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Monday, March 25, 2013

Sometimes I Confuse Me

Loneliness is an interesting phenomenon. I spent the majority of my life refusing to allow myself to admit feeling it, and when it felt overwhelming, I simply refused to look at it. I did other things, usually tasks requiring physical effort or creativity, and extra practice hours were high on the list of distractions. There were moments when I could not deny the piercing loneliness I felt, but they passed. I felt a great deal of power in denying my need for connection with people. I did not want them.

I suppose now I recognize that it takes so much more stamina and self-control to maintain relationships than it does to simply not have them. I know the rewards of being with someone with whom you share love are worth it, but the truth is, relationships are work. They become work because we have expectations of the roles people fill in our lives and sometimes those expectations are not met--in fact, often they aren't. The work comes in recognising whether or not the expectation was reasonable within the context of the relationship and, if it was, talking with the other person and trying to come to some sort of compromise or allow recompense, if necessary, or revamping our perception of the relationship if the expectation was not reasonable.

The work involved is sometimes messy and emotional. I don't like it. I would rather not do it at all, and in the moments when I have to decide if I'll move toward understanding, sometimes I think I'd like to just forget the person and not have the relationship at all. I feel that impulse deeply and I remember the freedom of not having any meaningful ties to people and only needing to take care of myself. I make believe that I easily filled all my needs with my many activities, my love of nature and the outdoors, and time spent with myself. Then I sigh, because somehow the person who shares the relationship has gotten stuck in my heart in such a way that I don't know how to live without them, so the only possible resolution is to do the necessary work.

Fortunately there are benefits attached. I'm not always cognizant of them until I'm in the midst of a panic attack, Darrin is teaching and not answering his phone, my kids are in school or at work, and I remember I can call one of those people with whom I spend time and whom I love. And when they answer, I realize the work isn't really as difficult as I thought it was, especially when I feel loved and validated by someone I love back.

Am I making any sense? I think I'm probably not. But the bottom line is that today is one of those days when I want to throw in the towel when it comes to people. No one has done anything to upset me--in fact, I had a really wonderful conversation wtih Brozy last night and I unblocked one of those people who were causing me stress a few months ago and it didn't bother me a bit. So I don't know why I'm feeling this way. I'm ridiculous.

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