That's not to speak against them—but to face the fact that I wasn't able to accept others or open myself to them. When a significant piece of our lives remains hidden from us, as mine was, we don't know how to receive such relationships. Even more, we didn't know how to recognize such relationships.
I reached out for something I didn't have and didn't know how to receive. Maybe that's why I surrounded myself with people—and I did that a lot. One thing I did realize, even during my teens, was that when I had a serious crisis in my life, I had no one to tell or ask.
I lived with that paradox: I had many friends, but I had no true, deep friendship. When I was still in high school, I read Edgar Allan Poe's poem "Alone" and memorized the first lines.
They read this way:
From childhood's hour I have not beenWhy did that poem stay with me and touch me so deeply? I know the answer now. But it was an enigma then. And part of my tortured life was the secret I had told no one until I was 51 years old.
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Like many other men, my sexual assault kept me isolated and unavailable.
These days I have a best friend and several good friends. I'm open to widening the circle.