I think I have mentioned before that I find myself feeling isolated when others are getting together with family and friends and I am not involved in something similar. A Christmas or Easter alone or a birthday or whatever it may be. Yes, I can entertain myself by going out to a place of distraction, like a movie, or going for a walk or reading a book or working. But the loneliness sits in the periphery of my consciousness all the time, pushing and wriggling to get to the centre, like a precocious child.
I have just finished a book that spoke of learning to love time with yourself, because after all, you always need to be with yourself. It is a concept that I understand completely in my rational mind, but putting this into practise seems incredibly hard. I crave being a part of humanity and being included. Especially when it is people that I love that are having the gathering.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, you just are not invited. And the reasons for that range from many valid ones to many feeble ones. Don’t get me wrong here, I am not expecting to be included in everything with everyone I know. It is just that some days the feeling of being alone is really all-encompassing and I don’t know where to turn to get through these days. That said, there are days when I cannot fathom why I was not included. Oh the drama! Oh the indignity! Oh, woe is me!
I try to be calm and collected, as my tendency is to feel very sad and weepy. And I guess that I experience these days more keenly when I am tired or already going through some emotional ups-and-downs.
I tend to feel more alone when I go through my head as to whom I can phone that I can talk about this to, (so as to get back into my logical and rational brain and out of the feeling-sorry-for-myself part of my brain), then realise that I have what seems like legitimate reasons for not being able to call anyone. I have a few good friends that I usually call, but today was a day that I felt I just couldn’t. One is working in a hospital and not able to take calls; two are in another country and have bad network connection so can only swap voice notes; another is away with kids on a school trip; another is having a bad day and I don’t wish to burden further; yet another is under much stress at work and doesn’t want to be laden with my complaints; another is with friends and celebrating; two more are busy with religious celebrations. And so it goes on.
This is life. This is growing up. This is managing your expectations. This is being an adult. It sucks. I miss the days where I could just pop around to a friend and have tea or coffee or a glass of wine, irrespective of what they were doing. If they were cooking, I stood in the kitchen and we nattered and I helped. If they were cleaning, I grabbed a duster or broom and helped and we nattered. If they happened to just be relaxing, well, we did that together. How I grew up and the way I lived my early twenties is very different to the society I live in now. People here don’t just pop in. And they don’t like it when you do that. It feels alien to me.
Who do we talk to when our hearts are full of sadness? Who do we talk to about our fears and our insecurities? Who do we really get to talk to? I don’t know anymore. I feel adrift. People have their own lives to live and so I don’t know what to expect anymore. I suppose the issue is that I hope that people live by my standards and my ideals, but obviously that is not reality.
Who do we talk to about the feelings that we shouldn’t have? About the days of depression? About the illicit thoughts – love, lust, suicide, how much we desire to collect together the boxes of tablets in the house and take all of them and wash it down with some whiskey? About the things we want and cannot have? About the hurt that somebody causes to us without being aware of it? And when you have sucked up the courage to be vulnerable and tell someone these things, it is hard when they do not respond. I need response. I need feedback. I am trying to rewire my brain, but lack of response means lack of interest or else I have crossed a line and hurt them in turn.
I have a therapist that I see once a week, but that is only 50 minutes. Oh I know I need to lean on myself, but I can’t problem solve that way. I cannot get to a calm, clear thinking space without feeling loved and the space held for just 30 minutes by another person. Perhaps it is too much to ask to have someone do that for you. Perhaps that is too draining. I don’t know. I don’t know how other people operate – I can only speak for myself.
Today was a day of not being included and it took me by surprise for some reason. As my one friend says, set the bar of expectations so low that your expectations are always met or exceeded. Perhaps it is time to put this into practise! Perhaps the reason for the surprise was the not being included by a friend that keeps me at bay and relatively out of their life no matter how hard I try to be accepted and let in; perhaps the surprise is due to me being tired and having gone to therapy and dug through stuff; perhaps it is due to having done some intense reflection over the weekend and realising just how far I need to go; perhaps I need to recognise how inadequate I am at being able to accept that wherever I am right now is where I should be and that it is not something that needs to be considered in a punitive light.
Perhaps, just perhaps, it is because I have always been told that I am not good enough and not worthy and those things taint my thoughts. The remnants of thinking and behaviour because of being subjected to narcissists for most of my life remain in force. Hyper-vigilant, over-thinking, lack of self-worth, self-doubt, depression and more. It is extremely slow progress but I see that I am beginning to heal.