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Loneliness

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I don't know if I'm posting this in the right section, but I was wondering if anyone has experienced something like what I'm experiencing or perhaps has any advice.

I feel like perhaps I have mild but chronic loneliness. I get along with pretty much everyone, I don't think I really have enemies, I have a great husband and family, and lots of support from family and friends. You'd think that I was a pretty happy person. But somehow, I still feel a loneliness, fitting in, but not really. I wouldn't say I'm depressed, b/c I don't think that's the case. But it's just this constant feeling of not really fitting in anywhere. I think I've always felt like this. Even as a toddler at 3 years old I'd cry and tell my mom I didn't belong here and that home was somewhere else, and that I could go there when my work "here" was done.

I am not really sure what to do. As I said, I have a pretty nice life, great family and friends. I have a pretty strong faith as well. But I think I just wish I fit in somewhere. I have a lot of things in common with many different types of groups, but I don't really have a group that I feel I belong to. Maybe I'm just being dramatic...

So, anyone know what I'm talking about?? Advice?

Thanks :)

post #2 of 17

I think you might want to reconsider if you are depressed? You sound down to me. Sometimes depression is mild and long term .

 

Although, I think I might not be understanding what you mean by "fit in", I was expecting you to say you had no friends, but with a nice life, and great family and friends, that sounds like fitting in very well to me! Do you feel like you belong to the group that is your family? smile.gif

post #3 of 17

You might try looking to into New Age Spirituality. Some people believe that our souls come here for different reasons, and they would say that your soul was able to retain an awareness of your true identity and purpose. They would say that you are still aware of it on some level, even though the details of fuzzy.

 

The writings of Kryon come to mind, and The Journey Home is the best place to start. It is really, really out there stuff and most people would find it a little nutty, but a lot of it rings true for me.

 

As a small child, I used to sit in church quite sure that everyone was pretending and put on a big show, just to see if I would fall for it. I thought it was all a big game, a drama. I was about 4. 

 

At about the same age, I would look at pictures of our family, which had 4 people in it, and sing the Sesame Street song: "3 of these things belong together, 3 of these things are kinda the same. One of these things is not like the other...." and then I would just look at my mom and laugh. It drove her bonkers.

post #4 of 17
hug2.gif I am lonely, too.
post #5 of 17

This is so weird b/c I was just going to come on and post something similar today, b/c I keep feeling I don't quite fit in. You are not alone. I feel like this all the time. I have tons of friends and acquaintances, am involved in community groups and live in a friendly area - yes, my family live in another country but I like having a healthy distance from them as they are pretty toxic - people see me as confident and outgoing, I have a boyfriend currently, yet I have always struggled with this feeling of not belonging too. It's like all the groups and people around me contain elements that I can relate to, but ultimately none of them are completely right for me.  Currently I live alone with my son and I would love to live in community with others but I am so scared somehow, and don't know how to find the right situation and people.  I agree with Linda on the Move that it's worth looking into spiritual answers for these things...it's all that's made sense to me.

 

I find I only really feel myself when I am alone, in nature, and then I don't feel lonely. Is there a situation where you feel like that too? Funnily enough I feel at my most lonely when I'm with others but not distracted by their talking - e.g. at a dance class, or with my son when we're just in the park and I've got no one to talk to and distract me from this emptiness. I have found being a stay at home mom so hard because I could not escape into my own world - I've always lived a lot in my own little world since I was a child - and had to just constantly deal with another human being, without any support - that to me was the height of loneliness.

Anyway, sorry if I've hijacked your thread a bit.  I don't know if any of this helps, but you are not alone, and I think you might benefit from perhaps looking into your life purpose and what really connects you and brings you 'home'.

post #6 of 17

Friends and Family are wonderful things to have, but it sounds to me like you need Community. Tribe. Probably Women. Virtual ones can be amazingly helpful, but the ones in your life help the loneliness to dissolve. Blessings.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you ladies for your replies :) I really appreciate them.

 

Greenmulberry- I'm pretty sure I'm not depressed, at least as far as what I have learned about depression in nursing school and also just researching. Rather than wanting to withdraw from people, places and things, I actually yearn for a deeper connection with people. As I said before I have friends and get along with pretty much everyone, but I think I'm missing the depth of relationship that I crave. Perhaps that is my own fault. I am thinking lately that I can't really express who I am fully to any of my friends. Maybe one, I think she would like to listen, but probably not understand. My mom and husband know my thoughts, but again, though they love me very much and sympathize, most of the time they don't really know what I'm talking about as they have never shared in those thoughts or feelings. So I guess in that regard, I don't really fit in. Of course we have a lot in common as well, but when it comes to some of the things I think about and feel, they are lost.

