For what seems like years now, I’ve been engulfed in the tumultuous throes of a “moment”: one minute, I’m fine. The next, I’m pissed at anything with a penis (yes, animals included); Sad love songs, delighting in the drama of others… I’ve succumbed to what I like to call Modern-Day Heartache. I’m functional, of course. I’m even quite pleasant. But deep, deep down, I’m losing my freakin mind. I scoff at anything remotely resembling a love-life. And not that I’m without love or not capable of it… I simply don’t feel whole. Sought after. Wanted. Desired. Admired.
So I delight in motherhood, but quite honestly, that gratification is temporary, since motherhood is exorbitantly sacrificial; the more I give, the more that is required. But the love of man is (or should be) reciprocated. The reward is (or should be) immediate. The expression is (or should be) appreciated and my feelings are (or should be)considered and (or should be) accepted.
I haven’t felt the value of my womanhood in awhile. This is not to be confused with my self-worth or pride. In fact, it is my self-worth and pride that keeps me from accepting anything and/or anyone. It is my womanhood that begs to be noticed… that feeling that only a significant other can give you… the warm flush that comes over you. That smile that finds your face the minute you see theirs. That scent of him… that touch on your back, between your legs. That intoxication of your perfume. The feel of hot breath down your neck. That gift that takes you all day to shop for. That spike in adrenaline when his number comes across your phone. That pang in your chest you feel when you want to see him but he has other plans for the night.
So how do you compensate? How do you still get up in the morning and put in the same effort to be as attractive as one can be when there’s no one to tell you how great you look. How do you handle the fact that the heads don’t turn anymore? That no one has asked you on a date in months? That you don’t feel that “woman-ness” so you’ve relegated yourself to wearing sneakers instead of heels? When the only touch of your thighs, your feet your breasts has been your own? Why go to the gym? Why buy perfume? Why bother finding the exact shade of foundation or that flattering lip gloss?
I lie. I say I’m working on me, on my goals. I say I’m planning my future, and that a man would just get in the way. I say I’m paying more attention to my parenting, getting my house in order. I say I’m concentrating on my degree, exercising my body and my brain, spending more time on me. And while I really do juggle all of the aforementioned, what I lie about is how it makes me feel. I feel like a failure.
If I’m honest, I know I’ve let myself go. I know I’ve grown awkward around men because of past experiences with them. I know I focus entirely too much on the direction of a relationship rather than the relationship itself. I know I’m scared of feeling the way I felt (and still feel, really) about the last man that took my breath away… he came on so strong, so sure. I had fallen out of the routine of loving someone, and there he was! In my face, challenging me. He challenged my intellect, my lifestyle choices, even my domestic skills!! I had no armor to defend myself… He let so little of himself come to surface, yet I felt completely open, and even to a point, INVADED. My children had no choice but to be exposed and it all felt so unfair. And while I welcomed his attention, I felt tested. And I failed miserably.
Needless to say, after a series of break-ups and make-ups, we no longer speak. I think of him often and I thought I missed him. But actually, it’s my woman-ness I miss. What he and others before him brought out of me. A container of feelings that I keep hidden, functioning on only those that are appropriate, necessary.
That saddens me. At times, like now, I allow myself to wallow in that sadness. I allow it to change my mood. I usually allow it to either deflate me or inspire me to get my “groove” back. But now I am just resting in it… acknowledging it and exploring it.
I guess this is heartache… that’s what I will call it.