Home alone

I want to do one of those hopeful posts where things are getting better but it’s not today, because things are not better today.

I’ve been working from home. I am horribly lonely. And if I go in to work, I’ll also be alone for a good part of my day, because I have no friends there. Just people to say hi to, but no one who wants to talk with me more than that.

Now I feel ungrateful, it’s not so terrible, I have enormous freedom after all. But the loneliness is bad. And I’m not interested in the work. Most of it. Small bits are interesting.

I know everyone doesn’t get to have interesting work or good relationships. But this is me, and I don’t care, it hurts.

Because I can’t concentrate very well, I’ve started taking a mild short acting medication when trying to work. It helps with the concentration, but I think it’s making me depressed. I was so overwhelmingly exhausted or down twice today, I lay down and dozed. Once is more normal, but twice is not good.

Today I woke up missing my friend R. Or former friend R. I still feel these warm feelings about him, and have this feeling he is not judging me when the rest of the world seems to be. I know if I called him and we met again, I would start craving to see him, so I’m waiting it out, letting the wish to see him fade, letting the hope that he’ll phone me fade away. Once I’ve got over it, that will be one less problem for me. But it’s sad at the same time. Why can’t I handle a simple friendship that we both enjoyed?

I am noticing how I re-create my family situation in my life. I was on the outside in my family, kind of a scapegoat. My sister and brother were close. My mother preferred my siblings, especially my brother, my father couldn’t handle my rebelliousness, so cut me dead completely as a teenager. So I was completely alone, except for two friends I’d made at school. It wasn’t enough. Most of my time was spent with my family, completely alone but with them.

I’ve been thinking what that must have felt like. It must have been like some of the depression feelings I feel today – like being barely alive, no one seeing me, no one talking to me. It feels like being lost in a forest.

I need to get it together to make something to eat and wash the dishes. Then maybe I’ll go for a slow run.

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20 comments
  1. laura said:

    Hi E, sorry you’ve been feeling so lonely…
    I’m not sure that I know what that’s like. I often long to talk to Howard, because I can talk freely with him, and there’s no chance that I’ll say the wrong thing. Your job situation seems like one that’s particularly high-risk for loneliness. I think that I would have more trouble with the lack of structure, and with motivating myself to do the work.
    I can’t help thinking that with R, he could be waiting for you to call, or the people at work could be waiting (as you are waiting) for some evidence that you’re interested in them… and you’re all like ships passing in the night.
    Are you thinking about group yet?

    • Ellen said:

      Hi Laura, Yes, you’ve mentioned before you don’t feel like that. I wonder on my part what that would be like, to be self-sufficient. And things can often go wrong for me in therapy, so I don’t straightforwardly long to talk to my T, not for therapy anyway. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a normal chat with Ron though.

      For the job, I think they pay me pretty well to be able to structure my own work. I do struggle with motivation though. I can structure it myself no problem.

      As to R – I know he might be waiting. I’ve decided it’s better for me to let that friendship go, so I’m not really waiting on him. It’s just hard. As to people at work – yeah. I think sometimes it’s my expression. I’ve noticed if I look cheerful, it’s easier to be friendly with people. I kind of forget that I’d like to be friendlier….

      Yep, group will be starting in a few weeks I suppose.

      Thanks for keeping me company!

  2. laura said:

    did you go for a run?
    It doesn’t seem as if the relationship with R is hopeless, you’d have to tackle what’s coming up, you’d probably want to tell him something of what you were dealing with… but even if you just want to stop it altogether – (do you think that will happen if you’re in group, together?) you like him, you know he struggles with depression, don’t you want to tell him?

    • Ellen said:

      Actually, I did get it together and go for a fast walk, did the dishes and cooked supper. Amazing how expressing myself lets me cope.
      As to R….I won’t be telling him I have feelings for him. The little he’s told me about dating involves women falling for him for no reason. He’s like opposite of me in that respect. Was that what you thought I should tell him?
      In a way, I agree, it is interesting to keep seeing him, because lots of stuff comes up for me and I can deal with it in therapy. But I have a pattern of pursuing men who aren’t interested in me. I don’t want to do that. I don’t see why this would come up in group.
      Cheers

  3. attached said:

    ((Ellen))

    I’m sorry that you are feeling so lonely. I know if I worked from home I would struggle with motivation and take too many naps or read too many books. Are you thinking of trying some other ways to meet people, maybe through activities that you enjoy. It might be easier to be cheerful if you were doing something you like and not just work. Sorry if my suggestions aren’t helpful.

    I sometimes feel like I’m all alone even when other people are there. I felt like that as a child in my family. I think it is from being around people who don’t understand me and those who don’t want to understand me. I think it is hard to realize that people around us today might not feel the same way as our family did.

    hugs,
    Di

    • Ellen said:

      Love it how you would ‘read too many books’! he he. MIght be a good thing. I think it’s a good suggestion, just I don’t have much extra energy. I know you don’t have that problem, but after working I’m not good for much. Still, something to think about for the weekends anyway.

