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It hit me today like a hammer. I am on my own


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All of my life I have had someone to answer to. All of my life my time has always been for someone else. Today it hit me. I am on my own for the first time in my life!

I married a month before my 17th birthday. When I divorced I moved to California and lived with my brother and his wife for a while then on to Washington to live with Johnny.

Everytime I went somewhere there was someone who needed to know or thought they did. My time was never really mine. With Johnny I had all of the freedom I wanted but he was always in need of me for something. Mostly he just wanted me with him.

I have lived alone sense his death 3 and 1/2 years ago. That first year I was so raw and so angry that I didn't pay any attention to being on my own. I just knew I was alone and being with Johnny was all I could think of. The second year in some ways was worse than the first. There was no more telling myself I was having a nightmare. I was living it. Then I was having so many finacial problems that I had time for nothing but work and trying to rest whenever I could. I can't say my time was mine.

Then this year started out the same and within 3 months my ex husband died. His death brought a whole new set of emotional problems and it gave me finacial security because I am getting my SS widows benifits.

Today I was scheduled to work for half a day. I got near the ladies house and called so she could open the door. There was no answer. I called the office only to learn that she moved to Arizona last week and the secretary forget to inform me!

There I was in town with no job to go to. Sense it is a 20 mile drive I decided to do something while there. I went to gamble. I lost a few dollars but stayed all morning. I enjoyed myself but suddenly it occured to me. There is no one to wonder where I am when I am gone. There is no one who needs to know if I spend money for something. I'm on my own and for the first time in my life it is really on my own. I guess because I couldn't afford it before I just never realized it.

I came home and tried to take a nap but couldn't sleep so I went fishing. Then I tell myself I am spending too much time fishing. Then it hit me again. Why not? I do my job, I keep my home and yard clean and I have been painting on my house. I neglect nothing. Why shouldn't I do what I enjoy?

I realized being on my own has two sides to it. One is good. I can do things I want to do. I don't have to bend to someone elses wishes or be there for someone who needs me. That is freedom I have never known.

Then there is the bad side of being on my own. There is no one to get excited with me when I catch a fish. When I see a sunset or sunrise or just the lake on my way home from work there is no one here waiting that I can tell how much I love those things. I'm alone but I'm really not lonely. I just miss that personal contact between two people who share their life. Even with my ex I had some of that and with Johnny I shared my heart and soul, my thoughts and dreams, my joy and my heartache. Now I come home and I talk to him because other than Misty there is no one else here to hear.

It makes me sad in a way but it also makes me want to take all I can from that freedom. In my job I see too much of what can happen to us when we get older. I want to take all I can from life because you never know how much time you have or even more what the time you do have will be like.

So being on my own may not be the best of all situations but it is one I can live with :!:

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Quote: "All of my life I have had someone to answer to. All of my life my time has always been for someone else. Today it hit me. I am on my own for the first time in my life!"

Yep, this is exactly what hit me two days ago and it really sent chills right through me and had me shedding a few tears at the same time.

I still have many things to take care of with what's left from my parents' estate, but it gets done on my time schedule now -- no more interruptions of someone needing me anymore (people or job deadlines and such). I can plan things again for myself and do things again for myself. Whatever I want, whenever I want.

Big thing for me now is just plain not knowing what really makes me happy -- my whole life has revolved around others and I'm still just too quick to commit to helping others just to avoid answering that one with myself, it seems (I've noticed that about me lately).

Then there's the teary part of it all: I seem to be content and relaxed to have this freedom, but the price was major loss in my life. Not sure what I'll do with that one over time in this process, other than I know it's OK to go on, live life, and find happiness.

That ache to want to share enjoyment with others is definitely there. I find it just a bit odd within myself that somehow it's as if there's a part of us that needs to have someone else approve of what we find pleasure or excitement in. I hope to find one day, that it's enough that I find excitement in it no matter what anyone else thinks, including the possibility that there may not be anyone who shares with me what I'll come to relish -- otherwise, I fear I would push aside my own peace and pleasure for their needs once again.


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I'm slow to read this, but I want to thank you for posting it.

I always feel so terrible, because my mom lives alone. She only lives about 4 miles from me, but I worry about her at night, alone with her thoughts, etc.

I guess, ego-centric as I am, that I never thought of the 'benefits' Mom has as well (not the word I wanted to use, but I can't think of another). She can fix whatever she wants to eat for dinner, when she wants it, can choose what to watch on TV, go to bed on her schedule, etc.

I know that doesn't replace having my Dad or someone else there all the time (the grandkids sleep over when they can), but it helps to think there could be some silver lining. Mom insists that she likes her independence--maybe that is what she means!

Next time you catch that big fish, let us know! There is nothing like reeling in a big one! I'm smiling just thinking about you doing that...

:) Kelly

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Wow! What an amazing post. I am so proud of you for recognizing your strength, seeing the positive, while understanding and acknowledging that all is not rose petals. Share those fish stories with me, and I will send you a smile! :D I know it's not the same, but its something!

God bless,


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I want to thank all of you for your responses. I wasn't really sure if I should post those thoughts. I have thought a lot lately about just kind of fading away from here but I just can't seem to do it.

I don't want to take up room from those who are more recent travelers down this road of grief and uncertainty. I really don't have a lot of advice to give out. So much has changed sense Johnny was in treatment yet so much stays the same.

I decided that because I have come so far and have been through so many trials both emotional and financial that maybe what I have been through may help someone else. I was hoping that seeing that even I could get through some of those things would give others hope.

Kelly I especially want to thank you for your words. It never occured to me that telling about my experiences would help someone understand what their parent other loved one might be experiencing. Maybe just that makes it worth while!

Fishing has slowed down quite a bit. I was going just about every day that I was off. I ended up getting too much sun and not feeling well. As you know our temperatures were in the triple didgets there for awhile! Besides that I have work to do here and they just aren't biting as good as they were. I only fish for perch. It's a lot of fun to catch them and I love to eat them. I think they are the best to eat. The ones here in the lake are very large because most people just throw them back because they are fishing for bass. Let throw!! I'll enjoy catching them and eating them :!:

Funny thing is that is something else I had to learn to do alone. My husband always fixed the line for me. I would bait the hook but never knew how to tie the hooks or make leaders. Well I wanted to fish bad enough that I have learned. I also leared how to felet them because I was running out of freezer space. I can say even having been divorced from Denis then with Johnny when fishing I always think of Denis. He would want to leave long before I was ready to leave(often after being there several hours) finally to get me to leave he would throw the bait away. Many days lately he should have probably been there to throw it so I would leave before it got so hot.

I do want you to know that I am not making light of the pain that will always be with me. The pain doesn'tleave. You just get used to it. I guess it would be something like a person who has had a limb amputated. You get used to not having it but you always wish you had it back. YOu even dream about how great it was when you had that missing part of yourself. Some days go by without too many of those thoughts. Some days that is all you can think about and I'm saying that after close to 4 years sense I lost my Johnny.

You know I used to talk about the hole inside of me, the hollow spot. The truth is it is not a hallow spot or empty spot. It is a hallowed spot. That hole is filled with all of the love and all of the pain. The good memories are there along with the bad ones. His smile and his eyes fill that place deep inside of me. No the hole is not empty. It is very full, full of all of the things my Johnny left with me and despite our divorce some of the things Denis left with me. When someone we love dies they always take a part of us with them, but they leave so much more of themselves behind.

Again thanks to all of you. I wish you many days when the laughter and the love will be what you feel in that hole of yours. Lillian

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