The loneliness of a single mother 

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I tweeted a while ago that I have been trying to write a blog post about the loneliness that comes from being a single parent. It was rather touching that so many women tweeted back with a ‘me too’. 
This isn’t going to be a social analysis of why single mothers feel so isolated as I don’t have the intellect or the energy so apologises for the lack of facts! This is simply my account of how it feels. 
To cut a long story short, I’m a single parent for the second time. I have three children and in the last 9 years we have moved house 5 times – 4 times were in 4 of those years. This has meant upheaval of all kinds, from the changing of schools to the loss of friendships. When I left my ex husband in 2012, I found that after a few months, a lot of my friends just disappeared off the radar. Since then, I’ve struggled to meet any new people. 
I no longer have to do the school run as all three have a school bus and I now live in an area that is far from the people I mixed with. In short, I feel like a bit lost and rather sorry for myself. People that I thought would stand by me, buggered off when my life took such a different path to theirs. I was no longer a married mother with a mortgage etc like them. Maybe it scared them, maybe they thought I might bring them bad luck or maybe I changed and they no longer liked me. I’m not sure that I need to know why though! 
The impact on my self esteem has been huge. Where is my place in society now? It hurts when people tell me to ‘get a life’ or make stupid comments on Twitter like ‘I bet they have no friends’ as it’s true. I’m a total loser! I feel trapped in a life that I didn’t sign up for and no, I’m not moaning about being a mum. I’m moaning that I’ve lost myself and my life along the path that I have been forced to take. The path has turned into a massive rut that’s pretty impossible to get out of.
My ME/CFS, lack of money, inability to drive a car, shyness and so many other little things prevent me from climbing out of this hole that I’ve found myself in. I’m also terrified that people don’t like me or won’t like me. Maybe the reason why I have hardly any friends is that I’m not very likeable. I know people who really do lighten up a room when they walk in and their energy really is infectious, the same cannot be said for me! My social anxiety and lack of people skills can make me seem cold and negative *sigh* 
The odd thing is, I never thought that my life would be like this. I’ve been delusional enough to believe that I was put on this earth to be so much more than hum drum beige. Yes, being a single mother and looking after three kids is a very valid thing to do – I’m talking about having something in my life that is separate from my identity as a mother. I wasn’t born a mother after all. And yes, I do have a boyfriend but that doesn’t change my social isolation from needing (and I do mean needing) women in my life. 
When I’ve attended support groups, they have this wonderful ability to bring back the spring in your step. Surrounding yourself with like minded or even life minded women is a truly uplifting experience. For whatever reason, I’ve not been able to keep those friendships going once those groups finish. I’m convinced that lack of transport has a huge affect on my ability to socialise – so if you don’t have a driving licence and have the money to get one, get one! I wish I had when I was younger and had the cash to do so. 
As the rain pours down outside, I know I face another week of sitting in the house on my own. I go to my art class once a week but I don’t see it a social time, it’s my art time. There are other groups that I could do to but I can’t afford the bus fare or the risk to my energy levels. 
As a single mother, no one is there to cook, clean, wash and so forth apart from me. I have to balance my limited social life with my limited energy levels. There’s no way I can just not cook dinner or not make sure everyone has clean clothes. I hear women say that they wouldn’t know what to do without their partner, I can tell you what you will do – bloody everything and then have no one to gripe about it to last thing at night! 
I was hoping that writing this all down would help me feel better, I think that I feel worse! I’m so sick of being invisible and worthless to the world. My teenage self was so wrong to think that I was somehow special and destined to do something extraordinary. At the same time, I don’t wish to just roll over and accept my lot in life. I guess I need to patient and let my life evolve a little more. 
Love, tea and crochet

Exxx 

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The Dating Game …. Part 9

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I think it is part 9 anyway……

Followers of my blog will know that I’m not the luckiest person when it comes to matters of the heart. I thought I’d write a few words about where I am right now! Haha.

Basically, I’m single and likely to be single forever. There are lots of reasons why I think this….my children take up pretty much all of my life, I have no social life, I’m not 21 and toned anymore…… *sigh* and also rather exhausted with the whole part process of dating.

You, happy, couples don’t know how lucky you are so piss off!

I’ve tried online dating and it’s full of men with no shirts on who are obsessed with the gym, men who just want you to send naked photos of yourself and men who are so far up their own arse that you will never be cool enough for them. Then there’s the women ….. As I’m bisexual, they tend to view me with suspicion and so I have given up.

In the general scheme of things, it’s really not that important. It’s not life or death…it would just be nice, one day, to meet someone who liked me and I liked them and they didn’t end up being an abusive shite *sigh* again. I really don’t wish to spend the rest of my life without a partner but I can’t see anyway to find a place in my life to fit one in, let alone meet someone.

So……I have to ignore my pangs of loneliness that I get (especially in the evening or when I’m having a bad day and it would be nice to have someone on my side) and just get on with my life. Not all of us can be loved up, not for all of us is there someone special to come home to.

