Skip to content

Almost there

February 14, 2018

I’m glad no one’s here, just me by the sea.
i’m glad no one’s here to mess up for me.
I’m glad no one’s here, just me by the sea. But man I wish I had a hand to hold.
I’m in the habit of living alone. I try hard to break it. I can’t on my own.

 
The longest season of singlehood comes to a close tomorrow. I’ve made it through one more year. As always. Every year I dread it. Every year it drains my soul. And every year I make it out alive. I’ve grown tired to the cycle and would like to opt out for next year.

My therapist tells me I need more friends. I disagree. I need more things to keep my attention and keep my mind occupied. It’s been difficult not being able to do the things I enjoy as I heal from an injury. I’ve spent entirely too much time on social media and simply not mentally engaging in interesting things.

Plus, I just don’t need any more people coming into my life only to depart on their way. There’s a meme flying around the internet that reads something like “people are put in your path for a reason”. I value each person that has been in my life and the time we’ve had together, but as one who is simply a crossroads for people to walk through, it’s difficult to see why there would be cause to cheer such temporariness.

Loneliness, I believe, comes from feeling invisible. There seems to be a basic human need to have purpose. We hear about it all the time in self-help books and motivational speeches. We seek to find our purpose. We spend thousands of dollars trying to discover our purpose in the word. When you’re connected with another human, you can find a connection to something outside yourself. There’s another human on earth that sees your value, cares about your needs and wants, and is eager to be on the same path as you.

So when I see these quotes about people coming in and out of your life, I feel like my only purpose is to be temporary. It gives me no joy. I take no pleasure in knowing I gave someone happiness for a short period of time and then they are are on their way. I guess it should. I mean, not everyone gets the pleasure of knowing they have a couple of years with people and then they move on and you get a new set of people. Maybe it’s variety that is needed, but it seems superficial.

So when I’m told to go get more people in my life, I become more sad. The person suggesting this has no idea that it is actually increasing my sadness because I know, even though I give myself, these people will be gone soon enough.

But in two day we’ll be done with the media hype that pushes couples and forever love and I can get back to normal. I can continue to grow in my acceptance of my future. I can make it through. I always do.

New Year

January 3, 2018

I continue to try to write, but all my words seem meaningless. It’s a new year and time for resolutions. Admittedly, I’m terrible about keeping resolutions. Perhaps writing some thoughts down where I can come back to review will help keep them in mind and help me practice becoming healthier.

Next week is the busiest time for online dating according to Match.com’s press release. Everyone wants to start fresh in the new year and have a companion by their side. There’s hope in people’s hearts and excitement in the air. The press release listed the top states which will be online looking for love. Mine was not among those. Although mine does rank pretty high for the online sites, such as, Ashley Madison where folks are looking for affairs. Funny enough I’ve had a remarkable amount of traffic to my blog even though I’ve not written for a couple of months. Multiple hits reading my thoughts on affairs.  So, there really is something to those stats the dating sites are putting out.

With a bit of minor soul searching I’ve decided the theme for 2018 will be acceptance. It’s something I started in 2017 and have been struggling with ever since. For my own happiness I have to force myself into acceptance. No one sees I’m suffocating under the mask I wear everyday. I’m drifting further away from interactions and deeper into my own head. This has to stop. The only way I can make it stop is to stop wanting what I can not have.

Ok, without further hesitation, my list to repeatedly practice for the next 365 days:

  • It’s ok that you’re not ok with my curves. I do not have to fit into your ideal body image and will wear what makes me happy – even if the clothes show curves. I’m tired of being uncomfortable in over-sized clothes because you do not like how I look
  • It’s ok my kids did not bond with me. They are far too far into their adult(ish) lives to try to bond with me now. I need to let go of the idea they want to be in my life. All I wanted to be was a wife and a mom – both are not part of my future.
  • It’s ok to be single in a coupled world. Tears do not lead to acceptance and so I must stop crying over what is not meant to be.
  • It’s ok to be unclear what the future will bring. I’m going to enjoy the journey. I’m going to breathe.

2018 is going to be a better year. Success will come in many ways. I’m going to be open to seeing that success where I normally wouldn’t. I’ll fall in line with the millions of people who have hope for new things. I raise my glass to the incoming year.

A need for new memories

September 8, 2017

Have I told you how much I love this version of Love is Everything sung by k.d. Lang? Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time replaying and singing my little heart out. I especially love the verses:

First I turn to you. Then I turn away.

So you, try to hurt me back.

Oh it breaks your body down.

So you try to love bigger, better still. Oh, but, it is too late.

Take a lesson from the strangeness you feel.

And you know you will never be the same.

