Loneliness is a hard nut to crack. It’s not as easy as “spend time with people” – I’ve spent a good part of my life lonely in the middle of a crowd. It’s not as easy as “spend time with your significant other” – I spent a good portion of my second marriage feeling lonely. Not even the old standby “you have to love yourself!” erases it – I don’t believe this is about loving myself or not.
So what is it about? Why do I feel lonely sitting in a bar at a munch while everyone drinks and laughs and talks; or at a play party watching everyone around me engaging with each other joy and abandon? Why do I feel lonely at times as I lay next to a lover after play, physically satiated but filled with a longing I can’t place? Why did I feel lonely last night with Adam sleeping next to me, and yet most of the day I was alone and happy that way?
Loneliness is a beast I cannot seem to slay; it’s an emotion that strikes in the oddest moments; it’s an ache I can’t assuage.
And this is going to sound perverse, but sometimes, as this horrible year of “firsts” – firsts without him – has passed, loneliness has replaced missing him.
It hurts to even admit that. And it’s not true in the larger sense. Fuck I miss him. His smile, his laugh, his “book reports,” his quiet presence, his arms around me in the middle of the night. I miss our walks and our talks, I miss sitting next to him at some bar or other, sipping whiskey and debating whatever it was we were debating that week. I miss planning our next trip, our house renovations, our lives together.
Gah. This is hard. But this isn’t about all that, at least not directly.
What do I mean that I think feeling lonely sometimes takes the place of missing him? It’s just this: he used to be there for me. When I was lonely, when I needed to talk, when I needed connection – there he was, whatever time of night or day. It was a role that he filled, a need that he fulfilled, as well as being himself. I don’t have anyone that fills that place in my life now. And when I am feeling needy in that way and don’t have someone in my life that can be there that way, I recognize that it’s not necessarily W that I am missing, but having someone in that role.
I get that I’m fucking needy and selfish. Maybe I’m the only one, I don’t know. Do normal people need this much from other people? I know that I have a very high need for connection – that is why I feel lonely at times in those situations above. But I never thought it was “too much.” I found someone that was happy – and able – to be there, never making me feel that I was asking too much of him, of his time, of his attention.
I don’t have that now. I know I want too much of V’s time and attention at times, and I know he doesn’t have it to give to me. In fairness I do try very hard not to ask for too much, too often, because I know that it’s not fair to do so. I know the boundaries and parameters of our relationship.
But I am also cautious because when I do and get turned down (like last night) I end up feeling rejected and resentful.
I know that this was not and is not selfishness on V’s part. He has a primary relationship and a family that W didn’t have. That makes all the difference. But my feelings are still my feelings, and I’m still learning to navigate and to adjust to this new style of relationship.
I don’t really know what do with this. I’m not writing to figure it out, I guess. I’m just writing…about my life now. About what this new life of mine looks like. Maybe I’ll figure out how to “solve” this issue…or maybe not. I don’t know.
In other failures, I have to ‘fess up about my inability to keep up with the February Photofest. I have some images from February 19, but that’s it. That’s right…the only February Photofest images I’ve managed to get recently were on last Friday. And even those I don’t want to post, because there is nothing beautiful or attractive or erotic about them. They are just snaps on my cell phone that I’m sure only V (might) want to see.
I will say that playing with V during this meme has been very enjoyable…but I’ve been feeling guilty about not being able to take them daily and also… unimpressed with my images. I’m not a photographer and I’m sick of my lame attempts to produce something beautiful and erotic. I obviously overcommitted myself when I embarked on the Photofest, and overestimated my photography “skills.” I thought it would be an easy way to kick my blogging into high gear again, and, in many ways, it did: I’ve been writing more this month than I have in over a year. But the reality is that I just can’t keep up with a daily photo, either taking one or posting it, and I don’t like what I end up with for the most part anyway.
The bottom line (for the moment) is that if I can manage it, I’ll create an image, and if I like it and can manage the time to do so, I’ll post it. But I wouldn’t count on it. My apologies in advance.