Yet I’m married, have four amazing kids and a dog. Yet, I am so lonely that it sometimes feels like my chest will explode.
I used to have friends. I used to be the life of the party. I was always the one that did the crazy stunts or stayed up for two days drinking and having a good time. I used to have a great marriage, and the kids and I always had fun and went and explored.
But then I lost everything.
Money, cars, my house, my mobility, my health. I became disabled in September of 2005. I won’t go into all the boring details but let’s just say that I will be lucky to be able to walk in a few years, even if the rate of progression stays slow like it is now.
I lost almost every friend.
People I had always been there for. People I loved, loaned money to, made soup for when they were sick, gave a shoulder to cry on, etc. Yet, at a pretty steady pace, all these people no longer cared about me. I could no longer party, no longer stay up late, no longer hike or camp with them, no longer go on long car rides. So they replaced me or just stopped calling.
Yet I could have still had a glass of wine with them or played video or board games; shit man I even knit. Yet it wasn’t good enough. And like a fool, I called, emailed, texted and IM’d all of them all the time. No response. Instead, I torture myself by reading their Facebook posts. I see the pictures of them having fun and hanging out, hugging and laughing. I see them interacting and carrying on like I never existed. It hurts. It hurts so bad that I cry a few times a week as I look at the pictures and see the joy in their face.
But what about my wife you say?
My wife has since become a roommate. She has had a long term affair with another man and acted like it was no big deal when I found out. She is never home and leaves me here with the kids all day every day. She can go three or four days without saying more than a single word to me and the kids. I’ve been with her since I was 17 years old. I’m now 33. So that makes the heart hurt worse, the tears burn a bit more and the darkness just that little bit thicker.
The kids, four boys who I live and would die for, try and understand. They don’t, and I don’t want them to know it all. It would scare them. They don’t get why I can’t give them piggy back rides, wrestle with them or just sit on the floor and play. So they aren’t around much. They go to my mom’s house to play over there, go to their friends’ house, or sit in their rooms and play games on the computer. They see the pharmacy on my night stand and see me cry out in pain. They’ve seen me fall down and they’ve seen me in the hospital.
And that, my invisible internet friends? That makes it all hurt so much more than anything that’s ever been done to me.
I sit here day after day. I look out the same window and wonder what other people are doing. I wonder if my name ever comes up in conversation or if people see old pictures of me and ask what happened to me.
I wonder if I will ever have somebody to sit with and tell them how I feel? Someone I can cry to and explain my fears to. Someone I can laugh with, and for just a minute forget what my life has become. Someone who will hold my hand, or brush a stray hair from my cheek or maybe a rouge tear or two, or many.
I want to feel again. I want to smile and laugh. I want to feel wanted and appreciated and not cold and angry.
So, I sit here. I write these words. Maybe a person or two will read this. In the end though, none of my old friends will read this. None of them will realize how bad they’ve hurt me. My wife will never change, and it’s too late for that anyway. The divorce papers are sitting in my sock drawer, waiting to be signed.
I never would have thought that the final years of my cut-short life would be spent in such physical and emotional pain. I never knew that loneliness would seem like it’s killing me faster than any disease and disability could.
This is just me venting. This is a great way to express what I really feel, without having to keep it all bottled up. If I had to keep this bottled up, it would drive me down, it would pull me under. I can’t let that happen. I have to be able to find small joys in life, like singing to the kids, making fun of Jenny McCarthy, and just living life to the best of my ability!
I love this site and the writers on here. You all are amazing people, and Aunt Becky is my hero!
(ed note: I love you. I’m glad you wrote this out. We’re all here for you. xo, AB)
January 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm
I’m sorry! People can suck. You sound totally awesome…I would so be your friend! 🙂
BIGP’S HEATHER says:
January 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm
I’m with Leslie. You sound like an amazing friend. People suck sometimes.
This site is awesome but blogging in general is for this purpose – get it out, don’t bottle it up!
January 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm
I agree that people can suck and you do sound like an awesome friend to have!!! And no way are you a fool for texting, emailing, and trying to contact your friends. They are the fools for not realizing what a true friendship is all about <3
HALALA MAMA says:
January 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm
I’m so so so sorry that you are facing this pain. People like that really suck.. friends should stand by you no matter what happens. I hope that you will find a good counselor … he or she can help you with the big issues you are facing. Love you!!
January 13, 2011 at 6:09 pm
I want to say something super poignant. That one thing that will pull you out of your sadness and make you realize that you are worth more than any of those asshats who won’t respond to you; more than the wife who should be your rock but is too weak to deal.
What I can say to you, and honestly mean it, is: You are not alone. You may be lonely, but you are not alone. You are important – almost the most important thing in the world – to at least 4 people. You are essential to how we function as family units. Can I just tell you that there is nothing more important than a good father? And a good father isn’t only someone who can hike, or play, or whatnot. A good father is someone who is there for his kids, someone who understands how hard life can be but who struggles on and provides a wonderful example for those children. One day, your boys are going to understand what you are going through. They are going to look back at you at this point in your life and they are just going to get it. They are going to respect what you did for them by enduring all of this. You are going to be their Superman.
Hang on to that. It makes the hard just that much more endurable.
Please don’t be a stranger. If nothing else, we’re all hear to listen. <3
January 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm
There is nothing quite like the pain of being on the outside, looking in. Just know that there are people – REAL people – out here who read your words and wish they could hold your hand, brush a stray hair from your cheek and maybe even a rouge tear or two, or many. I have no words of wisdom, but I can tell you that you matter in my world.
January 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm
You know you are allowed to feel the pain. These people have hurt you. Please remove those people from your life that cause you pain. You deserve so much better than that! Remove those old friends from your Facebook page, sign those divorce papers. I’m so sorry that you can’t play with your boys how you want to but I hope you do make the most of the time that you are with them.
January 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm
I want to second what Love said. To those four boys you are the world. You may not be able to hike and play ball with them, but that doesn’t make you love them any less and it doesn’t make you any less important to them. You sound like a GREAT DAD!
The real truth about people (especially ones who have been nice to when they needed you!) is that they are asshats. No, seriously. The vast majority of people suck. My mom fell ill very suddenly in 2009 and died a month later. I had people unfriending me left and right on FB and not returning my emails or texts… hell most of my friends didn’t even bother coming to her funeral. They all said the same thing “it was too much for them to handle.” Wow. How wonderful of them to leave me when I had helped them through so much. It sounds like you have much the same going on.
Know that no matter what there are people who are here, who care and who WANT to help you through anything.
Hang in there!
January 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm
I agree with the other comments. You are important. You are a Dad. The best Dad you can be. And it seems to me that you are doing an awesome job of it.
And I think your ex-so called friends are missing out on something great.
LESSONS IN LIFE AND LIGHT says:
January 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm
I don’t usually comment here…I usually just read and move on, but this post got me. It just makes me so sad to know that anyone feels this way. Especially someone who actually sounds like such a good person. I have no words of wisdom or advice, only a sympathetic heart and a keyboard. Hoping things get better for you, Prankster.
January 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm
When I was a teenager, I had a chronic illness, and I can totally relate to watching everyone else’s life move on without you. Waiting for those phone calls that never come and those visits that never happen.
You are not alone. Those old friends are gone (and even though it hurts, they obviously don’t really care for you) but you can rebuild, and move forward. Even though it seems impossible. Writing this out and sharing how you really feel is the first step.
January 16, 2011 at 2:55 am
I love all of you. Your kind words and love for me has been amazing. I can’t thank you all enough. You have made me feel so good. Thank you all!