I couldn’t help falling in love, and I can’t help the loneliness I feel now – feel as a result of my heartbreak, though the loneliness was swelling inside, untended from long ago. Probably lurking in my heart since the first time some parent or teacher declared something was wrong with me, and pointed out that I didn’t fit in.
While I was married, it was vital to pretend to myself that I wasn’t lonely, so I could keep imagining that things would still work out. Because being with someone was supposed to solve being lonely. I mean, how utterly broken and screwed up must I be, to feel lonely with someone who was supposed to love me? That’s how I slipped into denial – building a hard, impenetrable barrier between me and loneliness just by looking the other way.
But along with actually feeling love, and feeling desired, and then the physical pain of losing that future, the companion of loneliness returned. Feeling no heart is attached to yours, knowing there is no one asking themselves how you are doing that day. Knowing that some part of you – the deepest part that feels most like yourself – doesn’t exist for anyone else anymore. Lonely.
Denying my loneliness, cutting it off from my self, was part of how I misunderstood the kind of love I had a right to hope for. Loneliness hurts, but I can’t go back to the emptiness of pretending, either.
Failure, disappointment, heartbreak, loneliness. My little plateful of broken dreams. If I don’t tend them, who else will?