Saturday, August 20, 2011

Feeling sorry for myself

When the ex left 9 years ago today, I guess I was kind of hoping for this

or maybe even this (not the wedding, more the sentiment)

but instead in the intervening 9 years I am not only sat here by myself again on a Friday night, but there has not been one single person who has looked at me in that time and thought "hey, there's the person who I could look forward to seeing at the end of every day." That's 9 years without adult companionship of any description, and when I say any description, I mean nothing not even a single promising conversation that might lead to something new, let alone anything physical.

And yes, I know the right answer is that a woman is supposed to be able to be happy without having someone in their life, but now it just hurts that no one can look beyond the admittedly terrible exterior and see someone worth even having a conversation with.

So is it all bad? No. I didn't cry when he left because I was so relieved it was over.  My son seems to be pretty happy. I am managing to get him the best education I can, which in this case is in a private school, and I am doing that without any financial or emotional input from the ex of any kind. Since he left I have bought my own house, but the fact is that it is a total mess both inside and out, my money situation has deteriorated and I live in fear of the phone call or letter regarding money.

When we were together, home was a place where I was constantly denigrated about everything, especially about how bad a mother I was, so work was the one place where I could seem to be confident and good at something. I am not even sure that is true anymore.

I live on the periphery of other people's lives and that is as true online as it is in real life, no matter what I do  to try and change that. It just doesn't seem that I have the type of personality that makes me essential to anyone.

And when it comes down to it, this stuff is just stuff that we just don't talk about at all like the proverbial elephant in the room. And the worst thing is, I just can't see this changing any time in the near future.

Now I am going to regret posting this as it shows what my thinking is like behind the mask that I have firmly in place most of the time.


  1. There's no need to feel any remorse for posting this. It's fearless, honest and more real than what most people post.

    As for the relationship stuff,all I can say is what I've come to believe: it happens when it happens.

  2. I'm GLAD that you posted this. I wish I could give you a big hug, right now.

  3. Obviously I can't claim to understand exactly what you have gone/are going through, but when I saw this post I felt the need to pop over and post something. I don't know quite what to say, though, beyond "I hear you."
    I do hope that the comments that you are getting make you feel a bit better.

  4. I never think of you as being on the periphery of my online friendships. If anything, I sit in awe at your fabulous blogging. That you, along with 2 others, have been part of the team that has brought South Pacific Book Chat to so many people. I would hazard a guess that it is Australia's most active twitter bookgroup.

    As for the house situation, we are all lucky enough to not see each others messes. And believe me when I say that I am happy to hide that from everyone.

    Airing worries and thoughts is healthy. It helps us all to not be alone. Many (((hugs)))

  5. More of us are with you than you would know! Many hugs!!!

  6. Oh Marg. I feel sad when I read this. I see you as a funny , well read, caring person. An awesome, very proud Mum. I am delighted to call you my friend. I also fervently wish I could do something that would make you feel better. {{{Hugs}}}

  7. (((Marg)))....I hope you won't have regrets. A post like this reaches out and touches so many of us who hide behind that outer mask.

  8. Hello Marg,

    You are not alone, I for one could identify with what you wrote. Was searching for Rose Tremain's story on the painting Holyday, and came across your posting. I am passionate about art and literature, lovely to meet you Marg.

    Big Hug.

  9. Marg,
    That is the most honest post I have ever read- don't ever feel like you should not have written it. All you can do is hang in there and do the best you can- you are in my thoughts- big HUGS!!!

  10. Sending a lot of love and many, many {{{ hugs }}} your way. Hang in there, girlfriend! More of us understand than you can imagine.

  11. I think you're brave to say what you feel. I know a lot of us think WTF has happened to the beautiful life I was supposed to have, and we just muddle through, doing the best we can. Your son sounds like a terrific boy, so you have reason to be proud of yourself for raising him right. Also, being financially independent is hard, so you've done well to get this far on your own. But yeah, the wanting to connect with a soul mate, to feel loved and appreciated for who we are, is one of those things we all crave. It's not easy when people don't see us. It hurts. It makes us sad. I hear you, Marg. XX

  12. You are definitely not unnoticed or uncared for! I love your blog and tweets, and am sending you love xx

  13. Good on you for posting.

    I don't agree with what you said above about a woman not being supposed to need someone in her life.

    A woman shouldn't feel the need to be defined by having (or not having) a man, but we all need adult companionship of some kind in our lives. We need people to talk with, the share our lives with. It doesn't have to be a man and a relationship, but we all need adult friends around us.

    It sounds, from what you post, like you have an amazing son - and good on you for managing that in a hard situation - but you still need friendly, positive adults around you.

