I’ve always wanted to be special, be treated like I was special, be told I was special. It is what most children want. For a lot of reasons that don’t really matter anymore, I didn’t get that. In reaction, I spent most of my adult life looking for the affection, the validation, I didn’t get as a youngster and it has gone the way most of these things do, not well. It didn’t go well because I almost always tried getting those things from people who were wired up the same as the people who were originally not up to the task. That is how these things happen.
It took time, lots and lots of time, for me to figure out all of this. It took years of soul searching, years alone, years of therapy, of reading, of writing, of prayers and questions and answers and more questions. I didn’t want to continue making the same mistakes over and over again. I didn’t want to further the cycle I had grown up in. I wanted to do better for my child. I wanted better for myself. It was hard work. Lots of sleep was lost. Lots of bridges burned, rebuilt, then burned and rebuilt until I could decide where the fence line needed to be.
I think I did a decent enough job loving my child and helping her to feel that love. Post my fortieth birthday, I began to think I had finally come to a place where I could be someone’s partner. I learned the difference between contentment and happiness. I not only accepted who I was, where I was and what I was but I thought all of those things were kind of spectacular. In other words, I had managed to do for myself what couldn’t be done when I was a little girl. I felt special, all on my own.
Then, I got cancer- disfiguring, debilitating, deadly, cancer. Against long odds, I have survived. I have a decent chance of living a longish time, if counted in oncology time. I’ve had a lot of time to think about love and like, being paired versus being single, sex and intimacy, all of those things that come up in the still, cold, dark, night when I really needed a cup of tea and a foot rub and there was no one around to do that.
I understand in a way I did not before what having someone around who thinks you are groovy and likes your naughty bits can do for your life. I want that. I want to have a partner. I want to be known by someone and to be loved because of the knowing, to be loved for who I am. This feels like a stupid, fierce, vulnerable thing to say aloud. A year from now, if I am still single, everyone will know. They will know I wanted to be loved but no one wanted to love me back and the gig will be up. I will be shown for the not special mediocre plain awkward mess the dragons from my past tell me I am.
This is a big fucking deal for me, a huge one. I don’t think I’ve ever publicly admitted to needing or wanting love although good sense would tell me of course this is always implied. I don’t know. This feels scary in a new way but I’m going to do this. I’m going to write this and let it out and hope that admitting, at least in this arena, that I am human and I am vulnerable and I need…whatever it is another person can bring, is not the end of me, does not cause everyone I know to hide when they see me in the grocery or to push my calls to voice mail. Take a deep breath and hit *PUBLISH*.