Aftermath

I’m going to offer you an unpopular opinion.

When you’ve been in a tumultuous relationship and you tell your friends–or in my case, the whole world–about it, you get a lot of, “It’s better to be alone than in something like that.”

I have found that this is often said by married people, and they say it smugly, with heavy-lidded eyes. Oh, listen to me. I have the wisdom of the world because I’ve been in one relationship for 40 years.

As someone on the other side, who just went through a terrifically inconvenient life event, I’m going to say that’s utter bullshit. It’s not better to be alone. Get back to me after four years of Christmases by yourself and auto accident aftermath done solo.

On Thursday, the day after I was rear-ended by an SUV in my tiny Fiat,

I drove out to see it yesterday and it wasn’t nearly as dreadful as I thought it’d be. It felt like a lot more than this series of bumps. Still, so far it’s $3,600 worth of damage. There might be more once they take it apart.

I had a lot to do. I hadn’t slept because apparently not sleeping is a whiplash thing, and who knew. I was hardly able to move. A quick check of my phone history today tells me I had 128 personal emails, nine text threads, endless Facebook and Instagram messages and 36

THIRTY-SIX

phone calls. AND I was allegedly working from home that day. We have at work not only email but this chat feature called Teams and there was endless pinging on that.

(And by the way, when someone you know is going through a thing, don’t pepper them with questions. You just want to know because you’re curious, and trust me, people have enough to do without assuaging your curiosity. A former coworker put on Facebook this weekend that she was in the hospital with her dying daughter, and people actually asked, “What happened?” and “Which daughter?”

I wanted to know too, of course, but goodness. She’ll tell us when she’s ready. Just be sick about it for her and send her a nice comment, maybe. Yeesch.)

Anyway. Thursday would have been a lot for anyone, but what I was noticing was I wasn’t clear-headed. Sentences would begin and I’d start to follow them but then I’d get fuzzy. The only times my doctor could see me was right then–and please see above: no car, no head, and no one to take me there without even more phone calls–and Monday. So I go today.

After an hour of trying to work, I could see that I couldn’t really work. I just couldn’t think right, and everyone kept contacting me by every channel possible.

“This happened to my sister and she ended up a vegetable.”

What?

I finally lost it after the second phone call to the body shop I had to choose. They are sweet people; it’s a family-run business. I called to say, Okay, I finally figured out who towed me away (because no one had given me a card at the scene and I was dazed). They’re on their way.

“Well, who did you talk to over there? Because we need to know if they should tow your car or if the other person’s insurance company should do it.”

Delays like that annoy me on a good day. I already did all the shit you asked, which was find out who the towing company is and telling them where you are. Now there’s MORE bureaucracy?

Anyway that’s when I cried. Because I COULDN’T THINK and I was OVERWHELMED and I think anyone would have been right then but I was particularly addled. The woman at the car shop was very kind after that.

But I didn’t need a kind body shop woman. I needed a person of my own. I needed someone who would have taken off work for a bit, made a list for me of what needed to be done that I could cross off, and maybe even made some of those goddamn phone calls for me, because I was in pain and I was addled and I could not do it all myself without a lot of struggle.

I needed someone who knew my schedule enough to know I clean on Saturdays: I scrub the litter boxes and air them out. I sweep all the floors and vacuum the crap out of the litter area only to have it all grainy the next day. I wash surfaces. I get everything pretty for the week.

I needed someone to notice all the pears falling off my tree and realizing I can’t get down there to pick them up.

But now here it is Monday and everything looks like crap here and litter is all over. Hornets have invaded my yard, having a pear field day.

Everything car related got done, but only while fielding 87 confusing phone calls and pieces of paperwork while I tried to lie on ice.

So, no. I don’t think it’s better to “be alone.”

Try really being alone before you say that to anyone.

