Tag Archive | lonely

Opposite of Lonely

I don’t often feel lonely, not the way I hear others describe it. I looked it up in a dictionary and thesaurus, and curiously, could not find an opposite for lonely that makes sense to me.

Lonely is defined as the one of the most terrible things in the world: Sad because one has no friends or company, isolated, alone, lonesome, friendless, with no one to turn to, forsaken, abandoned, rejected, unloved, unwanted, outcast, deserted, uninhabited, unfrequented, unpopulated, desolate, isolated, remote, out of the way, secluded, off the beaten track/path, in the back of beyond, godforsaken; in

the middle of nowhere.

Opposite? Populous. Crowded.

I do have a longing for meaningful connections in my life. Love and acceptance from people you can trust. I have a deep, dark, pain, an emptiness much greater than loneliness, because I know it will never be filled. I’ve looked into the depths of this chasm, and it is seemingly bottomless. It seems I’m safe as long as I only glance at it, no jumping in.

For me, acquaintance people are nearly always a nuisance, a stressor. Hell even the current people in my life that are supposed to be loving, supportive, combat loneliness, like my husband and in-laws cause stress and conflict. My kids are the only people I enjoy time with, and even then after a bit , I still feel crowded, smothered, like I can’t think or breathe. When I am alone, I feel peaceful. When I am with others, the tolerance clock starts clicking and I have limited time before I bolt, hide, isolate myself and recover from the constant scrutiny, questions, confusion, misunderstandings, obligations, words…so many endless words attacking my system.

It wears me out to nod, smile, be polite, figure out how to respond, sense danger, protect myself. Talking is my least favorite activity. I’d rather go to the dentist than have to chitchat with some random person. Is it my turn to talk? What did they just say? Are they lying right now? What time is it? Is that a TV show they’re talking about? Is this something I’m supposed to know snd recall or are they telling me something new? Ugh. Too stressful

Add multiple people and this feeling is exponentially heightened, to being the opposite of lonely, I get a strong need to be alone, to escape.

I’m not heartless. I do wish all these people well. I just don’t want to hear about it, sorry. Most things people tell me I can’t do anything about and I feel uncomfortable having to express sympathy or advice. Most people I start diagnosing their personality disorders, recognize cognitive distortions popping up, and of course I must remain silent. People don’t want to know this. They don’t actually want to change their own behavior or think about their thoughts. And they would be insulted or embarrassed, even though they are the one oversharing to me. It is only socially acceptable to offer support like, oh you poor thing that sounds difficult for you. They just want to hear it sucks, for validation.

I’ve found when I interact online, I can control the pace and intensity and don’t get overwhelmed. Each time I venture out to a real life Meetup, it is not a positive experience.

I’m not sure that’s bad or unhealthy. At this point in my life, if I feel satisfied by this level of connection, than maybe I need to stop trying to force myself into a more social, extroverted role just because I’m supposed to be lonely this way.

I’ve been reading “Quiet” by Susan Cain and embracing my introverted self. I don’t think I need fixed. When I socialize it is to complete a task, or because others want me there. I get nothing but stress from most gatherings otherwise.

I watched the Netflix series “Atypical” which was fantastic. I’m not an expert on autism to know if they portrayed this accurately at all. It was entertaining, but also I indentified strongly with his social struggles. I don’t think I’m autistic. But I do think I’m atypical and that my brain can’t be changed much at this point. I don’t connect and form bonds or relationships like most others do. I’m highly sensitive, tuned into emotions, which is the autistic difference. My hyperactive neurons though gives me high scores on tests for autism, overwhelmed by sensory input, can’t look people in the eye, don’t make friends, can’t work in groups, hate loud noises and bright lights, take things too literally at times, repetitive soothing behaviors, trouble following conversation, it goes on and on. Fascinating really. So it seems that autism may be caused by too many neural connections, a lack of pruning, is one theory. I’ve read similar theories for anxiety and PTSD, our connections stay strong reinforcing past memories to keep us vigilant and safe.

This is me rambling and I hope not being stupid or offensive with these curious thoughts. I only look for similarities to figure out the puzzle of me. I don’t claim to be right, ever.

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Love and Obligation and Duty

Why did the Hero flush the toilet? …. Because it was his duty.

Sorry.

Blame my kids and Wreck it Ralph for that one. I can’t even think the word duty without an inappropriate smile any more. I was already immature. You would think having kids would help that. Nope. Made it worse.

I have been thinking seriously though about why I do what I do. Examining some tough thoughts, like what is love, is love real? Or is it only obligation? Do I need love?

So I think we lump many things under the love umbrella that are human needs.