    I consider you my friend and if I lived near you, would ask you out for coffee and conversation. I'm sorry I don't.

    I ended up at the doctor's totally stressed out over various things the other week and the thing she told me I needed to do most of all was get out of the house and spend some time with some "girlfriends". I admit to not being sure exactly where I'm going to find those girlfriends, but I see what she was telling me and that's a huge part of what I hear you saying.

    Sorry this has got so long and forgive me if I'm talking total rubbish, but for all I've got that man in my life, I feel like I can still relate to what you're saying.

    Wish I was closer.

  14. Giving advice to a stranger half a world away is impossible and impertinent, but your post concerned me, so I am offering some suggestions.

    1) Be around people. A church, maybe. You don't have to belong and need never go back, but generally churches are safe places just to spend a few hours talking to adults.

    2) Think good thought or, more accurately, unthink bad thoughts. An extreme example--"I'm the worst person who has ever lived." No. A host of historical characters, Hitler, Stalin, et al., have all of us beat on that score.

    3) Find something to laugh at. A blog recently mentioned Bill Cosby, reminding me of his album from the 60s "Why Is There Air?" With a young child, that should have you laughing.

    4) Continue to reach out through your writing. You've made friends who want to help.

  15. Hugs!!

    I haven't been blogging very much lately and it has a lot to do with what you have bravely talked about here.

    I have the opposite problem in that I have a good hubby but when it comes to career or even a hobby I'm completely useless.

    I often wonder why I am even here - I don't have children, I don't have a job and for the most part, don't have hobbies (except for reading and way too much TV). I do believe that if I wasn't born, nothing would really be different - hubby would have found someone - so again, not sure why I'm here.

    I'm starting to think if we are ONE thing to even just ONE person then we're doing well. You are that ONE thing for your son and my hubby tells me I'm that ONE for him. After that, we're probably just stumbling through life.

    Being a parent is a full time job and you are doing it alone AND holding down a job.

    And if I lived by you, I would totally drop in for some chat, chocolate and a cold pop.


  16. I'm so sorry that you're feeling this way, Marg. I wish there was something I could do besides offer words of encouragement. My mom has been single since 2002 and while she doesn't mind being alone, she does say that it would be nice for someone of the opposite sex to look at her like she's attractive from time to time so I can see where you're coming from in that regard. I totally agree with what Liz said and CindyS is are very important to your son. I hope things look up for you soon. Please message me on Facebook if you ever need to talk. Take care and chin up. =O)

  17. Your life sounds almost like mine. After my divorce, I was a single mom, kid in private school, no one interseted in me as anything other than a bump in the road. For 10 years, nothing.

    Then about 5 years ago I met someone who lit my world on fire. I thought it would never happen to me ever agian. There is hope out there it just takes time.

  18. Aw, Marg. I just want you to know, that for what it's worth, we all think you are terrific. You are a big part of this community. I hope you feel better soon and know that it's ok to "feel sorry for yourself" when you need to. ((HUGS))

  19. Wish you didn't feel so badly. You have a lot, including a great son.

    Feel good, treat yourself well. There is a lot to be positive about and congratulate yourself for doing.

    So what about what a house looks like? That is not the basis of life. It's okay.

    You need to get out and meet adults and have friendships and get involved in something you enjoy doing with others. That makes a big diffeence.

    Also, there are millions of women around the world who are living similar lives to yours. And we all have to find ways to enjoy life and be okay with our situations.

    Life doesn't go along a straight line. Things change, relationships change.

    The main thing is you have yourself, a great person, and you have a child who sounds wonderful.

    And you have a terrific blog, lots of friends online, and you have books, a great distraction and enjoyment.

  20. Marg,

    Just wanted to say that you make my day whenever you comment on my blog. You're not on the periphery (at least in my head), you're at the centre.

    Go out and do things for yourself, if there's a guy out there who could be interested he's got to be able to find you. Try things that you haven't before, maybe the guy for you isn't moving in your circles?

    Best of luck (and remember most of us are faking it on the way to making it).

  21. Marg, It has been more than a pleasure to meet you firstly on line and then in person on several occassions. I am gobsmacked by your literary knowledge but most of all, I am drawn to you because of your ability to share yourself with others. I don't claim to hold the answers to anything but I do scour the Earth for philosophies that can help me on my path. I take bits and pieces from anything I can relate to. Recently I came across The Secret in my store. Now I have been selling this book to people for years and wondering what all the fuss is about, only a few weeks ago I decided to open the pages and start reading. I haven't read all of it but what I have taken from it is vital...Always put out to the universe what you want. Sounds simple but it's not. Because if you put out the negative the universe will deliver the negative too. So listen to yourself, listen to what you put out and make sure that you reinforcing what you want to happen and not what you don't want. That's enough from me, I hope I have given you something as you do everytime I'm with you online or otherwise.

