alone: left alone without being cared for or supported (Encarta encyclopaedia)
Sometimes I feel so alienated to the world, unsure if I even should be here. The first few months this year were really testing here too. Living arrangements were all up in the air, and so were friends.
I thought I had everything worked out. I knew Melinda was moving out soon, but Amy assured me we would move out together to a new place. In this time Mim and James bought my share of the house up home, so I meant I had money for a deposit on a house if I wanted to buy. It sounded perfect to buy a house, live in it with Amy, and she could pay rent to me. But she had other plans which she wasn’t going to tell me until later. With only two weeks until we all have to be out of the house we were renting, Amy informs me that she is actually moving in with her brother Tom. She gave me a few reasons as to why, but the anger building up inside of me didn’t allow me to hear them before I exploded some not nice words to her and walked out. Angry and hurt were some of my feelings. I had all of two weeks to find somewhere to live. I resented both Amy and Melinda then, because they both had somewhere nice and secure to go to, and I had no where. I resented and hated the fact that I didn’t have family like Amy who I could just go running to. This is when I really started to feel alone and isolated. I could no longer sleep. Tiredness just didn’t exist for me. I usually stayed up until 3 or 4 in the morning, and slept for all of maybe 3 hours. Sometimes I’d get quite restless and go for a walk down the street. Nobody knew, because neither of them were home most of the time. I was alone and hating it. Nobody knew if I ate and threw up, nobody knew if I took 20 laxatives, nobody knew that I went for a walk in the middle of the night. And nobody knew if I cried. Only I knew and that made it feel even more lonely.
The weekend of moving came. It was all real. I made such a joke of it stating to others that I was now officially homeless. In some sense I was as my furniture was being stored in a friend’s garage, and I was moving around staying where I could when I could. My mail was even being re-directed to my work address. I stayed with Suzi and her family for the first week. Suzi is a friend, and also worker. The first hurdle to jump was eating. I laid down my rules flat when going there, and told her I was not to have meals with them. To do that would mean giving in, and having to say yes every other night. I couldn’t do that. I had myself to look after, and I wanted to be strong with what I believed, although I didn’t really know what that was myself. For that week I did my best to avoid any contact with any sort of substantial food, and swallowed handful of laxatives each night before I went to bed. Suzi knew exactly what I was doing, yet just wasn’t able to understand, like most of us can’t either. One night there I just broke down and cried in front of her. I couldn’t keep up with myself anymore and just wanted to give up. I wanted her to then take it all away from me, to hug me and tell me it was all over. But it didn’t happen and it won’t ever happen unless I let go. I knew being looked after by Suzi was only a temporary measure for that week, but the bit of “motherly” contact I had for that week I really liked. I got the big hugs when I was sad, and I got the stern look when something that I did was wrong (like not eat). I was like a child that week, being looked after, yet at the same time I knew it wasn’t for long so I still looked after my self.
The next few weeks after staying with Suzi, I house sat with friends. The first place was for Georgia and Samuel (Georgia being my boss), and I did this with Donna. Toward the end of our first week there, Donna had to go on a camp with the church. I totally freaked because it meant being alone, something which I really did not like. I had different friends lined up to come over, just so I wouldn’t be on my own. The worst was the weekend though. The anniversary of mum’s death. Donna was the only one who ever remembered, but she was away. I didn’t know what to do, if I should tell anyone, or let it go. If I told people was I expected then to be sad, or would they think I was such a bitch if I just carried on as normal. I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me so I just let it go, and went on doing my usual stuff. That night I was actually rostered on to play violin at church. I arrived feeling fine, but as we practiced I began to feel depressed. I was surrounded by people yet felt so isolated. They were all happy and laughing, and all I could think was that 5 years ago my mother was a night away from dying and not one of them knew. I couldn’t wait to get out of there that night, except for the fact I knew I would be going to an empty house. Fear came over me because I just didn’t know what to do. I tried text messaging my friend Jan to see if I could come over, but got no reply. I drove home fighting back tears. Tears I couldn’t even identify as missing mum, or as feeling so lost and alone. I needed to beat the pain I felt, and when I got home I took a handful of depression tablets. It wasn’t an attempt to kill myself, or even to make the “depressed” feeling go away. I knew neither would happen, but I knew it would make me sick and sleepy. Ironically enough as soon as I swallowed them Jan wrote back and said I could go over there. As soon as I got there Jan had open arms for me and I just cried and cried. I told her what the day was, then told her what I had done. I felt rather stupid and small. Jan talked me through a few things, then eventfully I felt too sick and just had to get to bed. To this day I still don’t know what I achieved by doing what I did. The one thing I know is that it was my only way of saying “hey, I’m here, and I’m upset yet don’t know how to deal with it.”