I think that if I can come to terms with singledom then I may actually find the cure to a lot of my mental health issues! It really is that big a deal with me. It is going to be easy to stay single for the reasons outlined above but also for that fact that there isn’t a queue of people knocking on my door and begging for my attention haha.

Deep breaths ….. All is going to be ok. I can cope with living the single life and it isn’t going to be any less worth living just because I face it alone. I’m lucky to have family and friends in my life who love and care for me (and my cat!). I will learn to deal with the absence of hugs, kisses, sex, as well as the late night conversations and arguments over who needs to empty the bin. It’s just going to have to be fine being just me. Give me a bit time and I’ll get back to you and let you know how I’m getting on!!

Love, tea and hugs of the platonic type
Exxx

The loneliness of being a single parent

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How do you cope with loneliness when you’re not really alone?

Being a single parent, with a cat, extended family and friends I shouldn’t feel that alone. It’s not like I’m an isolated elderly woman, forgotten in a council flat somewhere. I guess I’m just a terribly needy people.

I find my neediness to be quite an ugly trait of mine. When I first meet people, I do a pretty good job of pretending to be a strong, independent woman. That mask slips quite quickly and all my insecurities come flowing out like a river that’s been dredged. Awful.

Just to confuse you, I have been in relationships where I have felt utterly alone too. The more I think about it, the more I realise how long I have spent feeling alone.

Right now, having three youngish children to care for and CFS etc, it is difficult to get out there and meet new people. My social life – what social life!! I know when I’ve tried internet dating,people have asked why on earth am I single?! I’m thinking it’s all me – I give off vibes that suggest I’ll be a pain in the arse to date!

I think I’m quite simple really. I need attention and hugs. Shower me with gifts by all means but that doesn’t make me feel loved or cared for.

Due to this loneliness affliction, I have ended up in relationships that have not been good – as you probably already know….. I have been swept off my feet and made to feel amazing. I really thought I had it all and all those fears of dying alone vanished. Sadly, it was all a massive lie and this wonderful, charming man turned out to be something from a horror film.

My loneliness makes me more vulnerable to abuse. My need for love and affection and human contact is actually quite harmful. Yes, people can chose not to be abusive but I also need to find a way to be happy on my own.

When I’m in this awful state of mind, it feels like everyone has someone to hug at night, to talk to about their day, to share the day with, eat meals with, have sex with, have someone who is on your side ……. I know that isn’t the case, just how I feel. My life is my kids and my house and that’s it. When they are asleep I just sit in the living room, I rarely bother to watch the TV these days. When my kids are at school I sleep and when they are off school, I just do my best to survive the day.

Now I’m in my mid thirties, I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that there is no special person out there for me. I will need to struggle on in life alone. No one’s going to hold my hand at night or offer to cook dinner because I’ve had a shite day. I say, I’m coming to terms with it …. That’s actually a complete lie. All it does is make me want to end it all. Life is too painful for me right now.

Experiencing domestic abuse has left me so wounded I’m not sure anyone could cope to live with me. I think my only option is to struggle on until the kids are grown up and then jump off a bridge or something. I can’t do this anymore, I really can’t. No amount of medication or counselling is going to remedy this. As a psychiatric nurse told me years ago, anti depressants won’t help you, it’s your life that’s getting you down. I’m worn out with fighting against it, I’ve had enough of the battle and I’m too impatient to wait for things to improve ( they haven’t improved for over 20 yrs so can’t see it changing anytime soon).

Sometimes when I write a post, I feel slightly lifted. You know, like you’ve off loaded a burden that’s been heavy on your shoulders. Not this time. Not this time.

Why ‘A Woman Alone’

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A few people have asked me why I have chosen my blog title to be ‘A Woman Alone’….Yes, I know that I have children, family and friends. It goes deeper than that.

The title is a reflection of the depth of my soul, right now. The raging against the basic desire to be loved and to love and saying ‘I choose the single life’. I have built walls and battlements around my heart just in case someone tries to sneek in. I want to prove to myself that I can do this, I can do life without relying on a partner to get me through. I want to meet someone from a position of empowerment not vulnerability and neediness.

That has been my past and it took me to places I never wanted to go, places I never knew existed. Why shouldn’t I build walls? My judgement of people has been so very wrong, I thought I could trust myself. In the same breath, I am not so irreparably damaged by life that I have lost the ability to feel and care. There is no bitter shell of a woman to be seen. I still flourish and I know that my Springtime could be round the next corner.

To those who have called me an Ice Queen, to those who have said I am a single parent version of Bridget Jones……you can go take your insults and shove them somewhere painful. I’m not owning these labels that you like to throw at me. There are higher plains to be explored, my wings are no longer clipped by men who want to have me sat on throne of their making. I am not conforming to anyone’s ideal of the ‘perfect woman’.Choose to walk with me because of me,  not who you would prefer me to be. Now is my moment to live again and live life on my terms. 

I am not a victim, I am not a survivor. I am just me. 

Love and many hugs

Exxx