Monday, November 10, 2008

Homesickness

On and off, for most of my life, I have felt terribly homesick. It has been very painful and very confusing. Confusing because i have not known where I was homesick for.

Was it Germany? Australia? Singapore? Gibraltar? England? Where? I even wondered if I were sickening for some place long forgotten in a previous life.

Eventually I realised I was sickening for a place that I belonged. A place I felt loved and accepted and cherished and above all felt safe. A family. It was this, a family, I was homesick for. A family that loved me and accepted me and cherished me. I didn't have that. No, if you are a regular reader you know this, I am not an orphan. I night as well have been and certainly it would have been far less painful than the truth. I have just recalled how about 31 years ago, I was on a bus, riding to nowhere as I was wont to do. I was depressed. A kind elderly woman got talking to me as she sensed my sadness. I felt ashamed of my unhappy state and certainly could not tell her the truth for she would just think I must be very wicked to have a family who did not care for me. Instead I told her that my whole family had been wiped out in an accident. That I was an orphan. I had to tell her something that would explain my misery. Yet it was only a lie in part. My family had not died. I was indeed though an orphan. I had been provided for materially and that is where any care for me ended. Emotionally I was abandoned.

The first person to say they loved me was John. I was 22. I did not believe him. Whilst over the last twenty seven and one half years he has not abandoned me, I do sometimes doubt that he does. Or wonder why he does. He was the first person to see ME and love ME and who found me acceptable. (Oh I had been very fortunate in that throughout my childhood there was always a neighbour or a teacher who saw ME and gave of themselves to me. I am certain that without their giving, I should have withered completely.)

Today my home is John. It is he for whom I feel homesick. Back in June of 04 when I found myself in much physical pain and stranded in Sweden, it took all my strength to not fall apart for longing for him to be with me. I called him and though I tried to hide how I felt, he knew and he flew out to meet me so we could drive home together. I knew, then, there alone and in pain, just how alone and in pain I would be were he no longer with me. Were he dead. I knew I would not be able to call him. I felt so much longing for him then it frightened me for I knew this would one day come. If not to me, then to him.

The thought of a life alone, back how it was growing up, holds a very special dread for me. I feel I would rather not have life at all were it to be like that. No one in my life can love me the way he does. Warts and all. I wonder how he does. I am difficult. I am demanding. I am 'high maintenance'. I am not trusting. There has never been anyone in my life like him and never will be. I do not mean to diminish my friends, but they do not truly know me the way he does.

I sometimes wonder if I even know what love is. Do I love him? How could I not when he was the first to love me? Is that it? My one anchor? My one rope that pulled me to safety? I used to think so. Until the day I imagined him suffering and it caused such a feeling of anguish in me, I knew I loved him in return, for who he is, and not just because he loved me.

In his love for me, he has never lived my life for me, never controlled me or mopped up my mess. I have been angry at him for that! No, he left me to grow up whilst the supported me. I am an independent person and I hated feeling weak. Now, my body has made me dependent again and it angers me that still he needs to takes of me. Yet, I am fully aware of my good fortune also and again I wonder at it. Why?

I do not know. I just don't take it for granted. Everything could change in the blink of an eye.

8 comments:

Iris said...

What is this thing called, "love?" I wonder. It seems some people, like John, know and can do this thing. Like you, I don't know that I know what love really is. I am passionate about my son. I would kill for him. I would die for him. Do I love him? Not in the way he would probably like.

How odd.

Nan said...

I understand your feelings of longing, it is something that I still hope to be resolved in my life. And you are so fortunate to have found each other. Blessings on you both.

LizzieK8 said...

I envy you your John. I have not first hand knowledge of being loved that way, but it must be wonderful.

And, you've given John a great gift. He has been allowed to grow in his compassionate abilities by giving you the gift of his care and love.

Sometimes the greatest gift we can offer someone is granting them the ability to grow and learn. To hone their skills of loving and caring for someone.

picperfic said...

the greatest gift you'll ever leran is just to love and be loved in return...my favourite line from Moulin Rouge!

BammerKT said...

Well way to make me tear up! I can totally relate and I suspect many more people than we imagine can as well.

It's really cool that you take a moment to realize that you're fortunate to have found your man, John. I always tell my mom that even if I lost him somehow, I would be so thankful that I got to have him for awhile. (Fingers crossed that it's a long while for us and for you too!)

FugueStateKnits said...

What a miracle that you could learn to love even without having it as a child! It's a power stronger than anything in the universe. Stronger than death itself.
You are a blessed man, Colin - and so is John:)
Hugs,
Joan

Maris said...

Don't doubt...he's there...your John. Honour him, enjoy everyday together. That's loving him, I know you do!!

Anonymous said...

you identified the most basic root of love when you said that John is home. Not a place, a connection. Home may be a specific place for many people, but that is because (I think) of their connections to people. You deserve this. Don't worry that you're not loving enough. I'm sure you are and often the greatest gift you can give someone is to let them love you.

Best,
Melanie in CT