He said he was sorry for not being able to show up. He wasn’t able to get away. He is married and he has small children. Did I fall in love, or is it lust with this man? I was drawn in by the soft gentleness he exhibits with his children. He is so kind and loving; I wanted to feel that kind of love, I wanted to be one of them. And for once, feel that kind of attention. But life is way more complicated than that. I told him not to worry about it. I never want to add stress to his life. In fact I never want to add stress to anyone’s life. I have been accepting apologies and enabling people my whole life, allowing those who are close to me to hurt me. I had an epiphany that day when he said he was sorry as he often had said before. The epiphany is that I am willing to be seconds or even thirds because I have never been anyone’s priority.
That makes me an amazing wife, since my husband can put work, the kids, his parents…anything ahead of my needs. How easy and carefree for him, to have his personal attendant, who requires nothing back. Oh, and the kids, the ones I pretty much raised alone, since dad was so busy at building his ego with the accolades of his job. Well, any parent knows raising children is thankless. I don’t really even want them to make me their priority anyway, but if their dad would have shown some to me, maybe they would know how to care about me, not just want something from me. But it doesn’t matter, because they are grown now and they are givers like I am. I hope they find givers back.
I suppose I can thank my parents in some way for the role I have played.Stuck between the beloved older sister and pampered little brother, I was the classic over achieving, peace keeping, ”please look at me” middle child. After a while you start believing there really is nothing you can do that IS good enough. Not the good grades, not the starring role in the school play, which no one came to see, not even marrying the man they wanted me to marry. Then the cycle of family life began. The kids, the job, the house, the bills. I was in it, good! So I did it, I did what all I had to do. This was most everything. She is so capable!
Fast forward and the kids are grown, but nothing else has changed. The result of being no one’s priority is a desperate loneliness with which I have a hard time putting onto the page. The feeling is so strong, at times, it consumes me. My only escape from it is to distract from it, such as in the form of my sweet friend, who when he is not being a dad, is often times texting me with indecent thoughts. For hours we chat, and speak about nothing. The rare times we can see each other, we hardly say a word, and the energy consumes us both, with quiet inhales and intense holds of tangled arms and silent breaths. I am filling his void, just like he fills mine.
Why do I let him? You would not ask if you had understood the desperation I feel. One is willing to take a corner of moldy bread when they are starving.