Saturday, June 09, 2007

Answer to Amanda's Question.

“I'm just wondering whether you've been lonely the whole time you've been in the US, or whether this is a recent thing, or an on and off type thing. I can imagine that moving to a new country where you know next to no one must be really difficult.”

Technically, I had more friends here, than I did back home in Aus, when I first moved to the States. However, they were scattered across the whole country. Whereas in Aus, they were no more than an hour's drive away. And of course, my large family was there as well. Here, our geographically-closest relatives are almost a thousand miles away. Our emotionally-closest? Double that.

At first I wasn't lonely. Homesick, yes, actually lonely, no. Going to bed every night with my husband was the biggest reason not to be lonely. ;) We had a handful of friends living within an hour's drive also, so we got to visit people at least once every so often. We also made more trips up to visit friends in the northern parts of the state once or twice a year. Relatives and friends came to visit us, etc.

Then, over time, that's changed.
Local friends; one couple divorced, he moved several states away, her and her family we don't see anymore. Another friend got married, see less of him (as it happens sometimes). Some other friends moved away also, or drifted emotionally, again, as it happens.
Long Distance People; we realised if we wanted a house of our own that we couldn't keep doing the trips. Plus, I was an emotional wreck after every single trip.

So, yeah, in some ways I was lonely, and couldn't admit it to myself. How down I was after each trip, should have been an indicator, but I took it as no more than being depressed and/or homesick. I was also on the pill at that point, so I was hormonally screwed up, but unaware of it, until early last year.

The Lonely has gradually raised its hand, and begun waving it about wildly until I've finally noticed. Now, its talking my ear off! I haven't seen my side of the family since December 2004. Alaskaboy's side, we haven't seen since December 2005. We've had a few visits to/from friends in that time, but nowhere near what it was the first couple of years of our marriage.

Also, at the last place we lived at, there was other tenants that he'd known the whole time he'd lived there, and I'd known for a long time as well. I mean, the landlady even came to our wedding, and we went to her daughter's. History, and what we thought was friendship. But, was in fact mere acquaintanceship. People I could natter at and interact with when I was feeling the cabin fever especially hard.

Moving to the new apartment has torn asunder the illusions that I've been hiding behind these last four years. It's shown me how unsatisfactory I found those acquaintanceships, and just how little those people thought of us, and us of them. Not one offered us their new phone number or addresses. Not ONE! Yes, that did hurt, but it also freed me from the last of my lingering delusions. And made me realise, I really didn't have the desire to give them ours, either.

Now, is when I've realised just how little I've actually invested in my new home. Yes, I have friends and family far and wide...but what about the near? Friends don't magically turn up on your doorstep and say, “Saw your light on, thought I'd drop in.” Friends become friends by interaction and shared memories. How much interaction do I get sitting here on my bum at the computer? Plenty of far and wide once again, but none nearby. How can I call this my home, when I'm not here, emotionally. The only connection I have to this town is my husband, and that's not a healthy way to live. What it is, is a lonely one.

I'm lonely at the moment, but at least I'm no longer afraid to live my life. Fear of the unknown, fear of the past repeating itself, and plain old fear of the new kept me prisoner in the old house. And the house, it too was keeping me down and depressed. I didn't realise how much, until we moved away. As my sister-in-law said, “You've both been crowbarred up and out of your rut!” It was painful, but now that I'm up and out and the wind is in my face, and I feel so much better. Lonely, but better. Good thing is, lonely can be fixed, now that I know how I'm feeling.

4 Nibbles:

Wanna_B_slim said...

Wow... Very well written..you have alot of expression in your words...
I can understand what you are talking about. I hope you manage to find a way out of your loneliness. Have you tried finding part time work possibly just in a very basic job where you will have contact with lots of people???
I really dont know anything about where you live... so unsure as to what you have close to home..
I couldnt possibly imagine what it would be like to be at home day in day out.. As I have two children so I am out and about all the time... and I mix easily with all walks of life...
I hope you can pick yourself up soon... and get out there and have some fun...
Take care...

Amanda said...

Thanks Kada- certainly a much more in depth answer than I was expecting. I think you're right though- lonely can be fixed, now that you know you're lonely. Maybe spending more time, investing more effort into interest groups is the thing, but I'm sure you'll come up with something.

xx

Kada said...

Thanks, Nannette. That was pretty much a case of typing as I think. Hence, the long-windedness of it all. But, then again, I am not known for my conciseness...my brother got that gene.

I mix easily with all walks, but at first meet with completely new people, I can be a little shy. And like a lot of shy-people, it can come across as standoffish.

I joined a writing group, started volunteer work, and have found a group of people that look like fun on a type of friend finder website. Got a picnic with them next week.

Holy shit, a whole bunch of new people that I've never even communicated with online. EEEEK! But, the only way out is through...

Kada said...

I didn't intend it to be so long and involved a reply either, Amanda. Honest! But, you got me thinking, and as we've seen, thinking=chatty, in regards to me. LOL

Oh, I did, I did! Will let yas know how it turns out.