I read fantasy books, most of the time. I think sometimes it is easier to tell about the world through the words of a dragon or a wolf; as if somehow talking to our inner child would bring a clearer lesson.

When I read other books, I have deeper reasons for it. I read “Eat, pray, love” and it became my mantra, for a while. So much so, I am going to give it to Maddie as a present. I never did that before, giving a book I read to someone else.

Now I’m reading another book, another biography, which is perfectly in line with what I’m doing here on WordPress too: reading about other people’s lives to try to untangle my own.

This book I had never heard of before, but my therapist told me the story, the experience of the author, his problems in life and his literary style, reminded her of me.

Yes, the author is a man. His story is that of a troubled man after the premature loss of his mother, when he was 9. His pain was that of someone in desperate need of love, a love only a mother can give before the void eats at your guts.

A mother is the only being who can teach you love, the only designated figure for this, the essence of femininity. A father can’t, a male can’t, regardless of his sweetness or weakness or open-mindedness. 

I’ve been wondering why our stories are so similar, the reason of his pain was a loss as profound as the death of a parent while still far from a practical or emotional independence. What have I lost?

Towards the end of the book, a letter from another man exposes the devastation brought by the loss of a wonderful mother who taught him how to handle feelings.

And then there’s the author’s wife, who maintains she has met two types of orphans, those whose parents are dead and those whose parents are alive.

There is a void inside of me, it’s undeniable. How to fill it up and why it’s there in the first place are questions I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to provide an answer for. I’m trying, maybe not my best, but I’m doing all of this work alone.

Nobody ever taught me how to love, nobody ever taught me how to be a woman, how to be a mother.

This would hardly be a good influence on a man, on a woman, as Mother Nature decided I should be, is an abomination. I am trying to fight the abomination, but that unfortunately does not keep me from feeling like an abomination.

I laugh about my being a bad boy, I am so used to this version of myself I almost accept it kindly, with the pitying sweetness of someone content with trying the best they can, but alas with inadequate results. It is the only me I was able to create for myself, freakish and out of the box, but still my own creature, the one I managed to let survive.

I am/was/dunno dating this guy, a good guy, nice and kind, normal someone would say. Not stupid or ignorant but simple. There is something missing. The good thing that I liked most about him is that he makes me want to be kinder and more feminine, it’s like he emanates an aura of calm that allows me to hold my  guard down. Still, after three dates and some memorable kisses, there is something missing. I am really convinced that I don’t need a rocket scientist because love is made of feelings, not of neurons. It’s not that. I am/was/dunno waiting for a deeper bond to form, that level of intimacy where you want to share with that person what others outside can’t see about you, and I am/was/dunno expecting this to come somehow from him. But it cannot. It has to come from me, because I am the woman. And I have no idea how to do it, I never have, it scares the bejesus out of me. But I’d like to try. I hope I can still use the present tense.

The fact is, the book is full of hopeless men somehow saved by love and protective women. They get saved by love. God knows I’ve been looking for that saving love all my life, but I am the woman. No man is ever going to give me that love. So who exactly is supposed to save me? How am I supposed to save myself, who can I ask to know the truth and how long will I have to wait before I can stop squandering my life?

How do women handle these crises? All I am left thinking is that even in this I am not woman, because women would probably react in some other way rather than being the slightly more sensitive version of a lost 9-year-old boy. I am not woman enough to save myself.

You are supposed to always know the truth about life, you only more or less consciously decide not to listen to that truth. I understand that, I see myself and my story in that, how for years I have wandered with no destination, blind to everything around me. I’m still doing that. And I understand how one day I may decide to finally lift the blackening veil from my eyes. The when is a source of deep concern for me though and mosty I wonder how you are not supposed to hate yourself for being the primary cause of your blindness and all of your pain.

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