A little insight…

 

I’ve spent a big part of the day “blog surfing.”  I’ve not done much else today (although I did get “his” room [the computer/storage room – we call it “his” because he spends most of his time in here] pretty well cleaned; the kids keep coming in here trying to do somersaults on the floor because there’s room now!). Partly because of the fact that Hub’s not here – he’s off on another hiking trip.  But also because I’m feeling really drained today.  Part of that is the fact that I didn’t get much sleep last night (I always have a hard time sleeping when he’s away), and the other part is that I’ve been fighting something off the last few days, although I don’t know what.  I wake up with a sore throat and stuffy nose, but as the day goes on I seem to get better… only to have it all start again in the morning.

So I find this blog.  I start browsing around, doing searches for clarification (she seems to be real big on other people’s privacy and either uses initials or made-up names), and I came across something that hit me like a ton of bricks.

I know that there is a pervasive sadness in me these days, like a chill that won’t leave your bones in winter.    I know that it is loneliness, a multi-faceted kind … not just the lack of a romantic partner, but friends, professional purpose, unconditional support.

It hit me… that’s it!  That, right there, is a big part of my depression.

Despite the fact that I was a lonely, sad, depressed child, I always had friends.  Even while growing up in my hometown, where most of the kids in town saw me as the village idiot, I still had friends.  Maybe not a lot, but a few really good ones (one of which I’m still in contact with, believe it or not).  When I got older and “Mom” sent me to the group home (I might have to do a story-style post on that one for it to make sense), and I went to a totally different school, I somehow managed to find more friends than I’d ever had before.  It made me think, at the time, that maybe I wasn’t so bad after all.  How could I be making so many friends if I were really the monster other people said I was?

From then on, everywhere I went, I managed to make friends.  I remember the first job I had after having my oldest child.  I was only 19 and had almost nothing in the way of experience or skills, so I got a job as a dishwasher at a fast-food chicken restaurant.  My first night on the job, the other guys (I was the only female that worked there, period) were all going to one particular guy’s house to stage a boxing match between two of them, and they invited me to come as well.  They’d only known me for 4 hours and already they were saying “Hey! We’re going out… wanna come?”

My best friend – whom I miss desperately – was someone I’d met at work.  Funnily enough, she thought I was a b!tch when she first saw me.  Why?  Because I didn’t talk to her.  I didn’t talk to her because 1) she didn’t talk to me first (if she had, I would have certainly answered back – I’m not rude, after all) and 2) I didn’t know her.  Once I got introduced (we had a mutual office friend), I didn’t have a problem talking to her, and started inviting her to take her break with me.  We got to talking, and within weeks we were inseparable.

But here, I’ve only got one friend.  One friend in the whole world.  One who has enough problems of her own.  She also happens to be my next-door-neighbor.  And she was when we lived in our old house, too.  It’s because of her that we moved to this house – her boyfriend works for our landlord. 

M – that’s what I’ll call her – also has 4 children.  But they’re all pretty much grown – her youngest is 16, the oldest 21.  Being older doesn’t mean less work, though – they’re always putting her through the wringer.  Her oldest was constantly getting arrested for shoplifting when we first met – she even had MY youngest with her once (she had a long road building up my trust again, I can tell you that!).  The next one got pregnant at 16 and just had her second baby (by a different guy)a few days before moving into their new house.  She’s still bouncing between the two guys, even though the father of her older child is living with her right now.  The one and only boy seems to be the one that actually gives her the least trouble – except for the fact that he’s pretty much a leech.  He has a learning disability that has prevented him from being able to read.  But that doesn’t mean he’s stupid – actually, he’s far from it.  But it has sapped his confidence to such a level that he won’t even bother looking for a job – or even applying for benefits – because he can’t read.  He figures nobody will hire him because he can’t read, so why bother?  So he does nothing to really help his mother, except vacuum a few times a week.  But other than that, he’s not that much trouble.  (Oh, and he also has a child, but that baby is in care, so he doesn’t see his son much anymore – they used to have him every weekend, though.)  Her youngest keeps signing up to and dropping out of college – and it’s only October!  She’s only been IN college for 2 months!  A side ramification of this, though, is that it’s messing up M’s benefit money, and she owes so many people from borrowing for months that she can’t even think about asking anybody for help. 

She owes me £120, and I’m the one she owes the LEAST to.  I didn’t have a problem lending it to her, though – a few years ago, when our benefits were all messed up, I was constantly having to borrow money off of her in order to get through an entire month.  But I always paid her back immediately – the day our money went into the bank, I was knocking on her door, cash in hand.  For one thing, she was my friend, and if I’m going to borrow money from a friend I want to make sure I pay it back a.s.a.p., so as to not cause problems in the friendship.  For another, it’s just the way we are – whenever we (and by we, I mean Hub and I) have borrowed money off of anybody, we pay it back the very first chance we get.  We hate having to borrow money.  We like being self-sufficient.  But we have kids to think of, so if needs be, we’ll do it.

