Alone vs. Lonely

lonely-womanThe insomnia has returned.  I cannot for the life of me sleep past 4.5 hours.  I’m usually awake from anywhere between 2 am to 4 am.  I don’t feel particularly anxious, but I can become so when I begin thinking about my financial future…which is uncertain…at this time.  I can become even more anxious when I think of the possible financial outcomes of the divorce. Of course, anytime there is an interaction regarding the divorce (a hearing or prepping for a hearing,  or a response from the opposing attorney because there is no communicating with my husband at all) my body goes into full on fight or flight mode. My hands start shaking. My heart races. I begin feeling anxious…very anxious. I’ve been here before.  I know that will pass with time.  For  now, the fact that there is no interaction with this man is the best thing possible for me.  I am ready for this ordeal to be over.  But I’ve been given an estimate of 4-5 months for this process to take place.  It seems at eternity.

The biggest anxiety and angst comes from facing a future that I did not choose and which I had no voice in determining.  We once planned and dreamed together. Now, without warning we are polarized and there is no discussion. He was next to me eating dinner, having a beer, and watching episodes of The Flash with my daughter and me one day, and disappeared from the planet the next.  I didn’t even get a conversation saying he wanted a divorce.  He had to have his family do the dirty work.  This certainly speaks more of his character than it does mine, but it is dehumanizing and painful all the same.

And then there are the evenings and weekends alone, in a new city.  These are particularly difficult, and I’m particularly good at being alone.  But this is a different kind of alone.  This is not the welcome solitude, space-for-myself kind of alone.  This is loneliness.  Deep, searing, gnawing, aching loneliness. It is this loneliness combined with the feelings of rejection, of being defective and being cast off as though I’m some worn and tired inanimate object, that create the  constant pain. There’s the feeling of being lost in a city I love but which unfamiliar. There is the deep pain of having lost my child who now lives with her dad, which is a situation I cannot reverse, and the mommy guilt that goes along with it. Add to this, the difficulty of covering over the mess inside me with a cheerful and professional front and the constant welling of tears just below the surface that come up at the most inopportune times. And, yes, there is the hopelessness of the possibility that this is my lot and my future and that it will not change.

But then, I’m smarter than my emotions tell me I am.  I know that bad times never last.  I know this is a really low point for me but I also see that even as I type this I am bouncing back to a place that will eventually be satisfying for me.  I’ve relocated to a city that I love and though the costs associated with living here are nearly double what I was faced with prior to this marriage, the opportunities for employment are greater as well. I also know that I’m trying to reflect on this situation and learn all I can from this experience. I know the lessons learned will make me more hopeful in the future.  I’ll learn not to lose myself in relationship and I’ll begin to set better boundaries for myself.  I’ll get professional help to sort through the deep pain, loss, and trauma of being suddenly and unexpectedly voted off the marital island. I know that eventually, the clouds in my emotional landscape will evaporate and the sun will break forth, but for now it’s a roller coaster of exhilaration about the opportunities to reinvent myself and my life, and the despair and hopelessness of all that has transpired and the loss of what could have been. Friday and Saturday nights alone are the worst right now.

Two weeks ago, I completely broke down in an evening of anxiety and despair. It dawned on me that I was completely alone and in great pain…and no one cared. I am usually the one who is there for my friends and family and not one of them is there for me on that very rare occasion when I reach out and ask for help. It wasn’t just that night, but this was historically the case for me. I give gladly, but when it is my turn to reach out and ask for help or support (which I almost never do), the same people are not there for me.  On this particular night, it was a revelation of sorts.  It was also the source of deep pain…and some anger.  It forced me to take a step back and think about what I need to address in myself so that my relationships don’t all feel so one-sided.

I often use the road or path as an analogy to life.  As any road or journey, this one called life is scattered with different phases.   Some legs of the journey are long, straight, unending, stable and possibly boring.  Others are exciting, filled with beautiful views and new destinations to explore.  Still others are difficult to traverse, filled with obstacles and an uneven path that makes progress slow and painful and the path ahead is difficult to discern.  That’s what my path looks like right now.  I’m crawling over stones and pushing my way through some overgrown and prickly vegetation in my inner landscape. I’m intent on making it through and doing the work that needs to be done to clear the path ahead. But…it isn’t easy and I’m very lonely.





About Miz Insomniac

Usually, it's the kids who grow up and leave home, but Miz Insomniac switched it up. When her kids grew up she decided to make her dreams come true so she flew the nest. After making 12 trips across the pond and back to Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East in 2014-15, Miz Insomniac now qualifies as a world traveler. She hasn't quite mastered the fine art of traveling light, but she knows how to manipulate travel plans to avoid missed flights and jet lag. A former hopeless romantic turned realist, she's stateside now reinventing her life in a new city, with new opportunities, and all the challenges that come with leaving a career, traveling abroad for a year, and then returning to a world that's nothing like she left it. Her overseas travel is by no means over, it's just not as frequent. She's different now, but remains a night owl. She writes when she should be sleeping...and while you probably are.

Posted on November 20, 2016, in Divorce, Relationships, What Keeps Me Up At Night, Wrapping My Mind Around These Things...Or Trying To and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your renewed personal challenges. In the few years since I have seen your name on WordPress I have also gone through a divorce. Almost over now. It was very, very lonely at first, mostly because my ex-wife worked so hard at turning my daughter against me. But she and I have reconciled now, so that’s nice. I hope you begin to find peace soon. And sleep.

    • Tom,
      Thank you for the kind words. I am so sorry to hear about your divorce. I’m glad to hear things have smoothed out. What helped you get through the loneliest of times?

      • I went to the local Ethical Society for community. And I studied and wrote a lot. I heard a saying once, when you don’t know what to do, do what you know. So writing helped me feel that life goes on. You seem to find some comfort in writing about your feelings.

      • You’re right. I do enjoy writing about my feelings, as well as funny incidents that happen to me (because some of it, in fact too much of it is really something out of a sit com). I find it’s a way to get it out, put it aside and move on instead of perseverating about whatever it is that is bothering me or causing me to be anxious.

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