 

Linda on the move- I have sort of dabbled in some New Age spirituality, both before and after I became a born again Christian. Although, I am sort of having a conflict, b/c while I believe in God (very much) and Jesus, I am not sure about Christianity if that even makes sense. This is not a statement against Christians as I know many fabulous Christians, but there is just this strange nagging. It is also uncomfortable for me b/c then of course I ask myself what voice is it that I'm hearing? B/c it goes against what I have been taught is right. On the other hand I am also grateful for this uncomfortable feeling b/c it gives me insight as to how others feel when people try to make them change their faith and how scary that can be for them. Your experience as a child sounds a lot like mine! I feel that I have become almost too good at saying and acting in such a way as people expect is right/normal that I'm having trouble figuring out who/what I really am. And then, I ask myself, am I delusional? LOL, it doesn't help that I've taken courses in abnormal psychology and I'm currently in my Psychiatric rotation for nursing school.

 

KittyWitty-hug2.gifback at you!

 

Devaya- I am glad that you feel similar! It is nice to know that I am not alone. I never really thought that I was the only person in the world feeling this way, but always wondered how do I find the others? It's so funny that you mention nature, b/c that is actually where I love it the most. I even had my wedding outside b/c I just feel at home there. I feel the beauty and awe of God's creation, the wonder of the tiniest details in nature to the most awe inspiring thunder storms (although, I can't say I'm a fan of the snow we got last week! took my husband 5 hours to do a 40 minute commute). Another time, a good friend of mine from high school committed suicide, it was pretty awful for everyone, but I didn't go to the funeral. Not because I couldn't handle the emotions, but I remember thinking, why should I go there? He isn't there, it's just his body. Instead my boyfriend(who is now my husband) took me up to the mountains for the day and that is where I felt like I could feel my friend's spirit and the comfort of God.

 

As I kind of mentioned above, perhaps my loneliness is my own fault, b/c I don't feel at liberty to really be my true self with anyone b/c it's sort of just out there. I think it makes a lot of people uncomfortable, as I have sort of tested the waters with some people and felt it was probably best not to continue. Not b/c they would shun me, but I could tell that they either had absolutely no idea, they were really uncomfortable or they would argue with me. So I keep it in. But I feel that perhaps God wants me to let it out no matter how strange it may seem to other people. Interestingly enough, I got a massage and had Reiki for the first time right before Christmas. And at the end, the reiki therapist (um is that even the correct terminology?) said, "the whole time I was working on you I kept feeling like you were an angel. I felt like your throat chakra was imbalanced (which apparently may signify that I don't say all that I want to) and I felt like I am supposed to give you a message 'to not be afraid to be who you are'. " I thought that was very interesting, and timely.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RootsAlive View Post

Friends and Family are wonderful things to have, but it sounds to me like you need Community. Tribe. Probably Women. Virtual ones can be amazingly helpful, but the ones in your life help the loneliness to dissolve. Blessings.



I agree! I really hope I can find my tribe. I think it's about the right time :)

post #9 of 17

i understand what you are saying and your description "chronic loneliness" really resonates with me. i have never fit in and i used to struggle with this but when i hit my 30s i decided to accept myself for who i am. i'm a lot more content now that i have decided that i am just different from most people, and i am ok with the possibility that i may never fit in. you will just have to look ten times as hard to find similar-minded folks, but we are out there! we might be staring at the moon or hiding in a cave listening to the rainwater drip or we might even be at the playground or library, pretending like we are normal.

what you said about knowing at the age of three that you were different reminds me of a book i read called THE SEARCH FOR OMM SETY. not that you necessarily believe in reincarnation, but it was interesting. she "knew" at the age of three that she had lived in ancient egypt. it might be a little bit "out there" but who knows, maybe it will make you feel better, knowing there are other lonely people out there.

i'm glad that you have a supportive husband and family - they may not totally "get" you in all the deep places but maybe what you're looking for is already inside you, cheezy as that sounds, and no one else can give it to you. best of luck to you

post #10 of 17

I often feel something similar...it seems like most other people belong to a subculture where they fit in easily.  All they have to do is conform to the norms of the group, and the group will meet their needs.  But there's no one group for me; I span several incompatible subcultures, and there's nowhere (except with my husband) where I can totally fit in and feel at home.  Recently I was feeling a lot of guilt, and realized that it was because whatever I chose to do, one or another of my subcultures would disapprove.