91 thoughts on “Aftermath

  1. June, I so understand how you feel overwhelmed. I remember going through a car accident and the aftermath by myself and it sucked. If I lived closer I would do whatever I could to help you. I know this doesn’t help when you’re in the thick of it but I couldn’t help be envious of how many people reached out to you. I promise you nobody would call me if I was in that situation. I received lovely Facebook messages when I broke my leg in November but not one person called me. For real. I think I’m a pretty good person and I’m forever reaching out to everyone else when they go through stuff, yet nobody seems to return the favor. Anyway, I do hope you’re feeling a bit better by now and that people are giving you space to heal. I would be happy to pitch in to get someone out there to clean for you. That’s the last thing you should have to worry about.

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  2. I wanted to reach out to check on you but I didn’t want to pile on your already overloaded boxes….hoping blog comments don’t send you an email as that renders the attempt moot. In your corner or window frame – wherever I’ll fit, just wanted you to know you’re in my thoughts!

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  3. Totally agree with you. In the 7 years since my fiancée died, I’ve gone through sewage lines clogging and backing up all over my downstairs (and no, that’s not a euphemism); breast cancer and surgery; thyroid cancer and surgery; skin cancer and surgery; a tree crashing into the house during a storm; backing my new car into my garage door by accident and breaking both, and various other more minor annoyances. Alone. My family was there of course and I love them for that, but I took care of my house and myself and my cats and my shit basically alone. In fact, I was out trimming low-hanging branches along the street a week after my thyroid surgery, because the township gave me notice that they needed trimming and I didn’t have the money to call “the man” *see single person, only one income. Having a person to back you up is always better.

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  4. I was in a marriage that by the time it ended I was alone as I’ve ever been as a single person. That said I get what you’re saying. I wish we were friends IRL and I could help you. One thing I’ve learned is that you sometimes have to create a family not only a family that was given to you. A romantic partner is not the only way to not be alone in this. More importantly if someone offers to help take them up on it. They may not follow through but there are some friends who will. If you need pears picked up or phone calls made, be vulnerable and let them know I need pears or not to have to decide on what’s for dinner or whatever. If I offer to help someone I mean it. Think about it this way: you know a friend you love, respect, or admire. They are going through something rough. You would love to help them and would scrub toilets or sweep or anything they needed. But they stoically push through and never ask for help. They kept you from showing how much you care. When you don’t ask ask you are denying someone else the opportunity to show you they care about you.
    You have built a wonderful community of readers. Even though at times you may feel you are alone, you are not. People who don’t know you in person are willing to do some little thing or give money to help you. You write about people in your daily life and I know some of them would help you too. You are not alone.

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  5. June, I’m going to make a comment that I hope makes you feel a bit better about being alone. I’ve been married for 26 years, and all of this is true:

    – I took my husband to have his colonoscopy, but because he is too busy (we both work in the same industry btw), I didn’t manage to have my done yet because he can’t seem to find the time.
    – I’ve known to drive to a doctor in fever and almost collapsing because he didn’t want to miss a meeting at work when I got sick.
    – When I was in a car crash, he just assumed I’d handle everything on my own. When he was in a car crash, he called and asked me to go there and call the insurance while he talked to the police.
    – When it’s time to do maintenance in my car, I have to do it alone, and either stay at the dealearship until it’s done or figure out how to go to work from there.

    One might wonder why I’m still with him, and I’ll be honest: he pushes me professionally and keeps me from becoming a hermit who only live home to go to work. He’s the extrovert I can count on to schedule dinner with friends, and always says yes to any kind of vacation I suggest. He’s typically a jerk when we travel, so there’s that too.

    We’d all want to have a partner with whom we could share the daily burdens, but having a partner is not necessarily synonymous with that. I truly hope you find someone you’ll be happy with, but if your motivation is to have a “someone who would have taken off work for a bit, made a list for me of what needed to be done that I could cross off, and maybe even made some of those goddamn phone calls for me, because I was in pain and I was addled and I could not do it all myself without a lot of struggle”, well, then you should not take it as a given that merely finding someone will equate to that.

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  6. My dot and I hope you’re feeling better and the worst is over.

    I’m just starting a divorce from a horrible, selfish, narcissistic jerk, and as much as I’m so, so glad to be free of that, being on my own sucks. Just found out that I need a minor outpatient procedure, which they won’t let me drive home from. So now I have to either ask a friend to take time off work, or ask my friend who doesn’t work to drive 45 minutes to shlep my ass to and from this procedure and take up her whole day. Sucks.

