Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Meltdown

I’ve been really these last few months.  Lonelier than I can ever remember being.  So it hurts.

It started when my mom died (I know that up til now I’ve been saying “my parent/a parent” because I’ve been obsessed with maintaining my anonymity.  But there are lots of women my age in NYC whose moms died in the last few months, I’m sure).  I distinctly remember it hitting me that night.   She died early in the afternoon and I’d spent most of the day taking care of things/people that needed to be taken care of.  And then, once I stopped and tried to rest, it hit me.

I realized that I had no one to lean on.  No one who was there for me.  Just for me. Sure I had my dad and other family members, but it was clear to me that it was my job to take care of them.  I have some great friends, but they all have significant others or kids or someone else in their life who depends on them.  The fact that I was single, without even a steady boyfriend, meant that there was no one to rush to my side and be there for me.  So I laid there in my bed in my parent’s house and let the lonliness creep into me and cried.  It’s been there ever since.

My mom and I had a complicated relationship.  She wasn’t my best friend.  In fact, there were several years during my teens and 20′s when we were barely on speaking terms.  I don’t want to deconstruct our relationship here.  Suffice it to say that I wasn’t the daughter she wanted and I couldn’t, back then, compromise.  Then, sometime in my mid 20s I guess, I realized that it was really up to me.  I had the choice.  She was who she was and she wasn’t ever going to change.  And she loved me and wanted to be in my lfe.  I could accept her love and let her in and learn to get along with her or I could be like one of the many people I knew who’d completely cut their families from their lives (it’s not that uncommon to meet people in NYC who haven’t spoken with their parents in years).  I decided to opt for peace and cooperation.

It was never easy between us.  I couldn’t change some of the basic facts of our relationship.  She could be proud of me, but she could never understand me.  And she could never be as proud of me as she would’ve been if I’d gotten and had kids.  In fact, not too many conversations passed between us where she didn’t spend at least five minutes talking about someone else we knew and their impending nuptials or their small, adorable children.  I don’t know if she was conscious of this or not, but it hurt each and every time.  There was no accomplish I could ever have that could compete with a wedding and that was just that.  I learned to live with it.

So imagine the irony of my realizing the night she died that the thing I felt more than anything else was lonely?  I laughed about it through my tears.  All she ever wanted was for me to have a husband.  Someone to take care of me, to be there for me.  And she was gone and I had no one.

Since she died I’ve been on a kind of hyperdrive, completely consumed with the idea that I needed to find someone and that if I did all of my other problems would somehow go away.  I don’t know how aware/deluded I’ve been about this.  I mean, I’ve been seeking “my partner” on and off for years.  But I’ve been kind of nutty about for the past few months.  And there has been an element of magical thinking involved, like somehow once I had achieved this then I’d have no more worries.

Everything came crashing down around me last Wednesday night.  It was so silly.  But I’m glad I finally faced what was going on in my head and how crazy I’d been making myself.  I had another disappointing date.  No big deal.  I’ve had dozens of them.  Probably hundreds.  But I’d been hoping (in the way that slightly crazy people build up hope to an unrealistic degree) that things would go really well and that he would be the one.  And then he wasn’t.  And neither was the guy before him or the guy before him or the guy before him.  And I’d been building them all up in my mind as the answer.  The thing that was going to make that ache of lonliness inside of me go away.

It’s a horrible ache, you know.  There are days I just lie in bed at night and try to remember what it was like before I felt this way and I can’t.  It’s been so long that now it feels like it’s been there forever.

The truth is that the pain is there as much because I’m still grieving for my mom (and dealing with many unresolved family issues related to her ) as it is because I don’t have a guy in bed with me.  And I know that even if I met some great guy that I would still have all of the other crazy/stressful things going on in my life right now.

Before this all happened (my mom dying, I mean) I always prided myself on being perfectly happy with my life as a single person. I wanted to meet someone because that would make my life richer, but I wasn’t pinning my happiness on it.  I was happy either way.  Her dying changed my thinking.  I became one of those people who attached inappropriate significance to whether or not I found someone.  If I found a man/bf/husband I would be happy.  If I didn’t, I wouldn’t.

Well, now I’m making the conscious decision to go back to my old way of thinking.  I like the adult I grew up to be.  I like my independance.  I like my life (for the most part).  I’d like to meet someone, for all the reasons I’ve always written about here.  But if it doesn’t happen I’ll be OK.  OK, with me.  Just me.


