Mr. Tin Man

I cried at the gas station today. Just a little. It came out of nowhere, I think. Well, I’m sure all the country music I’m listening to isn’t helping. All in all, I think I’m doing pretty damn well. I’m continuing to make impacts with my patients at work. I’m loving having routines again with the boys being back at school. Family dinners are the best! I’m keeping social with my good friends, the one’s who love me and check in on me and value me. I’m meditating, and attending my meditation class every week. I’m going to therapy, working on getting back to being happy just being me. I’m getting there. But today, as I’m driving around to see my last few patients, I became sad. For some reason, I started thinking those stupid unlovable thoughts again. I hate them. Why can’t they just stay away? I’m doing EVERYTHING I’m supposed to be doing to rid myself of them. Fake it till you make it, then fake it some more, I guess.

I’m standing there, pumping gas, with one more patient to see. The sun is shining warmly. There’s hardly any wind. A perfect afternoon to sneak a few hours in on the boat. But work is work and you just can’t predict how long it’s going to take, and today took longer. That’s probably another thing contributing to my sadness…putting the boat away soon. For all I know, I could’ve had my last day out there already. So anyway, I’m standing there, pumping the gas, and I see a man across the way, finishing fueling up. I look at him. He glances at me and carries on. Nothing special about it. Just an average guy who happened to be pumping gas at the same time as me. Next thing you know, I’m crying. Flooded with the thoughts of my inner critic, or inner child, or whoever the hell it is that knows I’m never going to find the love I’ve been craving my entire life. Boom, back in an instant. I’m swallowing hard, blinking away the tears, wondering why the fuck I’m crying at the gas pump over love. God, what is going on with me? Last year, I was perfectly fine to never have even a conversation with another man again, and now I’m aching with emptiness at the knowing of it’s not ever happening for me.

I think my problem is that I finally opened my heart enough to admit I wanted it to be loved. Yeah, I think that’s it. It’s easier to not want love when you seal that sucker up. Safer. You’re protected that way.

But no, I had to go and open the damn thing up, exposing its vulnerability. And when you open it up, and nothing happens, it’s a weird kind of fragility. It kind of starts to close and harden, like it’s going to heal,  but not like the old shell. Just a light scabbing occurs, and as soon as you move, it cracks open again. And it bleeds…right out your eyes and down your cheeks at the gas station. So yeah, I suppose if I just stay home, lying around, doing nothing with anyone, just being still, stuffing it all down, numbing myself with TV or Facebook or nothing…it might harden enough to last. Harden, mind you. Not heal. Big difference. Because I don’t want to harden my heart. That’s armor. Protects you enough, but doesn’t let anything in at all. I also don’t want it to be raw and hurting, either. Because then, when nothing comes in at all, it burns. Neither one is significant of good living. What I truly want is for this heart to be loved and nurtured and adored and held gently. I want it to be needed. I want it to be healed. God, that’s vulnerable just to admit, isn’t it? To acknowledge I want my heart to be loved, yet admit it isn’t? Admit it hasn’t ever? Admit it most likely never will be? Not the way I need it to be. I’ve learned that lesson. Excessively. Doesn’t mean I won’t still try, even though I know the lesson. I just don’t like the alternative. Which I guess is why I cried today. I don’t like this alternative at all, and apparently, I’m totally onto the fact that I’m faking it. Damn.

I’m getting better, though. I kind of love myself enough to know what I deserve and not to take less, just because that’s all that’s offered. Kind of.

I’m turning 46 this year. I think that’s kind of a long time to go without being loved. Or loved in the right way. I know some people never find love. Never have children. Never got to grow up having family. So many of us never find what we yearn for. I’ve been told by just about every man I’ve been with that I want too much. I always felt so ashamed for that, trying to figure out how to stop being so needy and how to just be happy for what’s offered to me. I’m trying to not do that anymore. Though there’s not really any men in my life to try it on, so I guess the “trying” part will have to wait. However, I’ve just recently discovered the concept of “attachment types” and let me tell you, it’s opened my eyes. (Thank you, Deborah!) You can read about them here. I’ve got to figure out how to stop being attracted to these “avoidance” types. Or, figure out how to change myself to a “secure” type. Not happening any time soon, I’m sure. In the meantime, I’m filling my days  with work, my kids and my friends. (I’ve got my drum lessons in an hour…working on a Metallica song!) Trying to fill up as much of the day as I can so I don’t notice what’s lurking. But I notice, anyway. Funny how you can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely. I know I won’t be able to stay this way forever. It will either harden back up, or it will just break. So for now, I’m just protecting it and loving it the best I can, and hoping someday, my love for myself will be enough.


5 thoughts on “Mr. Tin Man”

  1. I like that analogy with the light scab cracking open and bleeding down your cheeks at the gas station. Maybe you could imagine putting some kind of gentle healing oil on it, and it will get smaller and smaller, though there might always be a scar. I remember not wanting to want love, but then I realized (or God told me) that it’s a natural thing to want and I should not beat myself up about wanting to be loved the right way. Be gentle with yourself, dear Jami. Your love for yourself can be enough, but more importantly, remember that God loves you deeply and forever no matter what. And God has a plan. I have a feeling that more love is coming.

    1. After I wrote this, I started kind of shaming myself for wanting it so much. I thought of how God has given me people in my life who love me and I should be grateful for that and not keep wishing for more. I didn’t cry as I wrote this post, but boy…I sure did while reading your comment. Right around the “be gentle” part. I just spent a good 15 minutes lying here crying, and apparently…talking to God. I was repeating the same words over and over, before I even realized what I was saying. “I just want to be loved. I just want to be loved. I just want to be loved…I just want to be nurtured. I just want to be nurtured. I just want to be nurtured…” Once I paid attention, I realized I was handing it to God, I think. I hope I was. A lifetime of being disappointed by men is really kind of exhausting and I just don’t want to do it anymore.

      Your words are quite nurturing to me tonight. Thank you?

      1. You are most welcome, Jami. I am honored that my experience nurtures you. Surrendering your desire to God will free you to live your life with less stress. God’s got this! <3

  2. I get it. And I love that you’re living your life, doing your stuff. One thing I’m very thankful for, is that I didn’t get married until I was ok to be on my own. Once I really began to enjoy my own company, that’s when my husband entered my life. I think it’s like, when that aching and “needing” to be with someone is gone, then they will find you. From what I understand, when you think you need something that you don’t have, the vibe that gets answered it “I don’t have it”. So, you keep not having it. Does that make any sense? Anyway, keep on keeping on.

    1. That vibe thing is spot on. I believe in it 100%, which might be why I’m so uneasy at my awareness of needing love. I am desperate to get back to where I was in the spring when I was 100% fine with my own company. I was perfectly content in all aspects. Then, someone entered my life by chance. It just took me a little bit to realize that just because someone enters your life by chance when you are perfectly content does not mean that it’s the right person for you.

      So, I’m going to keep on keeping on??

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