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  7. I’m sure I have said something to someone about being better off alone. I should know better. Maybe that was how I felt, why should I tell them how they should feel. Someone mentioned how we all need to stop being smug and telling people how they should feel and be better listeners. Why is that so difficult for so many of us. Thank you for this really honest post.

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  8. I am sorry you’re having a tough time of it. I am completely familiar with the suckitude of going it alone. Ugh. I know you are not into real hugs, but I am giving you one anyway. If you need help, please let me know. I can fly down in a jiffy. Xoxo

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  9. Sad but lovely post, Coot.

    Trauma, of any kind, can do this to you. I am sorry you didn’t have someone there. I hate that you had to endure this. I too had a car accident 3 two weeks ago. A guy backed into the side of my car while I was sitting still. I was parked. I thought I was fine. I thought no big deal. But, I wasn’t. I am still having nightmares. It came at a very inopportune time. My best friend has cancer, my dog was very ill, I was having medical issues of my own and my husband’s work contract had run out and they didn’t renew. It was a lot. I had someone. I am married. He was there when the accident happened. I fielded the 3000 phone calls and made sure we got a loaner car, I took the dog to the vet and I did all the things until I couldn’t. Then I melted down. Again, I had someone. It was hard. I can’t imagine going through it alone. I want you to find your lobster. I want it so bad.

    Feel better June.

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  10. So sorry you are going through this. I wish your family lived closer. I am also a little worried that you have a concussion. I hope you are able to get care for that too if that is the case. So scary. Good thoughts from over here on the other side of the country.

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  11. June,
    I have been thinking of you since your accident knowing how sore you must be. I’m so sorry for the overwhelming things you must handle and hope your friends can help in some way. I’d clean the litter boxes, vacuum, feed the pets, throw Blu, and whatever else you needed if only I lived closer.
    Sadie

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    • I would too. Especially the Blu part, and I am a pro at litter boxes and it doesn’t even bother me. Ain’t no litter box too big for me. And in return can you show me how to do my eye makeup? I just turned 57 and it is an art I have still not mastered.

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  12. I’m sorry for your recent troubles.

    I do in fact know exactly how it feels to be totally alone and having no one to lean on ever. I have been that way for eight years now, and in fact most of my life. I do envy that you have parents, who presumably in a total catastrophic situation potentially could help you. But I know how much it sucks to deal with everything, always, alone. It’s really, really hard.

    I hope you feel better very soon.

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  13. This post made me cry. I am so sorry you are having to go through this, alone. Addled is the correct word. After suffering trauma you feel so addled. You can’t think, you can’t make a decision, you are in pain, you don’t want to drive. It just stinks, then add being alone and not having help, I can’t imagine. I must admit when you both have been injured it’s bad as well. Then you get a thousand phone calls from people that want to help, but you don’t know what to tell them, and you also feel guilty saying, I need this done and this and I need some food in the house. If friends and neighbors ask how they can help, please let them know they can’t read your mind. Not advice, just having been on both sides, wanting to offer help and needing help, I get it. I broke my foot and was on crutches, my husband had to work and I discovered you can’t even fix a bowl of cereal for yourself when you are on crutches. I hope you are going to be compensated well for all your pain and suffering! But how do you measure this level of pain? I hope you fell better really soon.

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  14. I’ve been thinking about this all day and came back to say this: There are events that bring our reality into sharp focus. For some women it is an accident or illness that leads to the realization they they can’t can’t count on their spouse or partner. Discovering you’re alone in a relationship has got to be searingly painful. I’ve don’t know what the answer is but it certainly can’t hurt to learn how to lean on each other. Why is it so hard to ask for help? Why is it so hard to just show up?

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  15. Thanks June for expressing in the most honest way, the things we all sweep under the rug, but know to be true in our hearts. Hope you feel better soon and that the car repairs go smoothly without any hurdles.

