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Older Women Have Unmet Emotional and Physical Nesds

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Older Women Have Unmet Emotional and Physical Nesds

Postby Pat » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:36 pm

I need to feel loved. I need to be a priority in someone’s life and him in mine. I need to feel I belong, not just twist myself into a pretzel to “fit in” or feel tolerated. I need attention, acceptance, affection. God, I need a compassionate embrace, a tender touch, a warm and loving smile.
These are basic human needs and have nothing to do with loving myself. I do. I know I am intelligent, kind, tolerant, open, respectful, creative, independent, resourceful, and devoted. I am strong and resilient, enjoy a good laugh, and cry when my heart is touched. I am healthy, a life-long learner, and I have a basic human need to be loved to belong.
The problem seems to be, I am single, 65, and have no children.
After leaving an emotionally empty long term marriage to find real happiness, my 6 yr journey has been met with confusion, disappointment, superficial exchanges, and rejection – mostly because of age. I’ve ridden the waves of confusion for several year now and find my resilience, my perseverance is at dangerously low levels. I go through spurts of energy to “put myself out there”, but cannot sustain the effort anymore. The experience has worn me down. You will have to trust that I have tried every avenue imaginable. I’ve made a couple of girl friends – but they move and I am left with occasional long distance phone calls in between errands. Volunteering on an ‘empty tank’ is difficult, but I've done that for several years. Yes, I’ve had/have pets, but they are not a substitute for human connection – no matter what the articles you’ve read say. No one for an impromptu cup of coffee.
I am now stuck. Cognitive dissonance is taking a strong hold. I need love, emotional intimacy, attention, acceptance, affection. Yet, those very needs seem impossible to meet based on my experience, statistics, and anecdotal stories (mine and others).
The need for belonging and the belief I will never be able to satisfy that need are equal and opposite. I try to suppress the need, but cannot. Meditation, distraction are short term pain reducers. I try to accept that at this age, I will likely be alone the rest of my life and cannot accept that possibility. Over time, the unmet need has intensified and it is impacting my well-being. The reality is I am alone (no confidant, no intimate connection), have been for some time and it is becoming excruciatingly painful.
Has anyone dealt with this problem? If so, how have you dealt with it? Advice?
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Re: Older Women Have Unmet Emotional and Physical Nesds

Postby Deyzanne » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:48 pm

Hello Pat,

Yes, I have dealt with this problem. I am 59, and since my divorce 14 years ago; (my marriage was a miserable one) I have not found anyone who would suit---as you so eloquently stated:

"I need to feel I belong, not just twist myself into a pretzel to “fit in” or feel tolerated. I need attention, acceptance, affection. God, I need a compassionate embrace, a tender touch, a warm and loving smile.
These are basic human needs and have nothing to do with loving myself. I do. I know I am intelligent, kind, tolerant, open, respectful, creative, independent, resourceful, and devoted. I am strong and resilient, enjoy a good laugh, and cry when my heart is touched. I am healthy, a life-long learner, and I have a basic human need to be loved to belong."

I have not, as yet, found anyone who is capable of meeting the criteria above which we both seem to have in common.

How have I dealt with it? I spend as much time as possible learning new things--music, ideas, art etc... I find I can lose myself there; I can feel that sense of "belonging" in great literature. I force me to learn something new everyday, and my New Years Resolution for many years has been "Have a belly laugh a day"....... I can find solace, comfort within myself, I can laugh at myself...and I can hug me.

But, as you say... there is nothing that can take the place of the sort of human bonding you describe.

I honestly have to tell you, in all my relationships--in a 26 year marriage, two adult children, and grandchildren-----I never found what you describe. Always there are "agendas" in any relationship I have had...strings attached to every close moment. Just when I thing "Maybe"?--the boom falls, and whoever it is, wants me to be someone I am not.

I've been of the opinion of late that such relationships do not exist. (I know, cynical of me, isn't it?)

I wish...for us both...that someday there will be? a virtual hug for you---a fellow searcher---Deyzanne
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Re: Older Women Have Unmet Emotional and Physical Nesds

Postby Pat » Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:31 am

Deyzanne, thank you for the quick and heartfelt reply. I too delved into the arts which I always enjoyed but put aside when working because of lack of time. I enjoyed delving into oil painting, concerts, .. Unfortunately, the pain of loneliness increased in intensity and interferes. It becomes so "loud" is distracts me, reducing desire for things I used to enjoy.
I recently injured some tendons and realize the similarities between an injured body and an injured heart/soul. The tendonosis increased in intensity, yet there was no visible sign of the excruciating pain. Unless someone had a similar problem, they couldn't understand the degree of pain. As the pain increased, I iced frequently - attempting to numb the pain. More focus was on the pain because it demanded my attention. The pain became so bad, I would sit still, do nothing, trying to not move for fear of increasing pain. For weeks, I sat staring at the boob tube - bored. Life was taken over by the pain. (Yes, I saw an Orthopedic Dr, had deep massages, and a chiropractor working to help. Pills and gel did nothing.) I just had to get through it, but it became debilitating. 2.5 mos later, the pain finally subsided and I feel tenderness, not pain. I need to strengthen slowly, carefully, so I don't reinjure myself. As a result of one adjustment, the Chiropractor injured a leg muscle. A side effect. For me, this episode of physical injury has mirrored the pain of loneliness except I don't have an ending for the emotional pain yet.
Sometimes your body tells you it needs a nutrient or something is wrong. Well, the heart or soul tells me the same thing. It's not about the future and expectations, it's the missing component of the present. It's as if everything in my life were better than perfect, I would still get a "C" grade for lack of significant relationships. (P.S. My life is pretty pleasant otherwise.)
Like my tendon problem, I hope the emotional pain eventually lessens. Like the tendon problem, it's an invisible, poorly understood pain to others, but it is becoming debilitating to me. It's loud.
Good luck to both of us.
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Re: Older Women Have Unmet Emotional and Physical Nesds

Postby Attende » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:31 am

Hi Pat and Dey...

I am going through all that too. In fact I have been very lonely all my life but now at 70 it is simply intolerable. I even have someone else in the house and that is a first, but the loneliness is still just ghastly. I break down from it all the time. I try everything people recommend and do it to a fault...and yet nothing works. Men never want people our age either. And you can see all their intrinsic sex-based faults in the pathetic way they always lie about it.

If I could actually describe a typical week of this, people would say I was lying.

There just doesn't seem to be a way out of this nightmare of being old and discarded.
My theory is that it is the same hyped-up post-capitalistic society which causes this, as it seems to cause every other problem of social disruption and abnormality. Atomization and individualism on steroids. Besides old people are supposedly losing their "powers" (mine have never been so strong actually!) so who needs them? It's really like that.

So until the "system" changes people will continue to suffer in all the way they do, as much as in this way. Intentional community is a long shot but I am trying to get involved with one, those places also exhibit the same elitism and class bias as other features of our sad dysfunctional rapacious consumer society/economy..BUT new ones are always starting and they all say they are trying to improve on the faults of the previous ones. I certainly hope this new one really means it.

The last remark on this forum was 3 years ago.

The ultimate challenge of loneliness is to decide what existence itself is. What is "intrinsic" and does such a thing exist? And what part of personal reality comes from interaction with others?

I hate to say it but loneliness in modern America feels like death. I am starting to understand what death is.

Yup.
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