survivingmyboyz

tales from a stay-at-home mom of four boys

A son’s pain

As a parent, it is very hard to watch one of your children struggle. You want to somehow fix whatever they are struggling with. While some struggles are good for children to experience and build character, other struggles can feel unnecessary and pull at your heart strings. It is especially hard to watch your child struggle when that struggle is with the relationship with their own dad.
My oldest had a difficult relationship with his dad long before his father and I separated. In fact, I’d say that their relationship began to strain around the time my oldest turned four. I can remember constantly warning my husband that he was going to ruin his relationship with our oldest from early on. He would expect too much of our oldest at an early age, far more than he was developmentally able to handle. My ex expected our son to somehow, be more mature and take on more responsibility because he was the older brother, even though he was only two when he first became an older brother. He was always harsher with our oldest and it was obvious to many who observed them together. It didn’t help that our oldest had behavioral issues and was a lot like his dad.
As my son got older, the relationship between him and his father became more strained. His dad could be very mean to him, yelled at him a lot, and on occasion, would get physically rough with our oldest. When our oldest was about 8 years old, he asked me to write a note to his dad to tell him that he was scared of him. My then husband had a lot of his own issues that spilled over into his relationship with our oldest, who took the brunt of his father’s anger and frustration.
After his dad left the house, my oldest seemed to be more relaxed at home and happy. One day, as we were cleaning out the car, prompted by something my son’s therapist said, I asked my oldest how he felt about his dad not living with us anymore. What my oldest son told me broke my heart in so many ways. He told me that he liked it better because everyone seemed happier and there was less fighting in general in the house. He said that he didn’t really miss his dad because he never really had a good relationship with him and that he really wanted a new, different dad, one who loved him and accepted him for who he is. I sat there next to him, listening stoically, wanting nothing more than to burst into tears at these words. My eleven-year-old son perceived his dad as someone who didn’t love him or support him. He told me he wanted a dad that would play with him and support him and treat him better. How did I ever let things between them get this bad? Why hadn’t these two managed to bond? Why did my son feel so unloved by his own father? I reassured him that his dad did indeed love him, but that sometimes he had a hard time showing it. That didn’t seem to easy my son’s mind.
Yesterday was Father’s Day, the first Father’s Day since my marriage completely fell apart. My children’s father wasn’t sure that he wanted to see them yesterday. I really wanted to hate him for it, but I knew why. Still, I was heartbroken for my boys and decided to not even tell them it was Father’s Day if they weren’t going to get to celebrate with their dad. After some tearful pleading, I convinced their dad to see them for a brief time, knowing my second and fourth child would really want to be with him on this day. What I hadn’t considered was how my oldest would feel about this day in which he was supposed to celebrate the father, who he had a very difficult relationship with. It wasn’t until we reached the restaurant, which we were meeting his dad at, that I realized just how hard it was on my oldest.
My oldest began acting out immediately. He was bothering his brothers and misbehaving, trying to make everyone miserable. Upon looking closer at his behavior, I realized he was feeling miserable and wanted everyone else to feel the way he did. He was angry and confused about his feelings. I asked him about how he was feeling, but he just didn’t know, nor did he know why he was feeling this way. He was visibly upset by the whole situation. After a bit, I pulled him outside to talk about what he might be feeling and why. I talked to him about how I was feeling and reassured him that, even if his dad didn’t know how to show it, he did really love him. I explained to him that, like him, his dad also struggled sometimes. I told him that it was ok to be mad at his dad, and even at me, because I was the one who asked his dad to leave, but what wasn’t ok was how he was dealing with that anger. I told him some ways that I deal with my anger and talked with him about ways that he might want to try to deal with his. In the end, I held him and told him that no matter what, I loved him and would always be there for him. When we were done, we returned to the rest of the family, my oldest son much calmer, but I felt far from calm. My outward appearance may have seemed fine, but inside I was dying. All I wanted to do was go home, lock myself in my room, and sob.
I had to hold back tears as I drove my boys home. I was so heartbroken by the pain that my oldest son was feeling. I was angry and sad and disappointed and was in mama bear mode. I couldn’t protect my son from these feelings or this struggle. I couldn’t take away his pain or change the circumstances. All I could do was be there for my son in his pain and it filled me with pain and sadness.
I don’t know how this story ends. I don’t know what happens from here. I hope and pray that the relationship between my oldest son and his father will be healed eventually, but I honestly don’t know if it will. The only thing that I do know is how painful it is to watch my son experience and navigate his tenuous relationship with his father. This is one struggle that I wish my son did not have.