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  16. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through all of this and you are so so right. We all need someone. I took care of my mom after she was hit by a drunk driver. I was her brain, her hands, her back, her cook, yard crew, housekeeper, driver, etc. I knew where the vacuum was kept. I knew the secret to starting the ancient lawn mower. I knew she liked broccoli cooked but not lifeless and with just a lil bit of sautéed garlic.

    Years later, my mom is now the person who helps her single friends. She is forever driving someone to therapy after hip replacement or vacuuming someone’s house after their knee surgery. She knows what it is like to go from able bodied and independent to totally screwed and lost in brain fog.

    I hope you’re feeling better and some of the wonderful people in your life step forward after hearing you need a hand. Sometimes people around us really care but they don’t know how to help. They don’t know how to put caring and worry into useful action. And by gum, after you get better now you will know how to help those around you when they are sick! You will be that amazing friend who looks at the cat litter and volunteers to change it because you know!

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  17. I have so many thoughts about this, I hope it doesn’t get all jumbled and too damn long!
    Firstly, my daughter just had a car accident a week before you and she has been much like you are, weepy, overwhelmed with all the minutiae of dealing with the car, plus how to get to her 2 jobs, grocery shop, etc, etc. So you sharing your situation helps me to understand what she is going through. Thank you for that.
    Also, I just read an article that is about the reason women are so pissed allthe time. They refer to this as the mental work/load that has to happen for a household to run. someone has to be in charge of mentally planning everything, following up on all the things, keeping track of shit that other people should be doing, it overflows your plate! I was reading and saying YES!! YES!! That is exactly it! I never signed up to be in charge of every flipping thing and all the follow up to all the things. It’s exhausting. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. So, yeah, I can see how being single and self-reliant would wear you out with the constant mental load and no one to pick up the slack. On the other hand, if you had a partner who never followed through on the things on his list and that created another item on your list, namely the checking in to see if that thing ever got fixed/repaired/replaced/ordered/whatever, it might make you wonder if your partner helps and carries their load or not. The grass is never greener on the other side, it’s distance that makes it seem so.
    I hope you are feeling better and get some of this resolved soon. Please, ask for what you need. In my work as a birth doula, one of the exercises I do with my clients is to prepare for the postpartum time by making lists. One of the lists is things you might need help with and then get specific. For example, June makes great lasagna, Paula cleans well, Amish Angie can re-do your house. Then when June calls and says “hey, just checking in to see if you need anything.” You look at the list and say, why yes, June, one of your lovely lasagnas here on Thursday would be fabulous. Anyway, it helps to focus on what your needs might be and how they can best be met.

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  18. Joon, I hope it’s OK to ask one question: would you rather have someone show up without contacting you first, and say “I’m here to rake up pears”? (Or something.) Or text first? I will show up, put on 25 layers of clothing and go rake those pears. Or clean something (in one layer). But I worry about showing up, say, when you’re asleep.

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  19. The thing is, I don’t think it matters if married or single is harder. I’m sure there are abused women who would think it sounds great to be left alone to heal.
    Their pain doesn’t mean yours doesn’t matter. I wish people would stop smugly telling other people to be happy with what they have. What if we just shut up and listen to each other and care about someone else’s pain for once? (WHICH DAUGHTER? Good god, people are awful.)
    June, I’m so sorry you’re hurting. I cannot imagine how long and painful your hours are right now. I feel helpless because I wish I could make it better somehow and I can’t.

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  20. This. This is my life since my husband got sick last fall and died on New Years Day. I lived alone for years before we moved in together, then married. I know that I can take care of myself, but sometimes I can’t because; sickness, accident, age, ability, etc. I’ve hired the help I need, but I so miss checking in with each other several times a day and all the regular things we did for each other. The first time I flew back home and he wasnt there waiting for me at the airport just about did me in. Yes, its lonely and sometimes scarey. I miss my old life.

    And, can I add, the friends who KEEP asking me what Im going to do with his car, his tools, his things. Please stop. And stop telling me that I dont need two cars.

    I get it June. Im so sorry that you had to deal with all this alone.

