I had the worst migraine I've ever had yesterday. It hit me with a force I've never known -- I maybe registered I had a headache about ten minutes before the room began to spin, I broke out in a cold sweat, and I knew that I needed to lay down immediately before I fell and hurt myself in front of my children.
The grace of these children, who had been quietly working on their learning activity mats of their own accord, who sensed the change in their mother and did things like let in the barking dog and bring me a kid cup of juice. It is easy to feel alone most of the time, but in these moments I remember I'm not, not really.
But as helpful as they were, I needed an adult. It was a couple of hours before I should have been at work, so Kyle should have been on his way over anyway. And I called and I don't think I made much sense and he came over and got me to bed, calling my work to say I couldn't make it.
And I sobbed, because I hated asking for help, and more so, I hated the lack of compassion or care he showed me. I was an inconvenience, a burden, and I felt it with every guided step to my bed.
Except for one slight moment, when he fixed my shirt on my hip. He probably didn't do it on purpose, a mechanism of familiarity yet to be undone. But I felt it and became overcome with the sense of loss because he would not kiss me on the forehead to comfort me, or rub my back until I slept, as he used to do when my body rails against me. I would be without the comfort of him lying beside me, just an arm's reach away if things got bad, or I remained scared. And I was scared, by the ferocity and intensity of this migraine, of the spinning that didn't stop for hours, of the vertigo that left me gasping for air on the verge of hyperventilating from just trying to get down the stairs.
There are moments when the loneliness has nothing to do with actual people around you. And times when it has everything to do with them.
A friend recently acknowledged for me something I hadn't been able to form, just yet -- how hard it must be to unlearn to count on someone for support, for comfort. The untangling of lives, of partnership goes far beyond the titles and the obvious markers of a relationship, but deep, into realizing that someone you once found safe, that once felt like an extension of you and you of them, no longer is those things. It is cutting off your nose spite your heart and it is that loss, in these weak and frightening moments, that lays me raw, inviting the vultures to peck and pry and tear at whatever they can find, whatever's left of everything I once thought I was.
I keep joking, in my broken way, to those who check on me occasionally that I am hemorrhaging relationships lately. Aside from this cluster I'm calling a life, I look around and feel like people are dropping like flies around me, causing me to worry if there's something I'm missing, if my withdrawal into myself as a protective measure as elicited something I can't see that's causing people to run.
I understand that many people shy away from what they see as drama. And I know what it's like to be so wrapped up in your own hurt and fear that you kind of manifest it on to others, letting it skew your perception of events or actions. I have been guilty of that more times than I'd like to admit.
And some of this loss has nothing to do with that. One of my oldest and dearest friends moved for a job and a new life a few weeks ago. While I am overcome with excitement for her, she was one of the last supports I felt I could count on, locally.
But then I discovered, quite by accident, that someone I believed to be a dear friend, a non-local, had blocked me from all of the social media. ALL of it. And I don't know why, but the loss is felt. It hits me at times that are quiet and silly, but it hits me nonetheless. And I now watch as the people who move in the same circles edge away, engage or respond less, and I feel myself get pulled down deeper into a place that I know too well, a place of aching loneliness and heartbreak and non-comprehension.
I wonder what is it about me, that for as much of my life as I can remember, I have always struggled to maintain friendships. I spent most of my childhood being mean-girled and still to this day struggle with understanding the complexities of female relationships. I feel as if people want to get super close, but then once they do and see me without ... whatever it is that draws them to me in the first place, they back out steadily and swiftly.
I don't know what I'm doing wrong, or what about me that is wrong to so many people.
I just know that a few short months ago, with the perceived love and support of so many people around me, I felt like I could finally believe I was worth the effort, that I was valuable and lovable just the way I am.
And now, the gutting reminders that I am not -- that I am optional, disposable, a burden to endure -- they keep the room spinning and the dull ringing in my ears, reminding me to brace for the failure and disappointment and hurt, because those are the only constants I have ever known.
I am scared and bewildered and unsure of everything. I am afraid of walking into spaces both literal and virtual that will be surprisingly unfriendly, as my last vestiges of refuge seem to fade into obscurity. I don't know how much more loss I can take. I am aiming for grace and understanding through everything but am unsure as to why I don't deserve the same.
I am trying.
And I guess it was foolish for me to believe that would be enough.