Your version of single is very different than mine. When you look back, you look back with knowing and understanding. You look back and you get to remember those past relationships that you had, even though they failed.
Me? I get to look back and remember my fuck ups. I look back and hear “oh man! Do you remember her? That was one of the ones you fell in love with! But do you remember what she thought it was? She just thought you two were really good friends. She said you were like her brother, you dumb sack of shit! Her brother! Ha! How could you not see she didn’t feel the same way? Idiot!”
There are no truly happy memories for me. All of my relationships weren’t, even when I thought they were. No matter what I thought, it was always wrong. They never called me boyfriend or thought of me as anything other than friend. For whatever reason, I wasn’t good enough to be that for them, not even when they told me things they didn’t tell their boyfriends. I was always on the outside looking in.
Your version of single is a separation. You are in between relationships. Maybe you’re actually looking forward to it because you haven’t been “just you” in a while. You’ve been here before and you’re pretty sure it will change soon enough.
For me, it’s a void. It is a complete and utter lack of anything. I don’t know if it will ever end. I never even wanted this, I just have to survive it.
You wonder who the next one will be. I wonder if I’m going to die alone eating lead.
I never really knew just how fucked up my mind was. I’ve been lying to myself for a very long time. As far as I know, the last person I *really* opened up to was Anna. She stomped on my fucking heart when I did it. Haven’t done it since, until very, very recently. Why should I have? If every time I let myself be vulnerable I was going to have my heart crushed, why the fuck should I be vulnerable?
Well, because there is no way to find anyone in this world if I’m not willing to be vulnerable. Yes, some of them will hurt me, but there will be one that never will. And she is worth all of the heartache I have to go through to get to her. I’ll find her and it won’t matter anymore. Not the one that laughed, not the ones that gave me snide looks, and especially not the one that told me I wasn’t good enough, because I’ll have someone that cares and she’ll be all that matters.
I’ve blamed everything but myself for all this time. I blamed my size, saying no one wanted to be with a fat man. I said I was just too awkward, that no one wanted to be with someone so weird. That I just didn’t know how to talk to women (partially true, I do have issues engaging, but that can be overcome). I said they were just using me, that they were bitches that wanted anything from me but love. That… a million fucking other things. None of them are really true. Yes, being big limits me, as does being awkward, but those are hurdles, not walls. There are those out there that don’t care.
In truth, it’s all lies told to comfort myself. The hardest truth is that while I pined for love and whined about being alone, I never did a goddamned thing to change it. Not really. When it came to love, I never opened up. I gave them what they wanted and hoped they would freely offer what I wanted. I never put in the effort. I never let them know what I wanted. I wouldn’t let them see me vulnerable unless they showed me they absolutely wouldn’t hurt me. Of course, they couldn’t show me that. I never gave them a real chance to. I assumed they would hurt me, so I did what I could to keep them from doing it.
I paid for that dearly. I’m now 26 and have never really let anyone in. I even held my friends and family back. I’ve been more open on the internet than I have been face to face. I’ll tell a random blog all about the shit inside me, but it’s hard to tell the people around me. I’ve internalized all of it and it has tried to destroy my mind. I’m still not comfortable opening up about it. It’s my pain and my shame and it’s hard to talk about. I don’t like to cry in front of people, but if I talk about this stuff, I will. I did when I wrote this.
I think that I’m more willing to open up now. I know it has to happen if I want to move forward. It’s a scary thought though. I’ve spent my life not letting anyone see any of it. Going out, putting on a smile, pretending it was fine. I know those that know me well saw through it, but I still had the veneer on. I still did everything I could to hide it. I also know that they could see there were things wrong, but I don’t know that they ever knew what.
Because I held it all in, it used to manifest itself in other ways. I used to cut. A lot. I tell people I don’t keep lighters around because I liked to set stuff on fire, but the real truth is I do it to keep from burning myself. I used to hold the lighter on or to a piece of metal and then hold it to myself once it was hot. I’m covered in scars. I used to have severe anger issues. There were holes in my walls. My knuckles are still fucked from hitting stuff. I used to hit myself too. Anything I could do to hurt myself physically. It’s why I wasn’t afraid to do stupid shit that would hurt me. Nothing I did to myself physically could hurt me as much as my mind already hurt.
Alcohol never helped either. I found the bottom of many bottles and never got away from the pain. However, alcohol could let me overcome myself. Sober, I have kissed all of one woman and that was 10 years ago. Everything else I have ever done has come well into a bottle. it’s still not much, but it was something, though it is bittersweet. Yes, I have done it, but I didn’t feel much. I didn’t remember much. I didn’t really enjoy it. Needing alcohol for that was not good though. It was a band aid to a larger issue. I am glad I never managed to lose my virginity drunk. I would’ve regretted that.
This all comes back to what they all come back to. Loneliness. This time though, I realize it was my fault. I drove people away. Unfortunately, knowing that doesn’t give me any knowledge of how to find someone to let in, but I do know to try and let them in when I find them. I still hope it doesn’t take much longer. I know I need to grow before I can be ready, but I also feel like I need it to be whole.
I will be dealing with some of this soon, in a very direct way. I will be doing something that forces me to confront many of my fears of intimacy. I will be going on a trip and putting myself out there. I do not expect it to end in pain, but the potential for it is there. It requires me to go far beyond my comfort zone. It requires me to be vulnerable. It terrifies me, but it also excites me. It’s been a very long time since I put myself out there. This will not be a trip to see Her, but it will be a trip to help me break out of the shell I have encased myself in. It is the next step in healing and moving forward and I hope it propels me far.
I still fear dying alone, but I do not think I will be the one causing it anymore. I still fear being hurt, but I realize that cannot be avoided if I really want to find love. I know few could hurt me the way Anna did. I have to risk it though. If I don’t risk getting hurt, I risk dying alone.