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    • Fuck that noise. Whether or not you need two cars, you need time to process and grieve. There are so many decisions and changes that come when someone dies. I can’t imagine how callous you’d have to be to look at a grieving widow and give her a hurry-up finger snap.
      Sorry for my language.
      Sort of.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Who says you don’t need two cars? My sister is a recent widow and, on top of that, her car was struck by lightning (really, God?) and will be in the shop for who knows how long. Thankfully, she wasn’t in the car at the time and with the second vehicle, she didn’t have to rent a car.

      So tell your “friends” to quit asking about your timing because it is YOUR timing, not theirs and you can take as long as you need.

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  21. I live about 4 hours away from you, but if you EVER need ANYTHING in a situation like this, just message me and I will get in the car and drive there to help …. SERIOUSLY, I will be there!! We don’t even have to talk … just tell me what to do, I will do it and then leave!

    I truly hope things get better this week and you start feeling a bit better.

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  22. I know what you mean. I have been on both sides of that, currently married. My husband was out of town this summer when I smashed the big toe on my right (driving) foot with a brick and had to stand there with my foot bleeding profusely into the kitchen sink while I figured out how I was going to get to the ER. It was definitely not ambulance worthy but it hurt and it was a mess. Luckily a friend was in town and could take me but yes, it would have been nice to have somebody to take me and bring me home and care about it.

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  23. Gaw, I could kiss you right on the mouth for this. I won’t, but I could.

    I’ve been single for 9 years now. I had one small interlude in there but everyone knew it wouldn’t last. It is really terrible when you have to rent a car just to get back and forth to your car in the shop or back home or whatever (I had to Uber to Enterprise because there was no one to take me.) Or when you wake up on a Saturday morning with a whole weekend yawning in front of you and no plans. Or when you get invited to a couples party but you are single. I feel every word of what you wrote and honestly, if one more married person tells me how brave I am to live this way or put myself out there or any such nonsense, the next time you see me will be on the news, crazed and naked and screaming obscenities.

    I also particularly love when a petite thing who is married to a bear of man tells me that I’m too picky for wanting to date a man taller than me (I’m 5’11”). Look, married person, you have never dated a man shorter than you because you are 5′ even, and also it’s not like I’m turning anyone away over here.

    Obviously I feel strongly about this post. I’m so sorry all of this happened. What a crap way to feel totally alone. I guess we have nice hoots, though.

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    • Love, Jimmie, this reminds me of my step-daughters, 2 of whom are 5’10 ~ their father, my husband is 6’6 and they have opened my eyes to the issues of the tall girl. They actually get mad when a short girl dates a tall guy. They say I am short, but I feel I am average at 5’5 and 3/4.

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  24. I cried during this whole post. Just months after moving out on my own after my divorce I had a really bad car accident where my brain fog post-concussion lasted for a month and I acted all weird, alienating everyone around me. My car was totaled so I had to buy a car even though I couldn’t look at screens and my body was all torn up, my apartment started looking like a hoarder apartment, and my anxiety took over my life. I think about the accident every time I’m in a car. I never wanted to be in this position, living alone, I never wanted to be alone, but I will never trust anyone enough to live with them. I promise this is survivable, but it totally sucks to have to go through and it’s unfair.

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  25. As someone who was married for 32 years before my husband died, the only real upside to being alone is the house stays cleaner and I have less laundry to do. Even though I was the person who primarily took care of making arrangements for all things house related and paid the bills, I often get overwhelmed and have a meltdown when all the things come crashing down and I’m tired and there’s no one to help – or just to complain to. I used to love alone time and now I crave less alone time, but not enough to seek a relationship where I might need to be naked in front of another person! I hope you feel better soon, June.

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  26. I get this so much and I’m really sorry that you experienced it, too. I spent two months on my couch in misery from nerve pain. My local friends knew this and yet only one made an effort to come over almost every day after work and sit with me. Except for my husband, who was completely overwhelmed at having to take over everything I used to do, that one friend was the only face I saw. I swear to god, my online friends were more caring and compassionate than my in-person friends.

    And I get your hornet pears dilemma – from my vantage point on the couch, I could see plants in the backyard that needed to be trimmed and deadheaded and whatnot. Really didn’t know how I could ask anyone to do that, sigh.

