Solitude

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I started teaching again this past Monday. I’m in the same classroom I was in last semester, starting class at the same time. It’s a different class (Composition I versus Composition II last term), it goes for two and a half hours instead of one and a half, and I see the same students all week. (However, I do have Wednesdays off.) I was hoping that the week off between classes would give me time to recharge, but I think all it realy managed to do was to make me feel lonelier. On Friday I did have a pizza with Lara when she stopped by on her way up to Michigan, and that was the first time I’d really had the chance to hang out with friends I knew since last December. As it is, my social calendar is still pretty blank, and even though I have some ideas about how to go about fixing that, between still being busy taking care of things that popped up after Dad’s death and my general nervousness, it’s been hard to act on any of those ideas.

Several years ago when I went through my last period of deep suicidal thoughts (back before my counselor at UT finally straightened me out), I had this recurring dream. I was in an apartment by myself, sitting at one of those really cheap white-and-pine dinette sets you always see on sale at Big Lots, and I was holding onto a revolver. Even though I’ve never touched a handgun in my life, I can still remember just how heavy the gun felt in my hand. The suicide implication there was obvious, but I think the other obvious thing from that nightmare was that it was happening after both my parents had died, since I was on my own like that. Although I haven’t had anything approaching suicidal thoughts since Dad died, I am still having this dream pop up every now and again, probably because I’ve now lost one parent, and I have to think about losing Mom in a way that I’ve never thought about before.

Having some kind of circle of friends locally to hang out with would probably help me a lot, but again, I’m just not that comfortable doing that right now, in part because I’m so busy and in part because I’m so fearful because of all the disasters there have been in the past when I’ve tried to make friends. I also have to admit that I’m questioning my own motivations for wanting friends, because I think that in addition to companionship, I may also be looking for people to foist responsibilities on. I was kind of already doing this before Dad died, because seeing him and Mom, and Mark and Heather, made me wish that I had a lover, someone for me to shower affection on, and even though I had a few people in mind as potential partners, I didn’t do anything about it because, in addition to general fears, I was worried that I was just looking to fill a hole in my own life, and that for the person I tried to partner with I’d be too interested in filling that hole in my life that I wouldn’t be focused enough on filling the holes in that person’s life. Now that Dad’s dead and I’ve had to take on so many more responsibilities, I’m worried that I may be longing for a partner even more just so I have someone to share those responsibilities with.

As it is, other things developed with two of the people I’d been thinking about talking to (I never even got the chance to talk to them) that kind of made serious relationships with them impossible. There’s only one other person I think I’d be comfortable partnering with right now, and not only do I think that she’d rather not entertain that idea just on general principle, but she also seems to be at a period in her life where she would rather be single. I can’t say as I blame her for that, because for a long time there I appreciated the freedoms that being single gave me. However, now I seem to be longing for companionship, and the worst part is that I’m not even sure that I’m longing for it for the right reasons. If I can’t trust my own intentions, how can I possibly expect anyone else to?

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