I have been alone a lot in my life. A lot. I was so completely alone as a child living in a total nightmare of abuse that was physical, emotional and sexual in nature, there was not one single person to reach out to. Not one single person noticed. It was so overwhelmingly painful, I literally felt like I was drowning in the pain. I had few friends because I was different in all the wrong ways. I became a loner. And when you live in a family that is riddled with abuse, the abusers tend to keep you isolated when possible. It cuts down on exposure opportunities. So growing up, I lived in a vacuum. I developed as best I could in utter darkness, in a place void of love, nurturing, security or safety. I was hopelessly alone. It broke me in ways I am still trying to uncover.
It hasn’t gotten any better as I’ve grown older.
I married the first time when I was 17. After two weeks of wedded bliss, during which my new husband ran around the small town we lived in chasing girls and cruising the strip at night, he asked me for a divorce. We were together for 3-1/2 years total. I asked him for some time to prepare and he graciously stayed with me for that period of time while I adjusted to the fact that I wasn’t loved, wasn’t wanted and was going to have to go out on my own and survive somehow. I was divorced before I was 21.
The second time I married, I was 25. I hadn’t been looking for a relationship. After the first marriage and the hurtful reality I eventually escaped, I wasn’t keen on opening my heart up again. Turns out I shouldn’t have. He didn’t love me either, a fact he didn’t share with me until several months AFTER we were married. We were together for 22 years. I’m not sure why I stayed other than I had come to the conclusion that no one could ever love me and the best I could ever hope for was to be tolerated. Don’t know why he stayed either, other than we were Christians who believed marriage was to last a lifetime. Those 22 years were very lonely. It was better than being totally alone, from my perspective anyway. I was glad for the companionship and being tolerated when you think you’re totally unacceptable is better than nothing. But I was again painfully alone.
Since the second divorce, I have been more alone than ever and it’s beginning to take a major toll. I can barely handle it. Sometimes, it’s so crushing, I don’t even know if I can live through the pain of being this alone. I can’t get out of it, can’t relieve it, can’t overcome it and can’t do anything that makes it better. It is terrifying. It’s too much. It’s excruciating.
To be honest with you, I’m really scared. No, it’s way beyond scared. I don’t even think there’s a word for how frightening it is. I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. I don’t know if I can. My friends are too busy. They don’t want to hear this garbage. How does one bear unbearable pain? How does one cope with loneliness that is so palpable it chokes you? So cutting, it slices through the deepest and most tender places in your soul? So all pervasive, there is no escape. I don’t know if I can survive this. Being this alone is more than I can manage. My defense mechanisms aren’t working. All my strength is inadequate. I’m not making it. And I don’t know what to do about it.
Scariest part…I don’t think anyone can hear me. There’s no one there. No one notices me. There’s no one to reach out to. No one at all.