    Hugs & kisses, Jacqui xx

  22. Marg, you are definitely not in the periphery of my life. Whenever I'm offline for a while I always think, I have to tweet at least once or Marg will worry!

    Have you read Corinne Grant's book? I think you might find it comforting. Must admit, though, I skimmed it hoping it would motivate me to clean up my horribly cluttered room...but it didn't quite work.

  23. Helen Curtis (Carr!)August 20, 2011 5:24 pm

    I know we haven't 'spoken' as such in many years, but the memories I have of you are as a strong, confident person who I could always look up to - I probably never told you that.

    Thanks for being so incredibly open and honest; perhaps if more of us spoke up about these things there would be less of us feeling the exact same way. XO

  24. Thanks everyone. I have been thinking about writing a post like this for ages, and I really couldn't decide whether to post or not post, but it's out there now.

    Helen, it's interesting because I think a lot of us struggle with the same things over many years. I certainly have.

    Thanks Sean! Been trying new things, but not having any luck there either. And, half the time I feel as though I have been faking it to make it nearly my whole life.
    Kat, I haven't read Corinne Grant's book. I will have a look and see what it is.

    Jacqui, I am not really all that sure that I know how to put out positive anymore. Certainly had enough people reinforcing the negative over the years.

    Thanks Kathy. I guess after having a down few days just have to pick up and try and go forward again.

    Chrisbookarama, thanks. I know we all have days when we don't feel as much a part of the community as we want.

    Nulaanne, here's hoping that my story can echo yours.

    Michelle, that's exactly it. It would be nice to have someone think that you are a bit of okay just every now and again.

    CindyS, maybe the one thing to one person is really important. I had someone tell me not too long ago that at least I had my son so I didn't need other adult company. Trying to explain to that person that those two types of relationship are not, and should not be, the same thing didn't go too well.

    Liz, having grown up in a church environment, which ended up not protecting my sister and I at all, I am afraid I don't necessarily see them as safe. Thank you for your thoughts and words though.

    Kerry, thank you friend. I do try and get out. Just this afternoon I was out for lunch with friends, which was fun. Unfortunately at some point you have to come home to the same old, same old though. I have been trying to get involved in new things, but often find myself feeling like I am on the edges. It is something that I can remember feeling even as a teenager, which tells me that it is about me and not anyone else.

    Thanks Belle.

  25. Violet, I can't tell you how often I feel invisible! The thing is though, I know someone who has a loving husband, two gorgeous kids and she talks about feeling invisible too.

    Anne, in some ways I do wish I hadn't hit publish, but mainly because it exposes too many raw nerve endings to the open air. Thankfully people have been very supportive.

    Thanks Camilla.

    Thank you Sally, and thank you for your friendship.

    Rhapsodyinbooks, I am sure that there are others who feel similar to me too. A lot of time we all put our best face forward and don't like to show our true feelings.

    Thanks Vassilikki. If only airing our thoughts and worries wasn't so exposing!

    Thank you Karen for stopping by.

    Pam, I am not sure that I am glad yet, but I am sure I will be eventually! I had stopped crying after posting this until I started to read everyone's comments.

    Monica, I am afraid I have come to believe that if it hasn't happened in your 20s or early 30s then the chance may well have passed you by.

    Thanks Melissa and Fredamans

  26. Marg,

    Had a feeling that I may have been not too much help. :/

  27. Don't be sorry for posting this. It has given me a chance to say that you are one of the people I most look forward to talking with online.

    I can't pretend to know exactly how you feel, but I can tell you that most us are not living the life we dreamed of. And it is only harder the worse the worldwide economy gets.

    You are smart and you have friends and you have a great kid. Sometimes the moment we find the good in the life we have now is just the time when opportunities open up.

    You are at the core of the blogging community and although most of us live way too far to meet you for lunch, we are only a tweet or post or tumblr or email away.

  28. Marg,

    I am so sorry that you are feeling this way, but have to say that I think you might be more important to people than you know. When you sent me that email last week, I had reached a low point, and was really lost in a bit of despair. Your note made me feel so much better, and I have read it several times since then, getting increasingly better as my eyes rove over it.

    I can relate to what you are going through, and I know how hard it is to be alone. I have been there before. But you would have to agree that being alone is so much better than being with someone who treats you badly, and I am convinced that there is someone out there for you. It might take awhile to find that person, but it will happen!

    And also, I think you are quite cute! I do remember seeing a photo of you somewhere on the blog (that I can't quite find now) and thinking, "hey there, that Marg is pretty snazzy!" so I don't think that's what it's about.

