He admitted feeling lonely, missing someone to hold, and confusion about a current situation with a friend he was dealing with.  A sadness filled his words and as much as I wanted to comfort him, I had to choose my words carefully, since I actually feel less lonely within the last month, than I have in the past 7 years or so, at a minimum, and the reason for the opposite feelings was one of the issues that had caused so much conflict between us for so long.

I do not think he is ready to hear how lonely I really was for so long, as words he spoke to me when I mentioned it over time come back to the forefront, reminding me I should have been thankful that he wasn’t just out drinking and cheating, sitting at home with me instead, and claiming I was too needy and clingy.  While I agree that I should have been, and was, thankful that he was in the same home as me, it was always a conflict within me as to why I felt so lonely, even while being grateful in many ways for his presence.  It took me a long time to get to the point of being able to put it to words, and when I tried to explain it a few years ago, continually trying to find other analogies to help him understand, though it was met with his defenses going up again.

After living with him so long, then spending time away from each other for business trips before, as well as after, our daughter’s hospital stay, I came to the unnerving realization that I felt lonely most often when I was in the same vicinity as him, though I had only barely looked at the full depth of that to figure out why exactly, about 7 years ago.  As I dug deeper into my heart and soul to find clarity, what I came to know, without any shred of doubt, that, for me, the often shared quote regarding being alone was the point blank truth of what it really means to be lonely.

“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone.  It’s not.  The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.” (attributed to Robin Williams most often)

We had painstakingly ceased to stop truly interacting, other than the dance of conflict and then shutting down and coming together again for a short time, to then repeat the process, and I began to feel as if I was simply a piece of comfortable furniture that brought him peace and contentment.  I felt taken for granted.  I felt that I was in a home with a visible ghost that could not, or would not, communicate with me, and I could not touch the soul that I could see.  I felt as if I was bound by obligation to deny my needs and desires, especially when I asked directly, and was shunned in many ways, of which, the worst seemed to be just the silent rejection of ignoring.

So many things that left me to come to those dramatic conclusions of how to explain the dire loneliness I felt, and regardless of what examples I could use to express how often he shunned me and left me alone without even leaving my presence, I felt guilt for needing something he seemed not to need, and that which seemed to be too difficult for him to put forth effort for very long until we slipped back into what he felt was a comfortable routine.

I felt my self-confidence take on a two steps forward and one step back routine and I truly questioned how awful I must have been to have my own husband ignore actually interacting with me in favor of fantasies within television and solitary video games, going so far as to not even notice on many occasions standing in front of him naked, trying to gain his attention.  It eroded my self-worth, feeling as if I was not worth breaking away from anything, even for a few moments, for physical, let alone emotional, connection from someone I thought was a soul mate and professed the same in return.

I knew he struggled with depression and low feelings of self-worth, though it truly seemed as if no matter how many compliments I gave or how often I told him I wanted him, physically or emotionally, he was a hole that kept getting deeper and sucking more of me down with him.  He showed all the signs of depression, including a more withdrawn demeanor, so I tried to be as compassionate as I could, though to hear the venom from him when I would ask for some small form of letting me into his life and soul telling me that I was being too nosy and that men don’t discuss their feelings, among other shunning remarks, I got wore out and began to move to feeling angry and indignation at him pushing away the one person who swore to be his best friend forever.

It was so lonely to be in the same house together, yet he was in another room spending hours relaxing with some form of electronics, and would get upset with me for interrupting his time of relaxing.  I was shunned from having general conversations, especially if during a television show or while he was playing a game, then when a compromise was made that I could speak with him during those times, he wouldn’t actually break away from what he was doing to concentrate on what I was saying.  I felt like I was just background white noise to him, and when I would ask, especially when discussing something I felt was important, for him to acknowledge me and look at me from time to time instead of reading or typing at the same time I was speaking, I was accused of even more neediness and unrealistic expectations.

It broke my heart, and my soul, so I began to learn how to comfort myself for a time.  I would go to bed alone, more often than not actually, longing for him to be with me, and I would cry myself to sleep, then feel shame when I was told the next day or later that he came to bed after I was asleep but couldn’t wake me up to cuddle, let alone anything further.

I admit that I did every single thing I could think of to get the intimacy my soul was aching for, not simply physically, but, again, emotionally and in a way, spiritually.  The more I tried to be intimate, the more he pushed away, for reasons I still am not aware of, and honestly, the reasons are not as important now as they once were, for if they are comfortable to him and something he does not want to change about himself, then there is no reason for me to continue to wish I knew and let it be.  With that being said, though, I know without a doubt what it is I need, and a very strong bond of intimacy is what I need.  If he could not, or would not, let go of whatever it was that was holding him back from connecting with me like I needed, then I had to let go of him instead of trying to chase him and entice him to move towards me.

It is still painful to keep him at an arm’s length, because I always wanted to be close to him, yet he was a ghost of something undead always within my presence, ready to lash out when I began my travels of being comfortable enough with myself to enjoy being alone without feeling lonely more often than not.  Jealousies became even more frequent as I began moving towards something healthier and I shared my time with others instead of being a comfortable chair he would notice was gone, though never sat in it, if it was more animate.  I still try to put forth effort, though through as long as this has been an issue between us, I became more detached, though not any less full of love and support.  These concepts and discussions have created more conflict than I ever intended, especially when I wanted to know what I could do to better the situation so he didn’t feel jealous and speak our needs and wants instead of the unspoken expectations we kept failing to meet.

I am unsure how to be supportive as he travels a new path and see how, so far, it leaves him feeling lonely, unloved, unwanted, and confused.  I hold back a lot from him in the short times we speak, for while I want to be supportive, there is a part of me wanting to remind him that i had felt the same way for an even longer period of time than he has, though I felt that way while I had someone as my husband living with me every day.  The pain of his jealousy, while at times it was possibly valid, more often than not, he failed to see how often he was the one that shunned me and took me for granted which paved the way to be comfortable doing things on my own, enjoying more solitary time away from him, then moving towards realizing that others actually wanted to interact with me and be intimate when he didn’t want to (or maybe couldn’t because of his own inner conflicts), so his jealousy should have been a red flag to look towards himself and find a solution to change things from both sides of the coin, not simply my own.

Give me true solitude, and I enjoy it very much, with only a few twinges of loneliness when I realize I want to share some moment with someone that isn’t there, rather than being in the same house day after day with someone that doesn’t want to share many moments with me and shuns my wanting to share with them as well.  At least when I am alone, I have only myself to rely on to gain comfort from loneliness, sometimes by putting forth extra effort to reach out to someone that may not be very easy to connect with.  However, it seems more preferable than when I was with him like I was before; if I needed or wanted some comfort, he turned me away, so I had to comfort myself while explicitly being told I could not reach out to the one right within my reach without much effort.

 

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When I Needed You

February 14, 2012


When I Needed You

Here I sit in tears
Begging for a friend
An empathetic ear
But you are too busy
Trying to get laid instead.
Even though you said
You wouldn’t be pursuing
Now you add yet another notch
To your pathetic belt,
Superficial more important
Than what you said was heartfelt.
You swore you would be here,
Yet when I needed you,
The only thing I wanted,
You show yourself as too self-absorbed
And now taking advantage,
Already beginning to lose what you had
Though you refused to see it,
Scared of your own labels
And sacred limitations.
Solace I find where you dislike
In emotional bonds
Of those who have proven
Time and again
Regardless of abuse
They at least feign regard
If nothing else.

©Ami May 2012