Sunday, August 15, 2010

A lone(ly) reed

I have always been a bit of a loner.  That will happen when your favorite activities are things like reading, writing, and going for long walks or bike rides by yourself.  I've never been one to have a wide, diverse circle of friends.  Instead, I've always had a few close friends and lots of friendly acquaintances.  Even at the height of my popularity, in law school, I knew everyone and while in the building was a social butterfly.  But evenings and weekends, I was with my two closest friends or by myself.

When I got my first apartment out of college, I didn't even consider the possibility of having a roommate.  I wanted that crappy, ugly, boxy little one-bedroom apartment all to myself.  My first two years in law school, I did have a roommate and I hated it.  The only reason it worked at all was that my roommate tended to stay in her bedroom so I got the run of the living space to myself.  When my 3rd year rolled around and I was finally able to move to a crappy, ugly, boxy little one-bedroom apartment all by myself, I was in heaven.

I've traveled on my own.  The two weeks I spent by myself in Europe is one of the highlights of my life.  I have always craved alone time.  When I go home for Christmas, I usually have to fight to get it.  My sister literally wants to spend every waking moment together.  If I even suggest that I want to get into my car and run to Target for a few minutes without her, there will be tears.  My dad has been known to call me on my cell phone when I've been in my room for half an hour.  I love my family, but their oppressive need to be together at all times has me counting the seconds until I can escape and return to the glorious alone-ness of my kingdom, my castle.  People used to wonder how I would ever make a relationship work, especially a marriage.  Surely, my sister would say, my husband would have to live in his own house because I would never agree to share my space with anyone.  Plus, I don't really like being touched, which she was sure would make the whole sleeping together thing a bit awkward.

I've always wanted time alone, needed it as much as I needed oxygen and water.  I wanted to live alone.  To have total control over my little piece of the world that no one else could claim.

But now, being alone is terrifying.  The prospect of spending an evening alone leaves me panic-stricken.  My house feels like a prison and the loneliness is crushing me.  It's a loneliness that no amount of friends or outings or trips can cure, though, because I don't just want anyone.  I want the person who made me think sitting on the couch reading a book could be just a little bit nicer when he was sitting there with me.  I want the person who made me think I could have him as a roommate forever and not miss my alone time one bit.  I did let someone in, let him share my house, and I loved every minute of it.  He has utterly ruined being alone for me. 

My problem now is that I don't want to have just anyone around.  I still want to keep people out of my house and away from my walks and my shopping trips.  I just want him back in my life.  Even when I am with friends, I still feel lonely simply because he is gone.  I still feel like talking to him is the only thing that will really take away the loneliness.  Knowing that he's a 3 minute drive away, that anytime I go outside I could run into him, that he still has contact with lots of our mutual friends, but that he might as well be on the other side of the world for all the contact I can have with him is the source of my loneliness. 

I'm sure someday I will get used to this.  I will stop feeling his absence in everything I do and everywhere I go.  I just don't know how to keep myself sane waiting for that day to come.


BellsforStacy said...

I don't like being touched either. It still amazes me how many people over step boundaries and touch people they hardly know.

I don't have any sort of timeline for you. I have no idea if or when it will ever get better. But I understand what its like to want company, but then realize you only want one persons company.

I know it will get better for you. I will send happy thoughts out into the universe for you. :)

S said...

Thanks for that, Stacy. The weird thing is that I have always been one to leave people behind. Other than one friend from high school and my closest friends from college, I don't keep in touch with people. I'm not in touch with anyone from law school or from my years in Minneapolis. So you would think I wouldn't have such a hard time with this because cutting off people I was close to is something I'm good at. But this one just doesn't feel right.

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