Follow up to “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop”
I can see that not much has changed in way of the loneliness – and not the kind of loneliness that comes from being single because two years ago, when I wrote “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” I was in a relationship. It’s the kind of loneliness that lives inside me, that’s prevalent in times when I am unable to show my love or when I’ve had limited human contact. It’s that loneliness that I didn’t know existed until my mother was diagnosed with cancer and I knew her last breath was coming sooner than later. It is the vast, gaping hole in my heart that will never be anything else but a void now that she’s gone.
Thankfully, I no longer view the acknowledgement of my loneliness as weak. In fact, if I view it as anything aside from its face value, I view it as strength. I know that only when I allow myself to feel the negative emotions, when I’m not just trying to avoid or suppress with temporary distractions, only then can I begin to put the loneliness in its proper place and begin to heal.
The anger I speak of has always been present since I was a very young child. Its very core stems from my dad’s emotional absence and if I’m being honest, the guilt I feel over not missing him as much is probably more about the narrative that I tell about him: My dad was a drug addict and an alcoholic. When I was sixteen that was accurate. I’m all grown up now, though, and I know there was much more to my father than prescription pills and booze. He was a complex character as I’ve described in a handful of my blogs, but for some reason, even today, I find myself telling the narrative: He was a drug addict and an alcoholic. If I’m being gentle with myself, this is probably because so much of his affect on my life was centered around his addictions and his failures. He failed me in such a profound way that continues to be a part of who I am today and of the decisions that I make, especially the subconscious ones. I am still certain that if my dad was still around today, we could have had built a better relationship than the one we had for twenty-six years.
Unconditional love – I no longer have a difficult time believing that not many are capable of it. In fact, I know that not many are and this may quite possibly be one of the revelations that people perceive the bitterness from. It’s still heartbreaking but at least I’m realistic now, rather than hopeful. Hope is such a bitch – she’s so necessary but she often disappoints.
The inability to show love because the person on the receiving end is either not open to it or completely uninvolved in the relationship has led to a widespread disconnect from many people who were once considered a part of my life. It took me awhile to realize a lot of my loneliness was being triggered by a multitude of one-sided relationships I was actively participating in. Being a part of my life does not mean sitting in the outfield waiting for me to throw you the ball only to drop it and leave the game mid play. I’ve stopped throwing the ball because it’s the only way I’m going to find myself in the types of relationships, platonic and romantic, that I deserve to be a part of.
I’ll leave you with a quote that has resonated with me since the day I read it by the late, admirable Robin Williams.
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…
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