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  27. Hi Sweet girl! I think when all this is past, you will come to your logical senses… ha ha. Just saying. I can honestly tell you i have had someone there and mostly I have had no one there! You will get through it and you will be fine. You have friends and family… even if not close by – they are there for sounding boards. When someone offers to help and asks what you need – tell them! Just like several have said here! People are not mind readers!
    And one more little thing – there is nothing worse than being with someone and feeling totally alone!
    Hang in there – you are resilient! Love you.

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  28. You’re right. It’s much easier when you have a partner. I’ve been very lucky to have amazing friends help me out but there’s always guilt from knowing you’re taking them away from their other responsibilities. If you have a partner, you ARE their problem and their other responsibilities.

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  29. After nearly 39 years of being with someone the last seven months of being alone has mostly sucked balls. Coupled is my life style of choice. I am moving in with my sister here in NJ, I will add an in-law suite, so have my own space. We are all down with it. I have family here who have helped with some issues with the house and they were here when he was dying, thank God. Going it alone is rough and can be oh so lonely, particularly in the evenings. I know two people who love living alone, most others would like a partner to share their lives with.
    I am very sorry, June. There is nothing like having a person there to support you and have your back in the toughest of times. I hope the doctor helps you and your car issues get resolved with as little PITA-ness as possible.

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  30. I hope you feel more like yourself soon.

    I’m also sorry that no one came over and just did some work that you would normally do.

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    • I am. Always have been. But I didn’t tell you it’s better. It’s just better for me. I’m too much of a control freak to depend on anyone else.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Well, now I feel bad that I didn’t offer to do SOMETHING. I hope the worst is behind you, June, and you’re feeling much better today.

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  32. I used to think being alone would be better too, then I remarried and realized I had just been married to the wrong man. Having someone when things are tough, is everything.
    On a side note, and I know you don’t like advice but have you tried horse bedding ( pine pellets) for cat litter? It’s very cheap and it doesn’t get everywhere. I have a polydactyl cat who uses his paws as shovels but I wish I’d known about this in all the years I’ve had just regular cats too.

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  33. Oh, I am so, so sorry. I was in those ‘single’ shoes for more than 30 years. It’s scary, frustrating and lonely a lot of the time. And we hesitate to ask for help because our friends have their own busy lives and we don’t want to be a ‘burden.’ My friends told me that asking them to help in some way, gave them the chance to show their love for me. So, there’s that. The pain you’re experiencing must be awful. Again, so sorry. I do wish, though, that you had gone to emergency (by ambulance, if needed) right away. The ‘addled’ feeling sounds like a concussion to me (I’ve had two!) and all of the mental stimulation from phone messages, pinging notifications, etc., and just being scared, alone and in pain is so not a good thing for that. I hope that your doctor is able to give you meaningful help and comfort so that you can start getting your life back. You are in our thoughts and in our prayers for peace and comfort for you during this difficult time.

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  34. Oh, June, I can so relate… and thank you for sharing.

    When it’s just you, it’s just you. Get to do it yourself, then *have* to do it yourself. When I had the whooping cough, no offers to come over and help, no offers to get groceries, driving to the doctor myself, hoping not to have a huge coughing attack and pass out. Nothing from the ‘church ladies’ also. And I was sick for months, so a total PIA. Very isolating as well.

    My 52-year old friend/neighbor was diagnosed with breast cancer in January. All clear now, but it’s been rough for her. I know I’ve over-volunteered to help her with anything/whatever so she’s not feeling like I did back then.

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  35. I can so relate to all of this as I was single and had a house I lived in alone for years and my coupled and married friends were always saying how lucky I was. I did a great job of making my single life look great and there were things about it that were great but it was also incredibly lonely at times. So sorry you have to go through this alone as I know how hard it is. And we all say do you need anything, when what we need is for someone to just show up and star doing shit.

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  36. You’re right. It sounds good in theory sometimes but not in reality. I’m sorry this happened to you and glad it was not worse.

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  37. Also, I have often said that I have a husband but I need a wife. (And I could tell you a story from this weekend where I wondered what, exactly, he had in his head because he didn’t listen or think.)

