“You gave my life to me
Set me free, set me free…
The finest years I ever knew
Were all the years I had with you
You taught me how to love
What it’s all, what it’s all…
Nobody else could ever know…
The part of me that can’t let go
And I would give anything I own
I’d give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own
Just to have you…back again
Just to touch you…once again.” ~ “Everything I Own,” Bread
When I officially became single in January 2011, I was absolutely petrified of going forward alone. Sure, I had my friends and family, all of whom served as invaluable resources of support. But what scared me more than anything was moving on solo, rather than as one-half of a couple. I was shaking in my flip flops. A barrage of “what-ifs” invaded my every waking moment, and a fair share of my sleeping moments as well:
- What if I never meet anyone else?
What if I grow old and die alone?
What if I’m too ugly/fat/not smart enough?
What if I can’t do this alone financially?
What if no man is ever interested in me?
What if I never have sex again? (Noooo!)
…and about three thousand more “what ifs” where those came from. But you get the point.
In those terrifying early weeks and months of singledom, feeling like a foreigner with no grasp of the local language, I was grateful for any attention paid to me by the opposite sex. Who it was mattered not; the bottom line was, when a man indicated his interest, I was quick to latch on to whatever he was offering – from compliments to conversation to sexual encounters, absolutely none of which satisfied me in the least. Because those random men meant nothing to me, their physical displays of affection did nothing for me. Besides, I wasn’t That Kind of Girl anyway. I had never been one to give it up willynilly just for the asking to anyone who wanted it. I’d always had more self-respect than that, which I began to realize was gradually slipping away.
“Who the hell am I, anyway?” I wondered in frustration. “Because the chick that’s been doing [insert out-of-character behavior here] is NOT me!”
However, here’s what I do know about who I am, with absolute certainty: I’m very cerebral in matters of love and sex (this trait for which I give a friendly nod to both my Aquarius Moon and my Venus in Gemini.) Essentially, it boils down to this: if I don’t find you intriguing, charismatic, or engaging, if you are obviously a moron incapable of intelligent conversation, or generally if I just don’t like you, it makes no difference whether you look like Channing Tatum or Danny DeVito: it is impossible for me to enjoy a sexual liaison with you. Can’t happen. For me, sexual desire begins in my mind. A man must first appeal to me intellectually, with wit, humor, and intelligence before I can become physically aroused by him. This explains why sex with my estranged Cancer-cusp longtime live-in boyfriend was incredibly amazing, like an out-of-body experience, it was surreal…and why that was not the case with my former Cancer husband, a wonderful guy who, in all honesty, I loved with all my heart, but I didn’t always like him very much.
Actually, I was aware of the fact that, for me, arousal is born in the mind, well before I found myself flying solo. But in my feeble attempt to distract myself from the inevitable grief over my failed relationship, I purged what I knew and forged ahead with tunnel vision. It was as if I was attempting to wish away the grief and loss, covering my ears and loudly repeating, “if I don’t think about it, it can’t hurt me!” And that’s true. The problem is, although you might have managed to force those thoughts to the back of your mind for a while, they are still there, laying dormant, and sooner or later they will find their way back to the forefront, demanding acknowledgement.
Because I initially denied myself the opportunity to properly grieve, it has surfaced in such a way that the loss feels fresh, as though it happened only a few weeks ago rather than well over a year ago. I’m now embracing these painful feelings so I can gradually work through them and move on. And you know what? It sucks. It hurts. I hate every minute of it. I cry…a lot. I think…probably entirely too much. I wish I could sleep through this process and wake up refreshed, like a bear emerging in spring from winter hibernation. But I can’t. I have to feel this, as torturous as it is, before I can get to the point where I can say I have truly moved on.
“Lost and all alone, I always thought that I could make it on my own
But since you left I hardly make it thought the day
My tears get in the way, and I need you back to stay…
I wander through the night, search the world for the words to make it right
All I want is the way it used to be, with you here holding me
I’ve got to make you see…
That I’m lost without your love
Life without you isn’t worth the trouble of
I’m as helpless as a ship without a wind; a touch without a feel…
I can’t believe its real
But someday soon I’ll wake and find my heart won’t have to break…
…All I want is the way it used to be
I need you here with me; oh darlin’ can’t you see…
If we had love before, we can have it back once more.”
~”Lost Without Your Love,” Bread
In the meantime, something curious has happened. I’m no longer worried about finding anyone new. I’m not desperately searching for a replacement to fill the hole in my soul. It’s been nearly four and a half months since I’ve even had sex…and not only am I fine with that, I’m surprised that I’m fine with that! At this point, I can say in all honesty, I don’t care whether or not I meet a new man. No one could ever replace my estranged Cancer cusp man; he was and is the love of my life and no one could ever top that or mean as much to me as he did. Besides, I’m too busy looking inward to look outward. Maybe someday when I’ve truly healed, it’ll happen. Then again, maybe it won’t. Who knows? I don’t. But I do know that whatever is supposed to happen will happen. And I’m okay with that. The following quote sums up my feelings quite nicely:
“A really beautiful relationship is a once in a lifetime thing. And I’ve already had mine.” ~ Frank Lundy, from the Showtime original series “Dexter”
Although my Pisces Ascendant, in its infinite quest to relive what once was, tries to convince me there is always a chance, no matter how minute it may be, I know we can’t go back. Not that I wouldn’t do it in a nanosecond should the opportunity present itself; absolutely, I would. But that’s not the point. Reality kicks in, waking the Pisces Ascendant from its perpetual “if only” dreams, and bluntly reminds me that chapter of my life is over. The finality is brutal, almost as if I’ve experienced a death. I suppose I have, though: the death of a relationship…and of hopes and dreams that will never be.
“So take the photographs and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it’s worth, it was worth all the while
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right…
I hope you had the time of your life.”
~ “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” Green Day