Many challenges come from raising a child alone, but the hardest one at the present time is not the lack of financial help, being faced with making decision all alone, etc, but the deep, empty loneliness.
The loneliness that brings a deep sadness, a loneliness you feel though your bones, deep in your core. And If you come from a family that is not close/united unless it’s for a funeral, holidays are something you’ll dread.
A loneliness that might drive you into the wrong arms, make you settle for less because it’s better than being alone, feeling alone and defenseless. A loneliness that that reminds you daily that you have no one.
Yes, in parts you’re not alone, because you have the companionship of another human being; your child, however, he/she is not someone you can confide in, be a shoulder to lean on, share your sadness with, etc. Your child relies on your strength weather it’s lacking or not.
The loneliness one experiences as a single parent is beyond comprehension. It limits ones ability to make new friends (if you’ve relocated), date etc. Single Parenting can be like a social class and you might find that other single mother’s find nothing in common with you and politely stop contact because your the “third world country type” on the social class ladder.
Dating is nearly impossible. Babysitters can be costly due to the lack of having someone willing to watch your child for a date night. Also, will a man be understanding of the limitations being a single parent entails? Will he embrace your child?
And when you’re feeling broken, there’s no room to breathe, no personal space, no escape, you have to be present whether you want to or not. Push, shove, repeat, fake a smile, put on a mask daily, with no glimpse of escape, with 16 or 18 years looking so far away, that it’s not tangible.
Yearning for flexibility, a hint of freedom makes one feel like a monster. You feel guilty for wanting to feel “normal” again and you fear the thought of ever having children again even you’d love a big family, because of the fear of being left to raise a child alone; mothers can’t escapen or deny their responsibilities as easily.
I’m numb by this loneliness, no one to openly talk to without fear, no ear to listen, no shoulder to lean on, no arm to be your strength when yours falter.