The struggles of a single parent’s life

The life and struggles of a single parent.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Good company. Wouldn’t that be the answer?  Unfortunately I’ve had some struggles these past three years and those who said they’d be there for me scattered. I’d be lucky to get a few phone calls or texts a week. You see, society expects you to keep your “Facebook Face” on all the time. My life is perfect. I never struggle. Look at my family photos. Look at my latest vacation. Here, let me post some positive motivational BS so that I appear to be happy, content, financially secure and well put together. 

The reality?  I’m struggling. Struggling to keep my anxiety manageable. Struggling to keep smiling when I have my children every other week. Struggling to get out of bed. Struggling to eat, to wash myself, to shave, to do all those things that “normal” people take for granted.

I’ve been asked before, “why are you so worried, so stressed?  You’re financially stable, have nice kids, cute dogs, a great boyfriend. A good paying job. So what’s the f’Ing problem?  Well, if I knew, I’d figure it all out and I could actually live the lie that I create for myself online and in person. That put together person with a tonne of friends, places to go, people to see. Unfortunately I feel like staring at the ceiling and spacing out.  I’ve been suicidal before and I just got put into a holding cell for 24 hours and let go. I’ve been an in patient 4 times in the psych ward. All I learned was that my psychiatrist didn’t think I’d survive and I reacted badly to all the psychiatric drugs they pumped into me.

When I feel really bad I try to reach out and all I get in return is anger and frustration. My solution?  I turn my destruction inward and try to sleep most of the day away to avoid feeling lonely, depressed, unmotivated. Basically, a loser.

If I knew the answers I’d post them here. All I know is if you struggle, don’t tell your family. Don’t tell your friends. They’ll scatter like rats discovered in an old cave. Family isn’t much better. Probably worse.

Life sucks sometimes. Things get hard. Don’t lose that Facebook persona. It will bite you in the ass. If you fee alone, you probably are.

The answer?  I don’t have one. Only time will tell where I end up and how things will pan out for me. Until then, the secret struggle continues.

Stay tuned.

The curse of social anxiety

Oh no, it’s happening again. That constant loop, forever repeating in a predictable pattern.

Meet someone new. Honeymoon phase. Loving intensely. Enjoying life and all it’s pleasures.

Time creeps by. The bright light starts to flicker just a bit. Hold it together girl. This one’s different. No need to worry. No need to question things. All is good.

No, all is not good. I’m in my head again. Can’t regulate those nagging thoughts of being undeserving. I’ve become boring again. That initial interest in me – that bright flame is flickering more and more. At times I worry it’s delicate flame will be sniffed out by the slightest of breezes. Get out of your head. It’s all in your head.

He doesn’t call as much. He tells me on the way to his house to control myself more around his sister. He says that laying in his bed while he and his sister watch a movie together creeps her out. She thinks I’m being anti social. I tell him that sometimes I don’t feel well. I have social anxiety.

Some people don’t believe social anxiety is real. They think it’s a cop out. A way to steer clear of social interactions. On the contrary. I’d kill for the chance to be around others and not have to fight the overwhelming feeling of wanting to hide in a closet. I bite my nails in a ritualistic manner. Concentrating on the action itself rather than the pressure to appear “normal”. To avoid being an embarrassment.

I don’t tell people I have social anxiety. Thus, many people think I’m weird. An outcast. An embarrassment. I try to wish the anxiety away. I try so hard it hurts. It physically hurts. I feel like crying, cutting, throwing up, hiding. I can’t. I have to endure the torture of being in an uncomfortable situation and acting “normal”.

For the “normal” person, being social comes naturally. At first meeting me I come across as confident, jovial, easy-going. As time goes by and I get to know a person better I tend to get into my head more and more. I mind read what they must be thinking of me.

“She’s a weirdo”, “what a loser”, “she’s so strange, what’s up with her tonight?”

I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

I just want to run like Forrest Gump. I just want to run and keep running. I want to hide in the forest and be alone.

He’s going to leave me. He’s going to be embarrassed by me. He’s going to grow tired of me. I’m not worthy of anyone’s love.