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Loneliness

It doesn’t matter who is around or how many people are near, loneliness feels lonely, no matter the situation. I am constantly surrounded by four small humans, all clamoring for my attention and yet, I feel so damn lonely inside.

It isn’t a feeling I can shake or ignore. It creeps in despite doing things to try to distract myself. It makes me feel anxious and exhausted. I want to just curl up under the covers and cry. I feel completely disconnected and alone.

I can’t stand to be in my own head. I want a way out. I don’t want to be me or feel this way anymore. I just want a break. There is no relief though. Just one day after another, trudging through despite wanting to give up. Despite constantly finding myself alone in a puddle of my own tears. It hurts so much and feels so awful, but there is no escape.

I am trapped in my loneliness.

I’m sorry I am failing you

Dear sons,

You are the most important people in my life and I love you with all my heart. I would do anything for you. I love being your mom and everyday I try to be the best mom I can be, but right now I am failing you.

Mommy isn’t at her best right now and is struggling. I want to be better and be the mom you deserve, but right now I am failing and it isn’t your fault or mine, it is just this moment in life. This rotten, awful moment that is making everything in life feel so much harder than it should be. I’m tired all the time, physically and emotionally. I cry all the time. I try to hide it from you, but I know you notice and I’m so sorry for failing to be stronger for you. I lose my temper and get upset. I’m not mad at you (usually), I’m mad at our situation and wish things were easier. I can’t concentrate and my headaches all the time. I wanted to finish that book for you tonight, really I did, but I couldn’t make my brain work to do it. I want to be alone more than usual and I’m so sorry, but you hanging on me and being in my face is giving me anxiety. I know you are feeling insecure and confused and so you want to be near me more, to cuddle me more, to get more hugs, and I’m trying, but I’m failing. I am far from my best and am failing you in so many ways.

My sweet babies, please know that I love you so very much, no matter how much I fail you right now. I will keep trying everyday to do better, but it isn’t easy. I hope that one day you are able to look back and know that everything I have done, I have done for you and despite my failures, I’m doing my best in a bad situation. I hope you are one day able to see that I tried. I hope one day soon that I will again find my strength and no longer fail you. Until then, please bare with me and know that I love you, even when I fail you.

Love,

Your failing mom

My hands are more full than you know

People often look at me, with my four boys, and comment something to the effect of, “boy, you’ve got your hands full.” I usually smile back politely with some cheery response and go about my day. That’s what I do every day; go about my day. I go about my day and smile as much as I can and just keep going. But it is getting harder and harder to go about my day and smile because inside I am falling apart and at whit’s end and don’t feel like smiling. In fact, what I feel like doing is crawling into bed and crying, but I don’t have that luxury because I am the single mom of four boys.

Up until recently, I was married and raising four boys. Raising four boys is a hard task in and of itself. It was hard in my marriage because my ex was never there. He did very little to help with the boys or around the house or to even be a part of the family. That is a huge reason why I left him. Now that he is out of the house though, he is involved with the kids even less. He is getting to live the kid free life that he apparently really wanted all along and has left me to parent four boys completely on my own. We moved away from family almost 7 years ago, while the kids were so young, for his job, so I have been left to care for our kids on my own. Now that we are split, I’m not only left to parent our four children alone, but I’m also left to pick up the pieces of our broken family.

When you are a single parent you don’t get any breaks. I have four, so even when I finally get one kid to sleep or busy doing something, I still have others that are making demand of me. The need cycle here is never ending, but unfortunately, my energy and emotional capacity is not. I am constantly running on empty and emotionally exhausted, even more so than before. When a kid needs something and I’ve just finally sat down to eat, take a break, or weed through emails, there is no one else for me to ask to go deal with it so I can have a minute. When the kids wake at night, and two of mine still do, there is no one else to switch off with after the third time of getting up and the fifth night of no sleep. When I am sick, there is no one else to make the kids dinner or pick up the groceries. It is constantly just me and four very needy kids who are having troubles figuring out the reality of their current situation.