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  38. So sorry. I really cannot imagine doing it alone. As much as my husband sometimes frustrates me and really does NOT listen (why else would he go to Kohls to spend $60 Kohls cash last week only to come home and say the cashier said it did not start yet so he bought stuff with credit card. She was referring to the coupon on the same page. He just needed to KNOW he had Kohls cash that needed to be spent, but easy to miss if you don’t listen), I cannot do it all alone. I just realized this am that I need him to rent a car for the weekend when we go to Annapolis. I do not rent cars. That’s his deal. Sorry for rambling, but just want to say I agree. I do not think it is better to be alone and I cannot figure out why some lucky man has not found you yet. You deserve the best so hope you find him.

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    • Oh my God, Kohl’s cash infuriates me. After you buy everything you need they expect you to go back to the store and get more! Just give me the money off what I am buying now. Don’t force me to make a second trip to get something I don’t need or even want, especially when I hate to shop! OK, rant over – back to your regularly scheduled June Gardens.

      Liked by 1 person

  39. That is so true. When you are vulnerable or not at your sharpest (mentally or physically) you can’t trust just any random well meaning friend. You want someone who will take care of you, all your tasks, and tell you it will all be ok.

    I’m sorry you’re going through this alone.

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  40. As someone who was alone but alone with another small human for 10 years, I get every word of what you are saying. A flat tire, or my kid getting the chicken pox leaving me to figure out how will I work both my jobs that day without daycare for her, would put me into a spiral that was wicked to try to get out of. Addled is actually a pretty good word for it, rear-ended or not.

    I think the reason married people get smug sometimes is because, for example, after ten full years of being alone, when I got married I really thought my husband would take over some stuff. And he did, but there are times, even after 30 years together, I’m still alone. I still have to handle things I don’t want to or maybe am not even emotionally equipped to deal with. Very often I think I might as well be alone.

    I thinks it’s “the grass is always greener” syndrome in full effect.

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    • Also, I’m feeling a bit aggravated for you that all those texts and calls did not result in one single person offering to come help you deal with it all!!

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        • This “do you need anything” or “let me know what I can do” – they are my biggest pet peeves. They say it to make themselves feel better about offering, but they also know they’ve let themselves off the hook, because like you said, no one is going to ask for help picking up the pears. I find it mostly so insincere.

          I could write pages about this topic.

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          • I like to make specific offers for these types of things. For example, I would offer to come mop your floors or do your laundry. If I really mean to help you, I try to come up with actual ways to help.

            Once, a girl I knew had a baby and she posted something like this on Facebook: I know you want to come hold my baby but please know that when you come visit, you have to complete one of my chores before you get to hold her.

            I loved that. I thought it was genius.

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        • You just say it! When people say “Do you need anything?” you have to assume positive intent and take them at their word – they genuinely want to help. But they don’t know that you need the hornet-ridden pears picked up unless you say those words. I’m learning through my husband’s illness that, if people offer to help, it’s up to me to take them up on it and not say “I’m good,” or “no, thank you.” I have to know what I need help with and have those responses ready when people ask.

          Liked by 3 people

          • I agree. I think that a lot of people don’t want to make more work for you (say, by visiting if you don’t want visitors, or bringing food you won’t eat or whatever), but do want to help. I love it when I know exactly what I can do for someone to help–it makes me feel, well, helpful and needed. I wouldn’t feel bad to be told that my friend needed specific help with x, y or z. Of course, there are always people who say, “let me know if you need anything” which means, “I want to feel good about asking but don’t really want to help with anything”. But then they shouldn’t be offering in the first place!

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          • Linda from J-town, yes! I’m a single foster mom and one of the best pieces of advice I received was to make a list of things that need to get done and keep it always on hand. That way when someone offered help I could hand then the list and let them select what they would prefer to do. I tried to make the list varied enough so that there was generally SOMETHING that the person would be willing to do, even if it was snuggle the baby while I take a shower! And I’m always shocked by the people who say “Oh! I’ll pick up the rotting fruit / dice your veggies / scrub your kitchen floor” but God. Bless. Them! 🙂

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  41. Dear June, you’re going to make some guy over the moon happy, because you been on both sides of the relationship fence (omgd it’s 6:07am PST, I’m rushing to get ready for work and look at the horrific sentences I’ve written to a copywriter/editor/blog writer, EEK).
    …and that guy is going to adore everything about you cuz girl, you are a catch. A hot commodity.
    Hope you feel better soon.