I worry that I will bounce from relationship to relationship and not form lasting bonds. I just can’t seem to do it. When I meet someone I really gel with I hang onto them. I cherish them. I appreciate them. Then I get scared. They’re going to leave me. They’ll grow tired of me. They will eventually see the real me. Scarred from childhood. Scarred from adulthood. So much trauma. Not enough healing.

I’ve often thought of myself as a lone wolf. A square peg trying to fit into a circle. I sometimes think I was put onto this beautiful planet as a joke. I don’t belong here.

I can relate to the song “Creep” by Radiohead. I’m that creep. I’m that weirdo. I often ask “what the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here”. Maybe Radiohead gets it. Maybe I’m not so alone in this after all.

Being an unwanted child

Being an unwanted child hurts to the core. I see Facebook posts of loving messages from children to their parents and the reverse and I long for that connection.

I’m in my mid 40’s now and my parents feel so much contempt for me it is sickening. I’m not really sure why they hate me so much. My dad once told me that stay at home moms are “losers”. He also told me that if my children don’t develop social skills like my brother and my ex husband that they were destined to be “housewives”. That really burns me. One, because I was an at home mom and felt attacked for making that choice and two, that my dad was implying that I have no social skills.

When I was married we made a joint decision for me to stay home as childcare costs would result in me making a very small monthly income. We thought it would be best for me to raise our girls instead of someone else. The heat I received from my dad was terrible.

When my second born child was in her first year of life she had a lot of baby fat. My brother was also a chunky baby. They both grew out of it. They call it baby fat for a reason. He told me that my child would be ostracized and have no friends if I didn’t put her on a diet immediately. I contacted the Dr Phil show and they were interested in the story. My dad refused to appear. I guess it’s always better to insult your daughter and grand daughter in private…

My mother is no better. For many years now I cannot be alone with her due to her violent outbursts toward me. She blames me for everything shitty that has happened to her in her life. She seems to easily forget all the times we gave her money, invited her over for family get togethers, all the times I built websites for her next “big idea” that she’d never follow through on.

She insults me at every turn. She tells me I’m a horrible mom. She tells me I’m capable of murder. Murder, of all things! You don’t know me so I’ll give you a bit of a background – never been in a physical fight in my life except for one time when my mom physically attacked me when my children were 1 and 3. My children are both honor roll students and exceptional dancers with many many good friends. They have healthy relationships with relatives and and kind and compassionate people. I take credit for that. I raised them almost completely alone because my ex essentially abandoned us to follow his own personal interests.

I thought of putting an ad out for parents. I long to have a mom and dad who truly value and love me. At 45 you’d think that I’m too old to want that but it’s the one elusive thing in my life that I just can’t seem to attain. I feel rejected to the core. I feel angry that my parents brought me into this world only to torture and ridicule me with words of hatred and anger.

Perhaps my mom is resentful of me for not wanting her there when my kids were being born. I feel it was my right as a new mom to have whomever I wanted there. I chose just my ex. I felt it was a very intimate moment that I wanted to share only with him. I definitely didn’t want my mom there. She has always resented me. It was a no brainer.

My mom failed to show up for my wedding Photos. She blamed me, as always, saying she didn’t know where we went for the photo shoot. It was pretty hard to miss us as we were in a very large rv. Interesting that everyone else made it. Turns out she went to a friends house to take a nap. She blamed me for having to go on anti depressants when I asked if she wanted to give a speech at my wedding. Weird….

Tonight I sit here shaking my head again. I’ve been living on my own for two years now. I’ve been legally divorced for about 6 months. I feel betrayed because my mother hangs out with my ex and his family and gossips about me. The same people who treated me like an outsider for 20 years. The same people who systematically contributed to the breakdown of my marriage. Causing a whole world of hurt for my poor daughters.

I often wonder what is wrong with me. Why I’m unloveable. What curse has been placed on me to have to live this daily torture. I know my parents creep my Facebook to see what I’m up to. I’ve since blocked them because I feel that if they can’t come to me face to face then they should not be privy to what I’m doing in my life.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I need to keep fighting for their love. Fighting for something positive to come out of their mouths about me. My parents can go months or years without talking to me. They think I’m a loser. That I’ve made bad choices. Like getting a divorce. I have no regrets about my divorce. I was essentially a single mom so I felt that I was still young enough to find true love with a man that appreciates me. I was right. I did find that. Do we have tough times? Of course. But he never disrespects me and he never calls me names. He’s a hard nut to crack but inside there’s a soft heart with good intentions.

