Just This One

I stopped.

I stopped blogging. I stopped writing. I stopped communicating. I stopped socializing. I stopped attending church. I stopped caring.

I am not an expert in any field. I have nothing new to say about life as a mom, as a single mom, as a surrogate or as any other classification that hasn’t already been said or published. I have no great insight to offer anyone that isn’t already available on the internet. My life as a parent is no more special than that of any other parent out in the world. And as far as single parenting goes, there’s nothing extraordinary about a divorced woman living in an expensive town raising a child who’s pretty much raising herself. I have no extraordinary disciplinary struggles, no extraordinary health struggles, no extraordinary school troubles, no extraordinary life troubles. For what purpose should I put my ordinary life on paper/internet, in a web log. There is nothing extraordinary to be gleaned from my life.

I left Facebook and Twitter at the end of September, 2013. Twitter was a place I used to make myself feel heard, because most the people I followed – and that followed me back – were single moms. But they all had something that made them unique; a blog about their child’s plan to save the world, a blog about their crafts, a job where they were paid to write about their sponsored adventures with their families. I used Twitter to complain about life. And Facebook. I left Facebook because I couldn’t handle the jealousy. Every time someone posted about their new job, their new house, their new puppy, their new baby, their new boyfriend, their next trip, their freaking fabulous dinner at a restaurant whose name I can’t pronounce without spending $50… I couldn’t take it. There’s a saying by someone famous that I’m too lazy to look up right now about “no one can make you feel a certain way, only you can do that.” Well, that’s pretty much it. I was feeling so utterly low about myself and my place in life, that looking at other people’s happiness, I made myself cry.

I guess I didn’t really stop socializing, because that would imply that I had a social life to begin with. Until very recently, I was the only one of my “close” friends (cuz I don’t have friends because I don’t socialize) that had a kid. My “friends” have lives, friends they see on a regular basis, hobbies they can afford to spend their money on, trips they take to see family and friends because their only responsibilities are to themselves. And that’s great for them. But it leaves us nothing in common except we used to know each other in high school or in bible study or at camp or we like to get drunk and sing into the wee hours of the night when the stars align and we can all finally get together once every 6 months. I just don’t do “friends” because I can’t be there for them when if they need me, and there’s really nothing they can give me in return – we just don’t have anything in common. We’re strangers that get along.

I lost my connection to the “Almighty” so long ago I’m not even sure I had one. That quote about the definition of insanity? That’s what it was starting to feel like. Why should I go somewhere or pray to something when I keep getting the same results over and over again – or, more accurately, when I was getting the same no results over and over again? If others believe, that’s fine for them and that’s fine for me. I don’t respect them any less and I don’t judge them for it. In fact, I envy them. I envy their ability to “keep the faith.” But I have none. I have no faith that there is something or someone watching over me, keeping me safe, waiting for me to open the right door to the path he/she/it wants me to take. And actually attending church wasn’t making me any better. People would look at me with that soft eye and ask in a slightly quieter voice so others wouldn’t hear – “How are you? Are you ok?” No, I’m not ok, thank you for bringing that up. Because – and here’s the kicker – it wasn’t like they could offer any help. They wanted reassurance that I was better because I’d had faith. Their only response when I said I wasn’t ok or that I was hanging in there was “It’ll get better soon.” No solid advice on how to make it better. No personal experience they could draw on to convince me to “hang in there.” The only “real” suggestion anyone made was that I see a shrink. Thanks, Mom. Apparently it’s not ok to have self-doubt and self-hate for so long. Good to know, I’ll keep that in mind.

And it looks like nothing will really change much in the future. I’m still out of the house from 7AM until 6:30PM each weekday and 100% responsible for my kid on weekends except when she’s at church on Sunday afternoons. That gives me 2.5 free (as in not paying a sitter) hours to have a social life. “Hi, my name’s Michelle. I’ve been divorced for 9 years, I work 8-5 in a dead-end job, I live in an expensive city because that’s where my free babysitters are, I have babies for other people, and I’m only available to see you for 2.5 hours on Sunday afternoons. Want to go out on a date?”

So that’s it. That’s where I am.

I’m still miserable. I’m still angry. I’m still single. I’m still alone even though I’m “surrounded by people who love you.”

This is me. I’m the same person I was before. I just don’t care anymore.

And I’d rather just have a pity party for one, thank you very much.

One thought on “Just This One

  1. Mary

    This is the best article about being a single mom that I have ever read. It is spot-on and exactly how I feel. Point for point, it is my life, straight out of YOUR mind. I wish I had a ray of light to share, but I don’t. I am a hamster on a wheel. Work. Sleep (sometimes). Repeat. Relief is what’s needed and without another set of hands, there is none. Regarding dating, I have come to the same conclusion as you. There’s no time for it. I have talked to counselors but have found no solutions. It’s like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. If people wanted to lend a helping hand, they would. They don’t. So here we are, isolated. Our social lives are a string of superficial interactions that don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what is needed.


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