Isolated: the sense of being detached (Part 2)

Isolated. Public Domain

Loneliness has many faces and masks amid the grittiness of our conflicts. Endurance and the persistence to exist may find us alone and lonely. Finding oneself in close quarters with adversaries both real and perceived can elevate a sense of detachment. And finding one’s path is different for every person.

There may be guideposts if we have the ability to explore. “Whatever comforts you” does not imply ending your life unless the physical and mental pain is tortuous with utterly no relief in sight. Our self-comfort might be a signal for self-disclosure and become transparent with ourselves. And that process may take months to years to a lifetime.  Nothing is static.

Proverbs, sayings, and quotes may be helpful for the short-term, but in the long run…they may prove insufficient. What does not kill you (sorry, Nietzsche) does not necessarily make you stronger. The “center” in each of us varies …and one must be diligent in selecting what is of value. Caring of both the self and other(s) is part of the process.

***

The place I was born sticks with me. Not the name of the suburb, but the people. My dad worked in a factory. He and my mom died when I was in college. My sister married into money and moved to Mobile. We hardly speak to each other. Nothing in common except blood. Aren’t all human related in blood? I married twice, have a boss who keeps a copy of the Art of War on their desk. I stay busy to keep the loneliness at bay. I don’t’ relate to my co-workers. We have small talk. My husband and my two children do their own thing. I can’t label it as strictly loneliness. I feel detached from the world around me. I attend church to socialize but that feels empty with gossip. The pastor drives a late model pickup truck and takes vacations in the Bahamas. He has a nice smile, otherwise he’s full of himself. Life feels hollow.

I am sitting in a room with people, people I like, people I work with, some whom I socialize with. But I am alone. I am alone in my own thoughts. I know where I can go, where I can get what I need and I will feel better. I won’t feel alone. That needle will be my friend. It will sting me; it may kill me. But it will love me like no one else can. My loneliness is making me lose myself. It’s temporary, but everything is temporary. Sobriety is temporary. It’s abandonment, because people only see me, as much as I allow them to see. And then they leave. And once again I am alone with my thoughts. So, I can self-medicate.

To be a high school teacher can be merciless. I don’t teach history thank God, otherwise I’d be out of work. I have enough money to survive but I can count the times I have really enjoyed myself.  I detest politicians, especially the far right. They love to spread fear and hate.  My friends are conservative. School libraries have little intellectual worth, I have the Internet and the books I buy at the Friends of the Library sales in the city. I watch television less and less. I walk, go to the art institute, talk to myself and date now and then. Dating sites suck. Everything is about money.

I graduated from high school last year and attending a community college. Not sure what I want to do. The world is being torn to shreds with greed, war, famine, hate, superficial shit. Am tired of experts and therapists. I started therapy in high school but really can’t afford it. My mom and dad are having a tough time. Won’t go into it. So much is bullshit.

I loathe people who say, “no one said it would be easy.” Fuck off. I Live in my head and on my income week to week. I’m tired of volunteering to confront my loneliness. Tired of religion and politicians. Jobs are easy to find…but you will need at least two of them to survive.

Have tried networking several years ago after I graduated from the university. Universities are of little help in gaining “meaningful employment.” Find a trade and another for backup once AI eliminates the need for your existence. My girlfriend broke off our engagement as it wouldn’t be (financially) beneficial for either of us.

I watched as you walked through the doors. Big dark sunglasses, you stopped and you asked me who I was? You sat down next to me, and in the darkness of night. You asked me if anyone had ever written anything about me? Why? I asked. Because I feel unloved………because I am alone…Why are you alone? I asked. And then you cried, long tearful sobs…You said, “have you ever heard me sing.” No. My songs are on YouTube…And then the rain began, just rain. It was cold, and I felt your pain and within your darkest sorrow. I felt your loneliness. So alone, as I watched you rock back and forth. You said you were a priestess of nothing and a queen of the damned. I gave you my shawl to keep you safe, to keep you warm. Has anyone ever given anything to you? No……..only scars…deep scars.

 I work in an Elderly Living environment. (Reality check- it’s a way station to death) I help seniors who are about to go homeless, The number of homeless seniors is rising significantly. Suicides are also rising among seniors. Adjusting to their children who are no longer able to care for them or simply didn’t have the resources to do so. They sit alone in their seats…we keep them busy with games and recreational stuff. We have a problem with some female seniors wanting attention from men. We have rules about having sex. Mostly their children give us their thoughts in strong words about their mom, having sex with the unkempt old man in the next room. It’s all weird, the policies are out of touch with reality. I sometimes question the value of living too long. Die young, while you’re working and enjoying life.

 I am a student in high school. I am tired of being shamed and talked to as if I was ignorant about how I am supposed to act and look. Shaming is an old problem. Well screw you. I don’t need this. Who manufactured these bullshit quotes of stiff upper lip, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, suck it in…be this or that…who conjures this crap up except for those wanting to justify what they did, and their position and apply it to everyone else. Fuck the manipulation. They project their insecurities or how they achieved wealth and emotional security on others, Guess what…I’m not impressed.

Please don’t quote some scripture to me…I don’t give a shit where it’s from, the Koran, the New Testament, the Torah…whatever. I can read. I have thoughts. I am angry yes but mostly detached and more so each day. Killing others whether physically or mentally is a waste of energy and is a sickness. I’m saddened by all the “experts” who read a few books on something and now are ready to infuse others with their wisdom and quotes. Hello?  Mentoring for being out of step with the existing culture is nonsense, White, black, yellow, olive. beige and other skin tones tells me little about a person’s character. Why do people refuse to grow up in their heads and hearts?  Less people should be having children. If I graduate in 2024 it will be miraculous. Loneliness grips my heart.

Becoming absorbed in people and things outside myself helps being lonely bearable. I have cherished being alone but not being lonely. A friend of mine put a bullet in her head.  She suffered from depression. Medication and therapy were not enough.  Her siblings were envious of her… and her beauty, work…things were less than bearable. She laid out all the necessary paperwork for her partner to minimize any issues that might arise from her death. I read where this happens more than one might suppose. I sometimes cry at night to myself especially when I am in the shower when the steam embraces my body.

Dystopian thoughts about Artificial Intelligence …hopefully it’s used for the good of human welfare that it doesn’t rise to a level of intelligence to mathematically conclude that humans who are the cause of war, disinformation, terrorism, air, water, and soil pollution, are the enemy of the Earth and that only way to save the planet is a measured “deletion” or annihilation of humanity.

I am a professor at a university where there has been an ultra-conservative policy shift effectuating a fear of what’s next. I have no choice then to find work elsewhere. Academia is getting to be a lonely place for thoughtful scholars. Being wanted helps justify effort, in my opinion.

A rabbi stopped by my apartment in the city today. My parents were from India. They recently died. The rabbi and I were silent together. We both are single and lonely, and needed company.  The quiet was meditative…like a prayer. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed…to be there for someone. Few words were spoken except about a book we both had read…being there for me I knew that someone cared. When there is a need I reflect on such moments.