January 11, 2017 at 3:30 AM #1630
A former colleague of mine was murdered on Christmas on her way to dinner with friends. Along with the sadness of the death (though I didn’t know her well, I always found her to be very pleasant) and the circumstances in which it happened (terrible stuff), I also felt this sadness about the fact that she was in her 40s, single (and as far as I know, never married) and living alone. I know I was/am projecting my fears and feelings about it and I couldn’t help but wonder if she had felt really lonely and sad in spending another holiday as a single woman, even though she was visiting friends and family later. I kept thinking that perhaps her being alone made her a prime target, how sometimes being/living alone isn’t just lonely, but scary.
I also had spoken to two women, 24 and 26 (both single), who were so shocked to learn that I was 36 and had never been married. They proceeded with the how’s and why’s and afterwards, I felt like I was their worst fear…being 30-something and STILL single. That made me feel pretty crumby (and I told them so).
Any of your worst fear?January 12, 2017 at 3:25 AM #1635
LoneStar, I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost a friend last year in similar circumstances, and while I hadn’t seen him in several years (he had moved to another part of the country), we’d stayed connected through social media. And I understand about looking for those parallels and projecting your feelings onto the situation. My friend wasn’t single, but we had the same job and he was killed at work, so I felt that additional connection to what happened I often found myself trying to piece together his last day and what he must have been thinking and feeling. It was sad and very jarring to have someone I know experience an act of violence that, up until then, I had only ever seen on the news, and I definitely felt unsettled for a while after it happened. Please know how sorry I am and that I’m thinking of you.
In terms of worst fears, I think I’ve always had a general fear of being alone at the end of my life (not so much dying alone but spending my last years alone without a family of my own) and also making it to the end of my life without ever experiencing love. And I do still worry about that, but right now my worst fear has shifted to losing a parent and going through that experience without the support of a partner. My mom has stage 4 cancer and while she’s doing well at the moment, I know the realities of her situation, and while I do my best not to focus on the future too much, it terrifies me to think of what that’s going to be like. I think about the loss itself and how sad that will be, but also that inevitable moment after it happens when I’m going to have to leave my family and go home to my empty house, and I feel like that’s going to be a level of loneliness completely above and beyond anything that I’ve ever experienced before. It fills me with fear and dread, but I’m very grateful that we’re not there yet and hopeful for more time and for the possibility that things could still change for the better (especially with cancer research because there’s nothing in the world I want more than that right now, but also my relationship status). For now, I just try to push those fears out of my mind and stay in the present moment as much I can. Some days its easier than others.
And to lighten up this depressing post of mine at least a little bit (ha!), what you said about being someone else’s worst fear was really interesting to me, both in terms of the idea and the timing. I happened to hear a discussion on the radio just yesterday about singlephobia, I think based on this article:
And my reaction was similar to yours at first, because who wants to be someone else’s worst fear? Definitely not a good feeling. But when I started thinking about it more, I realized that in a way we are the lucky ones. Because how awful would it be to feel that our best option is settle for or stay in a bad relationship because we’re too scared to be single? I truly can’t imagine living my life like that and how limiting it would be, and it’s crazy to think that’s reality for such a large number of people. I’m very grateful to be okay with being single, and to have the self-awereness to know that I can do this and that in many ways it’s pretty great. Plus there’s something kind of badass about not only surviving but thriving in a situation that so many other people fear. So yay us! It isn’t always easy but in many ways I think we’re lucky to have had the opportunity to learn this about ourselves, something many other people miss out on.January 12, 2017 at 6:47 AM #1636
Lonestar and mariposa, I’m sorry to hear about the circumstances your friends, family, and colleagues have gone through.
With that said, I did have some thoughts of my own while reading your responses.
I think I can narrow down three fears:
1) I will experience “highlights” of my life alone. I’m unfortunately not extremely close to my immediate family and I have a handful of close friends because most moved away, got married, had kids, etc…
I’m afraid I’ll celebrate birthdays alone. I’ll finally get a promotion or that sought after job and celebrate it alone. Moving into a new place will be alone. I just imagine all of these things are so much sweeter when you have a companion who loves you and is a part of your life and celebrates these things with you.
2) I’ll physically be alone and not have someone on the event of an emergency or if I get sick and need to go to a doctor. I hope I’d be coherent enough to call an ambulance for myself :/.
3) I’m afraid that by the time I meet someone to marry I’ll look back at our pictures (I’m a big picture person for sentimental reasons) and I’ll be in my 60s or 70s and very wrinkled and it’ll be a reminder that my youth is gone and I don’t have much time life and I’ll have wished I found my husband decades earlier.
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