I have spent my entire life knowing, ever since I was a little girl, that there was such a thing as "True Love," knowing even at a young age there was someone for me. Someone who would love me, want me, respect me, protect me, cherish me, be proud of me, enjoy my company, long for me. My Champion. My beautiful love. Someone for whom I could return all those wants, emotions and hopes in kind. Two partners walking through life side by side. Neither leading nor following. I have admitted numerous times in this blog that my "there's a lid for every pot" belief in finding a life partner – ok, ok, I will say the damned word: SOULMATE – was probably irrevocably shaped by fucking Hollywood and its fucking cinematic love-crap shown to us in larger-than-life technicolor. Disney and Hollywood damned my romantic soul forever.
Then there was the harsh reality of my parent's relationship and when Dad moved out when I was 5… my hero was gone… my daddy wasn't there to protect me. I got hurt pretty bad by some asshole during that chaotic time and no one protected me from what happened. No one could. No one knew. So I grew up needing that… that… needing that fear and vulnerability protected. I sure as hell never got it from my dad. Even after my parents reunited, there was a lot of anger in the house. Lots of fighting. My dad scared me. He rarely got physical with me, but there were times that I pushed him beyond his limit. I was never hit. Don't get me wrong. But my neck was in an arm-hold a couple times. There was some pushing and grabbing and pulling on occasion. But it was that rage in his eyes, that rage always scared the crap out of me. He didn't have to touch me to scare the shit out of me when he was angry. And he was angry a lot. But like a fool, I usually stood up to him. I don't like cowering. I'll take a beating – frightened or not – before I let you fucking put me in a corner. He still scares me when he's angry. And he still, to this day, treats me like a child, chastising and criticizing me. However, I have reached out to him in the last few years, without expectations of his miraculously becoming a knight in shining armor. I have reached out to him, let him know I love him and need him. I share sometimes with him emotions that he is uncomfortable hearing. I think he feels helpless so doesn't say anything at all. I know he loves me and always has.
But as a child, I guess I built up this defense for myself. I created a need to find a man who would protect me. Someone who would be all those things I mentioned above. Someone I would feel safe with and not abandon me. The problem is that I grasped at every first-guy that came along showing interest… I ruined relationship after relationship with my need to 1) have someone fill that void, even though I had no clue what was going on or why, and 2) change them INTO that person, because, inevitably, they never were the kind of guy capable of fulfilling my emotional needs in the first place.
In the many, many years I have struggled with depression and loss of important relationships and trying desperately to cope with finding out who I am, why I think and feel the way I do and what can I do to healthily fill the void, I have sought God. I have always sought God, much in the same way I sought true love. I desperately grasped out for something to believe in, to have faith in…through my parent's separation, sexual abuse at the age of 5 by person or persons unknown, my parent's tumultuous reunion and ensuing years of fighting and arguing and raging – especially between dad and I – and the paradox of fearing that they would divorce again (I even told my pediatrician I'd kill myself if they got divorced…I think I was 12 at the time…if that's not desperate fear I don't know what is. That said, I wish I knew then what I know now. Divorce wouldn't have been the end of the world. They stuck together, but I also believe they were made for each other. They were always, and will always be, meant to be).
Through all this I desired an unshakable faith in A God. It wasn't necessarily the God I'd learned about in church, though my church years provided the foundation of my spiritual beliefs and general idea of who or what God is. But I ultimately grew up hating religion because our church friends dumped us after I was put in a kid's psych unit for a couple months and a year later my mom ended up in the same hospital in the adult ward after an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Church-goin' folks think suicide is a sin, therefore they don't like associating with sinners. I saw this hypocrisy in action but was too young to know that the same people who shunned us were probably angry behind the doors and walls of their homes, fighting their own demons but too afraid to utter them out loud or in public…me and my mom…my family...made them uncomfortable so they went away and left us alone. And that's all I knew about religious folk. But I don't blame God for religious folk. I manage to separate Him out from the masses.
