I cried a lot in the past 13 months. And I mean, A LOT.
I cried for many reasons. Mostly I cried over unanswered questions.
- Why did she do this to me?
- How could I not have seen?
- Did she ever love me at all?
- Was our relationship ever exclusive?
- Was I so unimportant to her that she simply didn't consider my feelings?
- I don't understand humans if they can do this to each other, how can I live in a world I don't understand?
- Why do I feel love for someone who has treated me so badly?
- Why are people still friends with them? Surely nobody wants to be friends with people who treat others with utter disdain?
- Why don't people speak out to them?
- Who can I trust?
- I must be weird for not understanding how people can be like that?
- He's everything she always said she didn't want: man, beard, unattractive (her words, not mine), kids, small isolated village. Does that mean she was never honest with me about what she really wanted? Was I just a passing fad?
- Why does she not want to be friends? She's contacted old joint friends to re-establish contact with them but does not want contact with me. Am I really that repulsive? She's hurt ME, so why is she rejecting me again as a friend, after first saying she would like to remain friends? (Regardless of me even wanting to be friends) Does that mean she never really liked me in the first place?
Unanswered questions are a kind of loneliness. You ask them in a vacuum. When someone has died and you have questions, the person who could answer them is no longer there. That's sad and lonely, but there is nothing you can do about it. With a breakdown, you *could* still contact the person to ask your questions. You know you shouldn't but you are longing for the release, for the feeling that you might get an answer that will alleviate the loneliness of not knowing. Even sending that email, for a few moments, makes you feel better. And then the fretful waiting for an answer starts. But even if they were going to give you answers, their answers would be unreliable. You know their first concern is not your mental health, but saving their own skin. If you were the first thing on their list of things they care about, they'd never have done what they did. That's a painful kind of loneliness. You are alone with your questions. You are alone with the constant battle not to ask for answers.
I have cried about the devastating feeling of coming home to an empty house. About no longer having C to share my stories with. About no longer having someone around who I shared a history with. Nobody that remembers when you went on that camping trip and you ate foie gras at that little restaurant in Sarlat. Or when you panned for gold nuggets at Gevor Tin Mine in Cornwall.
That is a specific kind of loneliness. Of suddenly living in an empty space, physically and mentally, that used to be filled by a specific person. I remember that feeling from when my first wife died. For the second time in my life, large parts of my history and dreams have died with the death of my relationship. It's lonely.
I have however not cried about being alone or lonely as an ongoing thing. That's a recent thing. I guess in a way, that's progress.
I love cooking, but I don't cook for myself. I don't do nice things if I do them only by myself. I see no point and it gives me no joy if there is nobody to share that nice meal, bike ride, movie, TV show, trip to the garden centre, walk, holiday, or story with.
Sometimes when I'm watching TV or just "chilling", I suddenly become aware of the fact that I am alone. And a tingling starts in my fingers. It moves into my stomach and causes a wave of nausea. A sense of panic almost. I think it is a feeling of helplessness. A sense of fear that this is my life forever. I know it doesn't have to be. It may not be. But it might. It happens mostly when I am watching something that I know Jane and C would both have enjoyed. The two major relationships in my life. The two people I shared everything with. Gone. Nobody to say: let's watch this together.
I'm not sure what I'm trying to say. Many people are lonely and I worried this sounds like I am whining. I guess this is just a stream of consciousness.