Sweet Isolation

I’m alone in my life.  In a way, I’ve always been alone.  I lived my childhood in a home of eight people scrunched into a corner of the house to hide and be by myself.  In my young adulthood I was presenting myself in a shaky way where I always looking over my shoulder, although I was bolder than I am now.  Now, I’m still unsure but definitely much quieter and less bold.  And I’m tired of looking over my shoulder.

I’m without children due to a series of miscarriages attributed to uterine fibroids that were removed upon their discovery late in my 30’s.  I was assured when they were removed that I could then have children but I wasn’t in a relationship then and, being that I had just became a Christian, I wanted to be married first anyway.

I’m presently without a husband as the men I chose in the past were unhealthy enough to match the lack of health in me.  When I became a Christian I knew I had to change so much in order to be ready for a Christian husband.  I’ve had enough relational maladjustment, though, that I found myself wishing for isolation instead of the possibility of another abusive man disrupting what little peace I have in my life.  I’ve actively run off and discouraged every suitor as of late.  Mind you, it’s a small town and they’re either the undesirable leftovers or divorced men who seemingly and erroneously thought that the solution to their loneliness was to sleep with half the town and now no one wants them.

So, I’m alone.  And I’m really okay with it for the most part.  I like being alone –  a quiet home, being decorated in a manner that expresses my true personality, meals with passed-down-to-me china that I’ve begun to use daily of late ( I love chinaware, I’m not exactly inviting guests, and I know most people don’t love it as much as I do anyway so I’m just going ahead and using it), open to changing myself and life as it needs to be at this time.

I think what I’d like is to be self-isolated and have only a few people that I can occasionally associate with on a very surface level, just a few people I’m on a friendly basis with to wave at in town.  I would want even them, if ever asked, to admit that they really don’t know that much about me.

I would also want the only person I would ever open up with would be a man if he were to be a husband.  And only that.  I’m not interested in a boyfriend.  And I don’t know what that would really look like or if it’s even possible given my quiet lifestyle, so I find myself not even caring about that.

I’ve had spits and spots here and there where I’ve wanted to meet a few women in town for a light friendship.  I found two, one that I’m withdrawing from right now.  The one I’m withdrawing from is a gossiper and has anger issues, recently being fired for it at her workplace and was slightly directed to me the other day for no good reason.  I’m learning to exercise boundaries. I was already on guard with her so it’s no real loss.  The other one has a sunshiny disposition but we have very little in common, which is great for an enjoyable surface relationship.

I’ve also recently decided to volunteer for the local art counsel so I could meet the local artists.  This also will be on a friendly but surface level.

So, is all this self-isolation healthy?  Not for others, surely.  But for me, yes.  It’s getting rid of the anxiety-producing ‘shoulds’ that I can’t rise up to meet anyway.  For the first time in my life I’m recognizing that I’m broken enough to want to be left alone and healthy enough to give myself that if that’s what I need without expecting more from myself to be ‘normal’.  I’m not physically well enough to try to keep up with others anyway without becoming one of those people always bringing up their symptoms (for me out of a needless sense of apology as to why I can’t do this or that), which is tiresome.

I’m writing this in the late morning of a rainy day.  I’m cozy inside with my cat sleeping beside me while I write.  I’ll be making myself a quiet lunch soon.  There are no eyes on me to criticize me for not producing in a day what I could when I was well, and that was mostly out of anxiety anyway.

No one is expecting me anywhere today and I am free to be in my own thoughts and to apply my hands to whatever brings strength, comfort, or peace to my life.  Today is nice, soft day.

 

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14 thoughts on “Sweet Isolation

    • Yes, I’m learning and it’s a relief to be able to actually say that! I’m grateful that I can have days like this now.