    It can be incredibly hard to go through the hard parts of life alone, but never think that you aren't important to a lot of us out there, because that is just patently untrue. You mean a lot to a whole huge group of us.

    And I also admire your honesty for posting your true thoughts, and not hiding them away where no one can see them. It takes a lot of courage to have posted this.

    Take care, my friend. And if you need to talk I am just an email away.

  29. Oh, Marg, I am just aching for you! I have no good advice but just want you to not give up hope. You seem like an amazing person, and I'm glad you don't have that idiot around bringing you down. And don't talk to yourself the way he talked to you. You deserve better!

  30. I wish I could say something besides this: I love your reviews, I truly enjoy your point of view, and I wish you the best. You are one of the people whose opinion I really appreciate. Raising a child alone is a heroic job -- good for you! I hope things look better soon in the other parts of your life!

  31. Dear Marg, just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you. Loneliness and low self-esteem are heavy burdens to carry, and you have been doing it for nine long years, probably longer by the sound of it, with worries and grief wearing you down further. The pain caused by someone from whom you had a right to expect love and caring obviously did not disappear when he left, so that even now you seem to find it hard to believe that somebody could find all of you, not just your internal qualities, attractive. That is so sad. And yet, there is also that fighting spirit you have poured into the raising and education of your son, as well as an awareness that what makes someone feel worthy and happy and well-adjusted varies from person to person. Perhaps, sometimes, we are ashamed to ask more of life than we have, when others around us are suffering, too? Yet, being honest to yourself and to others about your wants and needs and longings and fears, and not allowing these to be belittled, seems no small thing after the demoralising treatment you suffered in your ex-relationship (and other stages of life). You deserve to feel that you matter, and this post seems a courageous step in claiming that right. I am adding my blessings and good luck wishes to the many others that are winging your way.

  32. I hope you can take some comfort in the support you have received from comments on this post.
    I truly wish for you your hearts desire.


  33. Please don't regret posting this. This is too much for one person to carry around and not express in some form or fashion. You have to get it out.
    Things like this can be hard to express to real "in person" friends. As much as they say they don't judge, they sometimes do. It's human nature and it's happened to me on both ends.

    I am sorry that there is nothing I can physically do about your situation and I am sorry that you may see no way out or things getting better soon. All I can say is I am here for you to vent to and you have to believe that things will get better. Take a couple days feel your feelings and yourself and try and pick yourself back up. You have your son, yourself, and us crazy bloggers pulling for you. I don't have an answer to the companionship, all I can do is lend a shoulder.

  34. Marg, I was so sad when I read your post and my heart goes out to you. I am new to the blogging world but when I first contacted you I was touched to find how warm, considerate and generous you were. I don't know you 'in the flesh' but from reading your blog it is clear that you are intelligent, hard working, committed and passionate - all characteristics that make your presence (whether on or off line) intrinsically attractive rather than peripheral. No wonder so many readers want to read your posts and also offer comfort. So feel free to use one of those adjectives next time you're inclined to substitute a negative one in your thoughts to describe yourself. And keep on hanging in there. You're in a dark place at the moment but it won't always be so.

  35. What a brave thing to do, Marg, posting this. I wish you all the best. Platitudes don't help really but just know you are surrounded by people who like and respect you.

  36. Marg, I really wish we were at least in the same country so we could chat about this over a cup of coffee. From my experience destiny has a way of surprising us and the timing is not always the one we would wish for. In the mean time know that there are people who value your friendship and will always be there for you when you need it (in spirit if not in person). Hugs!!!

  37. I am a bit late to this post, but I just wanted to say that even though I am not exactly what you are talking about and I live on the other side of the world, I just wanted you to know that you are essential to me and I value our friendship. :)

  38. You shouldn't worry about posting this. I know how you would feel, but like someone said, your post will reach out to all of those among us who are also hiding among masks. And we all are having some kind of mask. I try too, not to define myself in terms of another person in my life, but there are times when I feel the absence and those are when I feel real sorry for myself.((((((HUGS))))))

  39. Marg - I don't know what to say except that you are valuable - not only in the blogging community, but in the world. (Hugs)

  40. marg, I know this girl who use to laugh at the most stupidist things and do the silliest things, but then one day she looked in the mirror and decided she didn't like what she saw. From that moment on she became very hard on herself not able to see the good, but always able to see the bad and able to magnify it 10 times. When people try to help she takes it as a criticism, yet those around her just don't know what else to do as they see see her struggle with her demons. Why don't you start a new habit...start everyday by looking in the mirror and being thankful for something about you, learn to like you and embrace why people are greatful for you being in their can start now!