Loneliness. It’s something I’ve always struggled with. Since I was a little girl, I’d have trouble sleeping alone, the quiet and discomfort of being left alone in the dark something I struggled with for many years. I still hate sleeping in the pitch black. There has to be a source of light, no matter how small, just so I can feel safe. Some might call it pathetic, and I wouldn’t blame them. But to me, it’s one of many ways in which my body and mind struggle with the feeling of there being nothing around me, no one to comfort me. Or care.

I ended my first long term relationship, ever, not too long ago. Less than a week actually. It had been just a little over a year. A year of great sex, trips together, meals out, cooking nights in, walks along the sea front, cuddles through the cold winter nights and strolls through the balmy summer evenings. It had also been a year of tears, of regular arguments, of jealousy and judgement, of paranoia and suspicion, and worst of all a lack of confidence and esteem in myself. I’ve gained weight and not taken good care of myself. I’ve not been the best person I could have been. For the first time ever I found someone who truly wanted to commit to me, and my mind is still struggling on many levels with the fact I’ve thrown that away. The inner doubts begin. What if you never find that again? What if you never find someone as good? As caring? As generous? With whom you shared such passion? All that may be the case. But I have to hope. Hope that I made the right decision for the both of us. That I took control and that will lead to both of our eventual happinesses.

He struggled a great deal through our time together too. With his past. With his fears. With a wall to his emotions that has been up for years and was always difficult for me to see behind, though there were a few glimpses. I learnt more about one persons struggles and the damage love, and even family can do to us on the inside, even when we seem perfect on the exterior. I loved that I was let in, and that he tried so hard to change. And it did work. To an extent. But my own imbalances affected us too. And no matter how hard I tried, my secret shame eventually showed it’s ugly face, and hurt the trust. It is my fault too, and I have to live with that. But I did love him, and I did truly try. I believe he did too. But I think we both knew we couldn’t go on like this forever, being in love for a month or so- until either he or I blew a casket over something seemingly trivial, though of importance to us. Being a writer, putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard helps a lot. It all feels surreal, like it still didn’t really happen, and talking to friends and writing about it seem like the only ways my feet even come close to touching the ground.

I have to come face to face with the fact that I have broken his heart, and also mine. That we both now have to grieve, feel ugly and painful emotions humans never want to, have to take time processing our roles in this, understanding the good and the bad, and hopefully come out the other side a little bruised, a little raw, but having learnt something- and not hating the other person.

Understand, this is not a violent breakup. I do not hate him. In fact, I’m pretty sure I still love him, and those feelings are alive and well. I want to see him, talk to him, be with him. I am by nature a person who wants to give and receive copious amounts of affection and care. To make someone feel truly special and be made to feel the same. These days, I know that makes me a romantic- a most dangerous thing in the age of social media, when being a fuck boy is socially permissible yet girls are still looking for romance and commitment. I have never felt more fulfilled than in this relationship, when I could truly let that side of me shine and make someone else feel the best they possibly could. And he often did the same for me. To summarise, it wasn’t working, except when it was.

On some level I know I wanted him to fight when I ended it, to draw his sword and declare this would not be. That we should be together and that he was sorry, that it would be ok and we could get through this. Instead there was anger, some apologies, fear of the men who would come after him, that I was already looking, and worst of all tears that broke my heart into a million pieces, and that I’ll never forgive myself for. Right now, for both of us I think, it’s a day at a time. One baby step from morning until night, to survive, to work, to talk about it and make it to the next tumultuous night’s sleep. I worry. Worry that I acted rashly. That I was wrong. That he didn’t deserve it and I’m as insensitive as I am cruel. So I have to talk. Talk to the people who were there with me, on the outside, witnesses to the struggles and the tears, the good times and the terrible, and hope the truth comes from their mouths. My mind is not mine to trust right now, so I must depend on others, and a bit of self care and reflection, to light the way to another day.

1 Comment on “Table For One

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