Category Archives: sadness

How sad it sometimes can be. A second post from A.

It can be very difficult to miss places that you have to leave. For example when I needed to leave Mompiche, a place I had grown very attached to. First we planned to be there for three days but we ended up being there a month. We were going to Quito and that was very cold and rainy and I would have loved to stay in Mompiche for a little longer. And I was crying the first night because I really missed Mompiche.

It’s like when you fill up a glass of water and when it’s full you can’t put any more in and that’s how it is to travel. At some point you just get enough of that travel and you want to go home. It isn’t like that for everyone. Some people can fill the glass again and again and drink it.

Loneliness

Loneliness is a terrible feeling. Yet most people know it. Loneliness is an emotion that can manifest itself physically making the person who experiences it overwhelmed by sadness and desparation.

Loneliness has nothing to do with actually being alone. I have often been alone without experiencing a trace of loneliness. You can experience loneliness when you are in the company of others because it occurs when you are not able to talk to the people around you about how you feel and what you are thinking about or worrying about.

All people need good friends and strong, healthy relationships in their lives. The need for other people to listen and offer validation to your thoughts and feelings. And the need to be able to do the same for those people. This need is even described in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is very probable that if you don’t have this need fulfilled you will experience loneliness.

I have often talked to people whom I think of as intelligent (both emotionally and otherwise), funny, interesting, caring, attentive and many other things and had them express feelings of loneliness to me. I am always surprised because I can’t imagine that this person would feel lonely. But then again I am not so surprised because it is a feeling that prevails in our society. And I think it is an increasing tendency today. There are many examples that it is an increasing tendency but some of the examples are; the increasing number of young people who are experiencing emotional distress due to feelings of loneliness etc., increasing numbers of people who live alone, increasing numbers of attempted suicides amongst young people, increasing numbers of kids who are bullied in school etc. The list is long.

I am not saying that all this is caused by loneliness. To be sure I cannot know all the factors or even what role loneliness plays in these numbers. I can only know how common the feeling is, because I have talked to people who have felt it, and because I know what the feeling has done to me when I have felt it.

Unfortunately, loneliness is almost inevitable if you are a single parent who unschools. It is great to spend all day with your children. But you need the company of other adults whom you feel deeply connected with too. And it is hard to come upon if you are always parenting.

The few times a year that A goes to visit her biological father are not enough for me to seek out new and interesting and lasting and healthy relationships. More often those times are spent doing practical things, working or writing. Put simply; I spend those times alone. Because you also need solitude when you are a single parent.

Our society is not built in a way that makes it possible for single parents, or indeed any parents, to seek out new friendships or other strong relationships while at the same time parenting your children. The most it amounts to is chit-chatting for a few minutes with random people at the playground or the library or whereever else you happen to be visiting. And chit-chatting or small talking does not prevent feelings of loneliness.

Being an introvert myself I don’t even enjoy small talking. I can do it if the situation prescribes it, for example if I hitch a ride with someone I wont just sit there silently but rather chit-chat in order for the situation to run more smoothly. But it isn’t something I enjoy, except if I think that the person who picked me up is actually interesting. I hitched home yesterday from my parents’ place since A has gone to see her biological father. I was picked up by four different people and I had one remotely interesting conversation which ended before it had begun because the person had to drop me off since he wasn’t going any further.

The things is, western societies are not built in a way that aims at preventing loneliness. How can they be if the sole purpose of the state and the great capitalist institutions is to make good consumers and to control citizens? How can people/children learn to talk with and listen to each other when it isn’t taught in schools? How will children learn to build healthy relationships when noone is there to teach them?

As a single, unschooling parent I am struggling with strong feelings of loneliness from time to time since I haveĀ no like-minded community to turn to where I live. I am working hard so that A will be better at forming healthy relationships and seeking out community in the future and be better suited for this than I have been myself. The best way I can do this is by being there for her, validating her feelings and thoughts, creating a respectful environment for her to grow up in and being as authentic as I can be as a person.

To be that I need to validate myself as well. But that is an entirely different subject.

What are your thoughts on loneliness?

Difficult choices

I had an abortion. Not a pleasant experience in many ways and not something I wanted to experience. It is not something anyone wants to experience. In many ways it is not easy to talk about openly since it is not something people generally share. It is still very much taboo even though it is perfectly legal where I am and has been for a long time.

Since the abortion I am left with the ever pressing questions of what if I had chosen to have the baby after all? After all I have been wishing for another child for years. How could I choose to not have that child now that I was pregnant? The truth is I will never know what would have happened if I had chosen otherwise. And the truth is I was overwhelmed with doubts and fears so much so that it completely killed my initial happiness about being pregnant. I did not know I could feel so sad and so terrified about something I had wanted for such a long time.

I felt such overwhelming emotional distress about the prospect of having to take care of two children completely on my own and such fear of not being able to do it that I chose not to go through with the pregnancy. I felt like a complete failure for having those fears. I felt scared and alone and wanting to be held or have someone else take care of my situation. But I was the only one there to take care of my situation and to make a decision. One of my friends once said to me she thought it would be impossible to have an abortion if you already had a child because you would know all the things that you would miss out on. And I absolutely knew what she meant. However, I have a child, a wonderful beautiful daughter that I love so much and still I could choose to not have this child I was expecting. Because I was afraid I was not going to able to be enough for my daughter and this new little one. I was afraid I was not going to be able to give them all I wanted to give them.

And there was the egotistical concern for myself that suddenly overwhelmed me: when am I going to be able to do something for me? Am I ever going to experience true love? Who would want an unschooling mother with two children one of them a tiny infant? I felt helpless, alone and scared and suddenly I did not feel any happiness about having this new little baby. I only felt hopelessness. I clearly saw that I would not be able to have another child at the time. And I chose not to.

I am not religious and I don’t think it is wrong to have an abortion. I don’t mourn the loss of a child since there never was a child there was only an embryo. I mourn my own inability to have this child. My insecurities, my inadequacies, I mourn my own fear and my doubt in myself. I mourn that I was not strong enough to give my daughter the sibling she so longs for. And I mourn not ever being able to meet the child I could have had. I mourn feeling so helpless and insignificant. I mourn my own egotistical need to be more than a mother.

It is a sorrow that I will carry with me for a long time, maybe forever. Maybe I will never forgive myself. Maybe I will always wonder what could have been. Maybe I will feel good about my choice in a little while. Only time will tell.

But I still believe in choices. I believe in following your gut feeling. Doing what feels right and what seems best at the time. My thoughts and feelings go out to the women who have had to make this kind of decision. It may be very difficult or it may be a great relieve. Either way you are strong. And it is always your choice ultimately.

I didn’t know where to go with my feelings and thoughts about this so I chose to put them here, on the web, for noone to see. Or someone. Or everyone.