The immense danger of relationships is that they bring out both our best and worst selves. At best, we give with abandon. At worst, frightened of our own vulnerability, we disregard the emotions of our partner in ways that we wouldn’t a friend or an acquaintance.
It seems a cruel joke, both inevitable and horrible, that we find it so difficult to treat the people we care about the most with the dignity they so much deserve.
This more than anything else makes me want to be alone. The energy it takes to be wrestle with my own resistance to vulnerability and fear of being hurt combined with the energy it takes to protect the vulnerability of another and to protect myself from the defensiveness and offensiveness that vulnerability might incur in another is exhausting.
It is amazing how much hurt and tumult can be bound into one relationship.
Most recently I quickly was branded as an overreacting, crazy lover of drama. I was the target of misdirected anger. Many times I have been shut down and shut out. I have caused multiple men to go cold, to find themselves bored and too comfortable. I have been withdrawn from. I’ve been cheated on and left without being informed.
Frankly, I’m tired.
I’m tired of protecting myself in and from my most intimate relationships. I’m tired of giving without replenishment. I’m tired of having to get stronger just because I’m not dead.
I know that I’m not perfect, that I can be rough around the edges and stubborn.
But I also know that I deserve to be cared for in the way I care for others. I know that I deserve to be listened to and valued as a whole person, imperfections and all.
Unfortunately, when I look back over all of the many comings and goings, the math doesn’t really add up to a positive number. I’m too old and too cynical to ever believe that if I keep adding up wrongs, I’ll eventually make a right.
The thought that perhaps long-term or relationships with much depth are just not for me has returned and stayed longer each time it arrives.
This thought is often accompanied by the notion that my solitude may be a blessing because it frees me to focus my energy on more productive and more fulfilling things than the double-edged sword of relationships.
Until I can both love myself and love another and also be loved in return, I will choose myself and solitude every time. Unfortunately, this seems an impossibly high bar, so it is likely that I will and should make myself at home with a solitary life.