I met with a few therapists last week, friends, in my quest to at least get myself stabilized. They went through the usual routine of my symptoms and discussed all the fears that have been occupying this little brain of mine. I was prepared for every question they threw my way. Until they got to one
Do you have a boyfriend?
In that moment, I could feel my cheeks burning with a red even more bold than my hair, in response to the bluntness of such a question. Things got a bit foggy for a moment. I eventually stammered out a “no“, and for the first time in a long time, I lowered my eyes. I spared them the story of how I’ve never been on a date, never had a boyfriend and have yet to experience my first kiss, but it was all I could do to not launch into one of my specches about trying to date with a physical disability.
Now, I know these professionals meant well, and I know what they were getting at – that a boyfriend would be a good source of emotional support during this time. And that’s probably true. But I’m not going to run out – well, roll out – and find myself a man just so I don’t have to feel so alone. Isn’t that the ultimate in recipes for disaster? Using a man to fill an emotional void, that, the more I examine it, is grief related to my father. I’m finally, after 7 long years, beginning to grieve the loss of my father. That would be the worst thing I could do, isn’t it?
Becuse the more I think about it, the more I see that getting involved with someone now would only distract me, and in the long-run, making me feel worse. Does that make any sort of sense? Maybe I’m supposed to be romantically alone right now. I’m not even sure it would be fair to the guy, either. I am so fragile right now, and I doubt we’d even have a chance.
And yet, their question has stayed with me this week, picking at my heart like some teenage heartbreak I never experienced. Somewhere down the line, when I’m in a better frame of mind and in a better place in my life, is there love in the cards for me? Will it even happen for me? I know I put on a brave face, but I think about that a lot more than I let on. And especially as I see my peers start to settle down and start a family, it makes me feel like I’m lagging behind while they’ve already crossed the ribbon at the finish line.
Maybe it’s just that my finish line isn’t exactly aligned with theirs. And maybe it’s OK if it’s not. If I’ve learned anything in the last week, it’s that I need to go at my own pace. Hard, sometimes, when you see your peers so happy, but my own happiness has to be out there somewhere, right, friends? And I’m not going to find longterm happiness in the arms of some guy, right? No matter how chiseled those abs… xoxo
(Photos via Dreaming)