Sometime last week, I wrote an entry about what I have come to view as my path to self-destruction (didn't publish it). They keep coming back to me though, those words I journaled.
I've been thinking about the past, the present, and the future. I've been thinking about all the years and years worth of words I have written in the attempt to understand the things I do, don't do, and a way to accept and heal.
So many words written.
I burned many of my early journals. Especially, the journals I had written during the first 15 years of my marriage. But, before I burned them, I reread them. All the words I wrote through those years said pretty much the same thing, over and over and over again. I battled the same demon. Trying to be "good enough", "better". Whatever good enough or better is.
As I thought over what I should have learned in more recent years, I wondered, "Have I made any progress?" In some very small ways, yes. But, there is a portion of me that continues to hold onto the feeling that I will never be good enough. Even though, I have tried and tried to not feel it, I do. I thought that over, then asked myself, "Good enough for what? For who?" The answer is Me. It's me that doesn't ever believe I'm good enough. Not someone else, though I often use that as an excuse.
Thirty-four years ago I wanted to run away from my life, my family, my home, but had nowhere to go, and was too timid to try to live life as a street kid. So, I stayed, physically anyway. But emotionally I did run, I shut down, have even forgotten much from those years. In my marriage, that fear of mine, the fear of never being enough was manipulated, and I ran again, first emotionally, then physically. I haven't stopped. I'm still running. Only it isn't from someone else, even though I try to tell myself it is. I am running from me.
Past, present, future.
I've spent the last few days, and nights, selfishly grieving the loss of one of only two people I have ever known that I totally, honestly, completely let know me, all of me. S is one person I was never able to run away from. He always caught up with me. I grieve him, selfishly, because, I know, I will never have that again, not with anyone, not even myself, because he saw through me even when I tried to run from what I was feeling, he would call me on it. Point out to me what I was doing, make me think.
These last few nights, I tried to put our friendship into perspective. Why him, why after several years of friendship were we one day just able to be that way with each other? I still don't know. But, there was some thing. Some spark of recognition that occurred one evening over a shared dinner. One of us said something, and it ignited that part of our souls that knew we could wholly trust the other. From that moment on, we did.
There was no subject that was taboo with us. Maybe, we could be so open with each other, because we were not invested in each other in a lover-relationship. There was never any fear of one of us misunderstanding, S had no fear of losing me, or, I of losing him. (Isn't that something that sometimes happens in lover-relationships, the passion of the love can easily turn into anger, and in anger we often say things that don't hold all of the truth of the love, the anger hides the love, and a lover leaves? I don't know, just a thought.)
As I have attempted to gather my own thoughts and feelings, I come to no one conclusion in the why of he and I. Maybe, there are just those rare individuals that appear in our lives, that communicate in the same way we do, so they get us, they get what we are saying, they understand instantly. We don't have to say, "No that isn't what I'm trying to say, that isn't what I am feeling." They just know, because we connect is some way, or, maybe, that fear we hold onto in a lover-relationship doesn't exist in the friend-relationship.
But, he and I would lay it all out, no holding back. There were so many times our conversations would be filled with one of us pointing out a very negative side of the other's personality, just because we didn't stop ourselves from telling the other exactly what we were thinking. There were a few rare times one of us would fear this time I said too much. But, that never happened. Each time we would discuss what had occurred, what was said, and, every single time, we would end the conversation with an "I love you." and a "Thank you."
Due to some email messages that I received recently from a now ex-love. I think I am coming to understand more about me and love, but I wish S were here to discuss it with, he was so good at helping me face my truths, the truths I try to run away from.
With our lovers, we sometimes tell them, or try to talk to them about our fears and doubts, our hidden truths, but maybe, because of our own life's baggage, because of all the lessons we think we have learned from past lover-relationships, all that learning gets in the way. We don't get it. We try, but in some ways we become blinded by the past. We can't seem to move the baggage out of the way. Fear often becomes our guide in lover-relationships. Why? Is it because our hearts feel so fragile already? How would S answer my question?
After reading the email letters I received. After reading my own words sent back to me, with the writer's interpretation of those words. I have reread my words and reread them, put them all back in the context of when they written, why they were written, and to whom they were written. Words of mine that were written in an overly-emotional state in an attempt to say what I felt at the time of the writing, and words/emotions that were felt over many months of loving. Words that I felt needed to be said, although some of those words were written out of the anger. Anger I felt over the fact they could never seem to be said when they were originally felt. In reading these last emails, in facing the ex-love's anger, his hurting heart, his disbelief in me, I have to finally accept one of my truths. One I think S agreed with, and in many ways tried to make me face, but I was too closed up to wholly contemplate it.
I am afraid of love, so I'm still running. I am so afraid of not being enough, so afraid of being hurt, that I won't allow myself to believe I am loved. I haven't stopped running. I discount other's expressions of love (I even did this with S until he quite forcefully convinced me otherwise). I don't want to believe I am worthy. I am so fucking blinded by my own fears, that I refuse to believe that someone could love me. That someone could cherish me. That I could be good enough. So, I doubt, (to use a version of the email writer's words), I told myself, and tell myself, I was/am a temporary diversion, a replacement, filler for an aching heart, trivial. Until today, I have even been telling myself that the new man in my life is the same, that we are the same for each other. I was telling myself that is enough for now. I told myself before, that being those things was enough. It isn't and it wasn't. It never will be, but, I have kept trying to tell myself it is.
