The Sunken Place is a state of mind in the move “Get Out” where people are under a hypnotic trance. They have been hypnotized to act and behave in contrast to who they really are. Their ‘old’ selves are in there somewhere, but it is powerless to overcome their programming. There are glimpses of them trying to break free, but a ‘trigger’ sound is used to drop them back into that state.
When the protagonist of the movie fell into the sunken state, it was pictured that he was in a dark hole. The only way he was able to overcome the antagonist in the movie was to stuff his ears with cotton in order to avoid the trigger.
Right now, I’m in the sunken place. My trigger emotions are the ideas of having my family, having to see my son go through this, and pride and ego. My faith also has certain elements that can trigger me to a certain degree. Seeing and speaking to her does this also. I know intellectually that this marriage is over. I know that she’s not a good wife for me. I know that no matter how much I want something, it isn’t always meant to be. In essense, hope, sinks me right back into the hole. I really don’t know what else she could do to me at this point to just make me stop loving her. But loving her is my sunken place.
While I wish it were as simple as stuffing cotton in my ears, the equivalence for me to do this is to basically go dark. I have to avoid her as much as possible. It makes things difficult because our lives are so intertwined. The kid makes it impossible for me to just avoid her all together.
Her inabilty to understand her own nature will make it damn near impossible to sustain a marriage. She doesn’t understand how her attraction to others isn’t the same thing as loving someone. A marriage can’t sustain itself that way. She equates the two. While I can’t predict the future, I would bet that eventually, she’ll drop him for newer ‘greener’ grass. But enough on that, for now, I have to get out of this sunken place back to the old me.
I have to lose the hope. By nature, I tend to forgive fairly quickly and not hold grudges for long. Intentional disrespect is like the number one thing, I don’t tolerate too well. Although, I realize I’ve been doing a lot of that with her lately. I’m so far in the sunken place that there is a large part of me that still wants to work on things in spite of it.
I’ve heard many stories of men who say that once they finally moved on, she wanted to try it again. That piece of knowledge is a pitfall because I have to make sure that I’m not ‘moving on’ just so she can come back. It has to be genuine so that if/when she does, I won’t look back.
I have to get out.
I have to take responsibility and avoid the traps that can sink me back down. I have to stuff cotton in my ears. Unfortunately, that means that my son will have to suffer the most and I hope that he can recover. I’ll be there for him, but I have to figure out how not to “be there” as she still does need me for a lot of things. If she fails, then it affects more than just her. She has to figure out how to do his laundry, help him with his homework, pay the bills, dinner for him, and everything else I’ve been doing. I am enabling her and I bring so much to the table that she doesn’t realize. But she’s using my kindess, patience, dependablity, and ‘love’ against me. While I don’t think that she thinks that deep into it, I am enabling her. I am still investing way more than she is.
This is the danger of marrying the wrong person and bringing a kid into the world. She is the foolish woman in the the book of Proverbs who “tears down her home with her own hands”, “wipes her mouth and says she’s done nothing”, and “doesn’t consider the path of life, not knowing that her ways are unstable.” Staying with her will bring more suffering, to both of us.
The bible also gives an answer. It says, in Eccleisastes 7:26 “I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner, she will ensare.”
I have to get out.