Isolation & Connection

I’ve been in an intense struggle of choosing relationship over isolation, battling loneliness and desperately wanting connection, but feeling frustrated when I can’t connect and thus wanting to shut down and isolate more. Possibly being overly introspective in an inaccurate sort of way which has led me to be exceptionally selfish lately. I’m so focused on wanting to fill my need to connect that I’ve stopped actually caring about the people in my life. It sounds backwards, but it’s true.

One of my closest friends called me out on this last night. I zone out on him way too often. Like…if I don’t deem it “actual connecting” or if it’s something frivolous in my estimation I just stop listening. I don’t mean to…but it’s been happening more and more. So I’m also feeling like an asshole right about now. I used to pride myself on being a good listener. Now I’m having to convince myself I still actually love the people in my life. I’m also struggling to believe that making new friends is even worth it.

Some of this comes from some difficult changes that have happened with Bushbaby over the past year. She’s very different now and our friendship is too. Overall it’s not a bad thing and we are still friends and still love each other, but the process has caused a lot of pain and I think I have trust issues that I never had before. I don’t like being someone who has trust issues.

In May I had a few weeks where I was really struggling with the specific residual wounds of that situation. On top of that I was struggling with feeling isolated whenever I was with my family simply because I’m single and relating to people who all got married and had families young is difficult.

I realized that the isolation you feel because you are the only single person in the group is worse than the fact that you are still single. You can’t contribute to the conversation about child labor or the various joys of childrearing or sex, and those people don’t know what to ask you so they just don’t. That isolation is far worse than the fact that you don’t have a husband yet even though you want one.

And then you ask yourself,”Do I want one? Or do I actually want to go be a hermit in the mountains with a few sheep and my cat?” Because hermithood would be easier than wanting and trying and failing to connect and then you wouldn’t hurt anyone when the process morphs you into a selfish asshole and no one could reject or misunderstand you ever ever again. Just you and Jesus, some sheep and a cat.

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But it would be a waste. And I believe that none of this season, this pain, is a waste. It’s life.

As tempting as it is, hermithood is not true living.

Other contributions of this season:

Falk (while still a fantastic human) is not right for me and I’m longer interested the way I was. The more I spent time with him the more I realized we wouldn’t have the right kind of connection that makes you want to talk and talk forever.

Ironically, the Lord forced me to hang out with Shanks for a few hours so that I’d have to see him as human and stop flat-out disliking him. I had to face why he made me so insecure and got under my skin so damn easily.

First, it’s easier to paint someone as an all around unfeeling, inconsiderate jerk than to be ignored and rejected by a good man.

I also realized that he reminds me of some guys I went to college with who were very cerebral and only cared about people who impressed them with their intellect and wit. Anyone else was rarely acknowledged and definitely not valued. I spent about two semesters in this friend-group and then realized I always felt horrible about myself afterward so I stopped hanging around those people. I attributed the same snobby callousness to Shanks because his treatment of me felt very much the same and I saw his intellectual side come out more than any warmth. As I have said in previous posts, I value warmth and compassion, so when I felt the opposite I immediately assumed he was just like them: snobby, arrogant, and exclusive. I also realized that I’m snobby toward people I view as snobby. Then I realized that just because his intellectual side might show more dominantly, that doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t love people.

At this point I still don’t know much about whether he’s a jerk or a prince charming or what. He could be a nice person and he could be a total snob. But I’ve at least been stripped of my preconceived notions enough that I don’t seethe when I see him, because 90% of my feelings about him were derived from my own issues and only about 10% of it was actually his doing. Who he actually is remains to be seen and I’ve cleaned all my scribbles off his slate at least.

He still intimidates me. I also realized that part of my whole “my man has to love people and see people and be warm” thing might be because I don’t think a guy who was particular would ever give me a chance. Maybe it’s this subconscious belief that it would take a guy who really loves people to notice and have enough grace to pursue me.

Yikes, that is a vulnerable confession. I hate that that level of insecurity is in there.

I was also sick for a few weeks (which was not fun) and my roommates have been busy with trips so I’ve spent a lot of time alone. I’ve watched a lot of TV which hasn’t helped because you are watching shows about connection and seeing characters connect or suffer being disconnected and you long and then relate and then feel like you have no life and you want something to happen because nothing ever happens and somehow you are the hermit already except you are still having to interact with people and still having to try. None of the perks of being a hermit. Only the disadvantages of feeling alone.

Ay-yay-yay what a mess.

I’m a mess.

 

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15 thoughts on “Isolation & Connection

  1. your version of hermithood sounds kinda awesome right about now (though i would replace the cat with a dog). having friends also sounds awesome. sigh. “How long, O Lord?”

