Posts tagged with "loneliness"

the purge

In the last few years, I’ve gained a sig­nif­i­cant amount of con­fi­dence in my actions and deci­sions, espe­cial­ly when it comes to rela­tion­ships. It took a lot of grow­ing, and two things helped most:

  1. hav­ing a bet­ter under­stand­ing of oth­er peo­ple’s expe­ri­ences in gen­er­al (i.e. I need­ed to gain more empa­thy)
  2. sur­viv­ing enough crises that con­flicts or dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions — or even my own feel­ings — were no longer debil­i­tat­ing­ly scary

Even though I’m more com­fort­able with my social behav­iour, I still strug­gle with lone­li­ness. Being more social­ly capa­ble means I can pur­sue rela­tion­ships more pur­pose­ful­ly and with­out regrets; it does­n’t mean my world is imme­di­ate­ly filled with lov­ing, stim­u­lat­ing peo­ple and needs are sud­den­ly being met.

Continue read­ing “the purge”…

almost like the blues

Now in the dark world where I dwell, ugly things, and sur­pris­ing things, and some­times lit­tle won­drous things, spill out in me con­stant­ly, and I can count on noth­ing.

—A Scanner Darkly

Winter has tra­di­tion­al­ly been a dif­fi­cult time. In my youth, the hol­i­days were filled with fam­i­ly gath­er­ings where I nev­er found my place1. Then I start­ed com­ing into my own, but every­one else began spend­ing time with their sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers, leav­ing me an observ­er with a sur­ro­gate fam­i­ly. Eventually, I grew the need for a con­nec­tion with peo­ple who could bet­ter under­stand the per­son I’d become, and again found myself in exile.

cat with bass guitar

This year is no dif­fer­ent. The weath­er has been par­tic­u­lar­ly pun­ish­ing, with extreme cold fronts that make any form of trav­el a lit­er­al pain. It’s a fine line between inspi­ra­tion and oppres­sion when trapped in a win­ter won­der­land. Even after a week of Darren’s com­pa­ny, along with new instru­ments and some of the stick­i­est of the icky, I haven’t been able to shake this feel­ing of lone­li­ness.

Continue read­ing “almost like the blues”…

  1. Now I real­ize that being forced to spend a night with a ran­dom assort­ment of peo­ple is a crap­shoot at best. []

facing eternity, or the lack thereof

Heather man­aged to snag a job at a great com­pa­ny on the oth­er side of town. She start­ed her train­ing last month, and I could­n’t be more proud of her for mak­ing the cut after months of resumes and appli­ca­tions, hope and patience.

While it makes sense for her to start work­ing, I’ve been forced to deal with an unset­tling void in the house — like the deaf­en­ing silence of a black­out, when the elec­tron­ic hums and glows cease to pro­vide their per­pet­u­al com­pa­ny. We nev­er spent more than an hour apart before this, when she might have stepped out to grab some gro­ceries or a pre­scrip­tion1; near­ly two years where we could­n’t help but be close­ly in tune with each oth­er’s needs and moods. Now, it feels like we bare­ly have a chance to get our dailies with a bit of extra con­tent before it’s time for bed.

Cadem Forest in Plains of Ashford

I always trav­el with my menagerie of cats; this month with Zuzu, Cat of Darkness at my feet (in cel­e­bra­tion of Halloween) and Brill on my back (who’s actu­al­ly a tiger cub).

Losing so much of each oth­er has been a dif­fi­cult adjust­ment. I was­n’t ready for this. It was­n’t a deci­sion I made. I’m not use to being so alone, or even tak­ing care of myself, for that mat­ter2. When she’s away, the void makes it painful­ly clear how much I sur­round­ed myself with her. I can’t even write with­out men­tion­ing her, cause there’s rarely a deci­sion I make with­out con­sid­er­ing her first, whether it’s how we’re going to spend our time or what I’m going to say next.

