Posted by Anonymous.
I want to go back and start again. This isn't the life I wanted. Not what I hoped for. And, calculating for the average lifespan, it's already more than half over. I am 43.
From the outside looking in, I'm sure it appears to be a good life. I have a good job. I managed, by myself, to raise a fine and successful daughter. Now that she is on her own, I have no real responsibilities other than my pets and my work. It seems that I should be happy.
But I am, at my core, alone. A crushing, pervasive loneliness that has plagued me since childhood. A solitary child at heart, I was forced to spend much time with a succession of babysitters while my Mom worked a staggering schedule after my father left us when I was 2. There were precious few programs for working mothers to avail themselves of in the late 1960's and early 1970's, so I was often shuffled from sitter to sitter, from family member to family member after school, on vacations and during the summer. My mother simply did the very best she could. I compensated by living another life in my head. A life with a family who surrounded me. Protected me. In my imaginary life, I was not a lonely, only child. I had older brothers who protected me. A father who didn't walk away. A mother who was able to devote time and attention to me instead of collapsing from exhaustion at the end of an 18 hour day.
As I grew into a teenager and young adult, the life in my head became less like a reality and more like a dream. The dream of a husband and kids and a house and happiness. For as long as I can remember, I always wanted a lot of kids. The hope of that dream sustained me. Even when I was at my lowest, I could always call upon the promise of that life.
The life in my head was the life I wanted. It still is.
Instead, I have a life that I have managed, in all honesty, to completely screw up. Other than my mother and my daughter, I have no close relationships.
I have not been in a relationship with a man for 20 years. Prior to that, I ruined every relationship I was in. I don't know how to change that. I don't know if I can. Maybe it's simply too late.
I just know that I don't want to spend the rest of my years lonely and alone. I want to lay next to someone again and whisper my deepest thoughts to them in the dark. I want to reach for someone's hand when I need strength and know that familiar touch will comfort me. I don't want to face the rest of my life by myself.
I still want that life in my head, but after all these years, maybe it's time to give up the dream.