and needs the good angry outburst at him that she couldn't give him at the time just because she was so devastated.
I was under the impression that it was Hannah that broke things off: http://www.octopuspie.com/2014-03-26/651-trying-t…
Literally the next page goes into it being 'because of the kids thing'.
Hmm it may be the case that seeing how Marek was pretty much ok (just a bit down) following the off-screen break up, while Hannah was devastated, I assumed that he was the one to break things up.
I really wish that Meredith fleshed up a bit more that time. One moment we had Marek and Hannah together and fine in a camping trip, then one panel of them two talking apparently amicably following his graduation, then Marek was moving out and Hannah was in the slums.
I always thought it was pretty mutual, based on their respect for each other. Marek wanted a family, and didn't want to coerce Hanna into that when it wasn't what she wanted, and Hanna didn't want to be the person who stopped Marek from having the family he wanted. Rather than breaking up because they stopped loving each other, they broke up BECAUSE they loved each other and each wanted the other to have their best life.
Of course, this strip shows how that gets weird, because Marek is seeing someone else but is also crestfallen to consider that Hanna might not care about what he does, because he still cares deeply about what she does.
And then marrek says "and you're ACUTE-y" and then they get bak 2gether.
Their relationship just felt right.
I'm sure there are some people who would like nothing more than to see them cosine a lease together.
They complement eachother
"Frankly, my dear, I LOVE YOU, LET'S REMARRY"
Yes. That would be nice.
Intense emotions are really, really hard.
Beyond the hurt, there is an immense amount of emotional maturity behind this conversation.
There's a lot to learn from this.
Oh my gosh! This is so… i can't.
Ps. I even got the obtuse. Lord
I kept staring at this page for minutes, thinking about how both beautiful and painful it must be to love someone that much. And to admit how hurtful this can be while you're trying to show your past significant other that they don't need to blame themselves.
I've never been in a relationship so I still don't understand how people so in love can break such bond. I know it's the children thing for Hannah and Marek, but I don't really grasp the concept .. you know?
What I do know is that these 2 will always cherish one another, no matter what happens in the future. I also know that the bond these 2 shared, is something really rare and even Hannah's mom won't convince that what they had was a non serious child's thing.
Also, I love OctopusPie so darn much!
lol they hate each other. I'm really glad you don't know that feeling.
I don't think you know it as much as you think you do.
I still don't get it why would they break up. If he loved her that much, why would he sacrifice that for the sake of having children? Also, why would Hanna break up with him for not wanting kids? What happened between them!??
That's not always how it goes down. Breaking up with my ex-wife was the best thing for us but we don't hate each other. We're not just still friends, we're family.
Relationships that don't work can cut you to the quick even years later. There are some that fade gently into flat, even scars and you are left with the knowledge that you each became better people. But for a lot of people, there is that one love that tore your soul apart and when you picked up the pieces, you put them back together as best you could. But you don't know if you are missing any pieces and it's never the same shape again. Whenever I run into my first exbf, I have to take the route of pretending he doesn't even exist to get through that gracefully. Even though I'm going to be married 6 years to the most wonderful man that has loved me better and that I have loved so much more than I imagined a person could love, that first one still hurts me. I imagine that's a little of what Hanna is feeling in this strip. That raw aching hurt where your heart is shards of glass trying to make a complex shape, but it just cuts you to ribbons when you try to use it. Time smooths those edges eventually.
My question would be, if you and this person were in a situation where you're both available and it's obvious that both of you long to be together *hypothetically speaking* would you go back?
I know from Eve's experience that you should never go back to an old flame, as Hanna herself said before, but I guess situations may differ if you get what I'm trying to say. And I understand that going through a break-up is something that a person should own up to once it happens, but does it always have to be like that? What's the point which makes you decide that you should never go back being with such person and what point would make it okay?
I think an answer to this might be very helpful to many people, having me included..
Well, a lot of relationships have an off and on moment. It's when it's a pattern that it needs to be dropped. Eve and Park felt like they would have been a bad pattern. To my mind, you can rekindle some relationships and have them come out well. But it takes two very mature people who can create a fresh relationship and not fall into the pits of the one that failed. I think Hanna and Marek could work now, if Marek has grown as much as Hanna.
