So it’s nearly midnight, I’m laying in the dark in my big empty king size bed and I am feeling totally suffocated by how lonely I feel.
I’ve been lonely at different points through out my life and for different reasons. I never quiet fitted in when I was a kid, I was too fat, too spotty, lived in the wrong part of town. Then when I was older I was the weird religious one, the geeky one, I wasn’t one of the boys, or one of the girls either.
Now as a grown-up those feelings have resurfaced but in a new way. I never appreciated how lonely being on my own would be. Don’t get me wrong, being on my own is preferable to how I felt when I was married, that was a totally different kind of loneliness and isolation. But being single after you’ve had that intimate relationship is so hard, because you know what you’re missing. It’s like drinking Champagne for years and having to go back on the Lambrini.
I fill my days up with swimming, play-dates, food shopping, work and uni work. My evenings are pretty busy too with all the DIY and box sets I’ve got to catch up on. I do have moments in the day when I feel the loneliness but it lasts seconds and then I’m distracted by ‘mummy I need a wee’ or ‘mummy I want some food.’
The loneliness is mainly filled by my cheeky little girl, so what makes me feel even more alone is when she is at her dad’s. Being left in a big, empty, quiet house reminds me how alone I am, which makes the feelings I have even more overwhelming and suffocating.
I think this feeling is worse right now because tomorrow I have a rare evening on my own. One whole evening on a Friday when I can do whatever I want, and for once I won’t be doing DIY, or writing essays. But while I don’t have to be in my house while my daughter sleeps upstairs, I also don’t have anyone to spend the evening with.
I can hear you say ‘surely you’ve got family to see or what about your friends?’ Even ‘get a grip woman – child-free time? Hurray!’
I have lots of friends who I’m sure would happily meet me for a catch-up. Yes, their company is great and I wouldn’t have survived without them. I’m sure we would have lots of laughs but I feel like I’m always putting them out, intruding on their family time.
I’m too scared to go out on my own and discover what the world has to offer a single mother in her thirties, maybe the cinema but then who am I going to share my popcorn with or talk to at the end about my favourite bit?
Part of me wants to meet that special someone and settle down and then I won’t feel so lonely. I’ll have someone to spend weekends and evenings with, someone to lay next to in the dark and share my most random thoughts with (for now it’s you beautiful lot) and part of me is excited for that day. But mostly I’m afraid to embark on the roller coaster that is a new romance, because let’s be honest, at this stage in my life, with all the baggage I’ve got, it’s not going to be a smooth ride.
So I wrote this (sort of) poem as it kinda sums up what I’ve been rambling on about.
There’s a hole in my heart where love used to be
There’s a hole in my heart once filled up with glee.
There’s a hole in my heart that’s ever so lonely
Holes are for filling and fixing,
By friends and family and everyday missions.
Holes can be hidden and kept out of sight, By laughter and cuddles and kisses goodnight.
Holes can be forgotten for moments and minutes, by working and planning and washing the dishes.
But for now there’s a hole that no one can see, a hole that is big and black and empty.
But for now there’s a hole deep down inside me, a hole where dreams are meant to be.
But for now there’s a hole in my heart, a hole that I’m waiting for someone to see.
Loneliness as a single mother is as normal as the constant feelings of guilt or inadequacy. Not because I’m inadequate and not because I have anything to be guilty about but it’s there, a constant friend, if you put some sparkly pants on it you could call it my side-kick.
So I’m just going to embrace the loneliness, not let it suffocate me and stop me from enjoying life but allow it to stay open for something or someone who can fill it.
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About Fiona Holter
Fiona is a single mother to a 2 and a half year old daughter. She works full time as a nurse. She says ‘middle child syndrome’ is a real thing, and as a shift worker chocolate should be consumed at any time of the day. You can follow her on Twitter