My youngest is constantly throwing fits and having big emotions that he doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand why the dad he loves and wants to spend time with hardly sees him anymore. He wants to spend time with his dad and call him, but his dad doesn’t feel the same way. It is hard to manage his emotions on a daily basis, but even harder to watch his dad yell at him for having these melt downs after seeing him for a short amount of time, when all he wants is more time with him. He comes home from his brief visits in worse shape than before he left. My second youngest doesn’t have too much interest in his dad, but likes his video games. All he knows is that visiting dad means lots of games and the heavy burden of being quiet while visiting or it will be all his fault that his dad gets kicked out of his not so kid-friendly apartment. My second oldest also craves his dad’s attention and hates that he must fight all his brothers for his dad’s attention in the small window of time that he gets with him. He constantly asks if he can get an extra day with his dad without his brothers, which I’d love for him to have, but his dad refuses to take them for anymore time than 24 hours in a week. He needs a lot of time to himself. My oldest doesn’t even want to see his dad and I have to beg and bribe him to go just so I can have a short break from them all and get stuff done. He hates going to his dad’s place and I don’t blame him. The place is small and not meant for kids. Other than video games, they have nothing to do there. They don’t even have beds to sleep in and are constantly threatened about making any noise. My oldest gets anxious and doesn’t want to be there. When they come back, usually after less than 24 hours with their dad, they are all a wreck. They are tired, hungry, cranky, and have been cooped up inside with each other for too long. I have to field melt downs and complaints and questions I don’t have answers to. If I can’t answer questions about their father’s behavior and choices, I’m not sure how they are supposed to try to understand and be ok with the situation. I’m always careful not to say negative things in front of them though. I might hate the way their dad treats them and his lack of interest in them, but I’m not about to say anything about it in front of them. I’m sure they will figure it out on their own as they get older, my oldest is already starting to.

Aside from trying to help my four boys through everyday life and deal with the emotional consequences of divorce, I have so many other things that I’m trying to deal with. I’m trying to pack up an entire house and get rid of things so I can move the boys back to where there is family to help me out. I’m running boys to appointments for different therapies. I’m trying to figure out how to do this divorce and make sure the boys and I get enough to survive. I’m dealing with the everyday messes, cooking, cleaning, and homeschooling of my kids. And I’m still trying to find time to deal with my own emotions in this divorce.

With each day that passes and each interaction I have with my ex, I become more and more sure that I made the right decision and that I probably should have made it earlier, except that I was scared. Now I’m in the thick of dealing with the things I was afraid of and I often wish I could just put a gun to my head. I don’t have the luxury to break down though and I certainly don’t have time for therapy or any kind of break from my life. But things are becoming more and more overwhelming and the tears are becoming harder and harder to choke back until I can find a few seconds of privacy to let them out. I often find myself turning up the music in my car so the boys can’t hear me as I cry while I’m driving them places. I sob loudly in the shower or hide in my closet to cry. I find myself paralyzed with anxiety, laying in bed balling with my door locked as the kids bang on it with demands. I cry until I throw up. My stomach is in knots and I don’t want to eat. If I do eat, I often throw it back up. I take pills to sleep and more antidepressants than usual. I can’t even hide my tears anymore. Today I sat quietly crying in a chair near my kids, while they ate lunch at a burger joint. People looked at me and judged me, but I just didn’t even care. It was a hard day, too hard, and I couldn’t do it anymore without crying. I have a hard time being productive because I constantly find myself in bed crying.

At this point, the tears aren’t for my broken marriage, I’m beyond that. At this point, my tears are for my boys and for me. I can’t do this all alone, but I have no choice and it isn’t fair the boys or me. I cry from the heart break that my boys deserve so much better. I cry with anger and rage that I have to do it all alone. I cry because I love my boys so much that I don’t understand how their own father can be so disinterested in being a part of their lives. I cry because it is all just too much and it is hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other to keep going on with my day.

Life isn’t easy and neither is being a mom, especially a single mom of four kids. Every day is a struggle just to survive and to keep going. I’m juggling more than just what you see on the outside and despite my smile, I’m falling apart on the inside. Yes, I have my hands full, more than anyone knows. I don’t need the obvious stated, what I need is some help, but I know that isn’t coming, so I’d settle for some sympathetic words or maybe a hug because raising four boys alone really sucks.