It's rare for a relationship to be picked back up. A lot of things get in the way. Some can never get the timing right again or they realize that they want the old person, not the one standing in front of them. Each relationship is so different though.
I got extremely lucky actually. I found my husband back in the day when myspace let you search for people in your area. You could choose religion, height, whether or not they want kids, if they drink or smoke or drug… He was top of 7 guys in my area that were nonreligious, wanted kids, and didn't smoke or drink. And he was painfully, extremely, unbelievably shy.
He admitted his shyness and it took a couple of months for us to have our first first date. (not a writing mistake there) We ate pizza, walked around the mall, went back to my apartment to watch movies. I probably did about 75% of the talking. His portion was mostly in response to my questions. By the end of the night, I would ask him a non yes or no question and all he would do is smile and shake his head or not. Like pulling teeth out of a super drugged up rhino.
I kept chatting with him on aim, trying to get him to meet up with me again at some point, but it just didn't happen. I eventually asked him if that was a date or a meet and greet. He said meet and greet and I gracefully faded out thinking I wasn't the fit he wanted. No hard feelings, just some wistful ones.
Fast forward a year, I get on facebook for the first time in aaaggges and import my email contacts. Guess who is there? And messages me immediately? And is flirting boldly? Yup, him. He decided he wasn't going to let shyness rule his life anymore. And he did like me on the first first date. He just didn't know what to do about it. But after connecting on fb, we had our second first date two weeks later, I was his gf a month after that. He told me he loved me two months later. Asked me to move in with him two months after that (after I'd been in a car wreck and was super pitiful, but not horribly injured. Cracked ribs suck, yo). And we had a house that June. That was about 11 months after the second first date. A year and a few months after that, we were married, and this October will be 6 years with us still being goofy, annoyingly in love best friends. I won a lottery of reconnection.
The best advice I can give to anyone regarding a relationship is to be prepared to declare your intentions as soon as you are interested. Naturally, drop it if the other person isn't inclined. But don't ever try to start as just a friend if you want this person to be your mate. I have always been a jump in feet first type. It worked out for me in the end. But that's not natural for most people. Don't be afraid of saying "Hey, do you wanna try this dating thing?" And if they go along with it, be open. Don't ever hide. Show your weirdness, your zaniness, your flaws. That will get them to show you theirs. And if they won't… they aren't the right fit. Find a person who makes you feel like you couldn't have made someone better for you, and show them all your weird out of shape parts. Let them see you laugh until you snort, let them know how badly this other person hurt you, let them know how much you love them.
And if you find a person who enjoys making you cry or simply keeps making you cry over and over… walk the fuck away and don't look back. That person will never be the one you should spend any time or emotion on. Don't waste your time on the ones that hurt you. I did that, and I still hate him for it. That's my this is not okay point.
These are great advices! Thanks!
And I hope your marriage keeps on being as happy and healthy as it is until the end of time 🙂
Awh, thank you! Love and relationships are a crazy journey lol.
Just remember that you deserve someone who makes you happy and you will do alright 🙂
The second panel is me, every time I talk to a man
I dip in and out of following this site so I missed their breakup. When does it occur? I think if I don't read it, it will never feel real to me…
There's never a scene where you see them go 'it's over'. But it's when Marek graduates. Marek wants kids, Hanna doesn't, and as he moves into the next phase of his life, it doesn't make enough sense to keep on with a relationship that doomed.
Second-to-last panel: "Aw, don't do the eyebrow thing."
Marek…hide your eyes under your hair and kiss her already!
Hanna is a toxic person.
I like Hannah, God knows we all do, but she is not in any kind of responsibility about her emotions. "Here is my armor. You do not hurt me. Why, I tried to have spontaneous revenge sex at this party, you hurt me so little." "I am perplexed by your subtle but hostile affect. Is it actually armor?" "SCREW YOUUUUU HOW DARE YOU QUESTION MY BRITTLE LIES"
I do not think that is the interaction that is happening here. I think she's trying her best to tell him that it's okay for him to do what he wants to do because they're split, and even if she has feelings about it, he should still pursue happiness. She's just not great at communicating.
