Besides the emotional end, being alone also has its practical repercussions as I keep finding out when money gets tight and the house (or stuff in it) literally starts falling apart. This goes way beyond just being an only child. Not having a life partner factors in a helluva lot here – maybe even more so than the only child situation. Add to that the “senior factor” (although at the lower age end here), and you have a recipe for stress, stress, anger and some resentment.
My late mother used to have a saying, “You can’t win nohow.” Although it comes across as negative, I’m beginning to think she had a point. Consider my personal “crap list” for this month: house insurance premium due and way higher than last year coupled with s-l-o-w cash flow (common with the self-employed). Technically I have enough cash coming in to pay the bill but will it arrive before the due date? The other biggie is over the weekend my very old upright freezer (inherited from the previous house owners) took a turn for the worse. It probably wouldn’t make it through the winter so I’ve got a new one on order due here today. I’m not even going into the worries about getting the big old freezer out of my basement and out the door. But let’s just say it’s got me jumpy. And my credit card is getting a workout.
So here’s where the practical part of being alone comes in. A life partner could help with the expenses (not to mention the work around the house) and here comes the emotional – provide some support if only being someone to talk it over with. I’m not saying that having a life partner guarantees this support, but not having one guarantees the opposite.
Before you all think I’m into a “poor me pity party,” not exactly. Some of my friends are in similar boats – one had her computer die and is having trouble affording a new one. and she needs a computer to make a living. Others are (like me) going deeper into debt. And you know – there are more older women in these types of situations than men. (However, I do know one older man in this type of situation).
What’s the solution? I don’t know. It is probably different for each of us. Me, I’m just very stubborn and determined. Yes, I get angry and resentful, but sometimes that fuels me to continue on. And here’s where being an only child comes in -it helps me strive towards independence, although not completely. Friends do help as does my son. And I take any help I can get.
How do others who are alone cope?
Only child writes