Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alone - Really Alone!

Yeah! I am able to post again! Some weeks ago I snapped this photo at a summer festival my girlfriend and I attended. I kept noticing anyone that was alone. For some reason I have really felt the effects of being on my own for a number of years now. I think it has to do with reaching the milestone of getting one son off to college and really having a perspective of how much that has taken to accomplish on my own.

Another revelation that happened occurred on July 4th. My girlfriend has a party/bbq that day since her divorce and my husband's death. This year my sons were in Lake Geneva, WI boating, but I still attended. Also there, was an old neighbor of my friend, a single mom of three adopted kids. She has had a tough time of it. Her children were born with numerous birth defects from a drug-addicted mom. Anyway, whenever we get together which is a couple of times a year, this mom monopolizes the conversation and goes on and on about how difficult her life is, etc. I try to offer constructive advice and I have to say that I even find it a change to listen to someone who is also struggling. But at the same time, about an hour or two into the conversation it gets pretty old and even I want to shut this woman up. "OK enough already! This is such a downer! I can't stand listening anymore to your problems. Please try and look at things with a more positive attitude..."

Then I remember that this woman doesn't have anyone to talk to, confide in or simply vent to. Getting together with my girlfriend and I are often the only times she has to ask for a second opinion or relate the obstacles she is trying to overcome. I realize that I might sound like a downer when I talk to others too, and that I probably have in the past. Basically, because when you live alone, you end up with all this stuff that needs to get out and to be shared with others. And when that happens you let loose.

It was an odd realization to find myself feeling annoyed with this woman, even when I understood the reasons for her monopolizing the conversation and why it had such a negative slant. Even worse to see myself in her behavior. And still worse to comprehend on a larger scale the effects of living alone and to see them play out before my eyes.


  1. When I lived alone, if the phone rang in the evening, sometimes my voice wouldn't work because I hadn't spoken in hours. I think you are right--we just have so much unspoken stuff we just need to get it out.

  2. Judy - I think that for those of us living alone, life can get pretty lonely at times. And I think that when we do get an opportunity to interact with others, we may come off as needy or depressed because we just unleash so much pent up stuff. I know that since July 4th and this realization, I have tried to explain how I may come across to people like my sister. I just told her that I don't have a daily opportunity to exchange ideas with someone else like she has her husband - and to forgive me if I seem to be talking too much. Don't know if it will help people be more understanding or not...