Actually, upon reflection, I enjoy the literary creation of the character Hannah, and I have compassion for the kind of pain people like her live in, but I have never liked the character as someone I could be friends with. She doesn't know who she is or what she wants, and to cover that discomfort, she maintains a pretty aggressive demeanor. And the effort exhausts her, because aggression is energy intensive. And she does not have the energy left over to figure out who she actually is. When Marek reflects on his behavior and admits it to be hurtful, because he has always been that kind of reflective, openly vulnerable person who can admit wrong-doing, she is disoriented and her control slips, revealing the maelstrom she really feels. But she can't deal with herself outside of her illusion of cool, so she begins an attack on Marek. I will not be surprised if we see her go truly apey in the next update. I hope this episode will be a turning point for her to continue with the self-care she started with exercise and really learn to love and appreciate herself…
It is such a good comic to make one reflect on personality archetypes and drives the way this does. I am much older than the characters and remember the insanity of one's 20s, of trying to really come to grips with self beyond the mostly stupid identities we construct as teenagers. Life throws stuff at you in your 20s, and the solution is never to try to become more of what you wanted to be as a teenager.
While I agree that Hanna's character is founded on overcompensating for her insecurity with her own identity via aggression (if I ever had a comic twin she'd be mine, for better or for worse lmao), I don't see that as the central motive of this particular interaction. I see her as feeling pretty beat down from a long day of heavy hits, and then unsure of how to handle Marek's emotional inappropriateness when it presents itself — because he might be honest and genuine when he asks "Is that true?", but he's still being inappropriate. Although her communication might not be the best (because nobody is perfect), she *is* practicing self-care here by establishing that boundary: She's telling Marek, "You do you and if seeing it hurts, that's my problem to worry about. You're not responsible for me." And she shouldn't have to be responsible for him, either.
It's the kindest thing she can do for both of them, and it probably hurts like hell to do. Vulnerability and validation with somebody you used to love so much can feel incredible in the moment, but it's not always the healthiest thing to dive into, and she resists that here. I don't think she's attacking Marek. I think she was just taken off guard.
Self-love comes in so many different forms. She finally loves herself enough to say, "I can handle my own." And that's a huge place to get to for her. She's grown into herself a lot.
I think I see what you mean, but I think that's the opposite of the point of this entire section. I think the entire party itself is a very pointed demonstration of how much Hannah has grown (she loves Eve so much she invited an ex who she still hasn't fully recovered from — because he is also Eve's friend; she invited Mar, even though she shot her mouth off last time and never really apologized — because Eve deserves to have Mar at her party– and it is not just a coincidence that the author made a point to show the scene ("click click") where Hannah decidedt to be a grown up), and I certainly don't think she is still "soul-searching" or finding herself – she is a solid character in her own right who discovered herself after a co-dependent relationship ended (which is truth for a lot of people), and this is her "homecoming" (even though it is Eve's party).
Some people are hotheads, and it isn't a personality flaw or something out of their teenage years. Some people immediately react to a situation instead of others who don't– they process the situation faster. Why? I don't know, maybe they've been hurt in the past and have had to think on their feet as a reaction, but she isn't malformed just because she reacts quickly. I think this entire section is showing that Hannah used to be pretty immature, but she has learned to be mature in a way that is also true to herself. She can snap, but what motivated her snapping this time isn't "an attack" – she really is trying to help him move on. Because even when he's "dating" someone, he is thinking of Hannah, wondering how the move will affect her. And that's sweet, and touching, but it ultimately is UNHEALTHY, because they both decided it wouldn't work (which is why Hannah is mad. Imagine if you're a recovering cocaine addict, and your friend shows up with a bag of cocaine and is like – "well, you probably don't want this anyway" and dangling it in front of you. Because it's like "c'mon, really? Desire isn't the problem, you insensitive jerk!").
She's exasperated with how dense he is about this: of course it affects her, and of course it made her uncomfortable. She's a human being, and being an adult does not mean turning into a robot that doesn't feel things for past loves. Marek just revealed some pretty immature stuff about himself: that he believed Hannah would have someone new, and so he had to bring someone. This is for no reason other than to preserve his own appearance. That's the opposite of mature. And Hannah has no other option than to get exasperated (ps does she not get points for not flipping out?
