I know you weren't expecting, or probably wanting, a response to your last email. And even though I know I've said more than my share, and I've been aggressive in my delivery (which I realize is ineffective), I feel compelled to say more. So, do with this what you will: contemplate it, consider it, disagree with it or simply delete it. Please know that it doesn't come from a state of "anguish," but genuine concern and care for you.
When I first met you, which was around last Christmas, I felt so sorry for you that you had nowhere and nobody to spend the holidays with. I felt that it must be difficult for you to be in a new place, a foreigner, with only your classmates for company. And I thought, "I would like to help him feel at home." As much as my family gets on my nerves, we make our holidays count and spend them doing fun, and enviable things. There are delicious meals and games and lots of laughter. How could anybody not want that? So, soon, we spent time together, and with my family, and I believe you enjoyed those times and the people. I saw it as though you were finding your place - in a town, in a country, in a family, with the pets. We never considered you, nor treated you as anything other than as one of us. And how could anyone not want that?
And then a couple of days ago I was reading an interview with the writer Charles D'Ambrosio and this paragraph caught me up.
"You’re always kind of there and not there, sitting in the room but also watching the room, alert to some other, less innocent possibility. That distance feels safe, but it also stirs up the most intense feelings of loss and longing, the dream of making the distance go away, of ditching the divided self and all its tensions and simply being there—you know, just crossing that threshold and coming inside, coming home. But it’s hard to do, hard for me to do, anyway.”
And for whatever reason it made me think about you and your "outsider" status. Always before I had thought of your being an outsider as something you would want to overcome. That if I, we, could just make you comfortable and welcome enough you would stay and be part of my, our lives. But then I realized, that it's likely for you, there is safety in distance. From what I know of your life story, I can see that the choices you make are to deny closeness with others and to remove yourself from them. You keep moving, you keep changing, you never put down roots, physically or emotionally, you won't admit to caring or loving others. When you told me you spent 5 days a week for 3 years with Maria and yet never told her you loved her, I understood it was unlikely that you would admit or agree to loving me, or perhaps, anyone. Not that you wouldn't love or care for someone, but that you would never allow yourself to admit to it.
You see, I don't believe you didn't love Maria, but I do believe you never told her to save yourself the responsibility and obligation and vulnerability that comes with loving someone. You didn't protect her from the hurt of you leaving her in the lurch, just because you never said I love you. She still felt betrayed, because we all know that spending that amount of time with someone means you have a relationship and that you care deeply for each other. In your last email, and the one before, you admitted to missing me but agreed that that probably wasn't enough. It's not enough, and I think it's also not true. I think your feelings for me go deeper than just missing me. I also think telling me so, "just crossing that threshold and coming inside, coming home," is really hard, maybe impossibly hard for you.
I do not know the details, but as I've said before, I think somebody important, somebody in your formative life did not love you in the way that they should have. Maybe they neglected you, or abused you or hurt you in a really deep way. I think that made you fearful, suspicious, and untrusting of the "love contract," the contract that says "I am lovable and therefore this person will love me and I am safe to love them." I see you wanting in, wanting to be loved, to be a part of a relationship, a family, a community but also feeling that those things are a dream, that you would have to ditch the safety of the divided self and all its tensions and participate, let go. But, then maybe someone would still not love you in the way they should and you would get hurt again.
You said in your email that you struggle with knowing anything about yourself or what you want in and out of life. This makes you human, Kipling. All of us deep, thoughtful thinkers and feelers struggle with this. Sometimes we get glimpses of the answers but I doubt any of us actually figure it out before the end. I do believe that avoiding closeness and communion with others will only prevent you, in the long run, from finding relief from the struggle and the search. I want you to know this: there are people in this world that will love you, that will protect you and care for you, and who want you as part of their home, their family, their community. You are only on the outside because you choose to be, and I assure you, it's better on the inside.