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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lonely and Mothering

I struggle with friendship. I don't make friends easily and I don't do well with casual relationships. I want to share my heart. I long to be seen. I delve deep and fall hard and love passionately. I am hesitant to reach out and slow to respond. The "normal" routes for creating relationship (mom groups, women's groups at church, even our small group) just leave me feeling awkward and wanting more. I was touched by this post by Emerging Mummy: In which I write a letter to Womens' Ministry. I want for, long for, a community of women to live and love with. 

I am lonely

We married young and moved a few times and most of the close friendships I have are now long-distance. Reaching out and calling and writing are not things I do well remembering. So life-giving conversations are few and far between. I am blessed to have married a man who has become my best friend. But there is only so much baggage and conversation a good man can manage. I've learned quickly that every though and every feeling does not need to be shared. We are happier when he is not my only friend.

I did not have a good model for making friends while growing up. My family was isolated, home schooled, counter-culture and my parents were introverts. Thinking back on it: our family friends decreased as I got older. I did not see my parents pursue and seek out friendships. They invested deeply in the few close ones they had and then slowly lost them.

Jugement and self-righteousness eat away at relationships. I struggle so mightily with these standards that seem "right" to me. I judge myself the hardest. And my lack of self-worth makes me put up a wall of my own negativity which effectively blocks those trying to reach out to me in friendship. I know I have failed to respond to some because I was too concerned by how well we might "fit" as friends and didn't open my heart to them.

I want to break through this wall of depression! I want to reach out to the image of myself that is reflected in Christ. I want to be the beauty that I know those few I hold dear see me as. I want to live like a person loved well because I AM. The darkness chokes me. Stifles life and hope. I rise up; willing myself to laugh and love and reach out. Then fall as those boney fingers of self-doubt and shear breathtaking tiredness drag me down.

I am a mother. I do not want to be a lonely one. I push and push and push. Trying to be enough and love enough and hide the darkness I feel in my soul because GOD I do not want to dampen these bright spirits with my own CRAP! I ask Jesus to hold me when I remember and I crash into this amazing Man who has held me through some of my darkest times. But it's not enough. I continue to return to the pigsty of depression. I know that this is not how I want to mother. I also know that I am doing a GREAT job. I am an incredible mom.

But it is taking everything that I have. Every ounce. I don't want to crash. Don't want to fail these little souls. I love these boys with everything that I am and I adore being their mother. They bring me joy in the darkness and they are a smile in the midst of my tears even today. I want to be more than this for them. I want to live fully. Not crippled and limping.

Knowledge is not enough. I see the patterns; know the triggers, am so damn self-aware! But that does not stop the flood of tears. It does not heal my heart. I know all the problems, see all the solutions, but I am paralyzed by fear.

I am afraid to hope. Afraid to fail. Desperately longing to be seen yet terrified of being found unappealing.

How do I move forward? How do you find the strength? I think I am, only to find myself here in the same cell of myself.

There is nothing contented about the state of my heart today. I feel more trepidation then anticipation.

My only prayer is this: Jesus hold me.

How do you fight isolation and loneliness as a mother? 


  1. Oh my goodness. Motherhood can be one of the loneliest places on earth. You'll get through a great, busy morning, and then your child wakes up fussy from a nap and you're all alone in your house with him for 4 hours, and you crave somewhere to go and someone to talk to.

    And blogging can be lonely, too. You reach out to a lot of people, and people reach out to you, but it comes in waves. And when the waves aren't rolling in, it feels lonely.

    I find, like everything in life, you just push forward. I guess it's faith. I'm not religious myself, but I have faith that things will work out if I just push forward. And it sounds like you do too.

    Self awareness is both a blessing and a curse. Surround yourself with people for now. You don't have to be best friends with everyone, but there will be a few that you will find a connection with, and that's all you need.

    Hang in there. It's a roller coaster, this life.

  2. @,

    Thank you Love. I have so appreciated your encouragement here! Today has already gotten brighter thanks to a husband who knows how to care for me in the dark.

    And I'm going to YOGA!!!

    Sometimes you have to reach towards the bottom to see the way out.

    Enjoy the ride :) And thank you again, from the bottom of my heart!

  3. I was sobbing into the dishwater during naptime over this exact thing...I didn't have close local friends when I got married, we don't live close to anyone from church (45minutes away), and with 3 under 4 I don't have a lot of "extra" to invest in friendship... but I crave it! I really wish I had those girlfriends to bring over a movie and a frozen pizza when my husband is out of town on work. I wish I could meet somebody at the park and just hang out while our kids played. I decided after my sobbing in the dishwater episode this afternoon that I have to do more to reach out. I think I'll put out an open invitation on Facebook to my local friends to meet me in town tomorrow to hit the park or mall. Worth a try! :)

  4. @natalie: That sounds like a great idea to me! If I was in your town I'd take you up on it ;)

    Today was one of those days for me too. It may be the darkness of winter creeping in. I don't feel much hope. I'm so glad you stopped by to comment. It reminded me of the things I want. The drive that keeps me going and the source of my strength. I hope you find connections soon and the courage to reach out!