The curious mind

As I putting my two youngest to bed tonight, we listened to the same collection of music that we have listened to so many nights before to help them drift off to sleep. One of their favorite songs in the collection is “House at a Pooh Corner,” a song I have sung to them and listened to with them since they were babies. They call it the “Winnie the Pooh” song because they know the song is about him, but have never really said much else about it, aside from the fact that they like it. Tonight, however, as my five year old was listening to it for the millionth time as he drifted off into slumber, he suddenly asked, “why?” The question was so out of no where and I thought for sure he was almost asleep, so it took me a moment to understand the question. The lyrics had just sung “Winnie the Pooh doesn’t know what to do, got a honey jar stuck on his nose.” I explained to him that the honey jar was stuck and the the follow up questions began. “Why?” I explained he was trying to eat the honey from the jar. Then came “when? Right now? Is he real?” I looked over and could see by the dim light of the room wheels turning in my littlest one’s brain. Next came questions about bees and honey. It was as though he was listening to the song for the first time, I mean really listening. His little brain was processing all this information and trying to figure out exactly what was going on in this song he had heard so many times before. Then just as suddenly as all the questions started, they stopped. I looked over again and he was passed out asleep, clearly exhausted from his one last burst of curiosity into the world around him. These kids constantly amaze me with the way their minds work and all the connections they are constantly making.

The giant Teddy Bear that ended my marriage

 

Like most people, my wedding day was one of the best days of my life. It was full of hope, magic, and love. My own wedding caused me to cry at all weddings that I attended after that because it brought back the feelings of happiness and love that I felt on that day. Nothing is better than the way you feel on your wedding day. You hope those feeling will last forever. Things change with time, however, and not all marriages last. That is the reality I am currently trying to deal with in my life.

I love my husband, I always have, pretty much since the day I meet him. After 17 years together and 13 years of marriage though, I am no longer in love with my husband. Our years together have not been easy, especially in the last few years. There has been a lot of pain and disappointment that has taken its toll on our marriage. I continued to stick out the relationship for many years, thinking that if I just hung in there and kept loving him that things would change and get better. They never did, at least not for very long. So, when I told my husband last December that I wanted to sperate, it wasn’t me trying to get his attention in a last-ditch effort to save our marriage, it was me telling him that I was finally done with the marriage. The catalyst for this choice all comes down to a giant stuffed bear.

As I said before, things weren’t good for a long time between my husband and I. I had become a single parent despite being married. He was rarely there, and I could never really depend on him. It had gotten to the point where I would just plan life without him and hope that he would choose to show up. It was easier this way, it relieved some of the constant disappointment that I felt. Last December, when I planned a pre-Christmas trip to Portland for the family, I really didn’t expect my husband to join us, but as it got closer, he seemed so excited to go. I began to include him in the plans and the boys were excited to get to spend some time with their dad. However, when the day came to leave for our trip, my husband was not in our car as we pulled out of the driveway. I was sad and disappointed once again, but I was determined to make this an awesome trip with my boys that they would never forget. I think I did just that. They seemed happy and I definitely spoiled them, probably a little too much out of guilt. I figure that kids are resilient and that I’d kept them so busy with fun that their dad not being there wouldn’t affect them much. I was wrong about that though.

While we were I Portland, we visited Santa, and he told me to take the boys to a special toy store to let them pick out anything they wanted from Santa, so we obeyed. My second oldest, who is currently 9, picked out a giant Teddy Bear that was almost as big as him. He was so excited about his Teddy Bear and still sleeps with it in his bed. As we were driving home from Portland, we talked about our favorite parts of the trip and how much fun we had. My 9-year-old commented that he wished his dad had come and that he couldn’t wait to see him when we got home to tell him all about the trip. All the other boys agreed that they had missed their dad and wished that he had joined us on the trip. They were all very excited to see their dad when we got home. After an extra-long weekend away, they were all very eager to get home. My 9-year-old said that all he wanted to do when he got home was to give his dad a big hug with his giant new Teddy Bear and to hold them both. It was such a sweet idea that really showed how much he’d missed his dad. Then we got home.

My husband came down to greet us and help bring in the bags, but within five minutes of us being home, he had returned to his office to play more video games, something he had been doing all weekend long while we were gone. He disappeared into his office for several hours, only reappearing after the two youngest were already sound asleep and I was about to put the two older boys to bed. He didn’t spend anytime with us that evening, he didn’t listen to the stories from our trip, and he didn’t help me bathe or settle children in after a very exhausting weekend. Instead, he did what he always did, he took care of himself and did what he wanted, which didn’t include his family. It broke my heart to know that his boys were so excited to see him and had missed him so much, but that he clearly didn’t feel the same way. I could see the devastation in my 9-year old’s eyes that he didn’t get to share that hug with his day and his giant stuffed Teddy Bear like he had wanted to so badly. That’s when I knew it was time to for things to change and that I finally needed to make the hard call of ending our marriage.