      Sitting at the dining table and using china makes me happy, too, and gives me a sense of dignity. I just started about two weeks ago and I now enjoy my meals much more.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So you are becoming more ok with being alone it sounds like. I need to work on that. I met an older single woman(older than us), who said that she decided that being single is ok. But that doesn’t mean you or I will end up that way, we might, but we might not. It sounds like you don’t need a lot of people in your life, just a select quality few, and I think I’d be ok with that too. I’m making friends slowly but can really say that I have only one friend right now, a good one, but there is an age difference so it’s not ideal. But don’t rule out older people as friends. You like me long for a husband, as long as he is a good man. I’ve learned and it sounds like you have too, that the men whom are ill, are far too damaging to be bothered with. But you know something else, it seems I had more friends when I was ill myself. I’m supposedly fairly mentally healthy these days but practically friendless. Perhaps if I had been well more of my life I’d have five or six friends now. It is risky to talk about our selves too much with others, we could be burned, but that’s the luxury we have here, we have some anonymity. I think that’s great that you treat yourself to the use of your China because you know you are worth it. I have some nice coffee cups that I know I like to use.

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    • Thanks for your comment, Ruby. I think I’ve always liked being alone, it’s just that I’m coming to embrace it and not think that there’s something wrong about me for it. It would be nice if we found husbands, but it sure is nice to be able to live in peace in the meantime.

      By unwell, I meant physically with CFS, but I still know what you mean by having more friends when we weren’t so concerned with how we’re coming across. I think I had the most friends at the times that I was pushing to be normal and just getting what I could. But that was before I was a Christian and would be popular in bars, etc., and having disastrous romantic relationships. Since then I’ve been wanting to climb out of the chaos that the world gives and learn how to live a joyful orderly life that God would want for me. I’m still in the process of getting out of the damage of my childhood to be able to do that.

      I have one or two coffee cups I love and use, too! I started making sure I had coffee cups I loved about 2 months ago. That’s what started me on actually using my china in the evenings. I get in the spirit of “making do” with things I don’t like when I decided I don’t get rewarded for having such an attitude. I think it’s from thinking I’m not worth it, an attitude I’m challenging and wanting to change.

      I talk about myself here on the blog in a way I’d never speak to anyone. It’s great we have this venue for sharing our thoughts anonymously.

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  2. YES. I said yes over and over as I read this piece. Profoundly related to every bit of it. I’ve had the dramatic relationships with self serving narcissistic men that shaved years off my life. They gave 10 percent to start with while I gave 90 percent. Their 10 percent of effort turned into a negative 150 all of which got sucked out of my bones. I could write 200 pages of absolutely piggish things men have said and done because having a relationship with someone raised by misogynist narcissists was such a set up to engage with (and marry) sociopaths narcs imbued with women hating mindsets

    I actually feel lonelier in a group of people than I do absolutely alone. My hearing is very poor which makes group talk extremely difficult and I don’t like to explain the dramatic story of how I lost most of my hearing. People either say “yeah I can’t hear either” when they don’t know how impaired I really am or it just doesn’t register what it means to strain terrifically to decipher what is being said. Hearing aids are outrageously expensive and don’t work that well in the first place

    For a long time I thought church would be different than lets say 2nd grade where the bullying starts. I found that so many churches are stuck there. “We don’t talk to her, she’s not one of us..” Or worse you become the group project where you are not liked because you are likeable but you are the person they tolerate because they are trying to be good Christians and fix you. That is what honesty gets you. It seems better in the Catholic church because you are kneeling and not talking to people because you are too busy being reverent thus you don’t see or feel the clique. I don’t feel lonely there, I feel desperately lonely in Protestant churches and the rest of the time I think solitude is quite delicious. Elegant, tranquil, lovely. I love my quiet evenings, reading and writing, praying and singing. It is heavenly. The wrong man and a whole lot of them never grew up and are wrong men are far, far far worse than any momentary loneliness.

    Before my last husband ran off with his secretary I remember feeling that the marriage was the loneliest thing I’d ever experienced.

