Isolated

April 16, 2006

I feel so isolated. So terribly alone and isolated.

I've always felt different, felt like I didn't fit in with the group. Belonging has always meant hiding or submerging some part of myself so I don't stand out from the group. Emotional camouflage is my forte and my refuge. In the weeks and months since Michele died I have felt more acutely than ever my disassociation with the people around me. I am like an orphan wandering the streets on a cold, snowy evening peering into the windows of homes at the families inside, together and warm. I can see the connections between people, and I understand that I have connections with people, but they don't seem real, they don't seem to have any substance.

It is embarrassing to me to have to rely on the courtesy of others in order to be okay. While I am forever indebted to all the people in my life who have reached out and given me a place to just be, I chafe at the imagined obligation this places me under in return. My uneasiness grows only stronger when I realize that having successfully navigated this far in the turbulent waters caused by Michele's death, I am faced with a new set of rapids to survive - those of my mother's death.

How can I return to the same people who, to my eye, have extended themselves time and time again while I flail away at the elephant of grief camped in the middle of my life only to say to them, I'm back, and I have more grief, more sorrow, more need. It pains me greatly to feel so helpless and adrift. To be lost without the largesse of others, and to now, so soon after overstaying my welcome, to return needing more of the same.

And so I sit here today, alone, isolated and bereft of sanctuary. I can't escape the reality of Michele's being gone from the rest of my life. And I don't want to accept the impending death of my mother. And I can't bring myself to burden the people around me with my pain and sorrow.

I am alone. So terribly alone and isolated.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.