i haven’t wanted to write about this. i wasn’t going to. i’ve been trying for the past few weeks to distract myself: i left texas for a long weekend in the deep south; i spent several days immersing myself in dickensian london to reacquaint myself with some of my favorite characters; i’ve worked; i’ve played; i’ve watched movies; i’ve taken aimless drives along some of my favorite backroads. i’ve sought the counsel of some of my better friends.
maybe that’s part of the problem. some of my better friends haven’t been good friends lately. several weeks ago, one flew in from tennessee for a long weekend; i met her for dinner one night and then again for tea the next morning before her lunch meeting. and everything was fine. it was fine. until she had to broach the subject of what i will do with myself once my parents are no longer here. and i had this godawful panic attack. it was horrible. i had to excuse myself. had to step outside and sit in the sun and pinch my arm until it nearly bled to alleviate the tension in my being. i’m crying right now remembering it.
because i don’t know what i will do. i don’t know. i don’t want to think about it. friends are supposed to lift you up. i don’t have that many. and this one, she’s always, always been a source of comfort to me. i’ve always felt so blessed that she should want to call me friend. i know she hadn’t meant to upset me. i know she hadn’t. i know what brought about the conversation was her concern for her own mother’s well-being. and i know she was concerned for mine. i know all this.
i don’t know how to talk to people. i’ve said this before. i can’t begin to tell you how much i hate conversing with them. i loathe it. because i’m so awful at it. i would rather not do it at all. and all this stems from a horrible, horrible childhood i can’t overcome. i hate that, too. i try. i try so hard, but it can’t be done. i make myself go out. i make myself say the words. and then i beat myself senseless for saying the wrong thing. again.
for being the wrong thing. for not playing the stupid, stupid games. i’ve never understood why they must be played. i’m supposed to be a bitch to the boys i like and sweet to the ones i don’t? what the hell is that? it’s so rare that i like a guy that i’m excited when i actually meet one i do like. and i like being excited. it’s so much better than the alternative.
the other day, i asked another friend to tell me that i’m not nothing because i don’t have a man or children and live with my parents and work in retail. to remind me that i’m not nothing. i know i’m not. but i’d forgotten. again. because i am incapable of doing those things that make a woman womanly. of standing. of holding my ground. so she did. she spoke of several of her friends who were married and unhappy. of the fact that some of her happiest friends are single.
you know what sucks? i get to that point where i don’t want… just that. i don’t want. i’m not ashamed to say it. it’s kind of nice being there. i can tolerate that so much better than i can tolerate this. and then some boy will come along and remind me that wanting’s not so bad. i’ll like that boy; i won’t want to be a bitch (and trust me… i’m quite capable of bitch. my mom says i’ve got the go-to-hell look patented, and i’m sure she’s right… i can feel the fury on my face when i unleash that look). i’ll be sweet to him. because it’s so rare that that’s what i want to be. this, of course, isn’t want the boy wants. and i’ll have to start all over. again.
i’m tired of fighting. i’m tired of having to do this by myself. just once… one time i want a man to fight for me. to fight with me. i want to know what that feels like. not this.
i make myself go out there. and then i come home to this lovely brick house in this lovely neighborhood with all its glorious greenery. i round the corner. i turn onto our street. i pull into the driveway. and i have to pretend to my parents that i’m fine. again.