The thing with the Ring and what were Relationships good for again?

by Anna

First of all to give you an idea what I am talking about: I got engaged but I can’t wear the ring.

Unusual that is, or is it?

What’s wrong with me? Is my heart not in it? Am I not ready? Why can’t I just pop it on my finger and leave it there? Good questions, very good indeed. But I honestly have no answer to them.

Some say it just takes getting used to it. That’s already difficult because I’m not supposed to wear studded rings at work (healthcare) and quite frankly I wouldn’t want to considering the things I get in contact with there. I dutifully wore it to special occasions at the beginning. It was a struggle but bearable as long as I tried to just ignore it. The struggle now has got unbearable and I get all twitchy just thinking of having to wear it.

To explain myself further, I have never really liked jewellery. Ever. When my mum gave me my first watch when I started school I was mortified and hated the thing. I couldn’t bear the sight of it. Nor did I tolerate necklaces, rings, bangles, anything that was made of metal and was shimmering. Again, I couldn’t tell you why. It comes close to a phobia. Until a few years ago I was petrified when I was asked to do someone’s necklace up or hold their glasses. The pure thought of it. Hence I never wore anything myself.

Another thing is the attention it draws on me. It is impossible to ignore it if everyone wants to see it. It is very pretty, I have to admit. But wearing it resembles a huge glittering thing that gets caught in absolutely anything and has the annoying habit of turning itself around my finger and also, interestingly, I am constantly worried that I might lose it or that my finger would get hacked off by someone who has the intention of selling it to make money from it. My mother has never been engaged. I never had an example of how it should be.

The worst attention, however, I find is from well-meaning people who are sincerely happy for me and very excited to have a wedding to look forward to. Comments like “You don’t want to be engaged for too long!” and words like “fiancé” bring up pure fear in my panic stricken heart. It is mainly fear of being trapped, not being able to live life to the full, to be held prisoner in a place where I am not happy. And I can’t possibly enjoy the moment because I am forever worrying that one day I won’t be in love anymore and that I won’t know how to get away from it all. Least of all I don’t want to upset my partner who is the kindest soul in history.

It really doesn’t help that my last relationship was a nightmare that I don’t wish upon anyone and from which I still carry a lot of unresolved anxiety around with me. Anything could trigger it at any given moment. I was repeatedly subject to emotional abuse and I did indeed feel trapped, not knowing how to get away from it. The desolation of it all. But that wasn’t even the worst. The worst came when I finally decided that I didn’t want this struggle anymore, that I had enough of being bullied and that I wanted to live a life I wanted and not one directed by someone else. Unfortunately that was the point when he really started kicking off. One threat after the other. Nothing could be done about it by the authorities because he hadn’t actually done anything yet. “He’s just playing”, said the police. At one point I actually wished for him to do something, to just hit me, to kick my door in to get that knife out and stab me because then there would at least be an end to all these threats that played havoc with my imagination. I lived in constant fear that he would suddenly jump out from somewhere and attack me. But he never did.

Also I don’t like to do as I am being told. Especially not after a relationship as mentioned above! The whole idea and meaning associated with this kind of ring is too much for me. It says I have to wear it so that everyone knows what’s going on. Do I? Do I really?  Maybe I don’t want anyone to know. And why is that? It’s like a stigma. Another childhood memory comes up: My mum trying to urge me to shake hands with people and say thank you for acts of kindness that I didn’t ask for. I just stared on the floor clenching my hands behind my back. And the embarrassment I felt on a merry-go-round. I didn’t want to wave and shout like all the others. So I silently enjoyed my ride ignoring my waving mum as best I could, once again holding my gaze on the neck of the horse I was sitting on. No idea why I did that but I do know that me wearing the ring brings up the same feeling I had back then.

The burning question: What are relationships good for anyway? Especially if you don’t have an interest in children. All the emotions, all the ups and downs. I don’t seem to have a concept of how it is supposed to work. I didn’t have a sample to live by having been raised by a single parent. Interestingly neither did my partner. So we both venture into the unknown not sure what is hiding behind the next corner. We both talk a lot. We know what is going on in each other’s head. Yes, even the ring thing. The best is that we quite happily make up excuses together for those well-meaning relatives as to why I’m not wearing it. We think the reason for people forming relationships might simply be companionship. To have someone who understands you and is there for you. Who supports you and shows interest in your life. Someone to cuddle up to and also to go out with. Simply someone to share life with. A best friend.

He is as good as gold. His patience is like Mary Poppins’s bag. There is always more than you think. It is incredible really. And I don’t think I deserve it. I can’t understand why he would waste all his time with me going on and on and on about my little fears and anxieties. I haven’t yet come to the full understanding of love. What is it and where can I find it?

I go round in circles, riding my menstrual cycle like a mad cowgirl not knowing where I am at because since that upsetting relationship my cycle has never settled on a mutual agreement. It does what it wants to and I have to go with it whether I want to or not and regardless of how long it may take. It is the depression during the premenstrual phase that gets me every time.

I keep coming back to the same conclusion that maybe I am just not capable of being in a relationship. I am too selfish to compromise, too egotistic to share, too independent to commit, too free to settle down. Is this true? Or is it just an avoidance technique?

I will let you know once I have figured it out.
In the meantime I will continue looking for the solution.
And should you have any ideas, please let me know.