You can probably guess by now I have major abandonment issues. I have worked long and hard to come to terms with the last 35+ years of my life. The ups and downs. The wrecked relationships. The turning to just about ANYTHING outside of myself to quench the conflagration that constantly threatened to destroy my sanity and my soul. I have worked and sought and prayed and loved and hated and believed and not believed and moved forward despite the intense desire to sometimes just lay down and die from soul-sick exhaustion. I often times marvel at my ability to stay perfectly still and quiet at the very same time every fiber in my body and the very core of my soul is tearing and shredding insanely inside me urging to run fast and hard and scream loud and long. Run and scream on the inside, move slowly, calmly and stay quiet on the outside. It's a surreal experience.
But somehow I have maintained belief that there is a loving God who cares for me (I do believe that, although today, and the last two weeks, I have not been so sure), who loves me because I am His daughter. I am His spirit child who He created to be beautiful, intelligent, caring, loving, witty and kind. As for the negative aspects of my psyche, I have tried the "re-parenting myself." Tried to get in and keep in touch with my "inner child"– tried to calm her and love her and protect her from 40 years in the future…or…40 years in the past…I don't know. I just know that there is a loneliness inside me that has never dissipated. Not with "the power of positive thinking," not through trying to rewire my belief system that I am unworthy of love. Not through all the bullshit years of school, my twenties, sure as hell not through my thirties…even with my children and friends. Even in my happiest days of freedom and spiritual strength there is a void that remains empty. No amount of seeking God has filled that yet. And everyone tells me to believe in "God's Plan," "Let God fill that void," "God has a man for you…let God bring him to you."
The problem is this morning I think I have stopped believing that. At this moment, I have given up on the fairytale "True Love." I think the grief I feel today is the 3-year condensed end of my marriage, then falling madly in love with someone a year later (who I have blogged about here consistently for over a year), and then the breakup of my first "real relationship" in 2 1/2 years that lasted all of 6 months. Throw in a couple pseudo-relationships and guy friends not interested in being more and it's a cacophony of off-key"not interested girl" tunes.
I cried myself to sleep last night as one of The Big Three...Mr. Ex-boyfriend...responded to a truly innocent, heartfelt attempt to return some stuff to him. His response was so cold, so dictating…so damned CHASTISING! Unfortunately, this was directly on the heels of correspondence with Mr. Heartbreak which finally drove the coffin nail home that not only did he never knew how I felt about him, but what I thought he felt for me was not fact. So I just cried myself to sleep. And I woke up four hours later crying.
All that loss/rejection grief has piled up and spilled over to where I just don't want to feel anymore. I don't want to be human anymore. Human emotions are too painful when loss is involved. Joy is fine, but absence of joy sucks. These men in my life, on all levels, in the space of two weeks, have driven home their lack of love and/or my perceived lack of appreciation for me in unceasing waves of rejection. It's totally random and coincidental, but grouped in so tight a formation in such a short time is merciless. I feel flayed…standing alone, stripped of anything that I can hold on to for comfort…raw and over exposed to an arid expanse of blinding, painful white nothingness. Alone and scared and lonely and…scared. I feel like I can't take any more drama from my mom or my dad or any assholes who I ever cared for or from anyone. Spare me the platitudes and rhetoric. A pity-party is where I make myself cry listening to my "Love Songs" playlist. This…this is unmitigated grief in all its humbling power. And the waves keep hitting me over and over. I will be glad when this passes.
I got on my knees and I prayed to a God I am not sure I believe in and I begged him to have mercy on me one more time. To please just take this pain away. I don't know what hurts more. The rejection from these men, or not believing in true love anymore. At least when I believed in that there was still hope. I always had stupid, romantic, childish hope. But it's gone and I don't want to become cynical and hard. So I think that hurts most of all. I guess maybe tomorrow I might feel differently, but today I don't want to feel anything at all.