July 28, 2011

"When I was lonely, I hid my emotional reality and lied outright."

"I fudged facts and did everything necessary to make my isolated life look full. I hinted that I hadn’t been single for as long as I had. I worked as a lawyer, and if someone at the office suggested I looked tired, I pretended that a busy social life was leaving me drained. I thought I was alone in doing this, but other lonely people I spoke to did the same thing."

42 comments:

rhhardin said...

Go into math or physics.

You're never lonely.

David said...

Lying to hide our emotional state is pretty common. At some times it's even desirable or necessary.

But loneliness can be brutal. When she learned that other lonely people feel and act as she did, she was taking a good step away from its grip.

Carol_Herman said...

Best advice I ever got from my dad:

If God wanted you to be attached to someone forever, you'd have been born a Siamese Twin.

And, the best lessons in life is to learn to stand on your own two feet.

You know, I wouldn't hire a lawyer that looked emotionally drained.

E.M. Davis said...

It would be easier to write a book about everything that is not an epidemic these days.

Paddy O said...

Captain Liberty: Manuel, we're not lonely, are we?

Batmanuel: We? No. No, no, no, no. We're too attractive to be lonely.

Capt. Liberty: Yeah, but we are alone.

Batmanuel: I'm not alone. Uh, spinsters, shut-ins, toll booth attendants — these are alone people. Batmanuel is lone — as in Lone Ranger, or, uh, lone wolf. Alone is an unfortunate predicament. Lone is an aesthetic choice.

gadfly said...

As Roy Orbison sang:

But only the lonely
Know why
I cry
Only the lonely


I might add my opinion (as well as that of Mr. Orbison):

Dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah

pm317 said...

My siblings back home in India think I am rolling in dollars and therefore, I must be happy (and expect that I spread that 'happiness' to them). I have to remind them that life here is not a bed of roses but filled with loneliness (yes, I have used that word with my sister), especially in the life of an immigrant. I don't get any sympathy from them. I don't think they even understand.

But the article author seems to have some expectation that others should do 'something' to alleviate her loneilness, but why? Or how?

Eric said...

Lying about it is perfectly rational. To many potential mates the fact that you're alone is a sign there's probably something wrong with you. Thus the "I'm just so busy I don't have time for a relationship" dodge.

The Crack Emcee said...

"When I was lonely, I hid my emotional reality and lied outright."

Lawyers lying?

Who knew!

BTW - I am now up to my 20th+ try to post this comment,...

Brett Wiltshire said...

testing comments as ann mentioned her readers were having trouble. hopefully this works!

Ann Althouse said...

Wow! It's working!!!

Sixty Grit said...

Google strikes again!

WV: netrate - I rate google very low.

Trooper York said...

So the Penguin's plot was foiled again!

The Crack Emcee said...

I have been alone for years now. Except for when the divorce, etc., was going on and I was dealing with betrayal, I've ever felt "lonely."

I've gone from a phone that never stops ringing to a phone that makes me wonder why I own one - doesn't bother me one bit.

I don't understand "lonely" people.

Trooper York said...

(alphaliberal looks like a Penguin)

SteveOrr said...

Loneliness is not a sign something is wrong with you. It’s a totally normal mood. Like anger.

Trooper York said...

Lonely smoely.

Just ride around in a elevator and sooner or later some guy will start talking to you.

traditionalguy said...

It got pretty lonely out here in commenter land.

Trooper York said...

This article is the biggest bag of bullshit I have seen in a long time.

This douchenozzle has no reason to be lonely. There are plenty of blokes who would like to chat her up. But she doesn't want a normal run of the mill bloke. You know someone with a bit of a pot belly and an extra chin or two.

She want's one of those handsome gay lookin dudes like that one got
caught shaggin his nanny and wot.

People like that should stop bellyaching and get off their duff and go to the pub and have a right all shag if you askes me.

Pogo said...

Geez, for a minute I thought Gilbert O'Sullivan had died.

Naturally.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

pm317 wrote But the article author seems to have some expectation that others should do 'something' to alleviate her loneilness, but why? Or how?

