The Faded Ability to Miss People

I am wondering tonight what has happened to me.

I read a post from my daughter who is in Africa. All is well. She is clearly thrilled, learning much, observing much, enjoying much.  I’m glad she got on the plane. I should miss her.

I received a birthday present and card from my friend who I truly fell for.  It was nice to hear from him, nice that he hasn’t forgotten me.

My youngest daughter is talking about her acceptance to a college in the UK. I have no idea where the money for that is coming from. I’m contemplating her leaving.  

My ex came up to the front door and dropped her off. He walked away after a polite hello.


What’s weird is I don’t feel much.

There’s something in psychology, an old concept, called “habituation”. I wonder if I’ve become habituated..used to…people leaving me. I’m sort of numb.

I feel I should be crying over my daughters, and deep down, I have the sense I want to cry.  I feel I should cry for a lost marriage and miss my ex. I feel I should cry over a potential love lost abruptly.   

Judge all you want.

In my poorer moods, I have challenged others I know to leave me. “Go ahead” I’ve said. “It’s happened before, it’s bound to happen again”.

I know, I’m supposed to roll with the changes.

Take a Zen like perspective on the impermanence of life.

Quietly breathe and let things go and go.

Above all, show my maturity, which is now chronologically clear.  Which I’ve been showing since I was about four years old, by reports of those who knew me.


Instead, I’m just sort of resigned. I’m not mature. I’m not spiritually well developed.  I know some stuff. I don’t always like what I know.  I know what I’m writing here isn’t a popular perspective. It’s dark, and doesn’t lead to the sunshine and wisdom that spiritual seekers look for.

I’m not despairing, I’m just wondering why I don’t react anymore. I have a sense of humor, and irony, and interest…at times.  I just don’t react as much to people leaving me.

Maybe that’s what happens when you’ve been shocked into submission, when loss has assaulted you.  Others might do better with this. Perhaps my constitution is not very strong. Certainly people have been through worse and seem to do better.

I remember a time, not too long ago, when I missed people, friends, loves, very painfully. In some ways, that was better.Image






2 comments on “The Faded Ability to Miss People

  1. Yes, before you said (wrote) it – – my first thought was, “She’s totally numb.” Don’t you “people” (lol) talk about that as an official coping mechanism? A defense against any further assault to your psyche? I get that way when I am pushed over my tolerance level threshold. Too much, too fast, too surreal. Writing and isolating and being the KINDEST I can possibly be to myself helps. It’s not bad not to miss people. And if it happens frequently and close together in your life, (the losses) then you start feeling the emotion ahead of time (sort of a preparation or damage control for the next anticipated event of loss) like your body/mind/heart/spirit go on autopilot or cruise control. I don’t know how else to explain it, but I know it when I see/hear/feel/read it and that’s what came to me when I read your blog tonight.
    And now the stupidest way to end a comment ever – – “time will help.” So trite, so patronizing, but so true. Keep getting on with “the getting on” and imperceptible progress will be made and soon you will be actually getting UP and feeling things again. Back to the land of the living….where oy, just a little more pain resides somewhere down the road.
    take care,

  2. In short, yes, I do know what’s happened.from theory and intellectually, it’s well travelled territory.
    The emotional experience is quite different.
    I appreciate your reminders about slow and steady progress.
    However, I have seen people not recover after a certain point..I’m
    afraid my threshold for certain events has been permanently
    exceeded.Probably too soon to judge…

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