On top of all this, she has spiteful, trouble-causing sisters (not all of them, but a couple of them are real pieces of work); a very elderly (81) mother and stepfather who are in and out of the hospital (at one point she was going to her parents’ house 3 times a week to get her stepfather ready to go to the hospital for dialysis), and she’s the ONLY one who runs to help whenever one of them need something – her sisters don’t lift a finger.  She has a boyfriend who works his a$$ off to provide for them, but because of what he does (he hand-delivers menus to people’s doors), it’s never enough.  And when he comes home, he goes straight to their bedroom and doesn’t come out again ’till morning (unless he needs the toilet, of course).  She even delivers all of his meals and drinks to the bedroom for him.  I complain that my hubby isn’t much help around the house, but M’s boyfriend doesn’t even pretend to be available for help.

I write all of this not to gossip about my one and only friend, but to make it clear that this is a woman with a lot on her plate.  This is not just me saying “oh, I didn’t want to bother you.”  This really is a woman who is being pulled in a million directions at once and I truly don’t want to add to her burden.

But it’s those last two words in the quote that I’m so desperately missing.  “Unconditional support.”  I don’t have that.  I’m not sure my Hub is capable of it, and besides, when I need it, he takes things the wrong way.  For example, shortly after the affair, he and his sister were invited to the engagement party of an old school friend.  He asked me if it was okay for him to go, and I said to him “to be perfectly honest, I’d rather you didn’t.”  He immediately got angry – he actually thought I was trying to tell him he couldn’t go.  Which was totally not what I was saying.  I was simply being honest about my feelings – I said exactly what I meant.  I would have rathered he didn’t go, because then I wouldn’t have to worry about what he might be getting up to without me around.  But I wasn’t in any way, shape, or form trying to tell him he couldn’t go.  All he had to do was validate my feelings, and give me some words of reassurance.  But instead he got angry.  I did eventually calm him down and explain myself, and he did end up going to the party with his sister, but things would have been so much easier if he had just taken my words at face-value instead of trying to read my meaning into it. But — and I hate to say this — that happens a lot.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to explain myself to him, because he takes it the wrong way or reads something into it that’s not there.

I say what I mean and mean what I say, but he’s always looking for the “hidden meaning” behind my words.  Only there isn’t any.  After years of taking things the wrong way from people who actually meant well, I learned to stop reading into what they said and started taking what they say at face value.  And I figured that if I’m going to do that, then I’d better really mean what I say, otherwise somebody’s going to misunderstand me.  That’s a double-edged sword, though.  If I’m going to say that “I mean what I say,” then I’d better not say something purely out of anger, because most likely I’m not going to really mean it, it’s just going to be the anger talking.  Which is why I try to be so careful of what I say.  It all goes back to the words thing.

But regardless, I don’t have any sort of unconditional support system.  I used to, though, and I think that’s why it’s been bothering me so much.  I’ve never been so isolated in my life.  He doesn’t realize just how lonely I am, and that I really need companionship.  But on the other hand, I realize that I can’t rely on him for my every emotional need.  However, having said that, there isn’t anybody else around.  So I’m either putting too much pressure on him to be what I need him to be, or I’m bottling it all up inside.  Neither way is good, and both contribute to the severity of my depression.

The thing is, I knew I was lonely and I knew why I was lonely, but it’s one of those things that you don’t truly realize the full meaning of until somebody else points it out – or, as in my case, until you read somebody else write what you yourself are really feeling, only you don’t know exactly how to put it into words. 

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~ by nuckingfutz on October 13, 2007.

2 Responses to “A little insight…”

  1. […] nuckingfutz wrote a fantastic post today on “A little insight⦔Here’s ONLY a quick extractSo he does nothing to really help his mother, except vacuum a few times a week. But other than that, he’s not that much trouble. (Oh, and he also has a child, but that baby is in care, so he doesn’t see his son much anymore – they used … […]

  2. I’m glad that something I wrote could be a beacon for you. To me, that’s always been the purpose of blogging, of putting it all out there instead of keeping it in a diary next to my bed. Because someone may come along and see something which helps clear the clouds in their soul and feel less alone … or, sometimes, someone may see in our words something about our lives that we ourselves, with our myopia, miss.

    Yes, I do tend to keep things very private, though, I don’t want any of the people in my life to find this accidentally and cause me to take it down or move it yet again … I’ve gone through that a half dozen times in four years. Anyway, it’s more about the dynamics than the identities of the players themselves. Funny enough, when I talk to my girlfriends about the men in my life, I call them by name, and they always say, “wait, who’s that, TTG, right? Or is it The Blogger?” So privacy is not without its side effects. 😉

    Be well and thanks for reading.

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