A Lack Gap

Today as I went for a jog walk in the cloudy British morning sun, I sat on a hill overlooking the city. It’s the perfect spot to feel away from all the city madness. Saying that though, the city I live in is more like a big town, and the neighbourhood I have moved to is more like a nice little English village. Still though, I need those spaces that just make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. They are hard to find amongst the city streets, so instead I went for feeling like you’re sitting above the city. That works just as well, if not better sometimes.

Last night I spoke a lot with friends about my cartoons. For those of you who have been following this blog for a while, will have seen them evolve over the past few months. I’ve been loving it. And I have also been loving the bits of feedback to do something more with them. This has been going in, and not that I believe it, I have been trying to see that maybe people could benefit from them, or at least connect with seeing a comical doodle of something (negative thoughts or other stuff) that they battle with too.

As I sat on this hill, I just cried. I realised I so long for a mother or father, or any kind of family member, to share these Life Ideas with. Friends are amazing, but you want those people that know you inside out and you can bounce off any random little quirky idea or thought with. Someone, or some people, that have seen you evolve and develop and grow throughout your life, or the life of your idea. Take my cartoons, for example. I dream of having someone here alongside me as I step and trip and step some more, along whatever journey lies ahead with them. Friends do do that – they are amazing for this but in smidgen ways. You see each other once a week, or randomly speak on the phone, but it is different to having someone to voice all the little developments with. Does anyone else feel this too? That gap of having someone to share it all with?

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Maybe I just need a boyfriend.

That’d be nice. But that’s a whole other conversation. Watch this space. Although I’ve been watching it for a WHILE now…bloody ages in fact. And for the record, there’s not actually anything in this space to watch – just space!

Back to the longing. I feel like this kind of longing runs deeper than just that I’m OVER being single. It comes back to that lack of parental support. And it got me thinking…all my lack of sticking something out for long periods of time…all my doing a million things in my life when friends around me have stuck to a handful of specific things…all the travelling, exploring and adventuring…all the need to be doing something amazing, somewhere amazing…all the stuff that rises up emotionally, once I stay somewhere longer than a few months…it has just kept me moving, and has kept me from ‘settling down’ anywhere. For the record, I am still only 25 so I feel like that is what life is when you’re this age! Moving around and exploring: your twenties could not be a more perfect time to do this. I would not change it for the world because it has been what I’ve needed to do and hell, I have had the most incredible experiences, met the most brilliant people and done the most amazing things. But there has been a strong element of fear about stopping anywhere for long periods of time. I’ve still lived places for a year or so, but never with a long term view of being there. That’s totally fine: that is what being young is about. But there has been an underlying thread that I noticed in the recent year or so, that I felt like maybe I actually have been ‘running’ from something. I totally believe it’s okay to run away sometimes – screw all those theories that you shouldn’t run away. Sometimes you need a break, and so sometimes to run away is your only option. But there does come a time when things catch up and the running needs to come to a halt, or a steady gentle stroll, for a while.

This is what has happened to me. And in many many ways, it feels so exciting. To want to stay somewhere, to want to settle down for a bit, fills me with a buzz that I’ve not felt before. It makes me feel alive, just like other people get that buzz at the thought of heading off on their next adventure. It’s like the ‘buzz’ has swapped places: it used to be there in the latter scenario, and the thought of settling down made me nauseas and with dread the weight of a small car in my stomach. That nausea and dread float by from time to time, and maybe will always be gently nestled there because I know that exploring is such a deep part of my veins. I will type about this another day, but I really believe you can fuel this adventuring desire without moving about and travelling everywhere. You can find your adventures in your everyday life.

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Back to the running. Today it has just occurred to me that this running may have been because of this a gap in my heart. A Lack Gap. It’s a gap that’s been holding the pain, loss and grief of the lack of parenting or parental support in my life. I have been trying to fill this Lack Gap full with fun, adventure, socialising, love of others, passions…etc, until I hit a point where I couldn’t keep on going. This point I mention above, where you have to stop running. This point for me was overdosing. (Not recommended). For others it can be a more gentler breakdown, or for some, simply a big realisation that change needs to occur is enough. Whatever and however this point comes, what it brings with it is the need to address this Lack Gap in your life. Not in an ‘add-another-thing-to-your-to-do-list’ kind of way. But more in a, this is what happens kind of way. Without you knowing, just as life moves on its way, this Lack Gap seems to become gently filled. It just happens – don’t worry and stress about it. Just notice it.

Today, for the first time, I saw that maybe this pain of not belonging to anyone or anywhere, of not having having parents to say well done or to reassure or support me, of desperately trying to find someone who feels that way towards me (parent style), has been because of this Gap. This gap for me, feels fundamentally parent based. For others it might be different. I’d love to know.

Now, I see, this gap is slowly beginning to fill. Not fill with what I have always dreamt of and feel am lacking – parents, love and family support – but something even better and something even more important:

Self love.

That’s the biscuit. Anything else can take a hike when it comes to the ultimate most healing thing you can do for yourself. Love yourself. That’s it. Because the rest then follows. Obviously, sometimes it’s ‘easier said than done’ but I do really believe that this lies as the foundation for any healing or growth to take place. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, the self-love can be coming so subtly that changes start to occur, and then you begin to see that it is actually self love that you have to thank. And by self love, I mean yourself.