My thoughts also. The author likes to talk about the stigma of talking about loneliness, but has seemingly no insight into the actual topic. Or she's unwilling to offer any. Maybe that's why she's lonely.

She reminds me of a Peanuts cartoon.

Linus says, "I think we are put into this world to make other people happy."

Lucy says, "I'm not happy. SOMEBODY'S NOT DOING THEIR JOB!"

edutcher said...

I can't say how common, but the effects, mostly from depression and other maladies, are a life unspent.

While we can argue there
is a lot of phony feel good in the self-esteem effort coming out of public schools these days, the kid - and I think this is something that stems from childhood - that never gets the real validation from his family is going to end up like this.

pm317 said...

My siblings back home in India think I am rolling in dollars and therefore, I must be happy (and expect that I spread that 'happiness' to them). I have to remind them that life here is not a bed of roses but filled with loneliness (yes, I have used that word with my sister), especially in the life of an immigrant. I don't get any sympathy from them. I don't think they even understand.

Send them a copy of a song called, "Detroit City".

But the article author seems to have some expectation that others should do 'something' to alleviate her loneilness, but why? Or how?

You and Carol nail it. It's a decision that has to be made by the person involved and it takes a lot of guts. The fear of rejection is crippling beyond the ability of people not paralyzed by it to understand.

WV "sworms" A whole lotta worms.

ricpic said...

The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.

--Thomas Wolfe

Heart_Collector said...

I play with my cards face up on the table, and I've never looked back. For a unemployed drop out loser without much money, Im actually super happy with life.
Hows that facade working for you?

What happens at the end of the game where everyone pretends their popular and just sits in loser mode once they are out of the public eye.


Admit your a loser, move on, smoke some pot, make some music, paint.... Meet other losers and fuck and have loser familys.

You might wake up happy....

Wake up happy....

Wake up.

Pixie said...

Some of us suck at life. That's not a plea for help or a shout out for a knight in shining armor. It's just the truth and that lady nailed it.

bagoh20 said...

I suspect that people in relationships lie to themselves just as much, but then they are lying to two people, and both know they are lying.

I don't know if it's just me, but I only feel loneliness when I'm having a great time alone, which is often. I wish I could share it, but I know it would probably not be happening if I was not alone. I can't decide how to feel about that. A lot of my joy requires the freedom of being alone, but that's a little melancholy.

ic said...

pm317: Sorry, but you can never go home. You are a naturalized citizen (I assume), but your "nationality" is Indian. Your neighbors and acquaintances are friendly, but you don't know what the heck they were talking about when they reminisced their high school proms, their five year college reunions. You feel left out if they didn't show interest in your experiences, but feel patronised when they asked you about your "home" country. You are a sojourner here. When you go "home" for a visit, you're a visitor from America. (I was born and raised in Honk Kong, came here for college. I speak "perfect" Cantonese. When I went home for a visit, the taxi driver said "you're from America?" I said "Er? How do you know?" He said that "er" gave me away.)

If you lived among your "nationals" (That word is as stupid as calling Hollywood big shots Hollywood royalties, the Kennedys American royalty. I digressed.) You have to keep up with the Patels and the Guptas. The doctors, the owners of a chain of gas station franchises or motels (Hillary-esque). Their sons go to MIT, their daughters are Harvard MDs. (Enough steretyping yet?)

themightypuck said...

How to Fight Lonliness

SunnyJ said...

I'm never lonely when I'm alone.

I sure have been lonely in some rooms full of other people.

There's an art to solitude, and like any art it needs to be practiced with some intensity and passion to master it...or your just born that way..

Mary Beth said...

It's not the responsibility of other people to seek you out and entertain you.

I'm an only child, I grew up with lots of "alone time". It doesn't make me lonely - there's always books.

pm317 said...

edutcher said...
------
listening to 'Detroit City' right now! Not sure I am that lonely, :)

ic said...
------
one foot here, one foot there, the story of every immigrant. I don't keep up with the Guptas, and the Patels. May be that is the problem, ;). The truth is I would die of boredom if I went back home. A little loneliness never hurt anyone but a lot of boredom could kill you. How is that?

edutcher said...

pm317 said...
edutcher said...
------
listening to 'Detroit City' right now! Not sure I am that lonely, :)

Well, that makes me happy, but it was more intended for your relatives so they'd see your point.