I think love is actually acceptance, validation and respect. I don’t think it means feeling happy, feelings come and go. Except maybe peace. Does peace go with love? (probably more to it than this – but that’s what I am talking about today)

I think we do need acceptance – in some form. We need validation. We need acknowledgement of our existence and our journey. I struggle to give and receive that in real life, but the internet has provided many platforms that makes it possible. Love is not exactly involved with this. I care about the people I interact with but I am not sure love is the right word.

How do you know you love someone? And is it a different type of love defined by the different types of obligations?

This is probably confusing and not making much sense. I will try to give some examples. I loved my parents. I thought this was a love without end, a love that should exist, that had great meaning and defined me and them, bound us in loving obligation to each other. But –  they always had the right to withdraw love and I did not. I had to earn it. I constantly tried to prove myself worthy. I did not have acceptance or validation. And I know now, that love I was seeking, never existed at all, a fabricated universe concocted to control me. Love should not include control. Parents guide, not control.

Okay…

So what about Hubby? Is this love? This dance of power, control, seduction, confusion, manipulation, irritation, fear, dissocation, isolation, secrecy, and lies? There has not been acceptance and validation here either – on either side.

Love also means respect.

And that has been missing here too.

I am not saying we don’t care about each other, help each other, try to do things right. We have a deep sense of obligation, honor, and duty. We are good people and care about and help many people. But it isn’t enough for a marriage. It isn’t right.

When I think about my kids, it is entirely different. I think that is love. I feel acceptance, validation, respect – in both directions. I hope that is what they feel. We listen and support each other. We encourage each other. We accept our faults and oddities and work our days around them – we are accommodating. I don’t feel like a frustrating freak with them. I feel like me.

I guess that is why this blog is so important to me. Yes I want to get my story  out there, talk things through, reach those who are silent. But I think this is me. This is my voice and I want it out there. I want it to exist.

Because generally I don’t ummm exist. I plod along in a vacuum, or alternate reality. Even when I am present, not dissociated, I often don’t feel fully here. A spacey surreal feeling that keeps me cut off from everyone, unable to feel love even if offered. And so I examine thoughts like this. Am I loved? Do I love? Is it a real thing anyway? Do I need it? Will I always feel like this? Do my kids feel loved? Is this my attachment disorder talking? Do others feel like this? Should I give up trying to fix this and accept this is how I am?

I am reaching acceptance of myself, that I am different. That I may slowly change, but that I don’t want to count on this change to happen. I would rather accept myself the way I am, and surround myself with people that accept me the way I am – or be alone.

The acceptance I receive online and from my children feels like enough. I don’t feel lonely, even though by most people’s standards, I suppose I am alone. I feel better alone, with emotional distance from the people in my life that do not accept me.

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I took a three hour walk (yes 3 hours!! I can walk for 3 hours now! My back and leg are getting so strong!) in the forest last week, taking photos of the fall colors. I was alone on this walk, but I felt fuller and more alive than I have in weeks. Everything in the forest was so alive, I could feel the energy, hear the wind in the tree branches, hear the birds, the squirrels scurrying. I saw fungus and vines thriving on decay. I saw dead trees full of woodpecker holes. I saw and felt the life, the survival, of the creatures there.

Why do I feel more loved, safer, content – at peace – alone in a forest? Should I keep fighting this feeling or just go with it? Accept this, do what feels right, enjoy my peace without guilt, stop trying to make friends that I don’t want, stop trying to feel love I don’t feel. Just stop. And just be.

 

 

Feeling Abandoned When I Know I am Not

Why can’t I shake this terrible feeling? Why does my brain keep lying to me? I keep having this terrible feeling that Hubby has pulled back away from and even ignores me lately. I know this isn’t true, and I still have to battle this feeling.

He has not been around as much, that part is true. He has been working extra long days to make some Christmas money, and he took a week long business trip. At home, he is either worn out and sleeping, or rushing about helping with the kids, making dinner, doing chores. He has not been able to stay awake to talk to me once the kids go to bed, and I miss him like crazy. All of this is true and makes sense.

What isn’t true, what doesn’t make sense, is the next step in my PTSD brain. Apparently this feeling triggers a whole slew of unhealthy thoughts and emotions for me. I start having thoughts like, “Is he purposely ignoring me? Is he annoyed with me? Am I a burden to him? Would he rather I wasn’t here?”

Anyone who has PTSD or suffered depression knows how dangerous those thoughts can be. I find myself on the edge of that slippery slope, looking down into depression. So far I have remained on top, looking in, and haven’t fallen into that uncontrollable land of despair. But those thoughts, those dark thoughts that encourage me to jump wear me down. Something in my brain wants me to sink back down. Something in my brain tells me I’m not worth it and that I will ALWAYS feels sad.

