I've never really felt like I was home. Anywhere. Probably this has something to do with the fact that I lived in six different cities/towns during my first decade. It's difficult to feel stable when you move every couple of years. And when we finally landed for a longer space of time, my life became surreal. I think there's a lot of logic behind the feeling that I don't really have a home.
I asked some people what home means. I wanted a descriptor, a synonym. Love, safety, belonging, familiarity, family-- those all figured prominently on the list supplied to me. Those are all danger words for me. I don't experience them as I assume others might.
It's likely that the closest thing I've experienced to a "home" feeling has occurred when I was with selected people - with Darrin, of course, but there have also been others. I remember talking about it with them. Probably that was a mistake. Many people enjoy experiencing feelings, events, closeness, whatever, but they don't necessarily wish to analyze or discuss those things. And then there's the common problem that occurs when one person feels something, but the corresponding person does not. That's when the pity emanates from them.
I don't understand pity. Empathy, yes. Sympathy, also yes. But pity implies that one is somehow less because of whatever situation incites the pity. In my particular case, it implies that I am less because I feel comfortable with, or I feel a larger portion of love or intimacy toward, a person who does not reciprocate. I used to be embarrassed that I felt something unreturned. And frustrated. Today I don't believe I feel that way anymore.
You see, feeling at home with a person, for me, is a huge accomplishment. It's also something that for a very long time I wasn't sure I'd ever feel. Feeling love and safety and belonging - those are not things that come easily for anyone, but are for me complicated by past trauma. And probably, if I allow myself to cultivate those feelings, there will be many times when they are misplaced. I'll choose people who don't want me. I'll choose people who enjoy my company but have no interest in closeness or frequent contact. I'll choose people who initially reciprocate, who feel that I have become family, but who cannot maintain that threshold and allow us to relax into casual friends. This will happen.
And if I address it with those people, I will encounter pity. They will look at me and think me less for investing in them.
They are wrong.
I am not less. Each time I try, I become greater. Each time I see that look of pity, or hear the words, and move beyond them to try again, I become better. Each time I invest and trust and love, I become the person I truly am. I deserve no pity. And if one truly knows the cost of trying again and again, I probably deserve accolades and celebration.
This is what Therapist tells me. He says most people give up and retreat, and that is a normal, logical reaction. The fact that I keep trying, he says, means I am courageous and hopeful.
I actually think it means that I'm stubborn, I believe with all my heart that I am going to find the people who love me back - who feel at home with me. And giving up is something that is just not in my DNA. Therapist says I'm just rephrasing what he already said.
I need a T-shirt that says, "If you don't love me as much as I love you, you're missing out."