More on loss – and fear

I’ve been thinking a lot about loss lately.

Charlotte and I are coming a bit apart. I don’t know where we will land, but I do know we will land further apart from one another than where we have been. And that represents a loss.

As I feel that loss in my body, as I investigate the sensations it generates, I am struck by something I knew intellectually, but hadn’t given too much thought to in recent weeks: it’s much less intense than the loss I felt when, say, Charlotte demonstrated repeatedly that her relationship to what she had promised on the evening she gave me differed from the relationship I wanted her to have to it. [That’s a tortured sentence.] I don’t mean when she called the evening to a halt, saying it didn’t feel good to her to give me what I’d asked for, what she had offered. I mean when, in the two weeks following, she repeatedly refused (or was unable) to show me that she cared about getting me what she had promised in the ways I asked.

The loss associated with not getting what I think I have, what I feel entitled to, puts me in touch with a deep-seated anxiety and fear. Terror, even. My body reacts as I imagine it would have (as I imagine it may have) when, crying for my parents in my crib, I remained unattended.

As painful as the idea of losing (any of) what I have with Charlotte is – and I don’t want to lose any of it, because it’s really fucking fun – the reality of our pulling apart a bit, of losing a bit of what we’ve enjoyed of one another simply pales in comparison to my experience of learning that I didn’t have what I thought I had from her. If that makes sense.

My body, you see, transports itself back to that crib, in the situation I described: I had allowed Charlotte to convince me that she would take care of me in this very precise way. And when she didn’t? Well, I found myself not just disappointed in the moment, but fearing a series of losses I actually experienced in the past.

When I’m actually losing Charlotte? I don’t want to minimize this loss. Because it’s a big one. I care about Charlotte. She is a fucking ton of fucking fun. And I don’t want to lose her.


She is a woman whom I’ve dated for seven months. A woman I always knew things would end with. A woman I always knew would end things with me.

If, when, I lose her well and truly, that will be a loss. It will be devastating.

It will not, however, feel like it felt when I was crying in that crib. Which is what it felt like a few weeks ago, when she communicated her unwillingness/inability to give me what (I thought) she had offered me. Promised me.

That’s how crazy I am.

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