Can someone help me understand myself?
I have always been anti-smoking. My mom has smoked for pretty much my entire life and I always hated it. Hated the smell. Hated that I seem to be extra sensitive to smoke. The slightest whiff, even from quite some distance can choke me up. For example, tonight, several people were smoking on the balcony with the door open and I had to close my bedroom door because I could smell it. Of course there’s also the extreme amount of money smokers spend and the whole issue of supporting the evil tobacco companies and plenty of other rational arguments that could be made even if you’re one of the people who believes that there is no scientific evidence that smoking is linked to health problems, but that’s a whole other subject and I don’t want to start that debate here. My issue is more personal.
The part I don’t understand is my own vehement reaction to it. With everything going on with Jess, I think one of things that hurts the most is that she has started smoking again. She smoked before I knew her but had quit before we met. The fact that it even registers on my radar sounds ridiculous even to me. Why do I care so much? Why is it such a big deal? Why is it so important to me that my loved ones not smoke? I feel the same sense of hurt and distance when Larry occasionally smokes too. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that no one is doing it to be hurtful or anything. I just don’t understand why it means so much to me. The first time I saw jess light up on our balcony, let’s just say my reaction was completely and irrationally emotional. Maybe because of our separation my subconscious read more into it like because she knows how much it means to me maybe I stupidly saw it as a big final “fuck you” which, of course, I know it isn’t. I’m sure we all know the stupid things we can think when we’re emotional.
But the fact is is that is a big deal to me and I don’t know why. I don’t think it’s a judgmental thing, but admittedly I could be wrong. I don’t think any less of her for it and I don’t think I’m better than people who smoke. I really do think it’s more of a connection thing. It makes me feel distant and disconnected and I do legitimately worry about the health of the people I love and supporting the evil empires of tobacco (which ironically is a trait directly instilled in me by Jess). To me it feels like it comes from a place of caring and concern and not a confrontational or judgmental place. I value my connections with people and anything that interfers with those connections bothers me.
I just don’t understand why I feel the way I do. I don’t want it to interfere with my connection. Why can’t I just not care about it? When Larry smokes, I feel down. When Jess smokes it’s of a whole other order of magnitude. It feels like it almost hurts as much as our separation which should be ludicrous! I’m sure there must be some deep subconscious motivation at work here. I just can’t figure out what it is. I’m really trying to be better about this and at least not be judgmental or sanctimonious about my feelings. I’d love to find the root of this and find a way to overcome it.