Christy said...

Isn't lonliness the further step in shyness, which was discussed here at length a couple of years ago?

William said...

An unhappy marriage makes one appreciate a life of solitude. A weekend with the relatives makes one contemplate the pros and cons of joining a Trappist monastery....Companionship is like Vitamin C. Too little and you get rickety. All the rest you just piss away.

John Lynch said...

Act in a rational way to get where you want to go.

If you don't want to be lonely, then find a way to see people. It may not be easy, it may not always be enjoyable. It seems to me that many (not all, especially the elderly who have simply outlived their social circle) "lonely" people are really just misanthropes. They don't want to be around people, and then complain when they aren't. It takes work and tolerance to develop close friendships. Some people don't want to- they want other people to do the work.

The rational question to ask is "why would anyone want to be friends with me?" It's not nice, not kind to the self-esteem, but that's how the world is. Relationships take work. Why, out of the 6.5 billion people in the world, are you worth bothering with?

Like people who complain about not being able to find a date, or never having children (sans biological causes), I don't have a lot of sympathy. When people say they want something but won't do what it takes to get there it is entirely their own fault.

Mostly, we choose our lives. Mostly, if we keep failing at something it's our own fault. Being single is a choice, being alone is a choice. Not for everyone, but most people. Opportunities for friendships and romance arise, and we can make them happen ourselves.

I made a very conscious decision to change my life so I wouldn't be alone. I stopped expecting people to like me for who I am (a bigger lie has never been told) and started being someone worth knowing. It's really a better world to live in when you realize that you are in control rather than just a passive victim of bad luck and capricious fate. And oh, I wailed about the unfairness of it all. Didn't change a damn thing.

The world would be a better place if we weren't so reluctant to hurt people's feelings. Or, more properly, if people weren't so reluctant to confront their own responsibility for how their lives play out.

Unlike death or betrayal, loneliness is something that's relatively easy to resolve. It's curable.

pm317 said...

John Lynch said...
-------------

Very well said. Thank you.

Fred4Pres said...

PM317, if you have not done so already you should read Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again.

Fred4Pres said...

I watched an episode of Have Gun--Will Travel where a septegenerian wills his silver mine to a young actress who was kind to him at a dinner. Reminds me of this story. Paladin argues the will to the court. Totally crazy from a legal perspective, but I really do like that show. I try to watch an episode a night on Netflix.

Then I looked her up to see what she is up to. She moved to Newfoundland and lives with four cats. What a surprise.

Fred4Pres said...

scrolling up I see ricpic has beat me to referencing Thomas Wolfe.

Henry cracked me up with the Peanuts reference. Boy ain't that the truth. I always thought the strip a bit depressing.

I took the wife and kids to the Peanuts Museum in Santa Clara in Feburary. I met the guy (he was a volunteer in the museum) who used to work on "Sparky's" typewriters. He told me how in his mid thirties, Shultz invited him to start playing hockey with him on the rink he built. He did not even know how to skate, but now he is a regular on the 70+ team at Snoopy's Rink.

I played hockey as a kid and in high school. I spoke with the guy for about an hour, it was really pretty facinating hearing about Shultz from a first hand friend. For a loney guy, Schultz did seem to tough a lot of people beyond tha comic strip.

Fred4Pres said...

Emily White lives in Newfoundland with four cats. I am sure you will all find that shocking given the article she wrote!

Shanna said...

I am going to Miami next month and was fully prepared to go alone (until a friend decided to come with me), but it is funny the looks you get when you say you are going on vacation by yourself. Did anyone see the scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall when the guy goes to dinner? I was joking to my brother that dinners out were going to be like that.

I don’t understand Emily’s desire to watch a bunch of tv shows about sad sack people who sit at home being depressed and talking to their cat, though.