I have put it out into the Universe that I want love. I have changed all of my online presence to reflect that. I have written about it here, I have spoken about it with friends, potential partners, my fucking therapist.
I believe the time is right and that now more than ever I am ready, but with all this preparation and declaration I have also been brought face to face with the reality of what and who I am. And I am scared. It all seems completely impossible.
I have deactivated my accounts across all dating platforms. It was getting too noisy and bumping into Rex made me realize that I need quiet in order to do this. I had a full dance card on Sunday and by Saturday I had only kept two engagements. Both with him.
He crowded my thoughts all week and other men were distant seconds due to their own innocent ignorance. Why would I pretend to be only half of me with one of them when I could attempt to be all of me with him given the opportunity?
I came across a quote on Instagram today — I’ve seen it before.
He says you are too much.
You talk, laugh, smile, feel far too much. But baby….
here is the problem:
He is too little to appreciate that it took an entire galaxy
being woven into one soul to make you.
I was married to that man, that little man who made me feel like I was wrong and whose own soul was in a self-imposed box.
I took up too much space on the sidewalk, he said.
I spoke too freely of my opinions, he said.
I shouldn’t need him to say I was beautiful, he said.
My art, my being, my movement through life was unacceptable. It made him uncomfortable and self-conscious It took me nearly 7 years to realize that his words for me were really for him. He was a miserable shell of a man afraid of his own shadow, his own needs, and I had inadvertently married a man who personified my inner voice: I was too much.
I cried when I read the quote. It felt all too familiar. And I am feeling fragile today, far too vulnerable. Telling people I want to be loved feels like peeling away my skin. I feel raw, weak. Like I am shivering and helpless and strapped to a tree in the goddamned sparkling snow.
Being honest about what I long for means I must demand certain things of the men I meet and of myself. Honor and respect, kindness and compassion. I have not had kindness in my life in so long and even the smallest glimmer of it creates a fracture in my facade. I am suddenly and completely armorless.
Is this what it’s like for other people? Normal people? For everyone else who doesn’t have what feels like crippling issues with intimacy and trust?
It wasn’t long ago that no one could hurt me. I was on a pedestal far above the fray. Fuck me, leave me, don’t text, don’t show up, cancel on me, lie to me. Fuck you, do it. I’m not here anyway. It’s just a body and I’m merely feeding it.
But I am no longer hungry for that. I want to be a human, not that thing I was for so long, whatever that was. I want to fill my heart.
I want to fill it with a man who knows me. Whom I can introduce to my baby, my mother, my friends. Someone who will help me move furniture I struggle to drag from one end of the city to the other on my own. Someone to fucking care, to tell me everything is going to be ok when I’m not at all sure it will be. Someone to just hold me, stroke my temple, press his lips to mine and breathe me in.
I sat across from that small man, my exhusband, last week and the disdain and resentment in his eyes burned into me. His words cut and confirmed what I had always known about him: he never liked me. I let his inner road map route my life because, I’d thought, it’s what I was supposed to do. The truth is, I should have ended our relationship 2 months in, but his interest in me was mesmerizing despite his criticisms.
Step by step he moved us closer to marriage and all along the way he rejected who I was. Six years after I closed the book on us I have never regretted escaping his dark cloud, but I have yet to find the sunshine. I have operated under my own dark cloud of fear of people. He betrayed me. He made me promises he never intended to keep and he told me it was my fault.
The Neighbor never bothered to make a promise, but somehow convinced me he was worth having in my life. Or maybe I was just an fucking idiot and the sex and his daily rejections were my catnip. I’m open to that possibility. Looking past and around them my life has been filled with men whom never deserved my energy, yet I gave it freely all the same.
They were safe because they would demand next to nothing from me in return. I could be safely ensconced in my armor of detachment; they could be easily dismissed for behaving awfully. Deciding to open up and be myself positions me for love and hurt, but I suppose it’s time to woman up and follow through.
I can either cry about being alone and continue to play child’s games or I can change the game altogether. Be myself instead of someone else, but the truth is that when you line up all the pros and cons of Hy there are an awful lot of cons to get past first. I’m not saying the cons are greater than the pros, just that there are many brambles to cut back before someone reaches the castle gates.
I feel like a branch heavy with snow about to break. Can I really expect anyone to take it all on? I mean, can I??
And the answer is yes, because if it were anything else then that would mean I had already given up and I have only just begun. I have only just begun.