...for another 9 months anyway.
Bailey, I've been thinking about it for a bit now and it really does seem like a social phobia, but I am loathe to admit it. I don't want another hurdle that I have to get over.
I've also posted about what I call The Alone Life. There are some days that I'm content with it. There are other days that I'm seriously glad for it (especially when I get a taste of the mess and chaos that comes out of bad relationships). But lately, The Alone Life has been feeling like The Empty & Sad Life.
I'm 42 years old now (See; Title, This Post). If somehow I manage to find a woman who would have children with me THIS YEAR, at the very least I'd be a first-time dad at 43. I'd be in my 50's when my kid was in Elementary school. I'd be 60 when the kid graduated high school. That feels dreadful, because no matter how young my mate turns out to be, and no matter how healthy and able she is to be a Mom, I'll still be old and there's nothing I can do about it. (At least I'll be the traditional, imagined age to be a grandparent by the time my kids starts having kids).
I say all that to say, yes, it must be some kind of phobia (or as we used to call it back in the day, "a hang-up") which has gotten me into this unalterable mess. As you and your commenters described back at your blog, I do experience those choking breathless feelings when I'm faced with social challenges. But specifically, the challenge is with women.
This has been since junior high school. I specifically remember (and realize I'm never blogged about this) that there was this extremely cute, quiet, beautiful girl I had my eye on in Jr. High. She was friends with my group of friend-girls (I hung out with girls because I liked them better than boys, and I was in love with one but never had the guts to ask her out, so I just stayed with them, Buffy's Xander-style). Anyway, I got the courage once to ask this Jr. High lass actually out. My heart was fluttering in my throat and I felt like I was going to lose my bowels right there, but I liked her so much and thought we'd get along so well together that I plunged ahead and told her that I liked her. I asked her if we could go out sometime.
She laughed. Actually. She crinkled her adorable little nose and I saw all her beautiful teeth. She looked as if I had just told her that at night I put on a cape and fought crime. It was if I was inside her head suddenly, looking at my absurd self.
If I trace it from that day forward, any other girlfriends I've had afterwards (which would begin years after High School graduation) had to have given me major signals, or even approach me first, before I had approached them. But obviously, they haven't lasted. My very last girlfriend, from three years ago, I broke up with because we had come to a point of intimacy and she lost faith that I would be able to be everything she was looking for. (She was a beautiful little woman, but she was a blunt one.) When she lost faith in me, I lost faith in myself. To myself, I was absurd again. Thoughts of being her man, her lover, the father of her children, her parents' son-in-law, her sisters' brother-in-law -- all that went away in a stomach-dropping blur of realization. I was nothing and I had always been nothing.
On a few occasions, she tried to reconcile with me, but I was lost. I couldn't regain the faith I once had in myself. I loved her and still do three years later, (one of the greatest things about me and her was that I thought I finally knew what it was. I had told her I wanted to marry her, and I had believed it) but this 'phobia' kept me inside myself and away from her. Forever, as it turned out. I had resigned from the place we both had worked and moved to NYC.
So, you see, I have this powerful history of avoidance. Avoiding the birth of My Friend The Doctor's daughter would have been small potatoes compared to the milestones that I've ducked out on in my life. And yes, it's fueled by fear. Terrible, mind-killing fear.
But let's end on the upbeat;
Around Christmas time, an amazing man prepared a video for a group of us but it didn't work out quite right and he was extraordinarily bummed out by it. Almost too much. I had heard this man could really beat up on himself when things didn't go right and that he had needed help recovering. Well, he actually recorded that interpersonal process in the place of his original presentation. And in it, I got to see that the person who helped him recover was his wife. She did it with humor and she did it with persistance. She did it with love. She did it with faith. She knew her man was a good man with stunning qualities, especially in that moment when he himself didn't seem to believe it. All this was captured on video. It was an amazing gift, one million times more valuable to me than what he originally intended to present. His video told me exactly what I needed in my own life if ever I was going to be married.
So I do know the following--if I ever find a "maid" to my "warrior"--she will have the most loyal, the most grateful, and the most supportive husband anyone will ever know, because I will be acutely aware of the value of such a one who can be with a person like me.
And I'll still be a friend of My Hero's. So that's all right then.