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14 to “Meltdown”


  1. Global Patriot says:

    Such a beautiful story of your heart’s journey, and one that expresses our inate desire for happiness. In the end your heart finds that true happiness is found in following your own dreams, not someone else’s vision of you. May your life be filled with the love and joy you deserve!

  2. girlfrisky says:

    Losing your mom is a loss that will stay with you for a long time. I also lost my mother, and we didn’t have the perfect tv relationship either, but it still hurts. The old cliche comes to the fore: “time heals”. Nobody says how long that time is pr has to be, but it’s not short.
    As for finding someone to be by your side, who says it has to be a man? Finding someone who will support you and be a shoulder for you doesn’t necessarily have to share your bed as well. Don’t stress yourself trying to become the woman your mother hoped you would be. From what I know of your readings, you ARE a string independent woman. Cherish it. For many, the grass is always greener…

  3. chater says:

    Mom is a sweetest memories of life

  4. lorilori17 says:

    I am deeply sorry for the loss of your mom. There isn’t much that will help that hurt, but I think you’re on the right path – be proud and happy with the person you are today, and the rest is better for it. Take care :)

  5. bobbyjensen says:

    Sorry for your loss SG, I know the feeling very well and it sucks! I want to thank you for a very insightful, open and honest post about something so close to you. Sharing this was, although maybe therapeutic, not all that easy to do. I could say many things about this topic, but only would in person. Thanks so much SG, really!

  6. derek7272 says:

    I’m sorry SG.

  7. MidlifeBachelor says:

    I lost my Dad back in 2004 – and it was definitely a life-changing event for me. I still don’t think that I am over it. Certain things that happen when you are going through that with them never really leave you … for me – it was the look on my Dad’s face in his final minutes of life. I mean – the process of him dying took several months … but those final several minutes are what are burned into my brain forever in detail.

    With that as a backdrop AND with today’s economy spiraling down and out of control, I believe I’ve learned two things:

    1) Love and appreciate those who are closest to you … especially family members and very, very good friends … for you never know when things will change, and they won’t be around anymore.

    2) Cultivate and grow new relationships – and I’m not just referring to romantic relationships. I’ve noticed a lot more people (including myself) become open to making new friends, and investing time into people and interpersonal relationships lately. People and relationships are what are truly important … and I believe the economy tanking has made this more recognizable.

    All of these revelations make us stronger and wiser. And if we can manage to find happiness in the midst of it all, then that is truly a great achievement. To me, happiness seems to be more of a process than anything else … it comes, it goes, it returns. I’d love to have it everyday – someday.

  8. cjw666 says:

    Most of that showed in what you have written over recent times. I’m soory for your loss and your obviously desperate heartache.

    I’m very glad that you appear to be in a much better place now in your head. I also think it seems (to me) like you at last have what I regard as a much more adult and indeed healthier attitude to your dating and relationships.

    I hope it’s not presumptuous of me to remind you that none of us can live our lives for our parents, any more than we should live them entirely for a partner. I hope you don’t feel guilty – EVER – I’m sure you did your best and I’m happy for you that you now seem to be comimg to terms with all that has happened in your life.

  9. bellaressa says:

    Awe :hug: I am so sorry but I am glad you are looking at the brighter side of things. I know how you feel and my heart goes out to you. This with all your experiences will make you stronger.

  10. SINgleGIRL says:

    Hey everyone. I just wanted to say thank you so much and again and again for your support and encouragement. It really does mean so very much to me.

  11. darkheath says:

    You choked me up, SG. I’m very sorry. Lots of thoughts in my head, but not sure what to say.

  12. SINgleGIRL says:

    -darkheath
    Didn’t mean to make you sad/speechless. Just trying to let everyone know what’s been going on with me.

  13. Hypatia says:

    I’m sorry about your mother. Perhaps what makes me saddest is that I feel like you could be describing my relationship with my own mother, and I share the same issue with loneliness at the moment. Thank you for sharing.

  14. SINgleGIRL says:

    -Hypatia,
    Thanks for commenting sweetie. I tell myself that I write this, as openly as I do, because there are people out there that can relate. I believe there is a power in seeing/reading our true selves in others. It makes us feel less alone. At least that’s what it does for me.

    You and I, we’ll both be OK.