Because notice she isn't yelling, she isn't screaming. She's just telling him he is obtuse — which he is) because she knows him, and she knows that maybe the breakup actually hurt Marek more than her because he was the one who wanted kids. So from M's perspective, they could get back together, if only Hannah would change her mind (or if he would let it go). She knows that his gesture isn't serving him, and it definitely isn't serving her.
I absolutely LOVE the colors one this one. It's such a short page, and although not dialogue heavy, the words themselves have heavy implications. And accompanying that, we have the first three pannels that start in a much colder hue of purple, a blueish one, that slowy translates to a warmer purple as the orange lights bleed into their conversation and high lights. At the last pannel, the purple is a coldish lilac, barely resembling any blue tint, that's slowy transitioning to pink… So overall, the page FAKES being cold but it's actually quite warm, exactly like their conversation.
This is too much, man. Also, Hannah's "3 colored" hair is A+. Style, story, and colors. OctoPie nails it all eh
Also, just to add, there's so many comments going on complaining about Hannah, to the extent that some of them are just "she is toxic", and nothing else.
Of course, she is a person so deeply lost within herself that she looks at others as helpless enough that she can feel better/help them and feel like she has a purpose. Might be from personal experience, but Hannah always seemed to me as someone who depends on the existance of her friends because she can only believe on the value she has once she has helped someone out and this person aknowledges this for her. She needs to be as loud and present and right as possible, always, because if there's any possibility that she might be the changing impact in someone's life, she'll feel better about being to empty to herself.
And she's changing! So much. I feel like know she genuinely does much more because not only validates her, but she finally sees the effect she has on her friends through their eyes, not her heart. This makes me very happy.
So here, she is not lashing out on Marek, she in not complaining, she is not absolutely indignated he is questioning her armor. No. Here, at least to me, what she is saying is:
"Maybe I'm lying about caring, but it shouldn't matter to you. I don't want it to matter to you, because I need you to stop caring, because I can't get into this conversation with you". She is just trying to avoid to get her feelings and Marek's tangled again. But, y'know… She's very bad at communication.
'obtuse' here meaning 'emotionally honest'.
Gosh darn it Marek
Hanna quickly became one of my favorite characters, because she's done a f*ck ton of growing (up).
The idea of Hanna and Marek getting back together is wholly 'romantic'. It would be more than a little eye-rolly to have that magically just 'work out'. At this point, I'm more anxious for her to reconcile with Mar. For me, that that is a more realistic, and more…celebratory? reconnection.
and No. He does not have to be so fucking obtuse.
Maybe it is personal experience, but I'm 100% annoyed with Marek rn, too. It'd be one thing if she was this new girl and it was going great and the reason that he brought her was that he really liked his new girlfriend, but the only reason he did it was to act a defensive move to save face. In the meantime, Hannah is taking shit on all sides (I get that they are consequences of her past actions, but hot damn –STILL), and she was so alone and uncomfortable the whole time, but she did it for Eve.
Aaah, I'm really glad we get to see a little more of these 2.
I keep thinking how there is no clear differentiation between commas and full stops here in this writing style, and it works really well, just like in speech.
Oh, Marek. It's such a …human mistake to make, bringing someone because you are afraid to be seen alone. It feels almost out of chracter, and although it was stupid/misguided, how he apologises is so sweet and straightforward. I missed him ;_;
I don't know how I feel about Hannah, sometimes I felt I wouldn't be friends with her in real life, but she is suuuuch an interesting character, I will miss her too.
THANK YOUUUU for continuing to share and closing these little things up, Meredith. It's greatly enjoyed.
"Stop caring about me, dammit!"
People are upset at Hannah but it's marek who has been really insensitive here. He's not letting Hannah go. She's having trouble moving on and his choices with her are painful. He wants it both ways but he can't. I think her responses are valid here, even if her frustration is excessive.
I feel you on this. At first, his pressing on the "is it true" matter felt slimy to me… but upon further reflection (and knowing enough about Marek at this point), it's not slimy. I think he's genuinely concerned and wants to help, but he needs to accept that he can't.