And find it in your heart to kneel down and say, “I gave it my love didn’t I? And I gave it big sometimes? I gave it my own sweet time I’m just leaving…”

It sparks my heart. I often can’t sing through these lyrics without choking and tearing up. As I continue my journey in acceptance, this is truly how I feel. I love hard. I love loud. I love strong. While it has been unmet in my romantic relationships, it’s comforting to me to know I give my all.

Then I spiral into the sadness and anger because I’ve not yet achieved acceptance. I don’t understand how I have the ability to love and the inability to be loved.

I’m heading to a conference. It’s being held at the same hotel where I spent my wedding night. Almost exactly 25 years to the day I’ll be walking in those doors alone and leaving them the same way. What was once a romantic memory is one of shooting pain. Pain for the love I gave which couldn’t be returned by a man who was anything but a loving human. Pain for a life I wanted so intensely I fought longer than I should have fought. Pain for the emptiness to which I’ll return as I come home to my daily life. Pain because the man who I thought I’d spend my life with and who treated and treats me with such vileness is happily ever after with the new wife treating her with respect and love.

I tried to explain my need to make new memories to a friend recently, but couldn’t form the words well enough without completely breaking down in a soggy mess of tears that I simply skimmed over the topic; pushing back the intensity of my emotions. I find it’s imperative to not be vulnerable as I move towards acceptance. Any weakness will keep me from successfully passing over to the other side where peace will finally be my mate.

Of course I’ll make new memories. Every day we’re making new memories. It’s not like I’m going to attend the conference and come back blank. I guess the fear is the memories I make will be so non-existent they’ll fade in the intensity of the original memories. Or maybe I worry the original memory will be my ghost throughout my time and hold me back from recognizing the strong, capable woman I’ve become since that first time in the hotel room. Those memories freezing me in a moment and moments since which are filled with hurt, anger, and distrust. They’ll continue to reinforce my loneliness and fuel my ever increasing anger.

It’s baby steps towards change. It’s practicing every day to accept the path I’ve chosen for myself. It’s learning to say, “yep, I don’t have what it takes to be loved, but I have what it takes to love and that’s a great gift I can give.”  And it’s time for me to kneel down and say I gave it my own sweet time, I’m just leaving……

 

Long-term dismay

June 15, 2017

I went to the therapist overwhelmed, exhausted and buried. She asks how I’ve dealt with this in the past. It’s not my first time at the rodeo after all. I think about all the negative ways I’ve found to cope in the past and glossed over them to give her a more socially acceptable answer – friends. Really it’s being able to vent – writing, crying, word vomit. These days it’s hard to find anyone still willing to listen to my redundant tales. It’s same story month after month, day after day. Hell I don’t want to listen!

I thought this feeling of dismay would pass after my birthday. That’s my normal pattern. A time of reflection generally leads me to see how far I am from where I want to be. Once the day goes by, then I refocus, pull up my big girl panties and walk on. Not this time. I’ve drastically reduced my social media to see if its comparison and competitive mindset bringing me down. I’m doing more for my community to get out of my head and see a broader perspective on life. Tried being one with nature and getting a good cardio workout. Yet I still feel a general sadness running through me. A hopelessness almost.

It’s wedding season which only adds to the dismal outlook. People in my life coupling up. People who have the chance at love, not once, but several times while I continue to seek acceptance in my lack of the X factor which brings love. It’s a painful reminder of the long term relationships I’ve had which resulted in not love. How incredibly forgettable I am. How easy I am to walk away from and not look back.

A recent job responsibility change hit my ego hard. Raising two teens leaves me in a constant state of chaotic stress. I don’t have anyone to share my burdens and so I drown under the pressure of being an adult. Life is testing me. Simple platitudes irritates me. What should be uplifting devotionals, only make what I lack more evident.

I breathe. I hope. I look for opportunity in the midst of the darkness. It is just for now. Things change. They always do.

 

The body wash incident

December 25, 2016

Earlier this week I reached for my favorite body wash only to find it wasn’t in my shower. Argh! Anger washed over me as I cursed my adult child who doesn’t comprehend boundaries. I don’t use this often, but that particular day I wanted to feel feminine. It’s been so long since I’ve been feminine.

I’m nearly mid-century, experiencing acne, and have dull, dark hair. I don’t stand out in a crowd. The only time my eyes are complimented are by other women – who are always utterly shocked by the blueness of my eyes. I’m easily overlooked in a group and blend into surroundings. I’ve become the single color puzzle piece which is needed to complete the project,  but entirely plain and utilitarian. People are looking for unique puzzle pieces – odd shapes, pieces with color and design, solid foundations to give shape to the jumbled mess, not the filler pieces which are last to be placed.