So maybe with this time of being able to, nervously, embrace settling down for a bit and letting whatever arise, arise, this little Lack Gap will slowly begin to fill with a love for myself that no parent or family member could ever give. Only something I can give myself.

Any of you notice how you try, or have tried, to fill a Lack Gap in your life?

Love.

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9 thoughts on “A Lack Gap

  1. Yes, dear girl, I have tried filling a Lack Gap before in my life. When I had no children I filled the gap with a house full of African violets, and four cats. When I lost significant others in my life I filled the gap with clutter on every empty bare surface through my home. I’ve noticed that the gap is sometimes filled by neighbours who take on the role. (In person is always nice for motherly ‘gap-fillers’ as they can give a real hug and really be there for you.) We gathered many grandparents at one stage, and they filled a gap. It was a matter of thinking of certain others who were close and available, as being the ones to fill that certain gap. Kind of like adopting them in my heart. Sticking around in one place seemed to help with building up a collection of them in my life. I am wishing all the best to you in your search, and in your creative endeavours. I’ve not tried ‘adopting’ a child into my life since I experienced grief over losing contact with two young ones over 10 years ago. I like the thought of permanent ‘adoptions.’

    • I loved this comment, my dear. As I always do with yours. There are things such as hugging and sobbing and sharing any state you are in without hiding it or taking the edge off for the other person that are so important to us all, especially to a parental type figure. I have only just, for the first time in my life, been given that opportunity with a couple of people and it is really healing and amazing. I like watching the natural abilities that we all have of surrounding ourselves with what we need at different points in our life. For me I have an ability of always finding big sister type friends, and I would always be able to just slot into any family that I was near, wherever I was in the world. That physical support is so important and I am only just seeing that. Having people on the end of the phone or email is amazing, but there is something about just having someone there to witness and listen and just be, that heals the most I think. That’s why I’m really seeing the importance of sticking around somewhere for a bit. That pain of not having ‘real’ parents is huge, but can be softened with giving yourself what you need, like you say.
      Thank you for your words and support. Sending big love to you always X

  2. i totally understand this, i missed sharing with my family when we bought our first home, did our big moves, fought for our pets lives…(etc.) i think now blogging helps fill that gap, now. i have Hubby to share things with, but it’s still not the same as parents. it hurts sometimes to watch him be able to share all the big stuff in our lives with his parents and know that i can’t with my own. but maybe you’re on to something with loving yourself…i sure as hell don’t, and don’t even know how to start. 🙂 xo

    Oh and Hubby replaces the lack of being able to have children with our pets. He’s obsessed with them, which gets hard at times.

    • I’m so glad you’ve got your hubby in your life – really healing and so lovely to share stuff with. But I so understand about not having parents to share the life stuff with, and to watch others you love be able to share with theirs. I am always really glad they do, but I just find myself feeling more lonely from it. I’m really glad that you have blogging to help fill that gap. Maybe the gap will always be there for those of us without parents around us, but it is just learning to nurture it and give yourself what you need however you can. I notice that I fill my life with older sister type figures, and just in the last six months, with a couple of parental type figures. A first for me, but now I see that they can help meet your lack-of-parenting needs. Sure, it’s not the same, but it’s still beautiful and amazing when you can hug in the arms of someone and sob. For me this has never happened until now. Sometimes I also wonder whether I’m weirdly grateful for not having parents around me – it leaves me independent and able to choose my own family. The deep routed pain is still there, and of course I do not really feel such gratitude always, but there is an element that I think we can find gratitude in…if that makes sense.
      But, it doesn’t take away those needs that we all have – the need to be looked after and parented. i never had that, and it sounds as though you didn’t either, but the time is here to give it to ourselves. You will learn to love yourself sweetpea, you love others so openly on here so please trust that you deserve just as much of it too! Tonnes of love from me xxx

      • Thank you so much. When it all comes down to it, nothing is the same as having loving supportive parents.

        I think no matter what we try to fill it with, there will likely always be a gap feeling.

        That doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for what I do have.

        I’m grateful for not having the abuse around me. 😉

        lotsa love xo

  3. Recognising that self love needs to come first before there can be any other type of lasting love is a HUGE step in your growth, healing & development. Good for you, beautiful girl!

  4. I believe everyone got a Lack Gap, in one form or another. The fact you see it, is a good thing. Nobody and nothing can replace parental love and support. People like myself, who still got both parents, would never be able to put themselves in your posiition. Not friends, not lovers, but maybe your’e on to something, self love sounds good and positive to me. It means you’ve accepted, that this is how it is and you love yourself enough, to realize that of the options you got, YOU are the best person to fill that cup. That’s huuge growth! You should really be proud of yourself. Btw, your drawings are very unique (I love how you use pain and questions in them) and I really believe that you’ll change lives with those. It sounds like your’e on a whole new path in life! 🙂 Powerful how you have changed your circumstances and your past!

    • Thank you so so much my dear. Your support means so much! And your words too. Self love definitely is the most healing thing, but I do think that to be able to get self love you need the support around you, and vice versa. I like that you pointed out that acceptance brings the ability to love yourself – I hadn’t thought of that, so that is really lovely to think (that I have now got a certain level of acceptance. I’ve battled a lot with this in the past! Acceptance is a tricky little one, sometimes 🙂 ) Big love to you always, sunshine. XX

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