I had a realization last week. It’s kind of…well, a part of me thinks that it sucks, but I think it’s a healthy place along the way to recovering from relationship trauma.
The realization was that I don’t want to see anybody that I know. No lovers, no friends, no friends with benefits, no coworkers, nobody for more than a small amount of time. Also coupled with this realization was the acknowledgement that when I thought about dating someone new, part of what drew me to that idea was that it was a clean slate. No emotional baggage. No past. A totally new beginning.
I am totally fucking burned out on people. And the problems that arise from interacting with people.
I recently had a problem come up in an interest group that I run. Let’s call it a hobby. I’m on the management committee for this group, which is arts-based and has a closed membership (you kind of need to audition your work to get in; it’s not for newbies). I mention this problem for two reasons; the first is that I’m going to write about it on my blog sometime soon, because aspects of it are relevant to a lot of the themes in my blog (abuse, control, setting and maintaining healthy boundaries).
The second reason I mention it is that it’s another fucking problem caused by people. A problem that I will need to handle. It’s an important problem, and one that I want, for my own moral integrity, to rise to the occasion and handle well.
But that said, I am fucking burned out on people.
Between what happened with Lora, and the implosion of the relationships between my past partner Rachel, and her partner Jessica (which I’ve talked about all over my blog, but is most neatly summed up in the linked post series) that happened shortly before things got bad with Lora, I am just done with people for awhile. It just happened to be bad timing that Jon and Lora moved in around the time that things got really shitty with Rachel and Jessica. And shortly after things went to shit with Jessica, things started to get weird, and then bad, with Lora. So I never really had much time to be upset, and grieve, and retreat a bit into myself about Rachel and Jessica, before plunging into the problems that developed with Lora.
Now that things with Lora are generally over, I want to be by myself.
Not entirely by myself. I’m not breaking up with Jon. Goodness, no. That would gut me. But I need alone time. Me time. Private time. And lots of it. Every day. Some days (especially when Jon works on a day that I don’t) the whole glorious day, with just my own company and my own agenda. Nobody to talk to. No problems to arise. No mental breakdowns to grapple with. Nobody forcing their mental problems, their insecurities, their unreasonable and unquenchable needs on me. Just myself and an exciting menu of activities that I can choose from. That’s said a little tongue-in-cheek, as part of what I’ve done with my alone time in the past week are things like fix the grout in the bathroom or pull everything out from under the bed and vacuum away all the dust bunnies. But I have to say, even doing things like that, having the time to myself to make the decision to do them and still have time to read a book, or play a computer game, or journal…it really feels wonderful. It feels like what I need.
I talked to my therapist about this (as well as my recent anger towards Lora, which I’ll write a follow-up post to soon), and we both feel like – so long as I am genuinely happy in my solitude, and taking care of myself, this isn’t a sign of depression, or a turn for the worse. It’s probably a sign of a turn for the best. Things have gotten to a place where I can focus on myself, and actually have the time and energy to do so.
So over the new few weeks, I’m taking the time to reach out to my closest friends and let them know about this development. The main thing is that I don’t think I want to hang out with anybody, no matter how awesome, for more than a few hours at a time. I want the people I love to understand the reason behind that, and not think that I’m avoiding them because I’m upset at them, or think they did something wrong, or any other reason than the truth: I’m burned out on people right now.
I really hope this is a temporary change, that will only be needed for a few months, while I recharge and work on me. I imagine I’ll still be writing, but more like what I’ve done lately, commenting on what other people have written, as well as continuing my chapter-by-chapter series of posts on More Than Two. However long it takes, I feel really lucky that Jon is on board with me taking a lot of time for me, and that the dearth of deeply intimate loves in my life is giving me this opportunity to focus on me, without hurting my relationships. It feels like I’m at a point where this is really necessary, and I feel grateful that I can take some time and not hurt someone I love in the process of helping myself.