 

As a Christian, I think that there is some purpose to this, that God is calling my family to be cross-pollinators who carry good ideas across subcultural boundaries.  That also helps me to deal with the false guilt; if I am doing what God wants me to do, then it is good.

 

I also find as an introvert that it's very difficult to build relationships that are deep enough to be satisfying.

post #11 of 17

I am feeling much the same way, yearning for a deeper connection with others.  It's been difficult for me to make good friends all my life.  I've never had someone I could call a best friend.  I've always felt like I have to be a certain way, a way that isn't really me, to fit in and be liked.  I've decided to try to get over the loneliness by asking some friends for more of a relationship.  I feel like I need to be honest.  They may run, but they may not!  I wish I could sit down with you IndigoCoi and chat because some of what you have written sounds like I could have written it myself. 

post #12 of 17

I am *so* happy I found this thread!  I too always feel chronically lonely.  I feel like I have to make a conscious effort to connect with people and that I am always putting on a show.  And perhaps it is my own fault as well because I never let my true self out.  That being said, I don't really know who my true self is. I know I am not depressed; I have a lot of experience with depression.  But I always feel on the fringe and never forge true connections.  It is so comforting to know others feel this way.  Thanks, IndigoKoi, for the thread.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

I am so happy that my little post has helped to bring some of us lonely people together. I really wasn't even sure I would post anything at all, as it's been almost a year or so since I've been on this forum. But it has been nagging me so much lately, I felt like I needed to have an outlet for my feelings somewhere. I would really love to get to know all of you better, as I have never met people that can relate to what I'm saying/feeling. So please feel free to keep this thread going, PM me or maybe we could even start our own tribe on here for all the lonely people (like the Beatles song!)

 

Wornoutmama- I looked up a review on the book you mentioned, and it really looks fascinating. I would love to read it as soon as I get some more free time from school. (I say school, and it makes me sound like a young kid, but in reality I'm much closer to 30, eek!)

 

Vaske- Recently I was feeling a lot of guilt, and realized that it was because whatever I chose to do, one or another of my subcultures would disapprove. EXACTLY. I feel like I've always been some strange combination of opposites. I was an athlete/jock(gymnastics, cheerleading and track) for most of my younger life and through college, which does not mesh with the "nerdy" side of me that really likes anime and sci-fi/fantasy. In the spiritual/faith realm, I am a believer of God and Jesus, but I am also drawn to aspects of other faiths/beliefs/practices etc. In the Christian world, you really can't reconcile that as they say "You can't serve two masters".  I am even a mix of races, Filipino/Caucasian. As for God, I have always known God is with  me. I have had the most amazing and profound dreams. In fact, one of the most prominent and important ones was when i was 21 and God told me to "Shine your light on the world, until the day of judgement comes".

 

jjclifton- Bravo to you for having the courage to be honest. I hope I can get there, soon. To be honest with myself and then be honest with the people around me. Hope we can get to know each other better!

 

Chewynotcrunchy- I'm glad you found this thread too.

 

Thank you ladies. I may not know any of you in real life, but even this small interaction on the internet has really helped me to feel less lonely. It is a relief to find people that can understand what I'm talking about, without judging me or possibly being concerned for my mental well being orngtongue.gif

post #14 of 17
I used to feel them SAME way. I think now it's was mostly due to my struggles with my faith.. I wrote a blog about that on my page... http://everevolvingeve.blogspot.com/ if you ask anyone they wouldn't say that I'm socially awkward at all, just the opposite. But still I alway felt awkward, just that not quite fitting in feeling. But now that I have truly let God back into my heart and let Him take the lead I feel so much more at peace with myself. Everything seems so much clearer, my priorities are in order. For me the place that I found I fit best is with my husband and kids. We don't go to church... That was part of my prob with "religion". We live in a small town and I wasn't able to find a good fit for us but I have found other ways to make Him a central part of our lives. The Bible truly does have all the answers.
post #15 of 17

 Quote:

 I am *so* happy I found this thread!  I too always feel chronically lonely.  I feel like I have to make a conscious effort to connect with people and that I am always putting on a show.  And perhaps it is my own fault as well because I never let my true self out.  That being said, I don't really know who my true self is. I know I am not depressed; I have a lot of experience with depression.  But I always feel on the fringe and never forge true connections.  It is so comforting to know others feel this way