Over the past few years, I felt like my husband was drowning and I was constantly trying to save him, but instead he was pulling me under with him. In those moments, after our Portland trip, I looked around and realized, we weren’t the only two drowning in that pond. Our kids were there too, and they were barely treading water. I knew I had to let my husband go and get my kids and myself back to the safety of the shore. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, but I knew it was the right one and felt such relief after I told him.

Now we are in the messy processing of figuring out how to move forward while trying to keep our kids afloat. It is strange that I struggled for so long about what to do with my marriage, how to fix it, and what was best for my kids only to figure out what we all really needed because of a giant Teddy Bear.

Strong

I am not a Disney Princess. I don’t need to be rescued. I am strong, stronger than I get credit for.

I don’t sit patiently, waiting for permission. I don’t quietly obey. I am my own person. I live life on my own terms. I will not let limitations be set for me or be told what I can and cannot do. I will not be restricted in this life.

I will not willingly spread my legs at your command. I will not be controlled. I will not be guilted into continuing in a broken cycle. I will not be broken.

I will rise-up, out of the ashes, like a Phoenix. I will move on and beyond. I will survive because it is what I do and it is all I know. I will be strong because that is what I am.

I will not play the damsel in distress. I will not let a man define me. I will break free of these chains you constantly use to bind me.

The other side of the coin

Sometimes I feel like I am talking, but no body is listening. It is a very lonely feeling. It hurts even more when someone I love is the one not listening. No matter how often it happens, it still seems to cut. I know I should be used to it by now, after all, I talk a lot and I am overly-passionate about things. My passion, though I love it, is often a huge turn off to people though. I tend to feel things much deeper and strongly than most people because I am bi-polar.
We live in a world where people really don’t want to feel anything. People become addicted to technology and consumerism as a means to dullen their feelings. We self-medicate with prescription pills that we over use and drugs, and alcohol to avoid pain and facing our problems. No one wants to be introspective, they all just want to live in some fantasy world like the ones on the tv. That is all a nice escape sometimes, but then people miss out on all that is around them. Sometimes I try to dull my senses like everyone else, but it never really works, at least not for long. My feelings, emotions, and passions are too great for me to contain and that’s when people stop listening.
I’m very open about talking about my depression and often write about it because it is a big part of me, and I think it is important for others out there to know that they are not alone in their loneliness and despair. I don’t often talk about the fact that I suffer from mania though. Most people don’t even realize that this is a part of me. I’m very up front and say I have depression, but I rarely say that I am manic-depressive. Maybe that’s because I don’t have frequent manic episodes or when I do, they are minor in comparison to my depression, or because mania seems a little more crazy than just straight up depression. My mania is part of what gives me my passions though. It is part of what makes my emotional capacity so great. It is a part of who I am, just another part that most people don’t seem to care for.
I work hard to maintain an even keel in my emotions. Sure, people see I’m passionate, but they don’t usually see the full range of that passion, that would be too scare. I keep close tabs on my emotions, careful clamping down when I feel they are getting too big. It would be so easy to go off the deep end and end up in a full manic state, which can be scare and always leads to a debilitating depressing afterwards. I try to tap into that manic side just enough to do the things I need to do; have that extra energy for something, to keep me going when on empty, or to be creative when I feel the need, but most of the time I keep that lid closed shut on my own personal Pandora’s box.
When I think of true, full blown mania, I think of being 19 and the beautiful chaos that was my world. Looking at it from a nostalgic view, it feels like a wonderful crazy adventure, but from the view of reality, it was a terrible, dangerous time for me that I can never ever allow to happen again. Being manic back then meant experiencing the world in such a vibrant way that could probably only be replicated with massive drug use, like tripping on acid (I can only assume, since that is not a drug I ever tried). In fact, I felt so high on life all the time that I refused to use any drugs back then, for fear it would dampen my senses, I didn’t even drink. I lived in a house full of pot heads for part of that time and I never once was tempted to use because what I was feeling was so much better than they could ever possibly feel by getting high. I was uninhibited and daring. I pulled all-nighters in college, writing papers or painting at the studio into the early morning. I went days without sleep and hardly needed food. I would dance naked in the rain and jump from highway over passes into rivers below to skinny dip in the moonlight. I had an insatiable sexual appetite that no person could quench, and I wielded my body as a sexual weapon. I had no shame, no fear, no limits. It was amazing! Expect that it wasn’t.
Not only did the mania make me reckless (I still count my blessings that I never contracted an STD during that time), but it led me to a crash. Multiple crashes, actually. Mania can’t last forever, no matter how wonderful it feels. What starts off as fun and exciting for the people around you quickly becomes too much when you are manic. They don’t experience the same euphoria you feel, and the adventures become a little too much, a little too scare for them. They eventually jump ship and you are left on your own seeking that high alone. Being alone turns into loneliness as the mania fades and the other side of it eats you alive. That’s when the crippling depression sets in. That’s when it becomes even more dangerous.
The biggest problem with being manic-depressive is the heat at which your emotions burn. Whether I’m manic, depressed, or just me, I am never able to escape the huge range of feelings that I feel. I am forever doomed to feel things at a level that most people never will. It can give me wonderful passion, but it is passion that no one else seems to share or even wants to hear about. Having such great passion and no one to share it with makes for a lonely world to live in. If only people were more interested in letting a little more passion into their lives.

