I think I’ve mentioned before that I am a homebody.  I live by myself and spend a lot of time on my own, both by inclination and habit.  I need a lot of time to think and process the world, and also time to recharge my energy from being out in the world.  I’ve long known this about myself and I’m perfectly comfortable with it as a basic fact of my life. There are still limits, though.  There is much freedom in living as an independent person, but there are also difficulties, and one of them is troubling me now.

There is a little hollow, aching place in my emotional insides today, the kind of aching place that I can’t soothe by myself.  Because it is the ache of wanting contact with other people — the kind of contact expressed in physical presence.  I have very good friends, but they are mostly far away and our contact comes via words on screens — a good thing, but not everything.  And there is no companion here to build a life with, no partner, no lover, no spouse.  I don’t feel that my life is lacking in love, but I think what I am missing today is affection.  To be hugged; to be held.  These are things I simply don’t have in my day-to-day life.  On many days, I don’t notice the lack, but today I am missing them badly.

I know if anyone is at fault for this it is myself.  I grew up in a reserved family and I am a naturally reserved person; I don’t really know how to be affectionate.  I can receive a hug, but I have not learned how to offer one.  I don’t want to be all alone, but I hold myself apart.  I am not comfortable with the context of touch — I’m finding it difficult to even write about.  It is something I want and need but I am not comfortable with the idea, and I withdraw back to familiar distance and aloofness. This reality of my life is partly circumstantial, but it is partly created by my choices and actions, and I don’t know how to change them.  It’s a little bit scary to think about.

Unfamiliarity isn’t the only thing.  On most days, I still have difficulty with the idea that people could actually want me to be around — that not only do they simply not mind if I happen to be there, but that another human person could actually think that their experience of life is better because of my presence in it.  I mostly assume that either people don’t really mind if I’m with them, but it doesn’t really make much difference to them one way or another; or that there’s some kind of obligation that means I ought to be in the same place as them, and hopefully it’s not too unpleasant an obligation for them.  The idea that someone would literally be made happier because I am with them than they would be otherwise is a very strange one to me.  This doesn’t really help me to get close to people in any respect, physical closeness included.  And the possibility of developing a romantic relationship is almost unfathomable; not that someone simply doesn’t mind if I’m around, but to be singled out, chosen as a person of particular and special interest?…  No.  In an academic sort of way, I have to acknowledge it as possible, under the heading of “Everything is Possible.”  But at heart, I don’t really believe it.

Once again, I find myself at a loss; no neat ending, no tidy conclusion.  Not the way I’d prefer to end an essay, and not really the way I’d prefer life to be either.  In lieu of a proper ending, then, I will say this:  my kind readers, if there is someone in your life who is reachable and huggable, please give them a hug.  As soon as you are able.  It matters.


1 comment so far

  1. Barbara on

    Are you me? I’m beginning to understand that more people than we think feel the same way. It doesn’t make it easier to shake free of, but it isn’t only you who feels this way.
    I am lucky to have a couple of friends who reach out and hug me when we meet and make the effort to call me when I am silent too long. I am learning that I have to step out of my comfort zone of being alone and make a contribution to retain the friendships and not rely on others to stay in touch with me.
    I hope you can find one or two real life people who can be there to give you hugs when needed and to help you to find the joy in life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s