See, I dunno…. I'm seeing a few rehashings of the "Hanna is toxic, she needs to sort herself out" comments on this one. And while those ideas may be true, I don't think this particular moment is an example of those. In fact, Marek is the one who is low-key disappointing me, here. (I could be WAY off here, but here's my thought process).
He starts out kind of realizing in-moment that he had less-than-pure (though very human!) reasons for bringing his new friend, and he owns up to it in a humble, honest, straightforward way. This is Classic Marek, and it's the reason we all love him.
Hanna responds (rather maturely, I felt!) by reminding him that he shouldn't have to put his life on hold for the sake of her feelings. Sure, she's papering over the fact that it did hurt her deeply, and the "I have no say in what you do" remark may have some ulterior motives – she's probably trying her best not to break down in front of him and thereby burden him FURTHER- but I see no reason to not believe that she meant exactly what she said. "I have no say in what you do. It has nothing to do with me."
Now if I were Marek at this point, I would probably say something like, "*sigh* Yeah, I guess you're right." And then steer the convo to more, "How is Bake N Bake going, blah blah blah, normal stuff."
But Marek doesn't accept Hanna's offer of absolution of his guilt/affirmation of his pursuit of happiness. Instead he goes… "Is that true?" Like, "Ohhhh, are you suuuure? It's okay to open up, tell me how much our breakup still hurts you!!" It's hard to imagine that Marek MEANT to do that, but come on, he's not stupid. He KNOWS that it hurts her. Why the need for tearful, wound-opening confirmation? And all this must be really frustrating for Hanna, who has REALLY been put on blast (often fairly!) for dumping her purse out all over everyone and burning friendships or "pushing people away," as Will says–only to have Marek, a person who really affects her and around whom she has to work harder to contain that emotional volatility, come around and insist, "No, come on, what's in that purse, LET'S PRY IT OPEN." I don't doubt Marek's concern for Hannah, but these particular Marek-based feelings cannot be addressed by Marek. They should be disclosed to a trusted friend or a therapist, not to Marek. His insistence on access to Hanna's pain seems ultimately more selfish than his bringing a date to Eve's party, at least to me, anyway.
tl;dr: I don't think Hanna's primary aim in saying "I have no say in what you do" is to throw up some cool, shiny emotional armor; she's trying to not unfairly lash out (i.e., the thing she's been punished for.) She's not the best person in the world, but she also just really can't win these days.
Sorry if I mispelled "Hanna" a bunch of times.
Even more, I feel like HE was hurt when he said "is that true?" like "oh, how can you say that we have nothing to do with each other now, I am wounded deeply" and that just annoyed the piss out of me that he made her responsible for tending to that.
I think I've been Marek in a conversation much like this, and I said something very similar – and your observation is spot on (though only in retrospect do I realize this).
Thank you for giving me a different perspective on my behavior. I guess we are all kind of selfish in a way, and I admire people who can keep that selfishness at bay to become better people.
Yeah it definitely falls into that pattern of men asking women to do the wmotional work for them. Now Hanna has to do all the polite jujitsu instead of him
You and greengeekgirl nailed it. Marek IS hurt to hear Hanna say "It has nothing to do with me." Of course it hurts when someone you care deeply for reminds you about those new barriers in your relationship. But I would also say that Hanna's behavior is more appropriate, and in some ways, more mature (even if a bit less tactful). She doesn't say "No shit, you shouldn't have brought someone else as your defense mechanism." Because really, it ISN'T her business and Marek is the one who needs to learn how to deal with their new circumstance. Hanna isn't happy about it but she's acknowledging reality as best she can. This page makes me think Marek maybe hasn't done as much healing as Hanna because he isn't able to accept that they both need to move on without letting the other person affect them so much. Even if that's really really hard. I'm still sympathetic to Marek (because I've been in this kind of break up and I relate to both sides) but I wish people would give Hanna some freaking credit here. She may be prickly, but she's not wrong.
