All of the Lessons- A Summary of Life
What makes love? Where does it come from? Is it chemical? Could it be that this experience is nothing but a rich cascade of chemicals in our brain that is so linked to our evolutionary history that it causes us to be blinded to all else? Perhaps the evolutionary need for bonding and attachment is so basic to survival that it makes every other instinct dull and unimportant in comparison.
When I was a child I couldn’t sleep. Not in that childlike way of demanding another glass of water and cajoling more time to watch a favorite show. I couldn’t sleep in a deep dark way. For me the night was full of blackness. When I was tucked into bed and left alone it was like I was falling off a cliff into a deep dark pit of fear and anxiety that I would never crawl out of. I begged my mother to stay. To sleep outside my door, and eventually when she and my father were asleep I inevitably found my way to sleep at the foot of their bed curled into the smallest possible space I could take up to avoid being removed.
When I was a bit older I would build fortresses in my bed out of pillows and stuffed animals to try and convince myself I was not alone. I envied my parents for not having to sleep alone and swore as soon as I could I would find my own life partner who would never leave me to the night terrors of my mind. I sleep alone now. My partner has his own night demons.
It is not easy to be the daughter of a beautiful woman. You will always live in the comparison. Never quite meet the standard. The voice in my head is my mother’s voice. I have never been enough for that voice. Or I have been too much. I am a person of excess. I am a person who is constantly spilling over the confines of what I am supposed to be. I am too large, too loud, too honest, too playful, too me.
I search for connection like a hunted animal. For every time in my young life I did not feel loved, I did not feel comfort, I did not feel chosen, I am now a well of want and need. I shape my life around creating that moment, that glance, that pursuit that will make everything else feel softer. It is never enough. And yet. It has to be.