The season is wearing on me like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. I’m tired of this feeling. I’ve concentrated on being mindful, focusing on others, reaching out instead of holding in, but nothing helps. Each morning I wake up painfully aware of my loneliness. As much as I push it aside, it sits upon my chest. I read about people who are excited to spend the holidays alone and I feel even more broken. What’s wrong with me that I can’t see this as a good thing? I read spiritual devotional about people who feel glum during the holidays. And can we talk about the word glum? Why can they not say they’re experiencing sadness, depression, loneliness? Why are they so blessed to simply feel glum? I feel even worse that I’m so unfaithful that I cannot just be glum.

I’m not strong enough to tell people how I’m hurting. I can’t be vulnerable enough to let people in. No one wants this emotion at a time of celebration, so I spare everyone in my life. And so when I decide I want to feel feminine and the body wash is nowhere to be found, I lash out in anger. I drive to work angry. I become incredibly bah-hum-bugish to the sites and sounds of the holiday. The spiral is in play.

It’s time to stop.  Breathe. Remember the bigger picture. This is temporary. It’s ok to be alone. I can succeed by myself and I can learn to accept this is my normal. Tomorrow is a new,  bright day. There’s hope for feeling different when I awake.

Invisible

October 27, 2016

I’m constantly surprised by the amount of people in my life that don’t see how much I’m hurting. Not so much by those casual observers in my life, but by those who say they are so close to me. Dinner the other day with a friend reinforced how invisible I am in the world I walk.

I’ve told this person how much I wish I could be partnered up. I even went as far as being vulnerable enough to say this gaping hole physically hurts me. Yet she asks me if I am dating anyone. No. I would have made this announcement had I actually found someone willing to date me. Then she asks if I’m fucking anyone. No. Because, for some reason beyond comprehension right now, I decided to hold out for a more substantial connection. She then proceeds to tell me about her friend who is divorcing and dating like a maniac. Super awesome. Thank you for reinforcing my loneliness and bringing home the missing DNA strand which makes me an attractive mate to the opposite sex. Wow. I feel incredibly validated.

There is one man who has chatted with me on the dating site. He asks to communicate outside the site. I provide an email. Today I wake up to the most erratic email. Strangely punctuated and repetitive sentences that make no sense what so ever. I’m pretty sure I’ve just been contacted by 1) some robot from Russia hoping to scam me or 2) a serial killer looking for his next victim or 3) both. Perfect. So, no response is needed there.

I can’t go through another holiday season which kicks off next week. I don’t have the strength to put on the happy, friendly face. I don’t have the fortitude to put on the mask, bury my feelings, and be invisible. I cannot take another joyous party. Another romantic getaway. Another family celebration. Another invite to be the third wheel in a celebration. I’m internally screaming and externally smiling and NO ONE HEARS. No one acknowledges. I simply can not do another holiday season.

The comparative trap

October 20, 2016

Fall has always been a time of reflection for me. This fall is no exception. My problem though is im stuck in comparative mode which is bringing me down a dark pathway.

I’m still breathing acceptance and contentment – but I’m exhaling jealousy and dissatisfaction.

As I look around my life, I see all the areas I’ve yet to succeed. There was so much I thought would be different. What others in my life have and still elude me.

  • Financial stability
  • Professional success
  • Respect amongst peers, friends, colleagues
  • Vacations, retirements, marriages, happiness

Jealousy turns to anger, anger turns to depression and the cycle continues.

I wallow in pity wondering why I cannot find love. Why have I never been loved? Perhaps if at one time, for even a brief moment, had I experienced love then I would have the confidence to get through a “dry spell” until love came again. But that’s not my life story. In the nearly half century on earth, I’ve yet to convince one other human being to feel a deep affection for my soul.

I’m a spectator at my child’s event and am keenly aware I’m the only single amongst the group of 30. Everyone else is paired up. Some with families, some new love, most long matched pairs. I watch a husband cover his wife to keep her warm and hold her hand through the event. Another brand new love flirting and laughing.  I’m alone.

What does it feel like to have someone else think of you even in hectic times? To text or call just because you’re on their hearts? What does it feel like to know substantial connections and deep roots of togetherness that even through fights and arguments you have living arms around you? How different would life be if you knew you could come home to sit together and do nothing or plan an adventure?

My life is superficial. I can’t fathom  how incredible the warmth one could have from being loved. To mean something to someone. To be missed, wanted, cared for, respected – loved. The tears of emptiness fall out of my empty soul.

I’m wondering why I decided to draw the line in the sand to not have a sexual relationship. I’m good at those. Simple connections. Brief moments of initmacy. Sure it’s not forever, but at least I’m not alone – for a little while.

For now, deep breaths. Practice acceptance and contentment.

%d bloggers like this: