Bethells beach, undercurrents, and a few thoughts on false selves

Next in the folder are photographs taken at Bethells beach on the 19th of January 2014 so I must have gone there even though I can’t remember anything about it.

Bethells beach is one of my favourites. I camped there with friends for several days when I was 14 years old, a wee while ago now. It is one of the surf beaches on Auckland’s west coast. These beaches are broad and flat with fine, black sand and are known to be wild. They have claimed many lives because people find themselves dragged out to sea in the strong currents that lurk beneath the waves.

The west coast landscape is impressive. Looks like I forgot to photograph the sea and I have no idea whether the tide was in or out, whether I went for a swim, or even who I was with. But I doubt it was with my (then) recently acquired (and now no longer) male companion as he is not fond of long walks.

Bethells beach in the afternoon

A rather grim Bethells beach looking northwest, probably late afternoon

I have been reading about the construction of a false self and how that can be toxic when people become attached to it. I can’t find an elegant way to incorporate it with this Bethells beach post so here it is, jammed in. Perhaps we find ourselves dragged beneath the waves and out to sea in the current of someone else’s false self that we unwittingly believe in.

This curiosity about ‘false selves’ has come about in relation to my recent break-up. Perhaps he had constructed a false self that I attached to and then when his true self emerged – on that fateful last night – it came as quite a shock. He went from being (the usual) Mr Nice-guy to (a foreign) Mr I-don’t-give-a-shit in a matter of minutes. Then he just walked out. And I haven’t heard from him since.

Anyway, which of his selves was false? Mr Charming or Mr I-don’t-care-a-single-bit? Both? And, how was I tricked for such a long time? The construction of a false persona is a HUGE topic. It has links to childhood trauma, narcissism, ego, borderline personality disorder… things I am now finding out about in relation to my parents.

Bethells beach looking towards the southwest

Bethells beach looking southwest

We didn’t have an argument, or anything like that, on the last night. But, now, thinking back, I realise he was planning ‘the dumping’ for at least a few days, possibly even weeks. If he was having difficulties in the relationship why didn’t he just talk to me about it? There was absolutely no attempt to do so. None. He let me think that he actually cared about me. Lots. But you don’t do what he did to someone you care about. You just don’t. That doesn’t mean that you can’t break up, but there are ways of breaking up. His way was awful.

He had purchased the wine and the meal he brought along to my house on that last night while all the time he was planning to break up. It was premeditated. A murder. Just a couple of days beforehand he had even suggested a future holiday. And he made a point of kissing me when he arrived. WTF?

Although taken months earlier, the bleak darkness of these beach photographs hints at how I felt after he left, despite my slightly desperate attempt to increase their brightness and colour saturation.


3 thoughts on “Bethells beach, undercurrents, and a few thoughts on false selves

  1. Pingback: Point Chevalier beach on January 22 at 12.22pm | A beach a day

  2. Pingback: French Bay one day last summer and Pt Chevalier today | A beach a day

  3. Pingback: Point Chevalier again | A beach a day

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s