Cuddled on the couch, blanket and puppy, I am processing my weekend and a little extra emotional. I returned earlier today from a 24 hour road trip with friends. As I pulled back into my driveway after a fast and fun trip to Cleveland to see Dan Savage’s Hump Fest, an amateur porn festival, I had tears. It is coming up on the one year anniversary of my now ex husband asking for a divorce. I was thinking about how my world has changed so much.
Now, almost a year later, I am building this circle of support. (Surprising enough, my ex husband is included in that circle.) A year ago I never would have been able to say that. I just never got the support I needed. That isn’t all because he didn’t give it. I didn’t demand it. I did request it the best I knew how. But when I didn’t get what I asked for, I retreated back to the norm. And really, I didn’t really know what I needed. I didn’t have the space to find out and to explore my own needs.
Now I get to make my own decisions. I make my own plans. I do the things that inspire me. I work to fill my cup. But trust me, that cup has had so many years of not having my emotional needs met that I am a sponge. I have to work twice, if not three times as hard, to feel full. I quickly return to feeling like I am in a deficit.
I date a lot. I meet a lot of new people. But most of them come and go from my life quickly. It is fun. It is interesting. I certainly teaches me tons about myself. But it doesn’t fill me up.
But what does work to fill me up is the friends I have made, the really close ones. Some of these are really close friendships that have been built over many months, years and even decades, and some are so new and fast. They emotionally support me, yes. Note that there is a physical component for me. They embrace me when I am needy. Whether I need their body warmth, or to pinch or poke at them, or just to hold their hand, knowing they are sharing space with me, they are there. We are intimate friends. We share “that thing”. These aren’t necessarily sexual relationships. I am just a physical touch person. It is my love language. And love languages don’t just apply to lovers. Touch is how I give love and how I receive it.
But then there are the hours and days after… I enjoy my independence and my newly acquired time alone that I never had as the married mom of 2 boys. But now, for those few hours and even days after, I have to go through the loneliness. It’s the adjustment period after feeding off the love of my friends. But even though I am in an ugly cry as I type this, I love the feeling. I love feeling the drop. I love feeling loved and I do feel so loved. It gives me the opportunity to really appreciate the people in my life, not only when they are physically at my side, but when they aren’t but still in my heart.
While many fear vulnerability, I always point out, vulnerability is where the magic happens. And sometimes that magic is holding your friend’s left hand while he hold’s his girlfriend’s hand with his right, while watching porn in a university theater.