Another lonely Christmas . I tell myself it really has to be the last, and that I have to change my life just enough to end this isolation that I feel. The feeling that my experiences in the world are too outside the norm to express. The feeling that I cannot relate or truly connect with anyone. The worry that I will never have intimacy in my life, any, or enough.
I have never known how to perform my personal life. Only work. So, how can I possibly know how to change it?
The latter part of this year I began to try to express my loneliness to the people in my life and the experience has only made me feel more isolated and… alone. It’s really hard to understand why this is. Is it because people don’t want to feel responsible for my loneliness? They are not. But I do think they could do a little more to help me feel less alone.
What would that look like?
Allowing me to speak the truth about loneliness and my inability to shake it. Understanding – and being unafraid to understand – what life looks like without children, without a partner, without parents, without a connected family. In short, not shunning the things that many people fear most.
It’s difficult to even write this down – so much of lonely defies words. I’m certainly aware this is not my most eloquent post. I’m not the type who thrives on feeling tortured.
Loneliness is more common than anyone wants to think about. I’m tired of pretending it doesn’t have a firm hold on me.
But what I’ve learned is, asking for help doesn’t always work. Strange.
I had three occasions this Christmas where I sat and watched other people open gifts. Sure, there was a token gift for me at all three parties – so I wouldn’t feel left out. The gesture is noted and appreciated, however, it’s still hard to watch other people share their intimate moments knowing you do not have a one and only (mother, child, lover). Each experience left me more numb than before hand.
In case you ever wondered, this is why it’s preferable to be alone at Christmas.
People mean well, they do. My friends and family love me, I know this. But I would feel much more connected and loved if I could just talk to one of them openly and honestly about how it really is with me.
You can’t really DO anything for me, except let me know you understand that this is how it is for now in my life.
And that would mean everything.