Loneliness is an interesting feeling. It can either take you over and consume you with sadness or you learn to embrace it. Being alone is not always bad, but so often we turn and hide from it, in our attempts to halt the voices in our heads. Those voices like to tell stories. Stories not always true or real, but we hear them anyway.
I’ve learned the difference between true loneliness and being alone over the years. I spend a great deal of time alone, which gives me plenty of time to think. I do get lonely at times, especially when I feel like I live in a world where I don’t belong.
I’m sure everyone goes through moments of feeling they don’t belong. For me, it’s been more of a reality in my life. I started out life as an unwanted surprise for my parents. The ugly truth of it all is my dad was engaged to another woman, the wedding only a few months away, when he cheated on her with my mom. I am the result of that illegal fooling around.
I got reminded frequently throughout life as a child on into adulthood that I ruined my parents lives. After all, I was the reason they got married! Somehow it was my fault they screwed around, didn’t use protection and got pregnant. It took me years of therapy to understand it wasn’t really my fault for ruining their lives, but I can tell you it hurts as a child, whether young or grown up, being told you are the reason for someone’s life being ruined.
I kept that feeling with me through my adult life. I tried to do things for both my parents to make them proud of me and not to feel like a failure. I became an overachiever because of trying to please others. My first marriage was a huge mistake and left me more abused and lonely for true love and affection. I finally got up the guts to leave.
Later on, I stopped my relationships with my family, except one sister, because of feelings towards me that I ruined their lives and owed them something for it. My brother and two of my sisters followed my parent’s and ex-husband’s example in how to treat me. I figured it was better to live lonely alone then to continue on with people who really didn’t want me or accept me and just looked to me as their scapegoat or the one who solved their problems for them.
I learned to think differently and to stand up for myself. It’s also left it harder for me to find true friends because I don’t accept fakers, users or abusers anymore. You don’t really realize how many people aren’t real friends until you start saying “NO” to bad behavior. It’s not that I can’t accept people for who they are because I do. What I can’t accept is when they abuse me or others with it.
I’m no longer a scapegoat for anyone and I don’t intend to solve all your problems for you. If you want a true friend who isn’t going to lie to you, will stand up for you and accept you for who you are including the good, bad and ugly and you’re willing to do the same, I’m that person. Otherwise, I chose lonely or alone with myself while I search for my place in this world.