In facing everything that has happened in recent weeks--divorce near to final, broken love, becoming involved with another man, the death of my dearest friend--I find I don't much like what I see inside me. Why can't I accept I am loved, lovable? As soon as I allow my heart to open up, to feel love for another in a lover-relationship, I start running away from it. It doesn't take long, and I begin to tell myself, "You're not good enough. There is no way they really love you." I don't stop loving, I try to discount it though. With the broken love, I tried so hard not to hold onto it, not to label it, not to dream of it, I couldn't allow myself to believe I was loved in return with the same depth, because it tore me apart if I tried to. So, I ran.
Looking back, there were a few times I tried not to run, because I would try to open up, I would push away my fears, and voice my feelings of vulnerability, making the attempt to define what I needed from him, to be able to believe in his love. But, he loves differently, he told me he couldn't help me in my vulnerability. I don't remember his exact words, but they left me feeling...feeling as if I were less than...something...I couldn't even explain it to S, but he understood what I was feeling anyway. Eventually I stopped trying to voice my conflicted feelings to the ex-lover. I couldn't find the words to explain how distant he seemed, I didn't know how to say it. I didn't know how to say that I loved him, loved spending time with him, but at the same time also felt as if he wasn't completely there with me. I didn't know how, or whether he even wanted to know that I felt like he was so locked up by his own self-protections, so unable to slip past them, so lost in the past, he was unable to listen to how I needed to be shown/feel his love. So, I shut down, until it got to the point I couldn't show him love in the way he needed to feel it either, I didn't know how to break through, instead, I ran.
Running doesn't work, running is just as painful as standing in place and putting it all out there. More painful than allowing the feelings, thoughts, questions, vulnerabilities to be known. I know S would tell me to stop running. In one way he already did. He had his own ideas of why I stayed so long in a relationship that so often left me full of ambivalence. He was not surprised when I ran into the arms of someone else. Not one bit, he was expecting it. I wasn't, but he was. One of the last things he said to me, in one of our long Friday evening conversations was, "You have to stop over thinking everything. You love him, but it wasn't working for you, or him. You were unhappy with the way things were. I know you're confused. But, you were finally honest with yourself about all you were feeling, in the end, you didn't hide them from him either. I've watched you, and listened to you for months now. Stop being afraid. Maybe this is what you need for now. Just enjoy it, have fun, and let what will be, be. Live Sunny."
But, I didn't do that. Oh, no! I had to discount it, keep my heart out of it. I've discounted this new man's feelings as well as my own. As I read the emails sent recently to me, I realized I've been lying quite well to myself once again. I have to face the depth of my own feelings, I have to stop attempting to discount the love I am shown by another. I have to trust what I read in their actions and words together, not separate them out.
I love one man (in spite of all the dissonance/ambivalence in the relationship), and feel love growing for another. It doesn't really matter that I do. Not to them. One is already lost, and the other, if I don't stop running, stop the fear of not being enough, I will soon push him away as well.
Why? Because I feared the first love so much I searched to find ways to prove he didn't love me, searched so hard I thought I had found them, and I ran. The other happened because of that fear. I opened myself up too fully to him, and I have already started running away from him too, because no matter how much I try to deny it, I care deeply for him too. His feelings are the same, his actions and words both tell me so. We are both fearful, both rather broken, but I can actually feel him battling his own self-protections to be able to show me how he feels. I am torn, wanting to run, and run and run. But, my running harms more than just me.
One man keeps protesting he did love me, but whether it was because I ran, or because I wouldn't or couldn't feel it, it's too late.
The other said those three little words to me one recent evening, but I said, "No, you don't, you can't. It's infatuation." He didn't reply, he just kissed me harder, and held me tighter.
I don't know what I feel, I don't know what he feels, what I do know, is this time, I am going to desperately try to stop running, and just be.
what ever it is. It feels better than running.
when he looks at me I am the only woman in the world, when I look at him no one else exists.
when he pulls me into his embrace, he says he doesn't want to let me go, and, I don't want to go.
when he needs support and comes to me for it, I give it fully, and, he does the same for me.
when he tells me he loves that I allow my vulnerability to show with him, I believe him.
when he says every minute we spend together never seems like it is enough, it isn't.
when I say, "I have to go", he pulls me closer yet, and whispers, "No. Stay, don't go", and, I don't want to go.
when I am with him, I begin to not care, I don't care to define, I don't care if it is an infatuation that will fade with time, or whether it is the beginning of love, I don't care.
I am trying to feel what is happening now, and revel in this new soul that is attaching itself to mine.
if I try to overthink it, if I try to define it, I will tell myself it is wrong, so wrong to love or be loved by another. I will tell myself I am not ready, I am not able, I am not enough of anything to be loved by another, to dream of a future filled with loving. I told myself all of that once before. I had begun to tell myself the same this time. I tell myself so many things to discount the possibility that someone could love me.
S loved me, truly loved me, I felt it.
maybe I can be enough, if I stop running.