  2. I know it’s been a while, but hang in there! Loving people is one of the hardest things to do. I guess that’s why it’s the greatest commandment. Haha! 🙂

  3. Its funny how the Internet makes people connect without actually seeing each other. I stumbled across your blog in my curiosity to find out what to do as a single christianlady who has huge sexual desires but obviously can’t practice any of it until married. Im hooked. I have a journal too which helps me vent and refuel. Not that my comment here is intended to add thing that significant but guess it’s fine to say I feel you. Luckily God has sorted out our needs. We are blessed

  4. Girl, I could leave a reply on every post as I basically just spent my day reading your blog. And I feel like I was reading my journal. Seriously. I would love to get a chance to talk to you (I looked everywhere to see if there was a way I could e-mail you and much to my disappointment found none). So much about our stories are the same, but I am a few years younger than you and really feel like you might have some insight for my situations in life. I don’t think it was a mistake that when I googled a certain issue in my life and tagged the words “Christan girl” into it your blog popped up. A total God thing. Every post I read (OK I did skip a few, but I do plan on going back and reading them when I get the chance.. Soon!) is 100% my life. It really shocked me, in a good way, that someone could understand so fully.
    Father is using you and your blog to touch the life of a stranger in small town Ohio. I know that feeling of not connecting all too well and this post (along with many others) broke me. The comfort in knowing that I may feel lonely and isolated in my group of friends, but I am so not alone in feeling that way is refreshing. Keep writing and sharing.

    And if you want to e-mail me (I totally would not object, but completely understand if you don’t) you can reach me at shutupandrawk@aol.com.

  5. Dear Ace,
    I’ve been to this blog several times over the last few years and as I’ve read what you’ve posted up so honestly and sincerely, I’ve admired you as well as liked your spunk and desire to do what pleases God. I hope you will find love!

    One of the things that crossed my mind as I was reading your posts (the saga pt 6) is whether you can be this real with someone that you know in real life. Just wondering – because you are a wonderful person and you deserve to have your thoughts heard and your person affirmed and accepted, just because. 🙂

    Will be praying for you.

  6. I’m 25 now, and have been struggling with the same doubts and frustrations. I had a community group, that I started a few years back, that I’ve stopped going to because it is primarily young married couples and I’ve felt very out of place with their conversations. I’ve been praying about it, but just find myself hurting after I meet up with them, so I don’t. It’s been hard to have a group that used to be so uplifting to me turn into something that I dread going to and will find any excuse to skip. I’m hoping God can help both of us in that way.

    Thank you again for sharing your honest thoughts and reminding me that I’m not alone, it helps so much!

    • Thanks for commenting, Alex. You are not alone. Hang in there and don’t feel bad for feeling the way you do. You’re feelings are valid and loneliness is hard. Add the fact that you probably don’t want to share how you feel with them because it isn’t their fault and anything they say in response will most likely be unhelpful, I get not wanting to go. I’m sorry you are in that position and I’ll pray you continue to choose community even when it’s hard.

  7. I am a Christian male, and I completely understand your post, but from a male’s point of view. I have been having a lot of trouble with the dating scene here in highly liberal, and very anti-Christian California. All of the girls think that you are a joke out here if you are a Christian Conservative…and don’t spend all of your time hitting all of the Hollywood clubs, getting drunk, and smoking weed every night. If you aren’t “Mr. Pothead partyman,” and they find out that you love Jesus Christ…then they right away don’t want to chill with you anymore. I hate California, and all of the hoodrat women here…I wish I could bail, and skip town…go to a more Christian Conservative State…but I don’t have the money yet for that. I would fit in better anywhere but here…thanks for your post, and your confessional…you are an inspiration to many…keep up the good work. Christ Bless you!!! Found your work by accident…crazy how Christ works…

    • I can definitely see how that would be discouraging. I don’t know what the churches are like out there but that would be my recommendation for finding friends and romantic possibilities. Or just get to a small town in Colorado. Single women tend to be found in more rural areas, single men in urban. I am one such woman and when I go to the city I think, “Ah, HERE are all the men.” Anyway, if you want a good woman with your values you probably won’t meet them in a bar. They’ll be in church or a small group and they probably won’t be oozing their sex appeal as much as hot women you meet in public so you may have to look a little harder and closer to find them. Don’t be intimidated by them, either. Ask them out! Good luck!

  8. I just looked you up again to see if you’ve written more. Please know, some random stranger on the internet is thinking of you and praying for you 😘. I hope life is treating you well and that you are happy. Hope to see an update from you soon. I love reading your blog because I have related to your feelings so much in my life.

  9. It’s been almost a year since you wrote. How are you doing Ace? Please tell us what has been going on in your life. I don’t know you but you and I are definitely kindred spirits. Everything you go through, I’ve gone through at one point in my life. It’s bizarre. If I had your expressive and writing abilities I definitely would write about my struggles with lust as a woman. Unfortunately English is not my first language. But you have a way with your words, please don’t stop encouraging us with your words. Much love from all the way in Africa. I miss you.

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