Waking up from a nightmare can be unsettling. Waking up and realizing you are living a nightmare is damn scary. That’s where I am and something needs to change.

I don’t belong here without a career, intellectual stimulation, family, unstressed friends, dependent children, and a man. It is unbearably lonely and leads to painful self-isolation. There is no one to give me real hugs or listen or offer support as I attempt to put out the non-stop wildfires that plague my life.

Having lived a nightmare for years, I am traumatized. Simple daily routines such as what to eat or what clothes to wear are becoming stressful challenges. Socializing is more a painful chore than a pleasure. My smiles and pleasant banter allow me to escape most of the ugliness others like me experience.

Growing up, I lived two lives simultaneously. One life interacted with the outside world, my family and school. The other life interacted with my thoughts and the discussions in my head. The two worlds were separate and made me feel as if I was observing the world instead of being part of it.

At over 50, I feel like the child growing up living two lives again every time I step outside my home.  There is the me that the world sees and the real me inside my head trying to keep it together and avoid stress.  Some days, I can’t wait to get back to the peace of my room.

It’s not that people are mean or do unkind things. It’s me being protective of me. It’s stressful to socialize and keep feelings of bitterness and anger in check. I’m partly angry at myself for not waking up sooner.

Strategies To Adjust To Other People worked well, however, I need to add a plan that makes going out less painful.  While it would help to understand why socializing became stressful, my plan is to get out of dodge ASAP, cut my losses and move on.

Pain is a sign that something needs to change in our lives. -unknown