There will be a moment in your life where you’ll just want to give up, but you must push yourself to continue. It’s those moments that make us STRONGER and make the next moment just a little easier.
Undoubtedly becoming a mother is one of the greatest gifts. You hold life in the palm of your hands. It truly is a god-like complex. As a woman, I should have read the fine print when choosing motherhood. You see no one told me all the dirty secrets behind being a mother. The endless 3 AM conversations you have with yourself, the constant burden of am I doing this right, or the utter grief when you have to do it alone. I highly doubt it would have changed my mind, but it might have saved me a little heartache.
My journey to happy, happy but lonely began 12 years ago. Naïve, young, and in love makes for a horrible combination in my experience. “True love” and a few bad decisions led to the child who would redirect my life. Now, I’d like to say that after having my oldest son at 17 years old and making my life about 10 times harder than it needed to be I had learned my lesson. This simply was not the case. I needed to learn this lesson again, twice as a matter of fact. Fast forward 18 months to the birth of my second son. At a point in my life where I had graduated high school and entered college I decided that I needed another hurdle to jump. Still young, still naïve, but this time longing for freedom I set my course for single motherhood. Over the next 3 years I had my weekends of freedom when my sons were at their father’s home. Now understandably so my early twenties were filled with a mixture of sippy cups, potty training, and carefree abandon. They say hindsight is 20/20 and my gosh that resonates so loud in my brain now. It was a whirlwind love affair with breaking hearts and keeping mine whole in the process. I’m almost certain I missed out on mister perfect for me, probably a few times. Which leads me to the final leg of this particular passage, rounding out my early twenties heading headlong into my mid-twenties I found my knight in shining armor. At least I thought he was a knight in shining armor, turns out he was really a douchebag in tinfoil. This led to the births of my third and fourth sons. Yes that’s right as you could predict I just had to do things the hard way. Go big or go home right?
So now that the basic background is set, we move forward with the utter loneliness of being a mother. It was a bitter cold and miserable lonely. I had a marriage, a home, and my children. Life was seemingly steaming full speed in the right direction. I somehow couldn’t shake the feeling that this wasn’t right. My life had taken on the endless task of shuffling boys to sports, grocery shopping, working 40+ hours a week, and neglecting my marriage. I harbored so much resentment for my husband because I felt I had to do the job of 40 people while he only did the job of 1. I’m sure I’m not the only mother to ever feel this way. Eventually you reach the point of no return in your marriage and it ends. BOOM! You have gone from fully functional 2 income nuclear family to single income divorcee mother of 4. Try listing that as a headline on any dating website much less advertising that to someone you are interested in dating.
You somehow transition your life from being a wife and having a partner in crime to this newer somewhat frailer version of yourself. See, no one tells you that when you get married you really do lose bits and pieces of yourself. Some bigger some smaller than others and some aren’t necessarily terrible things to lose. It’s the post nuclear fallout that is scary and where you realize what damage to your independence was really done. Take me for instance, prior to marriage I was a powerhouse. If something around my house broke I fixed it. I wasn’t above taking the trash out. I was independence defined. No one told me how or when to do something. My self confidence was at an all time high. My marriage handicapped me. It took away my self reliance. I had become complacent to my husband solving all the problems. I don’t think I can remember the last time I changed a light bulb. And then, with one good swift kick in the ass, here I am. Divorced, mother of 4, and lost.
I woke up one morning and I just wasn’t quite sure where to start. The most mundane tasks now seemed to require a chemical engineering degree to accomplish. It was the divorce diet. You lost weight, your dignity, and your soul. Have you ever tried to date someone who no longer valued romantic love. Sure there was the obvious rebound relationship to prove it wasn’t me that caused the issues. It lasted just long enough for me to hurt his feelings and build my self esteem. Over the next few years I found myself in various types of relationships. There were the one night stands, and even though there have been few and far between these seemed to build my confidence. They gave me just enough focused affection at one time to sustain my search. Then, there were the couple that made me question my sanity. Was I really fixing to date someone like my ex-husband again, no! After these relationships came the string of, “you’re amazing, great mom, beautiful woman, but……” and for one reason or another it just wasn’t a fit for him. It usually ended up being the fact that I had my own baseball team. Inevitably these are the ones that were most attractive to me. They were the best looking, we had the most fun, the chemistry was perfect. But, these would never be more than just passing relationships, their stepping stones to future marriages. I was the pre-wife. We all know that feeling of always a bridesmaid never a bride. These relationships are the epitome of that statement. Finally, there was the relationship that made me completely question what was wrong with me. The quintessential perfect man! He was handsome. It wasn’t a stop in your tracks handsome it was a subtle, hmm he’s attractive handsome. He was tall and manly. He had hobbies like hunting and fishing to occupy his time. He was stable and had an excellent job. Mr. Perfect had children of his own and was a doting father. I think the most important thing here that he possessed was his love for me. Without a shadow of a doubt this man was in love and would have done anything in the world for my happiness. And the one thing I couldn’t do was love him back. The one man who satisfied my every want and need, he had a check mark by every single one of my demands for perfection, AND I COULDN’T FIND THAT SPARK! This surely couldn’t be. We spend our whole lives searching for our soul mates. We are taught early on by Disney and the world that this life is nothing without your soul mate. That one person who completes you and you just can’t live without. He had to be my soul mate. He was after all perfect. So why couldn’t I do it. Why couldn’t I give back to him the one thing he so deservingly needed from me. In short, I don’t want it.
This friends is the “Realization of Lonely”. It’s finally being able to look in the mirror and say yes you are going to be lonely for the rest of your life. And it is due to your own foolishness. You see the idea of lonely has so many components. You seek what you can’t have and what you can have somehow doesn’t interest you. It’s the perfect complex of the grass is greener on the other side. I’d like to think that my story is different but its not. It is pure misery. The love I have for my own misery. I’m miserable in my loneliness for my male counterpart to sweep me off my feet. I’m miserable in the pursuit of love. I’m miserable in giving away my affection and forging deep emotional bonds with a man. I’ve somewhat struck a balance now long after the initial lonely came and went. I am happy with loneliness. We have come to comfort each other in this enduring misery, the cold winter of my life.