Pain from being alone / a loner…

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    I was inspired to write my story because of something I read in a Tiny Buddha article,
    Lori, I think it was, mentioned that she was a “recovering loner”.
    She said something also about only being able to be comfortable with others when you are comfortable being alone with yourself.

    As far back as I remember, I have been on the periphery in social situations. I remember standing in the schoolyard as a child, wanting to join in and not sure how. This has followed me almost throughout my life, and I will be 31 years old soon. My family is emotionally distant as well. I have been torn between wishing I could connect with them, and hating them for being so distant. I have one close friend who I can relate to, whom I can share my true self with sometimes, and I have my psychologist, whom I am terrified to open up to.
    I freeze. My stomach gets tight when I am around new people. I feel like I have to protect myself and put up a front. I still feel like that kid on the outside, looking in, wanting to play but always doing things wrong. I feel like anything I could say sounds dumb.

    I guess I never really felt like I belonged anywhere. Last night I took a walk by the river, and lay on my back in the grass looking up at all the stars in the night sky. I lay there for a long time. For some reason that made me feel better, but that doesn’t solve my problem.
    I am terrified to be known, and I suspect that I cut myself off from knowing myself because of the intense shame I feel about being alone. I also feel intense shame when I make a move to open up to someone new, and I draw back. I feel terrified.

    How can I achieve more balance? I think I will always be the person who is more comfortable spending time with a special friend than showing up to a party where I don’t know anyone, but I am miserable with the way things are right now. I also dream of having a boyfriend, a life partner someday… and the way things are going I feel like I’m just going to wind up alone.

    Please help, share your stories. I feel so lost. 🙁

    How can I feel comfortable and enjoy myself being alone, I feel so ashamed of myself!



    I know how you feel, to some degree or another. I’m 35…friends have come and gone, especially during the last 5 years of my life.

    I AM comfortable being alone, I just wish I could create more bonds with more people. For some reason, it’s hard for me to maintain friendship with people to a point where they will want to check in and say hi to me, and create a friendship that lasts. This makes me feel lonely sometimes. Or other times I’m TOO comfortable and content being alone! The later part of my 20s I thought I found some really good friends. When after a few years I felt like they only saw me as an acquaintance.

    I hit it off with a couple people at a cooking class I took recently at a local meditation center. Thought I found a new girlfriend to get to know. We exchanged #s. I called her. She said she was glad I called, said she’d call back that evening so we could make plans for lunch. She didn’t call. That was a few days ago. I’m not “hurt” or anything…it just seems like this is the way it’s gone trying to make friends.

    We need people, love, knowing others care. No one should go through life alone. At the same time, though, it’s important to be your own best friend and pursue things that interest you despite wishing to share it with others. That’s still important, but we have to do it for our self no matter what 🙂


    I am amazed that I have been led to this forum today. My higher power must be showing me that although I feel completely alone right at this instant, that I am really not alone in my feelings. I too am having misgivings about my recently exposed inner feelings to a school classmate that I have spent countless hours studying with this semester. As a 56 year old man I am working towards a nursing degree in a highly competitive scholastic environment and struggling to keep moving forward. The pressure that I placed on myself this semester was extreme and overwhelming.

    The semester recently ended and my female studying partner and I passed what I consider my most grueling class to date. We became very close as I spent more hours studying with her to pass this class than I have with anyone else in my life. l began studying with her and never considered anything but that. In fact I can honestly say I never even noticed her for the first four weeks of class. We were brought together when we both needed to figure out how to pass this class we were both failing. Circumstances seemed to placed us together and we both responded by motivating each other to keep going and not give up on the class. We both talked about it through the semester while studying together and talking about our test grades. At some point during our marathon study sessions she looked deeply into my eyes and we shared intimate feelings about our lives. We shared our past failures and dreams for the future and marveled what had led us to be together at the moment.

    I don’t know what overcame me at that one encounter, but when it seemed she was looking into my soul seven weeks ago, I allowed myself to become completely overwhelmed by an emotion that I had not felt in twenty five years. This was the only the second time in my life I gave way totally to my inner feelings and truly recognized I was in love with a woman. I had buried my emotional downfall with this old girlfriend twenty five years ago when I was twenty eight. It seems that she was ready to settle down and the clock was ticking telling her she should get started with a family and I was not ready to be the man that could provide a living and start a family. I had just started a contracting business and was following a dream to be in business for myself which was viewed by my soul-mate as being unstable. We had been together for nearly eighteen months and she was beginning to become aware of the biological time clock for starting a family. She finally transitioned over to a younger man than she by four years who was a year into being a Navy SEAL. We kept in touch for several years and I finally gave up the friendship as it was too painful for me to handle.

    Here I am twenty five years down the road, after marrying someone I truly did not love and having two children to keep her happy. The two boys have survived the breakup intact after getting divorced fifteen years ago the animosity we felt between us has dissipated.

    The feeling I had buried for my first true love twenty five years ago mysteriously surfaced seven weeks with my friend and here I am again in the same place I was financially twenty five years ago. I am working on a new career plan, but not stable enough to carry on a relationship. Up to this point I have not crossed the line romantically because I do not want to end the close relationship I have with her right now and she is reeling from a frighteningly possessive lover that was in the picture nine months ago. We both are working towards our goals in college and see that as the most important goal we both have. She is turning thirty one in a month and is starting to talk about the baby she wants to have within the next four years. We have a twenty five year gap between us that neither of us seem to find a barrier. Amazing as it might seem, I have thoughts of turning my best friend into a lover when we are both ready. Even more frightening, I can see myself wanting and planning for a family with her. I was just thirty when I got married and became a parent way before I was ready too. I have told my special friend that I would love to have a second chance at the life I was never ready for.

    The thing is, I opened up and told her about my feelings and it did not seem to rock her. I said how I think it would be like a dream to be best friends with someone and have them turn out to be my lover for life.
    We are not romantic as of yet but we both care for each other deeply. As of the last two weeks something has changed and the time we spent together on a daily basis studying and appreciating each other has ended. She has begun to distance herself from me and we do not talk everyday as we did just a couple of weeks ago. When we do it is intimate like best friends, but the magic I felt emanating from her has gone away.

    I feel so empty inside that we are not together the way were three weeks ago. When I e-text her now I do not even get a response for several days. This has left me vulnerable to my insecurities and feelings that I cannot seem to change. I am frightened that I will end up carrying this feeling again with no resolve for another twenty five years. I do not want to chase after her and yet I do not want to feel this emptiness I am carrying around. My mind has lost it’s focus and I am crying a lot. Completely out of character for me.

    I am amazed that I ended up at this website and reading the shares above. In my little world I am alone (studying of course) and would never have contemplated that I have read what I have tonight.

    Joanna Warwick

    Hi Neuman, I wanted say that although you it feels like you are going through a tough time, from your story what I see and hear is that LOVE has touched you and opened your heart. That journey is not easy but is wonderful. It sounds like you have been bottling and burying feelings which only make you shrink, love will make you grow… but there are always growing pains. You are not alone and never have been even if it feels like – his journey will led you to YOU and the best love affair of your life. I have a written on TB about my own journey of love through hell and back to arrive at freedom …. It is wonderful that you have found yourself here… All of this will make you a real nurse which is a role based in sharing and giving Love, but you must receive to do this…I don’t want to plug, but so check out my site: http://www.rediscoverthemagic.com ~ I am a therapist and healer and a lot of what you have shared sounds so much like most of my clients and what I write about.. Take care and always come back to loving yourself first!!! Jo xx

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