Alone

Not a very happy weekend. I am horribly and sickeningly and painfully infatuated with Gareth, the headteacher who I’ve spent three nights with in the past week. He’s an adorable, affectionate, caring and loving man; the more I get to know him the more I know I like him. But I cannot bring myself to believe that he will remain interested in me. It was my 26th birthday yesterday; we went out for dinner in town, and he bought me a lovely present, which is more than any of my other friends had bothered to do. He paid for dinner and then we drove back to his place again for what I hoped would be another night of affectionate sex. As well as emotionally and intellectually ideal, he is my physical ideal as well, and being with him is just sublime. But last night he was tired, so we spent most of the time sleeping in each other’s arms. He was also stressed out by various issues going on at work, which he explained to me and which I could offer little support with. I have my own anxieties to deal with this week, and I’m a weak emotional support for others at the best of times.

 We were quieter with each other than we usually are this weekend. This morning Gareth seemed in a rush to get out of the house, and I was on my way home by 11am. I was not looking forward to coming home, and it probably showed on my face. Though last night was not the best night ever, it was far better than a night at home on my own would have been. I was almost in tears by the time we got here today. I didn’t want to leave Gareth not knowing where I stood with him, whether I would see him again or not. Though he has always said he likes me, his quietness this morning didn’t make me feel any more secure than I did this time last week. He was fairly vague about when he would be free again, which I can’t help taking as a sign of his unwillingness to commit to anything. I suppose he’s got to know me and he’s lost a bit of interest, like most men do.

 I was haunted by the memory of my miserable seventeen year old self as I walked up the stairs to my flat this morning. Nine years ago I would come home from similarly rare outings feeling exactly the same way: like I was returning to my prison. I hate it here – spending time with Gareth reminds me of what life is like away from here. Out there I can have fun, be happy, be myself. Here I am still a child, looking after my mum who is still down with some kind of sickness that has no symptoms but which makes her inclined to spend all day in bed. I came in the door today ready to burst into tears. It felt like I was trying to stop myself from being sick in front of her. I said the obligatory ‘hello’ and ‘how are you’ before rushing to my bedroom to pull the covers over myself and bawl helplessly. Twice this week I have cried like a baby, for the first time in many years. I’m glad that after all this time my emotions are thawing out and I am finally letting go of it all, but the misery and despair in which I find myself is no less. I am still trapped here, with no way out. Meeting Gareth has just made this all the more obvious. He isn’t just a man, he is a symbol of everything that is missing in my life. His quietness and his distance this morning really hurt because I’ve seen it happen so many times before. After a week or two they all start to lose interest,when they’ve found out that I am needy and weak and useless in bed. That’s right, no matter how I try I still can’t perform in that department because of this stupid psychological barrier which makes it impossible for me to enjoy myself with anyone who I don’t fully trust.

 I could ask Gareth how he feels about me at this point to either disprove or confirm my suspicions, but I’m scared of what he would say, and I don’t want to put pressure on him. He has his own shit to deal with – he doesn’t need me hanging round his neck like an albatross. I’ll have to forget him and look after myself, like I always do, because I must be destined for singledom forever. I thought I had got past this need to be loved, but it remains in me like a wound burned into my stomach. I haven’t done that much promiscuity, but what I have done this year has tired me. I’m tired of meeting different men for casual, unemotional encounters every week. Sex is great, but sex with the same person on a regular basis is even greater. That I have discovered this week. If only someone would come along and ignore my insecurities to see the good person inside me, because I think there’s one in there. But no one will, it’s too much effort.

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