My solo nights frequently consist of excessive activity of the mind, involving my mother’s untimely absence and the ceaseless longing to speak with her. I mull over the details of my days, politics, gender issues, race inequality, economics, you name it, there is something within every subject that I find the desire to chew over with my mama, to gain some of her poignant wisdom albeit good enough just to hear her voice.
The inability to do so more often than not leads to an overwhelming sensation of loneliness and this loneliness has a tendency to manifest itself into a physical and emotional need due to the manner in which I react. The needy feelings turn into anxiety and the anxiety into anger. Thus, a sad, sleepless night ensues – That, or a sweat-induced, nightmare plaguing eight hours. The anger stems from an inner battle where I chastise myself for having these “weak” moments to begin with.
Recently, I have been feeling guilty for not missing my dad more when something actually triggers those feelings within me and that is followed by the reality that I’ll never get to know him the way I could if he was still around. Growing up has come with some great understanding and maturity accompanied by a very open mind that becomes more open by the day. I am certain my dad and I could have had a better relationship if he were still around to know this me – this Lindsay – that is much more wise, slightly less angry and deeply empathetic.
In addition, I am having a difficult time accepting that no one is capable of unconditional love for another human being aside from their own offspring, the kind of love my mother showed me that has sorely lacked for the past three years of my life since her death. I don’t know if it’s naiveté but I guess I always assumed that everyone loved the way my mama loved. I suppose I assumed she loved my dad like that, too, even after their divorce. I still believe in unconditional love but I wonder if it’ll make more sense if I ever have my own children. Until then, I suppose I’m doomed for a life of disappointment where matters of the heart are concerned.
It’s actually painful. You wouldn’t think that harboring so much love for another human being would feel this immensely heartbreaking. But when one cannot express this love, cannot show this love, cannot give this love, it is incredibly agonizing. Because not only does it mean one is overflowing with insurmountable, awesome love, one is not receiving that love in return.
There’s nowhere to aim or place these emotions so it just wades and waits inside of me, wishing, hoping, longing for the day it has direction, for the day it meets its match. You might think someone like me would just give up, stop trying but if there is anything that completely goes against my nature, it is giving up on loving. I have an innate need to love. The always mentioned idealistic part of me believes it is everyone’s inherent need but some are “good” at giving up, at placing such overwhelming feelings on the backburner.
I suppose you could say it is more important for me to love and love and love regardless of sincere reciprocation or lack thereof. And here’s the part where I give myself some big, fucking credit, which is rare (drumroll, please…) I believe that this ability to continue loving despite all of the disappointment and the anguish and pain inflicted by others and by loss, is a superhuman strength. In fact, I believe it to be my greatest strength and that which fuels so much of my self – the self that keeps putting one foot in front of the other. Can’t stop, won’t stop – loving.
FOLLOW UP 2 years later