Words | Anonymous
At the end of last year, I moved out. My parents had moved away up the coast to start a new semi-retired lifestyle and I stayed in Sydney to finish studying. It started as something fun and exciting, a ‘new chapter’ I was meant to be looking forward to and grasping with enthusiasm. Except slowly I began to feel smothered by the enormity of it all.
I hadn’t chosen to move out. I’d been told I was moving out. Not because of a dramatic family breakdown or a Neighbours-worthy backstory, simply because my parents decided they wanted a new life in a new location. One that didn’t involve me living with them.
Trying to starve out the impending feelings of abandonment worked for a little bit, but eventually they gave way to a resentment that surprised me with its strength and venom. I was alone, regularly having less than $10 in my bank account coming payday, and my parents now lived two and a half hours away from me. I’m aware many people have living situations much worse than mine, but the suddenness of it all bred such an intense loneliness into my life, it felt like a murky film that covered every corner and space. Stopping the light and sound from reaching me.
I had to somehow craft a new life and feel excited about it when every menial task started to fill me with dread and it felt like no one around me understood why I had taken everything so harshly and personally. The abandonment and loneliness left panic and isolating numbness in the crevices of my days, and the quiet minutes of my nights dampened any joy I could feel at the fresh IKEA furniture that slowly filled my new apartment.
I have definitely not been alone this entire time. I have had a loving boyfriend who has held me as I slept and put every piece of my flack pack furniture together. I have had my brother and sister-in-law let me invade their space and stay with them while I was in between places. I have had friends buy me surprise house-warming gifts while on overseas holidays. I have had my mum make me frozen meals for when I couldn’t be bothered to cook after staying back late at work.
But despite it all, this has been undoubtedly one of the loneliest periods of my life. So lonely, that I have railed and raged against my parents to anyone who will listen. So lonely, that I have almost sabotaged my relationship multiple times, being blinded by the strength of my own sadness. So lonely, I have alienated my brother and sister-in-law despite everything they have done for me. Loneliness has the strangest crippling force on your life. It brings every negative emotion into sharper clarity and clouds the faintest strain of happiness. But it also has the ability to fade.
I am alone. And for the near future, that is unlikely to change. But I hope soon, I won’t be lonely.