The villain

I am a villain. I am a bad guy. In fact, I’m not just a bad guy, I’m the worst bad guy ever. I am mom and I am the worst. I ruin everything.
It doesn’t matter what I do or how much I sacrifice or love them, I am still the worst person ever to my children. I’m the one that says no. I am the one that lays down the law and gives out punishment. I am the one who yells when all four are screaming at me in a cacophony of noise, demanding that I do something for them at that exact moment. I am the only one and I am the one to blame.
You know who isn’t the bad guy, isn’t the one they demand things from, or blame for ruining their lives? Dad! Dad is never at fault. Mostly because Dad is never here. Even when He is here, it isn’t His job to deal with the screaming masses, that’s my job. They walk right past Dad to come ask me to do things for them as if I am their servant and it is beneath Dad to be bothered with their needs.
Today I am terrible mom because I have spent all day carting kids around where they need to be and talking my oldest to three dentist appointments in one day, and then spent over an hour at the grocery store fighting the crowd of people trying to stock up before the impending snow storm tomorrow. I fought traffic to get home and be greeted with great joy that quickly turns to complaints and hatred toward me when I tell them no. No, they can not go outside at 5:00 at night as the temperature is dropping, it is getting dark, and people are coming home from work not expecting to see three young children sledding into the street. I am an awful mother because I want to keep my kids safe and warm, knowing the snow will be there for the next few days. I have ruined everything though because they have waited all day for me to come home so they could go outside and sled, despite the fact that the one hour I had at home today, the older of the three refused to go outside, so the 7 year old wouldn’t stay outside to play by himself with me watching him from the window. Despite the fact that their Dad has been home all day with them, and they could’ve asked Him if they could go outside. So, I am the bad guy yet again, as they scream and yell at me before I can even unpack the groceries. Meanwhile, Dad is upstairs napping, free from abuse.
So, call up Disney and tell them that they have a new evil, horrible, villain to draw for their next movie and she is the worst one yet. Her name is mom and she is me and she is a villain worthy of hating.

Feeling small in a big world

It is hard to fathom that there are over 7 billion people on this planet yet a person can still feel so alone in the world. You would think with all those people out there that we would all be able to find at least one to connect with, one person who would truly know us and see us for who we are. However, global depression rates stand at over 300,000 million people and there are probably more that aren’t accounted for in those numbers. That makes this planet an overwhelmingly lonely place to be.

We can stand in a room full of people, but still feel completely isolated and alone. We can talk and even laugh with people, but still feel unheard. Who really sees us? Who really ever knows us? Some people are lucky enough to find that someone or even several someones, but over 300,000 million of us never truly find that joy. Instead, we are isolated and alone.

Loneliness can make you do a lot of things. It can cause you to start a conversation with a complete and total stranger in hopes of finding a connection. It can make you retreat into a fantasy world that is not real no matter how much you want it to be. It can make you pour your inner most thoughts out onto a public forum in hopes that just one person will read it and connect with you. It can make you retreat into isolation in hopes that you will be able to protect yourself from some of the pain that hoping for and not finding connection brings. It can make you ache so much and feel so invisible that you feel you have no place on this earth. Loneliness can make warp the way you see the world and yourself.

So what do we do to feel less lonely, to easy that loneliness for all those people out there suffering from it in-spite of being surrounded by some many people? Clearly I don’t have an answer for that one. If I did, maybe I wouldn’t be one of those 300,000 million people feeling trapped in my loneliness.

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