It’s a dif­fi­cult reminder of many years spent with­out a part­ner or par­ent to rely on. I’ve been try­ing to reclaim my inde­pen­dence by pick­ing up small respon­si­bil­i­ties. Something as sim­ple as mak­ing my space more com­fort­able, whether it’s a thor­ough clean­ing or new light­ing arrange­ment, turns into a chance to suc­ceed and feel accom­plished. Even games become lit­tle projects, ways of exer­cis­ing my cre­ativ­i­ty or keep­ing myself sharp.

I knew Heather would even­tu­al­ly be work­ing, and I’d be alone. Now the day has come, and I’m con­stant­ly won­der­ing: who am I when I’m by myself? What do I do to fill the hours that she’s away?

At least it’s giv­en me a chance to write again. The break has­n’t been entire­ly inten­tion­al. Part of it is the fact that writ­ing takes ener­gy, and I rarely have any to spare when I’m try­ing so hard just to feel okay. Another part is the fact that I haven’t need­ed this in the same way since I met her. She’s become an impor­tant out­let, one who always makes her­self avail­able to me. There has­n’t been the same long­ing to write, cause I haven’t need­ed to vent, or sort out my thoughts, or feel val­i­dat­ed.

Nevertheless, this peri­od of empti­ness has become a chap­ter in itself. A change that will be a great deal of the rest of our lives. I’m stuck here, while the days stretch out before me with end­less pos­si­bil­i­ty. The hard part is final­ly stum­bling into the life I’ve always want­ed, find­ing a part­ner who fills in my gaps in all the right ways, but not being ready for it all.

  1. Aside from a few days she spent vis­it­ing her fam­i­ly last year. It was the first sig­nif­i­cant amount of time we were away from each oth­er since we met, and I had a pan­ic attack before she was out of the city. []
  2. She still han­dles the meals, and has a sys­tem where most things are done in the slow cook­er; all I need to do is pour the con­tents of a bag into the pot and turn it on at a cer­tain time, although, some days, even this can slip my mind. []

perpetual eve

This day is the same every year. The streets are dead and filled with slush, the stores all closed. No mat­ter where I am, it seems peo­ple are look­ing for a chan­nel on TV to watch a cor­po­rate-spon­sored count­down, and I always feel alone even though I’m sur­round­ed by friends.

If it’s the same every year, it’s strange that my mem­o­ries of New Year’s Eve are so mixed. Jocks harass­ing me on the bus. Bundling up in big coats to share petit coro­nas out­side. Panic attacks. Blonds and red­heads. Rich foods and too much drink. And some­how the peo­ple I love and the peo­ple I hate end up at the same par­ties.

Sometimes it reminds me too much of my child­hood. My fam­i­ly host­ed the same count­down par­ty every year that became the only real time we spent with oth­er peo­ple, and the only time we ever caught up with our “friends”. Numbers would be shout­ed in uni­son, cham­pagne would be toast­ed, noth­ing would change. An emp­ty rit­u­al for emp­ty peo­ple. Maybe that’s why I nev­er feel like I belong any­where on this day. It’s like I’m wait­ing to feel what every­one else around me is feel­ing when the ball drops.

suddenly everything has changed

I know you can’t save me from what’s about to hap­pen, but I’m tired of being strong for myself. Tired of not hav­ing you in my life. Tired of try­ing to not think about you. And as ter­ri­fy­ing as the future is now, you know I’m not a hyp­ocrite, and I know it would­n’t be fair to either of us.

Sometimes I take the bus, walk our paths, sit in our old haunts. Hoping to catch you at a dis­tance, so I can see how you’re wear­ing your hair and know you’re okay. Strangers on a train, hop­ing in my head that you’d sit and talk to me so we can laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all.

Sometimes I find these pic­tures of you I don’t remem­ber tak­ing, in glass­es I don’t remem­ber you ever wear­ing, in places I don’t rec­og­nize. A strange gap in my mind in an oth­er­wise vivid set of expe­ri­ences, and I won­der if on that day our bod­ies ever touched.

And while I’m sure some would blame these thoughts on the sea­son or the breakup, the sim­ple truth is I nev­er real­ized how alone I was until the phone rang today, and I haven’t tak­en a breath since.