The other day my son and a female friend of his were listening to me tell them a story about a dream I had about my cat (my only cat!) having hundreds of kittens. My son jokingly told the girl I was going to wind up being a cat lady, which as many of you know is a real fear of mine. His friend, in an attempt to make me feel better, said that would never happen because when we were “old” she would come live with me so I would not be.
I adore my son’s friend but I wanted scream profanities at her in that moment. I am certain she didn’t mean to make me feel like she agreed that I would be mate-less for the rest of my life but it is what she said. I have had far too much time to think about that terrible scenario now and I am in the middle of my own personal pity party at the moment.
I grew in a house where the primary male figure in my home, my father, told me on a near daily basis that I was unlovable, that no one would ever want me and that I was destined to be alone forever. Of course part of me knows that isn’t true but there is something that becomes ingrained how you see yourself when you are repeatedly told something as a child. It shapes how you develop. It becomes a kind of basic truth you know about yourself.
For the bulk of my adult life I have been on a mission, to raise my son in an environment where he felt loved, supported and his emotional needs were met in a way mine never were. He was my world. I went to college, worked and spent every free moment with him so that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I would always be there for him. He would never question that anything I did was not something I did for his life to be better. Focusing as intensely on my child’s life as I did meant I didn’t allow time for me. I didn’t date. I seldom found opportunities to socialize and I was never seriously interested in anyone. I went almost thirteen years with no physical affection, no one to support me and no sex.
When my son was close to graduation, I began to think about what my life would look like when he was gone. I realized that I was longing for something that had been sorely missing in my life for a very long time, companionship. I realized for the first time since I had begun dating as a teen that I had no desire to spend my life alone. I began to work on myself physically and emotionally. My physical and emotional self changed dramatically. And as it did I began to receive more attention from my peers, friends and men.
I has not been difficult for me to date which is a necessary step in attempting to develop a relationship with someone but having these adventures develop into something more significant has yet to yield positive results. In the moments where I let this really affect me, I hear my father’s voice.
I know that I am attractive. I am intelligent and I have been blessed in many other ways but still I feel like… I may never get the one thing I have never really had the chance to experience. I have had brief brushes with it and it only makes me long for it more.
It seems that no matter how I approach the situation it always ends the same way with me alone and I do not want to be the cat lady.