Katie and I were talking about my family and she commented on how different they all are to me saying they’re all unkind and self-centered. She said she noticed while visiting my mum the other week how Sasha spoke constantly, not giving anyone else a chance to speak, at all, and that even when our step-dad, Ed tried, she spoke over him or said, “Can I just say something?” and then carried on. Katie also noticed how I turned to Ed and asked him to repeat what he was saying to try and give him a chance to speak. I remember consciously doing this because I couldn’t stand the way Sasha was monopolising the entire conversation.

Katie then asked about my childhood and all the things my parents did. We talked about how I find it difficult to trust others and Katie noted how I seem to give men more chances than women. She’s right, I do. No matter how many times men hurt me, I still keep trying, refusing to give up hope that one day I will come across a lovely, decent man to share my life. However, with women, I just don’t allow them to get close to me. I have women that I’m friends with but there’s no closeness or intimacy, nor do I want there to be. I remain emotionally distant at all times and have female friends in my life to have fun times with and nothing more. I don’t feel as though I lack anything from not having a close friendship but Katie’s questioning did make me ponder why.

I know this has come about because of the way Mum was with me, that’s almost certainly without a doubt but why not with men? After some thought, I reached a fairly logical conclusion, I believe.
Dad was physically and emotionally not there at all when I was really young.  I have barely any memories of him being in my life until the age of about 8 or 9 and that was the point that he started to be horrible to me. It’s possible he was before that but I can’t recall it. At around the age of 12 or 13, it was as if he suddenly saw me for the first time when he had to start taking me to my music lessons. It was the first time we’d ever spent alone together and therefore the first time he’d spoken to me properly and he suddenly found me to be clever and wise ~ that was his perception of me, not mine. Later, as my sense of humour developed he found that he could have a lot of fun with me in a way that he couldn’t with my sisters. I was always up for a laugh and wouldn’t hesitate to have fun if I could. That formed the basis of my new relationship with my dad and enabled us to begin to have a father/daughter relationship. I guess I learnt that perseverance pays off because eventually, I got what I always wanted and needed ~ my father’s love.

Things with Mum were different though. She was always physically there, unfailingly. Before school, after school, weekends, holidays. She cooked, cleaned and did all the physical things that were needed for a child to grow. What she didn’t do was any of the emotional stuff ~ the hugs, kisses and I love yous. There was no fun, no laughter, no heart to hearts, nothing, it was all about her providing the physical conditions that were needed to raise a child.

The difference between Dad and Mum was that with Mum the older I got, the worse she got. Whereas my relationship with Dad built, my relationship with my Mum lessened. She became angry and depressed and made me feel ashamed and as though I were a nuisance in her life and I believe these two different experiences are the reason why I don’t give up on men but why I never even try with women. I don’t trust women and I don’t want them close to me. I am physically uncomfortable around a lot of women in a way that I’m not with men. However, as I explained to Katie, I don’t feel that way at all around her and my other daughters or my nieces or my nan when she was alive. They are the exception to my rule ~ a rule that I’m well aware needs working on but right now, I have no desire to do that.

I feel as though I’ve managed absolutely fine my entire life without having women close to me but I still crave and long for the deep intimate relationship I know is possible with a man. A relationship which shares every kind of human emotion and action. I think I will always long for that, even if I never again find it.

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