I write because I cannot bear to contain the words, the feelings I feel inside of me anymore. The feelings bear down on me and I feel as though I will no longer be able to rise up. To smile at the sun, or breathe in the rain. I am tired. I feel desolate. It isn’t what I want to feel but it is how I feel. I cannot shake it.
There is no one to talk to. Everyone I could count on. Everyone I could look forward to receiving messages from has ceased to send messages. I am alone now.
What have I done? Why is this happening now?
These were my thoughts of a few days ago when it seemed I had been abandoned by all my friends. It wasn’t true of course. They just have things that for one reason or another have kept them far away from me.
These are the selfish thoughts I wish I could get rid of. When someone is around me often and then for whatever reason they go away for a time or do not come back, my thoughts go to the negative. That there must be something about me which has made this happen. Then all sorts of things enter my thoughts, least of which is whether they had an accident or an emergency. Most times though, when life has brought us back together again, it was nothing like what I thought it was. It was just life interjecting itself. It happens.
I am an independent woman. Long before I ever had my daughter, I would live alone, and work. Sometimes I would spend time with friends. When my friends would become involved in their own lives I learned to do things on my own. I am comfortable with being alone. At least most times I am.
Oh, I had relationships with men but they never lasted long. I didn’t understand why. I only knew one day I would meet the man of my dreams and live happily ever after. Then one day I woke up and found I was fifty-two years old and still hadn’t found him. I decided to find out why.
That was not an easy question to answer. I mean, I had learned in my late twenties or early thirties why I ran from relationships. Well, not exactly why. The why was still elusive but I didn’t know that at the time. I had learned I would be swamped by fear and that fear connected me to the time when my father asked me to live with him and I told him I couldn’t, that I needed to live with my mother, now that they were getting a divorce. I could recognize the fear and now work my way through it, but what I didn’t know was the true core of that fear.
The true core of my fear is much more complicated. It isn’t fear of abandonment. My childhood was full of emptiness. It was also full of watching two people, where the one person no longer loved the other of which it was so obvious that even a child of six or seven could see it. It was full of silences. It was full of words never being spoken. It was full of hearts and souls reaching out and never being touched. My fear was of ending up in another life full of emptiness.
It may sound strange but I would rather live alone in an empty life, than live in a house full of people that was full of emptiness. I couldn’t have a husband come home from work and me stand like my mother had, all stiff and turning away from his kiss, living with a man she no longer desired or possibly no longer loved. I could not be that person.
In each of my relationships I knew. The fear was instinctive, it told me to get out that if I didn’t, I would end up in exactly that kind of life if I continued down that path.
In my head, from the time I started considering marriage or forming a relationship with a man, I had this picture. I had ideas which were so different from what I was taught. On one hand the church preached that the man was head of the household. While on the other hand, everywhere I looked, in every relationship, in every example placed before me, and in all discussions of marriage and relationships, outside of church, husbands and wives were spoken of as partners, equal partners. This is what is acceptable in society. My logical mind supported this idea, and I spoke it like a religious cult, with each step I took, I told everyone I would not marry unless I found someone who would be my equal partner, while in my mind, in each relationship I found myself fantasizing about a man completely contradictory to my words.
In my fantasies, he told me what he wanted, and told me what to do, he would be strong and guide me, he would help me step through my fear, help me to learn to speak what was in my heart and mind. I wanted it so badly that when a man I was with was not that way, I soon ended the relationship. I kept looking.
The problem was, what I presented to the world, drew to me what was complementary to what I presented. So time and again, I drew to me, men who would never be what my fantasies told me I needed. I refused to see the conflict within myself. The contradictions of what I desired with what I actively sought. So in each relationship I ran, then when I learned to face the fear and stay longer, I still ended the relationships because I still chose wrongly and the men were nothing like what I needed.
Eventually, I allowed myself to see the pattern. Eventually, I started asking that all important question of ‘why’. Eventually, I started finding key elements that had shut down my emotions, and had me hiding from my true self. Eventually, that self, started to emerge.
It took years and a relationship that was both horrible and wonderful, like one of those rollercoaster rides, where sometimes you are in the bright of day and other times in the darkest of night where you cannot see the turn you are barreling towards, or the steep decline that will have you plummeting into the depths of the unknown and the next soaring to glorious heights and in the end, leaves you feeling ashamed and afraid to trust your instincts, because something you had thought was a wonderful gift ended up being a beautifully wrapped package with sewage inside.
But life is like that when you are not true to who you are. It took me years to finally discover the truth after having buried it so deep inside. I can only hope that this means I have broken a pattern and I will now draw to me someone who will fill that aching need that has been present my whole life and I hope I will be able to do the same for him as well.
However, as my words indicated at the top of this post, I still have moments of despair. Times when I doubt myself. Times when I think this path, this journey I am on will be forever traveled alone.
Then life interjects itself, sometimes it gives me a slap, sometimes a hug, sometimes an old fashioned kick in the pants, and sometimes just the right words from someone I barely know which reminds me, I am on this journey for a reason and that reason hasn’t changed no matter what has transpired or how much I allow myself to wallow in despair. It will never change. My goal will forever be the same. My goal is to always be true to myself, whether that means crying in sorrow or jumping for joy or all the emotions in between.