"When I got divorced many years ago, I wondered whether I had just made everything up -- including myself."
And that's exactly what we do: make it up. Sometimes alone, but mostly our creations overlap other people's creations and these creations change at different rates and in a variety of directions. It feels little like "Calvin-ball", with the rules changing and no notice. And we make up our own reactions to other people changing their rules, breaking their contracts, wanting something more, or different. If this is true, then we also make up constipation, broken ankles, and child slavery. Sometimes it isn't intentional, it's just a side effect, but it can still be uncomfortable. Not a problem if uncomfortable is something to which you are acclimated. Take DV. If domestic violence is your lived reality from childhood, you will believe it is normal and perhaps inevitable, and make up a life that fits into that system. When you reexamine the belief you may replace it with something different. A broken ankle is a horrible thing, painful and inconvenient. Loss of income i rides shotgun. No one would want to make up something like a broken ankle. I wouldn't, and I didn't, but I did want the summer to slow down and seem to last forever. I wanted a stay-cation, to watch DVDs,and hang out with my peeps. I wanted fires in the fire pit, less time on the road, and daydreaming. I wanted someone else to clean my house, buy food, and make pitchers of iced tea. I wanted to read for fun, be in the garden without gardening, and go over my accounts without falling asleep. And I wanted a pilates personal trainer to tell me what to do for a change. I wanted to write for hours instead of squeezing it in between tasks on my to do list. I wanted to sit on the back deck and watch the goldfinches in the bird bath. And I wanted to be free of guilt, shame, and self-reproach.
Do we make up our marriages, our divorces, our relationships, ourselves? We certainly make up our own parts, and hope they fit with what other people around us are making up. And then, if they don't work together, if we are unhappily cast as a domestic violence victim, instead of a respected business partner someone's identity falls away. Usually some measure of pain is involved, like with my broken ankle. But, as usual, it could have been so much worse.