      Yeah, I’ve felt alone with people also. It’s worse than being alone. And sometimes I like being alone. I’m suspecting that part of the intense lonely feeling comes when I’m cut off from parts. The parts get lonely, and I feel it. Kids have such very strong emotions.

      Really true about realizing people today are not like my family. That is the struggle.

      Thanks!

  4. laura said:

    right on, Di!

  5. Amanda said:

    Loneliness can hurt so badly – and I’m so sorry that you are feeling it.

    I hope you know that you are surrounded by people who understand your feelings, your emotions and your thoughts.

    We may not be with you in person, but we are with you in thought. Hold onto that and know we are all here as you write.

  6. Ellen said:

    Thanks Amanda. I’ll hold on to that thought.

  7. It’s been my experience that the yearning for a relationship can go away. My dearest friend in the world — Felix — began as a relationship between the two of us. It lasted for less than two years (one of those long distance). It ended, not mutually, but on his part. I still wanted to be with him, romantically, but he didn’t want me anymore. Things were coolish for a year between us, and then we slowly started to reconnect again. I was able to love without craving. Now he is my best friend, and has been for almost 18 years. Who knows where your new friendship might go if you keep with it. He has seen your parts, has listened to your struggles, and accepts you. Have faith in yourself. Who knows what friendship might continue to grow.

    • Ellen said:

      That’s a great example Catherine, I’m happy that worked out well for you in the end. You’re right, this could still be a friendship with legs perhaps. A one way crush is a problem for me though, if I’m seeing the person as a friend. It could all work out though as you say.

      Thanks!

  8. laura said:

    You’re both in therapy, both trying to heal and grow, be authentic.
    You have a closer relationship already than you would normally, you have more knowledge of each other.
    I would think (at a minimum) that you would want to explain your sudden change of direction, to keep from hurting him.

  9. laura said:

    it happens all the time, that we get attracted to or have a crush on the “wrong” person (I can think of at least 3 times, in my life) – I have a feeling that you think it’s freakish!
    Also, I don’t know your romantic history in any detail, but if this sequence of events has happened multiple times, how much of it is due to the particulars of the guy – and how much of this rush of unacceptable feelings and need has to do with you, the conditions under which you grew up, and your psyche?
    If it isn’t to do with him in particular, if it’s a pattern, I would think that would make it easier to have a conversation with him about it. You could treat it at the same level possibly, that you treat it with us. (He could, hypothetically, be one of your readers!).
    You could say that your friendship with him is bringing up a lot of painful relationship “stuff” for you, and you need to back off for now and maybe get Ron’s help to get a handle on what’s happening. That you have enjoyed the time you’ve spent together (if you have), that you think you have a lot in common, and that it’s a loss for you to have to put a promising friendship on hold.
    Talk to Ron about how you might handle it – maybe some role play would allow the parts to have their say in a safe environment?
    sorry if this is naive. you probably want to stay the hell away from him, to keep your parts suppressed…

    it’s sad, but it could be worse. good luck.

    • Ellen said:

      This is not a bad idea. No, I don’t want to stay the hell away, on the contrary, I want to see him all the time! I don’t wish to keep my parts suppressed either.

      I might do something like what you’re suggesting Laura. I may give him a call after all.

      I do wish he wasn’t Ron’s client also, because Ron knows too much. Ron is always a little dismissive of my ‘R’ issue….it’s like he doesn’t think it should be that big of a deal. Is my impression anyway.

      Thanks

      • laura said:

        what do you mean, that Ron knows too much? I can’t think of a downside to having him in the middle, if you want to figure out what’s going on.
        I’m glad you’re taking care of your health concern!

        • Ellen said:

          Well, for instance, say R is in love currently with some beautiful 25 year old lawyer. Or say he treats women who like him badly. Or a lot of things. In a regular conversation, those would be things he could tell me. In this situation, he can’t say anything. So Ron’s got this whole story in the background, whatever it is. I’ll still pick up on Ron’s body language, expression, etc., but I won’t know what it all means. Meanwhile I’m trying to explore my feelings about R. It would just be a clearer situation if Ron didn’t know him intimately. Is all I’m saying.

          Thanks, I’m glad also. Cheers

          • laura said:

            that might make some kind of sense if you were trying to date R, and were trying to find out if he were available from his therapist. Is that a teen part? You might say that Ron knows too much and tells too little!

            I think you’re looking at the wrong person altogether, if you want to understand this painful pattern. From your posts, Ron hasn’t sounded dismissive of this relationship. It sounded to me like he wants you to take care, he said it’s complicated. I was surprised that he wasn’t actively discouraging you – as would be the case in any group I’ve been a member of.

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