I am sitting in a California king bed alone. I woke up this morning alone. I went to church alone. I won’t bore you with the rest of the details of my life alone. It is the one thing I avoid talking about. People generally do not want to hear how lonely someone is, because perhaps it makes them confront their own loneliness. I try to hide the fact that I feel all alone and I’m not really sure why. Maybe it makes me feel vulnerable. Maybe it’s that people immediately invite you to have dinner with their families. Maybe it’s simply because saying it doesn’t take it away, and that is all I want.
I was married once. I liked being married regardless of all the issues we had. I loved the feeling of taking care of someone and knowing that he was there for me. I would have stayed married forever if it weren’t for the issues that put my children in danger. I won’t lie and say that he was the love of my life, but I sometimes wonder if he is the only chance that I will have. I have been single (if you count from our separation) for over 14 years. I wonder when my sentence will be up. I wonder how much time I have to serve before I get out on parole. Sometimes It feels like a prison that is more suffocating than you can imagine.
Sometimes I get really bold and I tell people how lonely I am. Then, I am immediately sorry for sharing. I have had people tell me that I should feel lucky that I am single. I know that they are speaking out of their own misery, but couldn’t they just put that aside and try to understand my pain just for a moment? When they tell me stories about how sad their husbands or wives make them, I listen and encourage. I never say, “Well, at least you’re married and get to wake up with someone in the morning. Being single sucks!” Why do we do this to each other? The other end of the spectrum when I share how lonely I am is when people immediately try to fix it. “You can call me whenever you want and we’ll hang out.” “Have you tried online dating?” “Maybe God is giving you time to work out all of your issues before he sends you someone.” All of these are very nice and come from a place of concern, but I have to tell you that I’m sick of hearing them.
Could someone please just give me a shoulder to cry on? I haven’t been held while I cried since 2005. I can tell you exactly when it was. I found out that my best friend in high school, Wendy, had died in a plane crash years before. I had lost track of her, and someone told me the news when I asked about her. I was crying all the way home, and when I walked through the door, my mother held me while I cried. So, it has been 8 years since I cried in someone’s arms. When I cry, I cry alone. The problem is that I don’t let anyone know this. I don’t want to be one of the miserable crowd that seems to be everywhere nowadays. People complain so much that it makes me pretend that nothing bothers me. I don’t want to add to the drama of the world.
I just feel invisible sometimes, and I feel forgotten. Little things devastate me, and I pretend like they don’t. I have to tell you that I am a really good actress, really good. Last week, one of the managers was ordering lunch and promised to treat me to an egg roll. Needless to say, he forgot to order it. He apologized in front of the whole crew in the lunch room, and I laughed it off. He really felt bad. I knew in my mind that he didn’t mean anything by it. It’s really not that serious, right? Well, not to my heart. I felt forgotten and had to hold back the tears as I went to buy my lunch. The theme of my life seems to be that I never get what I really want. This added to the proof that my heart gives me every time it happens. It’s like when you really want these awesome red boots for Christmas, and somebody gives you really cute blue tennis shoes. It’s nice, but it’s not your heart’s desire. Not that my heart’s desire was an egg roll, but it just added fuel to the fire.
So, why am I telling you all of this? I had a day filled with tears. I cried about everything today. I took a three hour nap just to get away from my feelings. I begged God to speak to me and give me encouragement. I was so lonely that I thought I would die. All of this, and the only thought in my head was about how I don’t really tell people how I’m truly feeling. I don’t trust anyone with my true feelings. Speaking my feelings out loud feels like I’m going to have an aneurysm, so I figured that writing them out was the first step. I don’t know how I feel about it, but at least I did it.
Please don’t comment with ways to fix my loneliness or encouraging platitudes. If you comment, make sure that you really read what I wrote and hear my heart. I know that pain and sadness make people feel uncomfortable, but I needed to somehow purge myself. Thank you for listening, and I hope that some of this resonated with you in one way or another. Wishing you no loneliness, only comfort and beauty.