My parents are both gone now. I'm too old to be an orphan. But I feel like one. Yet I can't claim that title because I am too old for it. So instead I tell myself that I'm nobody's child anymore. And that's how I feel. I don't have parents to go to when I need to talk. Or when I need someone to listen. Or when I just want to be with someone who loves me. That part of my life is over. I'm here alone and that feels so alien I can barely entertain the notion of it.
Yet this is my new normal. I'm going on with my routine, trying to maintain the schedule I always set for myself, but I don't feel "right" anymore. I'm flailing, if you will. It's like I don't have an anchor anymore. I'm afloat in life by myself and I don't like it. For the first time in my experience, I'm on my own in every sense of the term.
I still have family members and I still have friends. Deep down I know I'm not alone but in my heart I no longer have the support system I always relied upon and I don't know how to continue without it. Life isn't the same for me. I wake up each morning, I get ready for work, I go to my job and I do the things I'm supposed to do. In the afternoons, I come home and have dinner and get myself ready for the next day. Just like so many others do. But I feel adrift because there isn't anyone to call or to check on or to just chat to like there used to be. I don't want to wear out my welcome with my friends, and there are some things you just don't want your family members to know you're feeling. So I'm very much alone in that respect.
I'm nobody's child anymore.
Being without my mother is a pain that I cannot explain. Only someone who's been through this event can know what I'm talking about. My mother was my best friend. She was the one person I could always turn to, who I could always count on, who I never imagined being in this life without. It is a physical pain to realize that I am without her. I've never had a broken heart this excruciatingly inescapable. I have a feeling the rest of my life will be marred with this knowledge. I loved my mother more than anybody else and being here without her is agonizing. But what choice do I have? None.
And I'm left with the knowledge that things will never be the same for me again. And I don't like it. And I would give anything to change it. But I can't. I'll never have that sort of comfort available to me again. I'll always want Mama's warmth and her support. I'll always want to tell her the good and the bad things going on in my life. Yet I'll never have that security again. I'll never have the same relationship I had with Mama with anybody else in my life. That hurts like nothing else. I've never hurt like this before. And I don't know if, or when, this pain will ever go away.
So I'm back where I began. I'm nobody's child. I'm alone in a great many ways. Being the eldest child in your family comes with a burden that is hard to explain. You're the one who everyone looks to for the answers, the strength to go on, and the security that things will be the same in the family as they've always been. And you want to give them that assurance but you don't know how you can because you aren't sure yourself that you have it in you to offer anything to anybody.
I'm afraid. I have no one to turn to for the assurances I need so I can't offer any security at all to anyone I love because I don't have it to give. I have myself and that's all I can extend. Worse, I can't feel alright about myself because I no longer have the support system I always leaned on to get me through the uncertain times in life we all experience. I will have to face whatever comes along by myself. I won't be able to seek the same advice I always had to turn to anymore. Everything that happens, every decision there is to be made going forward, will be mine to own. And that's what scares me.
I'll have to learn to trust myself. I'll have to learn to accept my own judgements. I'll have to become my own somebody to turn to. But I don't want to do any of that. I want to have things like I always had them.
But I'm nobody's child anymore. And I never will be again.
And that sucks. And I don't know if I can accept this reality.
But what choice do I have?
These are the cards I've been dealt. I'll have to play them with whatever skill is mine to use. There is nothing more frightening than realizing this. Nothing.
Nobody's child. That's me.
Where do I go from here? I guess I'll just have to wait and see.