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  42. I’m so sorry. I’ve thought about you all weekend and wanted to reach out but knew I couldn’t offer any real help. I hope you start to feel better soon.

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  43. When I became a single mom I was worried about all the things you see single moms do on TV – you know, work 47 jobs while putting themselves through school, scrimp and save, sleep only 2 hours a night, etc. The reality is that it’s just like parenting as a couple, except you have no person as backup. You have a migraine? Still gotta drive the kid where she needs to go, or call around to see if someone else can. Car accident? Call in all sorts of favors and hope you weren’t injured too badly. You want my kid to call you “auntie?” Great, that means you get to be the backup contact on her gymnastics form. That’s what a legit aunt would do, if she lived close enough to be useful, so that’s what you get to do.
    So I hear you, loud and clear! I want a service that I can sign up for that provides me with a backup person to be there when I can’t adult myself.

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  44. You are absolutely correct. I can only imagine how terrible this whole thing was for you. What you wrote today really puts it all in perspective about being alone. It’s not all roses. Sending positive thoughts your way.

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  45. I hope your adorable little car is repairable without being totaled!
    I’m sorry you’ve been feeling so shitty since then.

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  46. OMG, was I one of those married-forever assholes that said that? Because I’m still mea culpaing over the other insensitive thing I said. I’m very sorry if I also said it was better to be alone because I don’t think that’s true and it would have been a reactionary remark … and look at this, I’m not even apologizing well, now I’m rationalizing. I. Am. Sorry. If. I. Said. That. And also sorry for the other thing I said.

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  47. We all need a backup person – sorry things are so messy right now. However to quote even more Rolling Stones – you cant always get what you want…Hope this week goes better for you.

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  48. I am so sorry. And you are right – we all need. Somebody. To leeeean on. It’s great to have friends, but your person is the one who helps you, no matter what. I feel ya.

    And people who don’t realize social media isn’t the place for their nosy, probing questions should all come down with a raging case of something itchy in their privates.

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  49. I understand. I’ve been alone for years now. I’m 51 and just had to have my mom come spend the night and take me to an outpatient surgery last week because I don’t have a person in my life. Some things about being single are terrific. And there are definitely times it sucks balls to be alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. I am so sorry you had to deal with all that shit alone. I’ve been alone in crappy times and I agree there are times that you need a someone. Hope everything goes better from here.Sending good vibes but no Hugs.

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  51. Times like that it does indeed suck to be alone, but in my experience it sucked even more to have someone that didn’t help or care that much after I had surgery and could have used some help.

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    • This. So much this. Sometimes my “help” seems more painful than it would be to realize I don’t have backup. I hate this for you and for June to go through this weekend without backup. ❤️

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      • The guy I dated for five years would offer to help, but then complain or act put out. For holidays he would invite me and my kids over, but then act like we invited ourselves. I would stop taking his invites or offers of help and he’d accuse me of being stubborn.

        After being a single mother for years I’ve gotten pretty independent.

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  52. I’m so sorry. Everyone needs a person they can count on. (To paraphrase Tropic Thunder, just bc it’s a Rolling Stones song, don’t mean it ain’t true.)

    I hope this week gets better, that YOU start to feel better and more like yourself again.

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  53. I try telling myself that same bullshit line but it’s just not true. Everyone else has family close at least or a husband that takes care of shit. And I’m tired of having to be responsible for everything. So I understand you and I’m sorry it’s been so shitty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra…this is what my 36 year old daughter says. I feel so badly for you, and for June (Karen), and for my daughter. I wish for all of you a good someone to help you shoulder the world.

      Btw, June, thank you for posting today in the midst of all of this stuff going on. Thank you for giving all of us something to know.

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