I know enough to argue with myself now. NO! I won’t always feel sad. NO! He loves me and misses me too. This sadness is actually a good thing – it means I have finally attached myself to hubby and trust him. You should miss someone when you don’t get to see them. I have to reason through all of this and decide which parts to share with an over-tired hubby. He takes on guilt so easily, and I don’t want to do that. But I did promise to keep him informed of my mental state.

So I choosing this post as way to say I am not doing so well, the dark thoughts are attacking me. I have had so many passing thoughts of “life is too hard, I can’t do it, it would be so much easier if I just died in my sleep”.

Those thoughts are in my head, but they aren’t mine, right? I struggle with this part so much. It must be the PTSD or depression talking, because I know I have hopes, dreams, and plans. But it can’t be healthy to hate a part of my brain, just like it isn’t healthy to hate an overweight body. But I hate these thoughts. I hate how it makes me feel, I hate how tired it makes me, and I hate how close it gets to stealing away my hope – each time.

Today, I have no joy in my body, but I know to go through the motions and do what is right, and to ignore those dark thoughts, or even better, fight them. I have not been abandoned, I am not a sad, neglected child again. I need to stop feeling like one and needing so much from Hubby to prevent those feelings. It isn’t his job to be at my side 24/7. He is more than enough – he is amazing, so I don’t ever want him to feel like this is his fault or like he should be doing more.

Embracing Vulnerability

I discovered Brene Brown at http://www.ordinarycourage.com/ when I noticed the badge at http://healingmutti.com/. Thank you! I have added the badge to my page, as I think it is very powerful. The notion that we choose to live wholehearted or not. I feel that is true.

About a year ago, I made a choice to open my eyes and my heart and start actually living. No more hiding. Just like the quote above from Brene Brown, I had absolutely given up on love and belonging and joy. I never gave life a chance. I was so used to being the victim that I did not know how to be me. Hope was no longer even a glimmer, and life felt like a punishment.

How can this be? How did I get there? How could I have a husband, lovely children, a house, a dog, a decent job – all this – and feel like I was nothing? More precisely, how did I feel nothing? I went through the motions every day, appeared to be a mom, wife, employee, and people even praised me, but it all meant nothing, since I knew inside I was worthless.

At the root of it, I discovered I was lonely. I have a job where I can work 100% from my home, so I have always been home with my kids. My husband works long hours – he gets up and leaves before we wake up, and comes home very tired, often after we have already had supper – too tired to give us his attention or affection. I had no friends. None. I only spoke to family, coworkers, and secretaries – and usually only on the phone.

For the first several years of motherhood, I had no car, and would walk to the grocery store and parks with a stroller or wagon full of kids. I handled (still do) every detail of managing our family. My husband expects trusts me to take care of every decision, from paying bills, arranging doctors, schools, repairs, meals – as well as work 20-30 hours a week while kids are here too, clean, do laundry, yardwork. EVERYTHING is my responsibility. So my husband works hard and supports us financially, but he can be cold or hot tempered, making us wary to bother him.

So the thing I now think is strange, and never used to, is that my husband has no friends. Never did. I was 17 when we met and started dating. I know why I had no friends, they all abandoned me when they found out about my abuse. I latched onto him as the only person I could trust. I never questioned why he didn’t have any friends. It was like all he needs is me, and that felt great way back then, and he wanted me to be the same way. I never recognized how he liked having me to himself and how slowly he cut me off from everyone. I would be invited somewhere in college and my early years as a new teacher, and he’d say he didn’t want to go, so being polite, I declined for both of us. This continued until there were no more invitations.

For 8 years, I barely left my house, really only to run errands. I spoke to no one except my kids on a daily basis. Interactions with husband were typically brief and strained/rushed, as I was afraid to bother him – he worked so hard, and afraid to set off his temper. (which I now know is verbal abuse) I never knew why I made him so angry (yes I blamed myself – ugh) and always tried to keep things peaceful.

Skipping ahead to present. I have some friends now, (though it is difficult for me to accept and trust them). I get out of the house to do my own thing weekly, sometimes more. I volunteer, I work, and sometimes I just go out and have harmless fun with a great group of women I met through performing together at festivals.

I am speaking up to husband, not letting him yell at me or kids any more. He is trying. We are working though it, but I just don’t feel attached to him. And I wonder if this is somehwat normal after being together 18 years anyway. I would never cheat on him, and I’m not even interested in finding someone else. I need to find me first.