There wasn’t anything about him that made sense except that I’d already decided to make him mine. I wasn’t interested in a one night stand. At 24 years old; I wanted someone in my life permanently. I couldn’t stand to be alone.
Being alone meant so much to me and it was all crazy bad. The feelings that came up for me, the thought of being by myself made my head spin, caused my heart to speed up, it was difficult to even take a breath. I couldn’t focus; I’d decided in my mind that sleeping by myself meant that I wasn’t loved plain and simple.
I wasn’t even alone really, I had a 4 year old daughter sleeping in the other room but I was convinced she wasn’t enough to help me feel better about myself. I felt I needed to be loved by an adult person who could fulfill my needs. I was afraid all the time and to help me feel better I would drink every evening to calm the rising fear of another dark, long and lonely night lying alone. The images that came up for me, when I allowed them too were confirmations that I was exactly what I’d always imagined myself to be, a nobody, a nothing. I wasn’t focused on what he was like and the signs that he might not be a good man could be blaringly obvious. It just didn’t matter. My drive to have someone next to me in my bed was all I felt I needed to stem off those dark and desperate feelings I felt I could not bear!
He hit me the first time soon after we got together. He didn’t like the way I’d spoken to him or maybe it was just the way I looked in his direction. It was a solid slap across my face and I cried immediately, running from him. He was after all a strong man, a weight-lifter so it didn’t take much for him to put me in my place. I felt betrayed as I’d trusted him with the stories of my past. I’d told him how I’d been beaten nearly my entire life, I’d asked him to be kind to me as all I wanted was to be loved. He promised he was sorry and would never hit me again, I choose to believe that. I choose to not be alone.
He was with me nearly every night after our first time together but never said he was committed to coming back. He would hang out with his friends who lived in the next door apartment and come to me only after he was too tired to party. He made love to me nearly every time he was with me and fell asleep soon after. He never told me he loved me although he knew I loved him. He committed to liking me and wanting to have a good time; I wanted more and I was determined to have it no matter the emotional cost. I would not be alone; it felt so much worse than being used.
Many times within our first year together he hit me and apologized promising never to hit again. He would act as if he loved me and make promises to spend more time with me; he’d say he would take me with him when he was hanging out with his friends. Once in a while he actually did and those times, well today I can barely remember them. What I do remember now so many years later is that I always felt anxious, afraid and desperate to please him so he would stay with me; so I wouldn’t have to be alone.
I suffered emotionally and physically for years trying to make this relationship work, as did my oldest daughter and his daughter who would be born and then abandoned by him within her first three months of life. He went home to live with his mother while still married to me. In my home he came and went as he pleased visiting only at night and only after he’d been out partying with his friends. I allowed him to; it pleased him to be with me and for a while it pleased me not be alone. He did this of course only until I found someone else to take his place. It didn’t take me long because as you know I didn’t want to be alone in the dark with only my sad thoughts to keep me company.
As I look back now all these years later I try to remember, to feel what I felt for him. I find nothing in my heart except maybe gratitude that I was not successful keeping him in my life. He lives by himself now owner of the house his mother owned collecting things to fill his empty life. He was though for a time what felt like my entire world. For all of that time I catered to him and did as he wished even changed my personality so that he would love me as he promised he would the day we married. I realize now with great clarity that there was never a chance that he could have loved me in the way that I thought I needed. As my need to not be alone was not something he had any capability to fulfill. I know now I was the only one that had that ability as I was the one that had created the need in the first place.
I am now content to be alone although I am married for nearly 23 years. This contentment that I feel comes from an understanding that I have never truly been by myself; I have always had someone who cared for all my needs without hesitation or coercion. That someone is me.
I know now that I have never been alone and that is an absolute truth. More than that is the knowledge that even when alone it means nothing. It means only that I am by myself at that time. It certainly never reflected back onto me in a negative way. The messages I sent to myself were never real although they felt as if they were. At least they never had to be. I realize that those awful moments of panic all came from within me. Created by lies that I’d decided were true about myself. I know now that I am not nor never have been the unlovable person I’d imagined all those years ago.
Those thoughts of being alone mean nothing unless we decide they do and even then the feelings can be welcoming, a pleasure as easily as they can be terrible and desperate. There is nothing as horrible as our own imaginations; there is nothing as pleasurable and reassuring as those very same dreams.
I know I was doing the best that I could back then and that I had had only unhealthy, unloving teachers to show me the way. I understand now that love of self is enough and anything or anyone that comes from this is all going to be good.
Sydney Banks wrote, “Seek without seeking, for what you hope to attain is already within you.”
I know that this is absolutely true. I know that we create the greatest love that any one person can ever hope to feel.
Know the truth.
Know you are enough and you will feel as if you will never be alone again!