A few days after that, Jan came with me to talk to Pete, the youth pastor at church. He said what most people say, that he knows I have a few eating problems, but I appear to have it all together and am always happy, so there was no need for concern ever. I hate that. The one reason for an eating disorder is because things aren’t under control, not even the eating disorder itself. Just because a person appears happy, it doesn’t mean they are. I sometimes hate myself so much, and hate my life, but I’m even too ashamed to admit those feelings to others, so the next best thing is to carry on like the “happy go lucky” person I was always perceived as a child, and not let others in on the hurt. I rarely feel worthy enough to let others in on how I feel. My feelings are only minor compared to what they go through. I have only myself to deal with when most others have a whole family to look after. I want so much to be part of a family yet as soon as I get close to it I suddenly feel like such a burden on others.
The best feeling I had was a sense of running away from everything. I went on a one week holiday, somehow getting myself all the way up to Brisbane. My trip started by visiting the Charles and Lana (who I lived with a few years ago in Lawson) in Laurieton. My biggest fear was that they may comment on my weight gain, but thankfully they didn’t. Here were another group of people I felt abandoned by, although they would have been completely oblivious to this fact. I was the one who moved out of their house to find my own independence, but they were the ones who moved right up to another town. I had lost a connection when they went. They were there for me through mum’s death, the first anniversary of it, and through the worst of my eating disorder. There was so much of me they came to know, and that I gave and then they moved away. It was great to see them again, and to actually have fun with them, and eat with them. Michelle was only 3 when I moved out of their house, yet at the age of 6 now, she remembered me, and she liked me. She asked me one day while I was there “why did you always stay in your room?”. I didn’t know how to answer that, so I just said I had a lot of work to do. The real reason was if I ventured out of that room I would come into contact with food and people. I was always grumpy and snappy so it was best o stay in that room. I’m glad she didn’t remember that side of me. From there I went to Brisbane, staying one night in Byron Bay, visiting a friend. I had an absolute ball the whole trip. I was free, doing what I wanted. And although I was alone I was enjoying it. I wasn’t worried about time for a change, or about what I would do the next day. I planned on the day for the day. I was happy.
That was the bit of freedom I decided to give myself before jumping into co-directorship at work. This whole issue itself raising feelings of aloneness again. Both Anna and Georgia were going on maternity leave, and selfish as it is, I felt as though they were ditching me. Interviews were held for a teacher/director to replace Georgia. All the while they wanted me to be director, but didn’t think I could cope on my own. The most suitable candidate, Kylie, agreed to take on the position of director, when I offered to share it with her. I realised for once that my position at work is actually valued and taken seriously. Only after I agreed to everything, and papers were signed, did I realise with great anxiety what I had done. I honestly felt as though I had set a trap for myself, not on the work side of it, but with allowing Kelly to work there. Kylie is my age, and has her own mother, but has known Suzi for so long that she is like a second mother to her. I imagined that Suzi would just forget me and only talk to and care for Kylie at work. Work was the one place I felt sure of my position, and suddenly I felt very insecure. I wanted to set up a little corner for myself, with a sign that read “remember me”.
I must thankfully say that it has turned out nothing like I imagined. In fact it is great. Suzi hasn’t changed one bit, and in no way plays favourites. I guess it’s a childish worry about which one would be liked the best, but it’s a concern of mine. It’s more like who will be cared for the most.