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      • I grew up in a Baptist church and it was one of the last ones I tried. That last one was pro Trump, anti- Obama and so immersed in republican politics I just couldn’t do it. 5 decades struggling with places I didn’t fit in pushed me to look elsewhere. I am deeply welcomed in this little Catholic congregation. They called me out of the blue and told me “we pray for our new comers by name every week is there anything you need we can pray for” So, before I’m even committed to being there they are praying. I told them

        Yes, I need a job. That was before their Wednesday prayer day. Thursday I got a call for the interview. Tuesday I heard I got the job. This is after 2 years of looking! Anyway, I’ve found a place where I can sense their commitment to me and that makes all the difference. Thanks for thinking of me though

        Liked by 2 people

          • Thank you, I’m so overwhelmed and overcome with gratitude. Sometimes prayers we pray that don’t get answered don’t because there is something much better waiting for us. I pleaded for several jobs in the last 2 years that didn’t hire me. I get it now. I got what I needed most not what I thought I wanted. What I wanted was too small! Eye hasn’t seen or ear heard or the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for His beloved children.

            Liked by 1 person

        • This is all so wonderful for you! A more than welcoming church who is already praying for you AND a job too? Imagine that. This news is encouraging for the rest of us. I know you’ve been very patient. God is good.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you! I was so touched to find out they were praying for me already. That shift Luckyotter spoke about, its really happening for me. All the years I prayed for jobs that didn’t happen and now I understand, I wasn’t yet at the right place. God means to do us good even when we are desperately sad about how badly things seem to be going. He is preparing a place and making although we may be completely unaware of it! I’m glad this encourages others. Weeping may endure for the night, but job comes in the morning!

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  3. I missed getting your comments, as well as the others, for the last few days. I was so fatigued that my brain was shutting down and I could barely write a sentence without it feeling like climbing a mountain so I rested for a few days. Now I can write again and it’s nice to interact with all of you again!

    What came to my mind when reading your comment was how most men are imbued with the instinct to protect their wife (and children), as God intended. I thought, how strange that we got the men who didn’t have that instinct but, in fact, even wanted to do the opposite and actually harm us? It’s unnatural. Then it hit me – mother’s are supposed to protect and love their children but we were raised by mother’s that also did the opposite. I grew up feeling that my mother lived to be mean to me yet still accepted this twisted maternal anomaly on some level, very much without wanting to. I also didn’t have a father protecting me and so never saw this acted it out for me. In some strange way, men just knew that I wasn’t to be protected but to be destroyed, like I had a sign on my forehead. I think that sign kept the good men away who wanted to be protectors and signaled in the sharks who thought I was the answer to their dreams.

    I just had a weird time at a church I just tried out that had to do more with disingenuousness instead of narcissism. It was a Mennonite church but it’s one of the last conservative denominations out there so I thought I’d try it out. Problem is that it’s a small country church where they all grew up together, so the whole congregation was a clique unto itself. On top of it, I went with the woman that I’ve dropped due to her unrepentant anger issue and gossiping, and I’m not so sure if the weirdness was to me or more directed to her (she was brought up in that church). Anyway, I didn’t feel comfortable there and I didn’t feel God’s presence there at all. I feel Him more in my own living room than I did there. Being Mennonites, I think a lot of them identify with that more than they do with being Christians. That was my impression, and all I felt were alarm bells from God to not return. I actually do well on my own with my Bible and online sermons ( I like some of Times Square Church ones, although I liked David Wilkerson the best.) God knows through prayer that I’m looking forward to meeting fellow Christians, but it’s hard in a small town.

    You mentioned singing. After a whole lifetime of not being able to sing I was determined this year to learn. So I went to Youtube and started getting tips and after several months of practice I can actually enjoy listening to myself sing! I’m not a natural singer, but my voice is alright now. I would never have done that with someone else in the house (although my cat looked at me disgruntled for awhile until I got the hang of it). Just another great reason why it’s sometimes great to be alone! 😀

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  4. I can relate to this post so much. I too am alone, and don’t have much hope of ever finding another husband or relationship at my age. And it’s okay! I’ve learned to actually like my time alone, although others may find it strange. I do long for more connection with others IRL, but my time alone is not really lonely, because it’s time I spend talking to God and appreciating the wonders of nature God lays out before me. If I’d been in a relationship, even a healthy one, there’s no way I could have gained the insight I have or learned as much about myself. Being alone has allowed me to blog and get closer to God and finding out what his purpose for me really is. Maybe when he feels I’m ready, a relationship will come. But for now, I’m still just learning.

    Liked by 1 person

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