Loneliness. Isolation. Seclusion. Freedom. Depression.
These are just some of what I’ve been feeling since I moved into my new apartment. Yes, it’s “great” having my own place, setting my own rules, making decisions for my household, establishing independence. But it’s lonely. My daughter and I get along great (as do most parents with their 6yo), but after she’s in bed at 8, the loneliness kicks in.
A part of me enjoys the freedom to do whatever I’d like with my alone time: I can watch any movie/tv show I want, I can work out with my Wii… And that’s about it.
It’s hard to have any friends over, the few that I have left*. There are no guest parking spots in my complex, so visitors have to park on the street… if they can find a spot that’s not taken up by residents who have more than 1 vehicle in their family. Walking alone in the dark to and from their car that is parked 5-10 minutes away is not exactly welcoming.
And some part of me is still a “child” in that I have this intense urge to stay up as late as I can because I can. Like the teenager who throws a party when his folks are out of town. You do it because you can and because it gives you an instant thrill. But the toll staying up late takes is huge. I’m getting better at it, because I know better. But I still feel like I need to take advantage of my few hours alone. Again, not that there’s a whole lot I can do with it.
I can only hope that these feelings will subside or at least dull a bit. The “what’s the point?” feeling is starting to creep in.
*The few that I have left is in regards to the people I can count on one hand whom I see on a regular basis and don’t seem to mind hanging out with me. Being a single parent with limited resources (money, babysitters, money for babysitters) has seriously taken a toll on my friendships. I’m not asked anymore to go out for the night or the weekend, simply because it’s already known what the answer is. “Sorry, I can’t afford it.” or “Sorry, I can’t get a sitter.” or “Sorry, my daughter has an activity I have to be present/available for.” Why bother asking if the answer is always the same? I don’t blame anyone and I’m not angry at anyone; it is the way it is. But when one friend works nights, another has 4 “busy seasons” a year, another who is pregnant and getting her masters, and another who has her own life 20 miles away, it’s hard to get some quality face-to-face time. Someone suggested that I’ll probably make some friends in my new apartment complex,
but my answer to that is, “When?” When I’m feeding my daughter dinner? After I’ve put her to bed and can’t leave the house because it’s unethical to leave her alone? When I’m at church most of Sunday? When I’m napping on Saturday or Sunday because I’m so emotionally drained from doing this all alone during the week? Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m not alone. I have my family and my church family. But that hardly consoles me when the thrill of having my freedom ends at 8:15 PM each night.
Pity party for 1? Your table in the corner, away from the rest of civilization is ready. Your waiter will be right with you to take your order and ignore you for the rest of the night.