3 years ago I suffered a nervous breakdown. I was hospitalized 4 times in a 3 month period. My parents never visited me in the hospital. They turned their backs on me and said that it’s just “typical behavior” on my part. One reason I fell apart was negative family drama. I just couldn’t take it anymore. They had worn me down so much. And being a busy mom just contributed to my downfall. I believe my parents want me dead. Then they could just love and nurture my children without having to see me.

Being hated by your mom and dad is devastating at any age. It’s even harder when you’re older because THEY’RE older. More aches and pains equal cranky parents with a taste for blood. My parents try to seize any opportunity to bring me down. They enjoy watching me fail. They tell me that I should be more like my brother. I’ve heard it my whole life. It’s exhausting. Christmas is a nightmare and really any “family” get together is tortuous for me.

I took a DBT course a few months ago and I learned how to place people into appropriate circles of influence in my life. My parents were on the outskirts.

Living a life feeling ashamed of myself and being belittled at every turn has made me withdrawn, more distrusting. I don’t trust myself or others. I have a deep feeling that everyone wants to try to hurt me. I don’t let people get too close. I’m wary. Scared. Tired.

If I didn’t have kids my dream would be to move to Latin America and have a life there. They are so family oriented and generally appreciative and loving. I’d love to have a chance to have positive older role models in my life. Something I was lacking from the get go. My parents resented my independence. I moved out the minute I was ready for university. I needed to get away from those toxic people. I had a hard time adjusting to such a big school and city. I had a hard time making friends. That was new to me. I always had friends in my small home town. My parents hardly ever called me. They were just happy I was gone.

So, what’s it like to be an unwanted child? Lonely. Empty. Sad. I see how well my mother treats my kids and I wish she could just be like that to me. Just once. Just one day so I can feel the love of a mother to her child. I love my children with my whole heart. I tell them they are amazing. I hug and kiss them every day. I tell them I’m proud of them. Dr Phil says “it takes 1000 atta boys to reverse the hurt of one insulting or degrading comment”. Well, my parents have millions indebted to me. I know I’ll never collect. They are too proud. Their motto is that it’s better to stand your ground than to admit you’re wrong and do the right thing.

Rejection is hard. It’s amazing I’ve made it this far in life. That I didn’t kill myself as a teen. I was hurting. I still am. And my parents are sitting back with smug smiles on their faces and enjoying every tortuous minute of it. My failure is their success. It verifies their ideas of me. I have a long uphill battle. I’m up against the clock. My mother is ill and maybe has a few good years in her. Not enough time to reverse the hurt. Before she passes I’d like to ask hr why she bothered to have me. I need clarity. I need peace of mind. I need love.

The struggles and impact of loneliness

It’s been a difficult road. A husband who was never home, parents who grew up in a communist society who did not know how to show love, and in-laws that always excluded me when we had family gatherings.

I’m divorced now. I have a boyfriend. He’s amazing. We have been together for 13 months now and he’s the love of my life. I have two teen daughters who fill my eyes with pride and joy.

What still floors me is how many people abandoned me when my divorce came about. Other than my kids, my dogs and my boyfriend I really have nobody. Before I met my boyfriend I started to visit a local meditation center just to get out of the house. I started seeing regulars there and felt like we were a little community of like-minded people. I wouldn’t say I was happy but I can say that I was able to elude the constant feelings of loneliness. I used to have many friends. I always had something to do. When my children were very young the moms would spend so much time laughing and giggling at pick up and drop off at preschool, dance, gymnastics, karate, swimming, kindergarten.

I can honestly say that it felt good. I felt like I was a part of something, if only for a moment in time. I’ve always had trouble forming bonds with people. It may be the fear of abandonment or the fear of getting hurt. I have two sides to me. One side wants to be with others, enjoy their company, have fun. The other side of me is tired, wants to lay around when I’m not working, needs rest. It’s been a constant battle since I was a small child.

