To love and be loved is what I miss.
Glenda 61. Retired headmistress. Widowed. Two grown up children.
How are you?
Healthier than I’ve ever been. I have worked myself into the ground for the passed 27 years and I’ve just retired. It’s the best thing that’s happened. I’ve lost weight and I feel much better. In fact I’ve started telling myself I look nice. That’s a first! I am reinventing myself.
What do you think about marriage?
I have had 34 years of being loved unconditionally. When he died the grief was too much. I needed hugs, lots and lots of hugs. We all need to be held. To love and be loved is what I miss.
How do you think other people see you?
I get the feeling that they think I pretend to be nice and kind and it’s all a facade and I’m as hard as nails underneath, but I’m not. I’m soft and kind. I have spent a lot of my life fulfilling other people needs and I don’t want to do it anymore that’s all.
What brings you down?
How do you fee about body image?
My self image has never been good. You see I never experienced unconditional love as a child. It was only when I met my husband that I knew what unconditional love was. He protected me. After he died I felt very lonely.
How do you see yourself?
Calm, caring and unflappable. I sometimes think people think I’m so calm I don’t care. I am very good at supporting people. My husband used to say “you care too much, try detaching a little.” I’m stronger than people.
What’s your most memorable experience?
The first time I made love to my husband. We lived in a scrappy little flat in Berlin back in the 70s. There was such gentleness. We spent most of that year in bed. I felt so guilty at the time because I should have been doing ‘stuff’ and achieving things but when I look back it was the best year of my life.
Who or what inspires you?
Trees. I love to hug trees.
What do you think about life?
Life is about love, passion, caring and holding. We are part of the natural world, life is a commune between people. I’ve not had enough time in the natural world.
Are you free?
I feel freer now than ever. I’d like to get a real sense of freedom before I die.
What have you taken from today?
It’s been an enormous privilege to sit and talk confidently about what one thinks about ones own life. The act of talking brings clarity.