I Am Lonely

“I am lonely.”

With those three words came tears, unexpected words, unexpected tears, no plan to this, the world I had created cracking, splitting open. And those were the three words. I am lonely. And for me, for me, nothing could have been more painful to hear myself speak.

The room was dark and when I read the entry dated July 18, 2006 on the blog
Coming Out At 48 – and in that darkness, in my own darkness, my own isolation, I felt like his words were my own. As if I had written the words that I was reading on the screen, his thoughts and feelings were so close to my own.

And continuing…

I am lonely. These three words, they weren’t just hard for me to say, they shamed me. And I use that word, shame, I use it carefully, I know the weight psychologists give to shame, I understand its implications. I was so ashamed of being lonely, lonely in middle age, lonely in the midst of family, of friends. How could I have reached this point? How could I have reached this age and feel without real friends? A man without real connections? How could that be? How could that have happened?

But now, yes, I’ve been through so much this past year, such a life change, and I understand something of this. I see now that holding secrets, holding secrets from myself and from my family and from my friends, holding these secrets slowly, slowly slipped me further from those around me. The distance, that distance I felt as a physical fog, gradually drew me away. You can only get if you have been given, people can’t respond if you haven’t given them anything to respond to. And little by little I became isolated. And lonely, and too ashamed to admit it, until that day a couple of years ago when I folded in on myself.

I am lonely – those are the words that are hard for me to say as well, not I am gay. This post is one I have been wanting to write and at the same time have procrastinated about writing. And someone described as a wordsmith finds herself without words, or without words that flow smoothly, coherently forward.

I am lonely – and it is such a vulnerable thing for me to share and I have such a hard time with surrender, with vulnerability . It’s so embarrassing, how I have allowed this to happen. 45 years old and feeling as if, on so many levels, I am just beginning to live an authentic social life – that I wasted so many years when the ass was firm and I had a single chin. I am lonely spoken from the woman who “never needed anyone” – the merry recluse, happily independent. Acquaintance to everyone, close to no one.

Unlike other late bloomers who married and had children, I have never been married. Close on one occasion but I knew that it was not something I wanted to do. I didn’t know all the reasons why, simply that it was not what I wanted. Love and marriage felt like something that would take away who I was, like I would suffocate, so I avoided it.

And during that time when my friends were marrying and having children I felt like my life was vastly different from theirs – friends want to fix you up, relatives ask you if you are dating, your parents fret over your future. I did not want to get married, I did not want to be fixed up. I had an affair with a married man – the relationship was free of any “real” commitment. The perfect solution for me was to couple up with someone that was unavailable. Ironically I didn’t want him when he wanted to marry me only when he was not available on that level to me.

That was my way of covering up. Denying. Repressing – the web I wove was so intricate I didn’t realize I had trapped myself. Of course when I look back on my life I realize I have spent it in love with women, which explains why I had intense friendships that would dramatically end. I was in love with my friends.

And as another way to cover – I threw myself into my work, my work (did I mention my career) – my home, and garden, and hobbies. I was happy with a small circle of friends but also I was isolating myself further and further from social connections.

And finally I came out to myself, the process started in my late thirties – I can’t say a significant relationship did that. I did have an undeniable crush but it never became more than another significant friendship, that dramatically ended. And I came out and I lost a few friends (mostly ones I walked away from) but still you go forward.

So here I am – 45 and lonely and creating an entire social structure and life and it feels exhilarating, and frustrating and awkward and yes lonely. I am lonely.

Oh I’ve been dating, and dating, and dating…it turns out when I started dating women, I started dating lots of women. I’m not having the beautiful, loving, relationship that draws you out and changes your life rather I’ve been a bit of a slut. Oh I have met lovely people, and crazy people – and I am sure my dating experiences would be great comic material. I want Woody Allen to write the screenplay.

Many of the women have been in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy and social work (and I think that says enough). Heavy inflection of sarcasm…there is a sadness in needing therapy, after you date the lesbian therapist. And no she wasn’t my therapist – I have not had any therapy, nor am I medicated, that is perhaps my problem.

The first time you kiss a woman it is so bad – (not kissing a woman, kissing this specific woman) so you try again, again, again – nope this is awful. And so it goes, she goes – you search for a sense of humor, the irony that is your coming out experience. When do the angels start signing, when do the violins start to play?

This is nothing like I thought it would be. – Laurie Anderson

But I am inclined to think some of my horrid mistakes, oops lovely dates (I hate that I can’t figure out how to do strikethroughs with blogger) may read this blog and so I think I will avoid any “kiss and tell stories” and simply say I have not had that beautiful coming out story and relationship yet.

And yeah I have been trying to search for meaning, yes I’d like to find someone to share my life with.

But for now, I am lonely. This middle aged lesbo tramp has not had a date for two months – not even a bad one. She feels too old to cruise the bars, everyone my age, it seems, has “been there and done that” and “no thanks we don’t want to go back”.
Sigh.

I am lonely, it gets easier to say but tell me, tell me, there is something I can do besides heading back to “on-line dating”. Although attempting on-line dating does provide one with a lot of humorous material to blog about.

Sigh.

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3 Responses to “I Am Lonely”

  1. MLC,
    Bravo to you for writing this post so openly. That takes courage. When I read it, though, I think that you have been “spying” on my life. It is sad indeed to feel you need therapy after dating the lesbian therapist. The last woman I dated was a social worker, and she was so screwed up….
    I hope you are not serious about thinking not having therapy or medication is your problem. I think it is important to feel your feelings to their full extent and not dull them or blunt them with a pill. A pill is the easy way out, and nobody gets out of this life without some pain. Nobody! Some people are just better at masking it than others.
    I don’t know what to say about the online dating because I have given up on that option. After the social worker fiasco, I’d rather be alone than be with the wrong woman. I have good friends, a great church, and a solid relationship with my family…so I have a full life on my own. But, hey, if you’re ever in Kansas City, let me know and we’ll have coffee!

    Sheryl

  2. Regarding therapists, social workers – having worked in a non-profit and in animal welfare, I can say compassionate fatigue is a real issue and problem.

    One works in a field where one is constantly exposed to a great deal of pain and suffering, with little relief and very low pay.

    It’s difficult and draining.

    And re: the therapist…ironies all around as she is a relationship therapist but hey some of my dogs are heathens and I am a dog trainer.

    Thank you for your comments-
    MLC

  3. After two marriages and two divorces, I lived alone for seven years. Then I fell in love with a woman at 49. My skin finally fit me! Our relationship lasted five years.

    When we parted, I lived alone for two years. I had only been with one woman in my life, so was anxious to love again. Finally a year and a half ago, we met online. Soon we were talking by phone, and four months ago we started seeing each other.

    I miss her when we are apart, but I do not feel lonely. Lonely seems like a lack. You lack nothing. Maybe you just feel alone?

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