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15 September 2004 @ 09:11 am
Trying to explain  
Tried to explain about being alone, having to be completely independent and self sufficient *all* the time, and not being a truly significant concern in anyone else's life last night. Not having a support system of any sort - no one to share with, no safety net. How that's far different and harder in many, many ways than being a part of a family. In return, they explained to me about having a family.

It wasn't a very fruitful conversation. Not that it wasn't pleasant, interesting, informative, and fun 'chatting' with a friend about a topic that has some meat to it. They did agree that I understand having a family and the associated obligations - between my own past relationship and that decade I took care of Dad and then Mom (and baby brother - put him through school) when Dad was so sick, dying, and after he passed I have a real strong grip on that whole situation. Of course, as in any good conversation, I also gained new insight - always a good thing.

I don't know, however, if it's possible to explain to someone who hasn't been alone more recently than 5 years ago or so that it's not all fun and games and do whatever you want when you want. That while there are obligations inherent in having a family and time is a precious resource there, there's also daily love and support. Frankly, time is a precious resource to *everyone*, and I certainly don't have enough hours in my day to get everything I want done. I really should try to get to bed before midnight...

We are going to try to speak about this and some other topics on the phone tonight - maybe it will be easier live than via text.

-the redhead-

*edited for clarity*
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Abby Franquemonthuaman on September 15th, 2004 09:55 am (UTC)
That is a tough one indeed.

Having other people who depend on you, and vice versa, means there are things outside yourself that cause structure in your life, whereas absent those things, you have to impose it for yourself if you're going to impose it. You don't have ready, handy things that remind you *why* -- you don't have someone who needs you, or someone in your corner unflinchingly. You could spend a whole day cleaning the house and there isn't anybody who's going to come home and say "Wow, you did a lot." Admittedly if you don't spend the whole day cleaning the house, it's only you it will affect... but I mean, you have to draw on yourself to get it done for yourself, there's absolutely no external motivators or validators, or something.

I certainly have my moments of romanticizing solitude. When I live with other people, I have a tendency to always choose them over me, and figure I'll be the one who can just cope (which is why my laundry is always the last to get done and put away, for example -- if I can't get to everything, which is normal, I let the stuff that's going to affect me more than everyone else slide). But, Chad's doing the same thing. So he covers stuff for me, and I cover stuff for him, in ways that wouldn't necessarily happen if either of us were alone, and that's not even getting into the parenthood question. But anyway, so I sometimes romanticize the notion of living alone, because when I have lived alone, I really have been able to keep the cupboards organized how I want, and put everything back in its place, and that sort of thing... and I can't impose that sort of order on a life that involves other people, or even necessarily on my own space given time constraints... so when I'm feeling a lack of order or control, I imagine washing all the towels, putting 'em away, using one, hanging it neatly on the rack and it's still there the next day and all the ones I put away are also still there, not somehow I got blindsided and even though I washed all the towels yesterday, now there are suddenly none that are clean, and how the hell did that happen? But it's a reaction. And there are the *same* reactions when you live alone, like, "Dammit, why didn't anybody get more milk? Oh... yeah. I would have had to do it."

And that's all just the small stuff.
-the redhead-theredhead on September 15th, 2004 10:07 am (UTC)
okay, so I fixed the third paragraph to actually make *sense* - I meant the daily love and support coming from a family. Some days I should read what I write first, eh?

-the redhead-
Tealteal_cuttlefish on September 15th, 2004 12:41 pm (UTC)
My family moved in with my pseudo husband for economic reasons. (We both used to be in IT; now he's a bus driver and I'm a grad student.) He'd lived alone for about a year and a half. So I can see and appreciate both sides. He's glad to have life and people in the house again; but there are evenings he hides in his room all evening.

And there are evenings I'm not sure if I have two husbands or two children; he and my daughter play and bicker constantly and I can't tell which is which.
-the redhead-theredhead on September 16th, 2004 11:42 am (UTC)
So, how would it have been diofferent if you did not have him to move in with? If it were just you and your daughter the whole time?

-the redhead-
Tealteal_cuttlefish on September 16th, 2004 03:13 pm (UTC)
Actually, I was talking about the psuedo-husband having no one to help; he was grateful to have a houseful again. If it were just me and my daughter, then we'd probably have moved back to where the rest of my family is and admitted defeat.

I wasn't trying to say my situation was the same as yours; if anything I was comparing your situation to K's, who cared for both his parents till they passed away, and had a pile of bills and an old, junk-crammed house to show for it.