"Hanna's behavior is more appropriate, and in some ways, more mature (even if a bit less tactful)"
Exactly this. I know she kind of lashed out at the last bit, but actually being the one to put up the boundary of a person's emotional health not being the other's responsibility is as mature as a move can get, especially when *she's the hurt party.*
Your comment reminded of me of the evening at the pier where Marek found out Marigold was no longer friends with Hanna. He was devastated and clearly showed worry for Hanna and her support group, revealing that even then he was learning to cope with the new boundary. Bless his heart, I'd like to think he's been trying. We've all been there :/
Your and other people's comments have made me reconsider my view of this scene. I believe I just hold too much of a bias for Marek and I want to forgive anything. But you are absolutely right, up to panel 6 his behaviour and words are understandable. But he should be aware he has forfeited the right to Hanna's closeness, and pursuing that is selfish and will only pain her more. If he is truly worried for her emotional wellbeing, he should steer clear of confusing behaviour, and do the soulsearching necessary to know that now it is not him who takes care of her, and respect that.
(Although just now I'm remembering how right after he was told about her and Marigold's 'breakup' he went to visit her too, to support her. Again simultaneously strange and sweet, because she was mainly feeling bad because of him. But anyway, I remember her joking "Are you checking up on me to see if I have disappeared without you?" Or something of the sort. Perhaps because having a partner was such an intrinsic part of her life, something which defined part of her, something she has been trying to diffuse since the break up. She has seen progress, but he hasn't. Just like when Hanna reminds Mar she has seen her at her weakest and worst and does not believe she does not need her anymore, Marek might not be able to see Hanna otherwise. We always remember people as last we saw them. I don't doubt the remark is genuine, he is hurt because she is still important to him, but that sounds a little like ego speaking. It's not fair to expect what he asks from Hanna yet).
I also agree that she is not putting up a front, she's being honest, in a blunt way. Pretending something different, as Marek tries to, will not change the situation.
I mean she's being insensitive about it, but Hanna's right. She can't move on if Marek keeps trying to have conversations like this with her and opening up wounds she hasn't fully closed yet.
Not to mention she spent a lot of this party with those same feelings he's expressing here, but ended up trying to repress them for Eve's sake, only for THIS to happen.
This conversation is this storyline all over again: http://www.octopuspie.com/2009-01-05/241-time-lap…
She's never been open about her feelings, with Marek or anyone else. If anybody tries to get in there and care for her she lashes out, like she did with Marigold.
i always relate more to eve than i do to hanna, but i had a very similar conversation with my only ex once. man… please, octopus pie, stop being my life
I feel like I would fall into similar traps that, from an outside perspective, I can observe Marek falling into here: being too emotionally open/conciliatory with an ex at a moment when just being in contact is painful for them. I can understand seeing Marek's actions here as a kind of manipulative, and I can imagine that if I were in his position I might feel guilty of that after coming out of myself, but I get the impression that this could also (a bit more likely, ime) be that this is the flipside of an aspect of his character that's normally attractive, even a strength- in opening up, he prompts a return that's a bit much to ask of Hannah when she's feeling knawed down to the wire.
I'd feel a bit hurt as him right in this moment, though, which makes me afraid he'd make a similar sort of mistake to what I would. Hopefully he can figure out what he's doing and where this is going before I probably would.
Oooh, this perspective isn'tn something I thought about: "… in opening up, he prompts a return that's a bit much to ask of Hannah when she's feeling knawed down to the wire."
That's probably why they worked so well before– Marek guided Hannah into talking about things she didn't want to talk about, and things she needed to talk about. So they were pretty happy and secure in the relationship. When they split, Hannah was lashing out because, in a way, she didn't have her Jiminy Cricket to help her process things. So the running, the baking, these were all ways to express the things that she could not skillfully put into words. And maybe part of her attempts to draw the boundary is a way to show him that she isn't emotionally anchored (different from attached) to him. I think that's a good thing, whether or not they decide to try it again.
Thanks for the perspective!
I think that Hanna saying "What you do in no way involves me" hit Marek hard. Maybe it's the first time he's thought about it, and it's feeling final after all this time. Asking if that's true may be him trying to reach out to Hanna. "Does it have to be that way?"
But I think it does. I don't think they can be Just Friends – or at least Hanna can't.
This makes me wonder if the little trip into the Void Hannah had a couple pages back was actually her accepting the consequences of her actions, and owning up to her feelings and how she reacted?
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