On Loneliness

Do you ever get lonely?

I do.  In fact, if I had to list one pervasive feeling that has followed me for as long as I can remember, I think it would be loneliness.  It seems to stick to me regardless of my state in life or the number of people around me or my overall mental or physical health.

My one constant companion is this loneliness.

And I’ll be the first to admit that this might seem a little bit silly.  I have my four girls who are always, always with me.  And they are always talking.  And they are always wanting me around.  They are very often all within a fingertip’s distance from me.  Morning and night.

And I have my husband.  My husband who does not work crazy hours.  My husband who does not go out to bars or clubs or sporting events.  My husband who is always around to talk or to listen even though talking is not on his short list of favorite activities.

So how could I possibly live in a full house and feel so alone?

I think, for me, my loneliness stems from a desire to have someone step into my space.   Someone who also resides in that space.  Someone who knows these struggles and understands the trials and can commiserate with the difficulty that this particular life brings.  Regardless of what my particular life looks like at the moment.

Sure I share my physical space with people.  But my mental space is different.  The girls have different priorities.  And they are children.  Their job is to be self-centered.  Their job is to care about their own lives and states of mind.  Their job is to really not, at these ages, pay all that much attention to my personal life and thoughts.  And my job, honestly, is to keep those grown up spaces separate from them.

And TJ could not reside closer to me.  We share a home and a family and a life.  We are happy.  We laugh together.  We have jokes together.  We try, constantly, to gross each other out.  He’s my other half.  But his life is so very different.  His days are spent providing for the physical needs of our family.  My days are spent focusing on the emotional needs of our family.  Sure our lanes cross, but still they are separate.  He knows what it is like to parent these children, but he does not know what it is like to mother anyone.

And so I found myself today sitting on a park bench, bracing against the cold Autumn wind wiping tears from my eyes.  How could this world be filled with so many people, and yet I find myself alone?  I find myself desperately searching for people who could understand and who will listen.  People who have the time and the space.  People whose struggles are similar to mine.  People who can commiserate and understand.  People who know the joy and the pain and the trial and the triumph of this station of life.  People who can just sit there and hear and listen and laugh and cry.  People willing to listen to the dark parts.  People who won’t run away.

And I don’t know.  Is this an experience unique to me?  Or unique to mothers?  Unique to stay at home mothers?  Part of the modern, suburban experience?

Or is it all of us?  Is it part and parcel of living these unique lives in this fallen world where we yearn for so much more than we can ever have?  Is it an inevitable part of the exile or is it a state I could transcend if only I could find… well, whatever it is I need to find?

I don’t really have any answers.  I just have this feeling of loneliness that can be so deep sometimes that I fear I might fall in and not find my way out.

And I hesitated to write this today.  I had an anonymous commenter a couple of months ago state that my writing is heavy and there’s not much levity there.  And so I tried to keep that in mind and I waited and waited to write until I had something lighter to post.

But the simple parts don’t inspire me to write.  They are there loud and beautiful and so easy for me to see.  They don’t help me connect with people.  Or with myself.

So I apologize if this is another heavier post.  For me, it’s just honest.

About Amanda

I blog about deliberate, purposeful living and parenting. I'm a bit sappy. I mostly like to talk about ideas that inspire me to more effectively live and interact with the world around me. Sometimes I try to be funny, but there is a slight chance that I am the only one who actually gets my humor.
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4 Responses to On Loneliness

  1. Hope says:

    This is beautiful and brought me to tears. I could not agree more about having to give of yourself emotionally. I sometimes obsess on the happiness of my girls that I lose myself completely. I have girls as well. 2 teens and a tween! its been tough but I’m getting through, I have lots of tears and anxiety everyday. Thank you for your post, you are not alone 😉

    • Amanda says:

      2 teens and a tween! Good luck, Mama :-). And thank you for your comment. I’m glad to see neither of us is alone in feeling this way.

  2. Morag says:

    Not too heavy. Write for you, and those of us who connect with it will be glad. I am learning to find some more grace for my lonely self with the help of a compassionate and empathic counselor.

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you for your response. I’m so sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I am happy to hear you are learning to find grace for yourself. That’s something I’m still learning too.

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