Growing Pains

Oh God, I don’t know what to do. I saw a girl crossing herself and praying on the street today and wished for the first time in years to still be able to believe in God, just to feel less alone and helpless. But I can’t even go back to that. That’s the curse of growing. Once you have moved on, you can’t go back.

Tom and I took a nice walk to the lake on Thursday, over six months after we had been there on our first date. Then we went home and had a confidential talk (he said he didn’t see me as fat, and didn’t notice any weight gain, and didn’t care. It was very reassuring.) Then we went to the pizzeria and ate dinner. After that, we walked to the church terrace, where there were stars this time, and I told Tom that it was exactly four months since our first kiss. He seemed surprised at first and then pleased, and he kissed me again and we walked home. There, we lay down on the bed and both fell asleep! Not what we had planned at all. I was a little disappointed. Then next morning, Tom came and watched ballet class with GFT, and met June. They both seemed to like each other. After class, we had a cosy breakfast and took another nap and then Tom had to go to work. Everything was more or less still ok till then.

I was more or less sad all weekend and miserable since Sunday, but tried to distract myself with housework, audiobooks and overeating. At first, I thought it was just because Tom got a cold and I miss him desperately. But it is so much more than that. Tom, his presence, his love, is just another piece of sticking plaster, covering up and holding together a wound that needs to heal.

Don’t get me wrong, it works wonderfully. In Tom’s presence, I can mostly love myself, I am hardly ever hungry or worried or depressed. I declined an invitation for brunch with my family on Easter Monday because Tom wanted to come. I cleaned and tidied the flat and was ready for him on Sunday evening, but he said he felt ill and could not come. I felt disappointed and felt the first cold touches of despair, but held on to hope that he would feel better soon and come on Monday. I was even happy for a few hours, waking up with the sun, going for a run to the lake and swinging under the blue sky and then shopping. But then he said he was still ill and it all collapsed. Here I was, with a free day, in a clean and tidy flat, all ready for Tom, and didn’t know what to do without him. Just like at New Year’s and during my illness, I felt as if I could not bear living without him. The wish to embrace him felt like extreme thirst. It was quite scary. And it made me angry. Angry at myself for being so needy and weak, and also at him because I was apparently dependent on him. When Tom is tired or ill, I always act as if I was patient and understanding, but feel angry, impatient and hurt inside. This is strange. But I remember feeling like this when I was little and Mother was ill. I felt deeply lonely in those moments because she was my rock, but my rock was temporarily not solid anymore, and I felt that I had no right to need her then. It feels the same now. I need to act, and this creates distance and resentment. The only good thing is that I will cherish every second with Tom even more from now on, and that I got a good look at the thing under the sticking plaster.

It’s not a pretty sight. The wound is basically me hating myself and thinking I’m worthless. The other, older sticking plasters are not helping anymore, either. Well, eating helps, but only for an hour or so, and then it hurts even more. My inner passion seems gone or very weak. And losing weight would still help, but I can’t do it anymore. The only option that remains is healing that stupid wound. But how am I to do that? I can love myself as long as I fit into my image of how I want to be, but now that I see this unhealthy mechanism, it doesn’t work anymore. What I need to do is somehow learn to love myself just as I am, and that seems impossible. And who am I, anyway, if my passion has left me? If I am fat? Old, ugly, poor, scared, boring, stupid and utterly broken. How am I ever to love this? I can’t, I just can’t. And so I either run away (overeat, don’t think, isolate) or try desperately to change my body, my mind, my character, and fail. Or I turn to Tom and let his love for me soothe the wound, and let my love for him distract me. Yes, I see it clearly.

One good thing I did today was open up to June and Tom a little. I told both of them that I feel sad and lonely, and didn’t try to keep them in the dark and put on an act. Even though this made me feel small and weak, it helped to feel less alone. They both reacted with kindness and didn’t reject me, as a part of me feared. For the moment, all I can do is hold on and try to do my best. I’m learning from this, as much as it hurts, and hopefully growing.

About annalienor

Lover of beauty, adult ballet student, deliberate creator wannabe.
This entry was posted in Family, Friends, Health, Love, Milestone. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Growing Pains

  1. Stephanie says:

    Hang in there! If you can mostly love yourself when you’re around him, I’m sure it’s possible for you learn to mostly love yourself when you’re apart. Please try to stay compassionate with yourself ❤ I realize I'm a stranger and can't really know you just from having been keeping up with your posts since December.. but I've related to a lot of it, especially falling in love for the first time whilst dealing with some long-lived body image and eating issues.. and I can't help kinda caring about you by now, because I weirdly feel like I'm in this with you. Hope that doesn't creep you out and somehow discourage you from sharing more ^^ You're a good writer.

  2. Olivia says:

    I second that comment! I admire your ability to dissect your feelings and try to understand the drivers in order to move forward in life safely. How hard would it be for you to allow the feelings to come up, then imagine them in a bubble floating away- like a way to free yourself from thinking about it. To give yourself a break and to try and be free for a day or 2 from being analytical? I am rooting for you and Tom, so happy you found someone to share time, laughs, and love with!

    • annalienor says:

      Thank you so much!
      I’m not nearly as analytical as it seems from my writing. I tend to write to make vague feelings and half-finished thoughts more clear, and to remember things.

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