I've been thinking about the nights where it's uncomfortable for me to be without a lover. I'm not used to being a 'single' person or having the way I feel depend so much on myself. The last time I was a happy, healthy, satisfied single girl was when I was fifteen. Even then I wasn't perfectly happy, for I was curious about the dynamics of relationships and it seemed to be that the 'cool' thing to do was to settle down with a guy and keep a relationship going for as long as possible. It seemed that the girls in school who had boyfriends were the happiest with themselves and that they had the most knowledge, pertaining to what, now I do not know.
The first time I fell in love was when I was sixteen. It was a life altering and destructive experience, and I'm not quite sure why I'm bringing it up now. Maybe it's just to get the history straight in my own mind; to affirm to myself that that period in my life is when all of my trouble with co-dependency began. When I fell in love (as childish as that love may have been) at sixteen I went from a relatively confident and ambitious person, to a nervous little animal that wanted to do nothing but follow and obey. All I could think of doing was giving pieces of my heart away to this person, recklessly and with nothing less than abandon. I didn't think of the consequences and I didn't realize how much I was changing inside and how much potential I had lost in myself.
The details of this 'romance' aren't necessary to reveal other than the fact that it changed my personality entirely, as I'm sure it does to everyone else who enters the same 'room', as it were. When you're that young and you're exposed to such a heavy obsession with another person it lessens your ability to take care of yourself and think of your own needs. You start to feel as though you'll crumble and become nonexistent if you don't hear from the other person, and your own opinion and feelings of yourself become obsolete without the affirmation from that other person. In a sense you lose yourself. Such a young mind, in my opinion, just does not have the strength to deal with those kinds of emotions without serious repercussions.
That's what I think happened to me, and at such a young age: I lost myself. I developed the line of thinking that consists of this incoherent need for another person in my life; an invested devotion that was completely unhealthy. I started thinking I was completely incapable of adapting to this world without a mate, so I looked for one in every member of the opposite sex that I would come across. All of them had a certain 'sparkle' to me, well almost all of them. I had a brief set of standards then that I do now feel like reviewing now. At that time when someone would match my 'standards', I wanted commitment with them and I wanted to settle down. Without such a thing happening I would grow irreversibly depressed and felt unfulfilled.
It turned out that when I was eighteen I met someone I believed I had fallen 'in love' with. That train of thought lasted three and a half years with this person until it ended with a malignant crash, this very year. It was a tragic time because I realized so suddenly how much I had relinquished of my youth to these men who had barely any regard for me. Maybe they thought I was attractive, maybe they thought I was funny and cute, but did it go much farther than that? It was a question I never managed to consider until this year. I didn't realize how shallow my connections to these people were until a mere three months ago. Then I wondered with an even deeper appeal, these things about me that I so wanted them to see in me, did I even see them in myself? I had completely disregarded for so many years the importance of seeing such aspects within myself, I forgot or never even learned, how to love myself.
I'm looking now for good and affirming traits, not in other people or shallow men, but in myself. I'm trying to be good and independent and strong and most of the time it works. There are a lot of days where I feel more safe than anything, from being hurt and misused, than I feel like I'm lacking some sort of other half in my mentality, just because I'm not a part of a relationship. I feel now that I may be able to reverse a lot of damage that my co-dependency has caused me. It's a slow process and some days it feels like I'm being flayed alive, but it's something that must be done.
Maybe this is an experience that everyone has to go through before they can be reborn. Maybe the happy and strong single people that I always seem to find and that I see in my life have been through this very same pain and loneliness; maybe they have it a lot worse than I do. No, I'm sure that they have had it the same and they have had it much worse.
These are just things I think about when I've had too much coffee late at night and have nothing that much more constructive to do with my time than write and post.