Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Two posts in one day....that's been a while!

I do not often feel lonely these days.  Maybe it's because I'm too busy to feel lonely - when would I carve out time for loneliness?  Or maybe it's because I'm so often surrounded by people, rarely alone at work, busy with Katherine at home, busy with Katherine's social commitments, squeezing in a couple of my own social engagements here and there.

Usually, it's because I simply don't feel lonely.  I have cultivated friendships that are rich and full, and I work hard at them.  I have beliefs, passions, hobbies that keep me from loneliness.  There are invitations given and received, and too often I can't join because of scheduling but the invitations still give me comfort.

But in the past twenty-four hours, I've felt lonely.

First, the fall.  And coming home to laundry, a child needing tending, a dog anxious to walk, a naughty cat (she is definitely receiving coal this year)....and hurting deeply, bloody hands, a throbbing arm, and nobody to care for me.  In this case, I knew that I could NOT do it all, that I had no choice....and it was lonely.  I didn't feel powerful and strong and capable, I felt small and hurting.  Lonely.  Deeply wishing that someone would hold me and tell me that it was okay and take care of me....but nobody showed up.

Then, today at the hospital.  The rush of feeling lonely that came back to me, remembering my treatment there and how I often did it alone, how Bryan would be particularly snappish with me, pointing out that it was hard on him.  I always felt that somehow I was putting him out having to drive me to and from surgeries or appointments (when I often couldn't drive because of the drugs they'd give me); he was cold to me and made it clear that he did not enjoy my company and that I should be thankful he showed up.  (He did that by refusing to talk to me, by not listening to the instructions the doctors gave, by snapping at me if I made requests.)

Being in the hospital made me remember the loneliness of my marriage.  It made me feel lonely today, too, because I watched a man fight his anxiety - the woman he loved on a surgical table, him waiting, powerless - and I watched the relief in his eyes, the return of the light in his eyes, when the doctor came to tell him that all was well; this made me feel lonely because I don't have someone like that in my life.  My jealousy (which was mixed with admiration for him, and joy for my friend) was brought about by my loneliness, my comparison of their experience to my own.

And it appears that loneliness is a hole in the dike, because the little crack that came through caused a big flood of feelings.

I haven't felt lonely at all in my divorce until now.  I've been sort of proud of it, not grasping at men to keep me afloat, doing it on my own, making my own life. But today that started to feel hollow.

I am lonely. I hope the feeling goes away, but today, I'm lonely.  This is a hole no girlfriend can fill.  The hard truth is that at the end fo teh day, when I'm worn out and tired and still hurting from the lymphedema and my fall, there is no one to bring me a cup of tea, to wrap his arm around me, to say "let me take care of the dishes."  There is no-one to whisper "tell me what you are thinking" or to bring me silly jokes to make me smile.  There is no shared warmth under a quilt, and there is nobody to say "Wow I'm proud of the life you're making for yourself."

Mostly, I dream of higher relationships, bringing out the best in one another, creating something grand.  But today, hurting, I wish there was someone who didn't mind that I just want to curl up in my flannel PJs with snowflakes on them, and have someone say "let me take care of you."  Not very feminist of me, not very enlightened, not very creative.  But today, it's the truth.

Hoping that as the pain goes away, the loneliness does, too.  I like feeling strong and powerful much more than I like feeling lonely.

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