 Wow, I can totally relate to this. Sometimes I think people just dont go deep enough for me. I have recently relocated and have left behind a few people that I can go deep with, and now am sort of in, mainly on the fringes of a social circle where Im surrounded by people giggling at stupid jokes, talking about the weather and child developments but not parenting, and other very superficial stuff. Dealing with a touch of ppd and anxiety, I really want to reach out and have someone to talk to, not commiserate with, but talk to. Im afraid it would freak everyone out and (because Ive heard gossip about others) put me at the center of something actuallly substancial to talk about. I feel very lonely, and not for lack of people. For lack of depth. I make efforts with people to show that I am there and that I can be relied on (both in this social circle and my last one) and people gladly accept help, a shoulder to cry on, emotional support, but when it comes back to me, I dont feel like people have the time. I am not mopey, or a downer, I guess like quoted post, I put on a show most of the time. This show is cracking since I had my child, as I dont have the time or the energy for others like I did before and they have dropped me from their radar it seems since I am not contributing to their betterment. This is really a downer I realize. It is just nice to vent unanamously. I would never say any of these things to anyone face to face.

post #16 of 17

I read your original post and wanted to respond but couldn't find the words.  So I didn't.  I'm still not sure I can find the words to explain what I want to say, but I want to try anyway.

 

I feel the same way . . . I've never thought of it as loneliness, just as a kind of separateness.  I have a group of friends I've had since high school that I still talk to occasionally . . . like once a year or so (except my DH and my SIL, who I clearly talk to more than that).  They all feel the same way.  Although some of them don't put it into words (mostly the guys, maybe?).  I've talked about it most with my SIL.  She thinks (and I tend to agree) that everyone kind of feels like they don't belong, or that others don't really understand them, or that they're socially awkward, or that they are "faking" fitting into some group or another.  I know that our little group feels that way, every one of us to some degree or another.  Like we're this little island of weirdness that others can't or won't understand.

 

My parents had diverse groups of friends while I was growing up, and I think that helped me feel like it's normal to not fit into any one group.  They had bible studies at our house and went to them at the neighbors' (once a week, if I remember correctly), they went to parties with the ex-bikers, they were friends with the justice of the peace and the editor of the newspaper (small town).  They kept in touch regularly after they moved away with some of the old farmers who hadn't even finished elementary school and had never really left the town they grew up in.  I think that this showed me that it was normal to have aspects of your personality that worked with different groups, that you could be a cohesive person and still have connections to many different subcultures.

 

But I know at least some of my friends are tortured by this.  The single ones especially worry that they'll never find someone that can accept them as a whole person, only people who like one aspect of them and want them to just be that.  I'm not sure it's true, but I'm not sure it's not either.  It seems like, for the most part, people do try to take me for who I am . . . or maybe I'm just naive.  And I try to take them for who they are too.  I assume that if I'm feeling unsure of how someone sees me, the other person is probably feeling unsure too.  And I try to make them feel at ease.  Sometimes it kind of backfires on me, because they weren't ill at ease at all, and now they think that I was asking to be their doormat . . . or to be told who they think I should be, I guess.  So I just don't interact with them anymore.

 

I have had one really heartening (is that a word?) experience, where I met someone at work and immediately liked her and connected with her.  She felt the same, and we had a bit of a "friend-romance", where we had a lot of time to get to know each other (we were working on a small crew in the middle of nowhere for 6 months).  We had enough in common to really feel like we understand each other most of the time, without any effort.  It's a beautiful and rare thing.  In fact, I think I will go call her right now, I haven't talked to her for too long.

 

Thanks for starting this thread!  I hope my ramblings have some semblance of pertinence.

post #17 of 17

 

Quote:
 Sometimes it kind of backfires on me, because they weren't ill at ease at all, and now they think that I was asking to be their doormat . . .

 I can totally relate to this.

 

Quote:
 

I have had one really heartening (is that a word?) experience, where I met someone at work and immediately liked her and connected with her.  She felt the same, and we had a bit of a "friend-romance", where we had a lot of time to get to know each other (we were working on a small crew in the middle of nowhere for 6 months).  We had enough in common to really feel like we understand each other most of the time, without any effort.  It's a beautiful and rare thing.  In fact, I think I will go call her right now, I haven't talked to her for too long.

 I do believe this exists, and if OP you are looking for something like this, I dont think it is something that can be forged or forced. I had this once too and it happened very naturally.

but I also dont believe that not really fitting into any group of people, and feeling lonely are the same thing. Not that that is what you are saying, but I guess could be taken that way? I am amazed at hearing how common this is....not to hijack this or anything......just my 2cents.gif

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