I see how people are in Latin America and I want this so badly for myself. I want that close family. Support. Love. I don’t feel like I get that anywhere but with my boyfriend. My kids love me, that I am sure of. But they dance almost every day and I’m alone a lot. I don’t notice it on work days. When I have a day off and my boyfriend is not with me the loneliness creeps in.

I was very ill for three years and I spent half that time laying in bed. Unable to do the simplest tasks like brushing my hair or taking a shower. I disappeared. I was a ghost. Now I am feeling better but still very tired. I want to do things. Connect with others. Make an impact. Feel appreciated. But I’m so goddamn tired.

If anyone reads this I’d love your feedback on how you deal with loneliness when you have overwhelming fatigue. For now, I just take it one day at a time. img_4717

Keeping a brave face

She cries in silence.

The answer eludes her.

Nobody can help. The wounds never heal.

She struggles to live a normal life.

Keep the panic away. Just keep it away. Smile. Make small talk.




It’s exhausting. She feels anihilated. Destroyed by the expectations of society.

Her children, having lived a privileged life don’t seem to understand that times have changed.

She’s a single mom holding on by a very thin thread.

Her boyfriend tells her he doesn’t like when she “gets sick in the head”.

Control your panic

Control your anxiety

Control your moods

Sometimes it’s just easier to sleep. Sleep the day away. Make life easier. Stay awake only when needed.

When did the passion die? When did she forget who she was? An outgoing girl with too many friends. Beautiful, friendly, witty, smart.

Now a shell of a human. Like an egg balanced precariously on a ledge. Any small motion or breeze can tip her over. Her life hangs in the balance every day.

Her kids are the only ones keeping her alive. She is surprised she’s made it three years feeling like dying almost every day.




Sitting in the dark

In and out of consciousness

Her kids and family don’t know. She’s learned not to show her weaknesses to anyone. Mental illness is not acceptable. She’s seen as a “pessimist”. She sees herself as broken.

She ponders daily how to “snap out of it”. She tries snowboarding to get that adrenaline rush. She takes her dogs to the off leash park and has small talk with other dog owners. She used to love doing that. She spends time with her boyfriend. She laughs and enjoys little moments here and there.

Sometimes it seems like the fog is finally lifting. She has an amazing day. She’s encouraged, happy, making future plans. Then she wakes up the next day enveloped in darkness. She can’t see past it. She hermits inside her home. Her kids are with their dad for the week. Food spoils in the fridge. She doesn’t eat, doesn’t drink, prays to fall asleep.

She has lost several friends recently to untimely deaths. She feels like her support system is dying away. She wonders what her life will be like when she is older. Will she become the “crazy cat lady”?

Life gives no guarantees….

Anxiety’s battle scars

She always braids her hair when she is feeling down. It must be a nervous impulse. The last few years have aged her. She’s not the same person. Many of her friends are too busy to even call her. She feels like nobody sees her. Invisible.

She hears people talking about having a mellow holiday season. Just a few friends over. Visits with family. Just relaxing. She wishes she was that person. That person that has dinners with friends, gets invited to get togethers. Has a group of friends to hang with. She’s tired of planning a coffee date a month in advance due to people being “so busy”.

She fantasizes about moving to a smaller town where everyone knows each other. Smiles and says hello. Asks how life is going. Drops by just to chat.

She grew up in a small town and feels lost in the big city. The hustle and bustle. Feels like “just a number”. She’s exhausted keeping up the persona of having the perfect life. She’s tried to express her inner turmoil to friends and family only to be met with anger, finger pointing and name calling. She has not outlet. No more money for Counselling.

The inner turmoil continues. Sometimes it builds up and she turns her sadness inward. Takes a sharp object and makes little cuts. The cuts feel nice. The physical pain masks the emotional pain. It’s hard to find places on her body to hide from others. She’s been shamed for it before. Thrown in her face. Told she’s a weak person.

She tries to find ways to cope. Sometimes alcohol, cannabis oil, Valium NyQuil, anything to numb out. It works. She falls asleep. She prays she will be out for hours. The nights being her comfort. Daytime is often unbearable. She feels like she is standing in the middle of a busy street and the world swirls around her in a blur. She has no momentum, no purpose, no direction.

Life has left her with many battle scars. She’s scared, alone, afraid….