Pitch Black

July 21, 2011 § 22 Comments

It’s pitch black in my bedroom when I turn my light out, and completely silent.  Sometimes, difficult nights, with no one beside me any more, and never again being a very real possibility, I feel I am already in my coffin.

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§ 22 Responses to Pitch Black

  • C says:

    It can’t all be dark if your writing also brings a chink of light to others. “Women form queue for Wanker” is a gift reminding some of us why we don’t want to be in that queue!

  • AnonW says:

    It can be like that! I have moved since my wife ran off to the other place and now sleep in a room with totally white walls, white blackout blinds and lots of white bedding. White is so much more comforting!

    • TheMinx says:

      Since becoming single nearly 5 years ago I too have a white bedroom, with white walls, white bed linen, white curtains, white furniture. It is my blank canvas, and when I truly know who I am again, there will be colour. For now it is serenity.

      • Bambi says:

        Eeek! AnonW and TheMinx! When I “devamped” my bedroom, post separation, I changed to off-white walls, neutral soft furnishings, white bed linen etc. It is a haven of tranquility – a place where I feel safe….

        I introduced another colour a few months ago…I wonder if this is significant!??

        Ps. I changed the bed, of course (O.W (Other Woman) had been in it) – for a much bigger one….. Hope springs eternal!

  • dpawson says:

    Last few days have been down down down.
    Find something positive. No matter how small. And gloat, be happy even if for a fraction of a second!
    Then build on it. An inch at a time.

  • Buster says:

    Any on-line dating site you care to look at will have a minimum 2 to 1 male / female ratio, often 3 to 1.
    I know the blues can be a bit addictive, but there is a solution to the problem, if you really want it & are realistic about who you want to meet.
    You may have to settle for a man who has lost everything to either the Lawyers or the Banksters & who may have a few confidence issues as a result. He will probably be a bit beneath your criteria, but, hey, this is the real world & not a romantic movie!
    On the other hand he will need to accept that your youthful attractiveness was maybe appreciated by someone else many years ago, or possibly wasted while you were off chasing the illusion of a career.

    Sorry if I’m sounding a bit harsh but we all need to wake up.

    • leftatforty says:

      ‘your youthful attractiveness was maybe appreciated by someone else many years ago, or possibly wasted while you were off chasing the illusion of a career’…??

      Are you for real? You are not sounding harsh, you are sounding asinine.

      • Buster says:

        ‘Asinine’-Meaning -Devoid of intelligence.

        Oh, the irony! As someone with an IQ of 165 and who’s spent their whole life studying the complexities of our world and human nature that is not an accurate apraisal.
        Rather than dismiss someone’s thoughts you’d do better to try to understand their perspective. Even if they are wrong or not applicable to you personally there is always something to learn from other people’s experiences.

        Please, all you lonely women, get online. The only competition you will have is generally from ‘confident’ and ‘funloving’ women who tend to lack a bit of heart, & who have so many guys contacting them that they don’t know what to do with them all.
        Don’t be afraid to say how you really feel, either, as there are a lot of hurt & lonely guys out there, too.

  • MissBates says:

    For Buster: We don’t need your condescending allusions to “romantic movies” and your admonition to “wake up.” You are mistaken if you think any of the women who come here have illusions about the “handsome prince” who is educated, kind, funny, and financially successful coming to sweep her off her feet. To the contrary, we are all keenly aware that even financially strapped, down-right unattractive single middle-aged men are socially desirable the instant they “come on the market.” And I’m not talking JUST about their eligibility to date, I’m talking about their general SOCIAL eligibility — a single middle-aged man is always welcomed at a party and has no dearth of invitations; a single middle-aged woman is a social leper. And by the way, it is insulting for you to insinuate that we are only looking for monied men; I would be satisfied with someone who is well-educated and works hard at whatever he does even if it’s not hugely financially rewarding. And your reference to “chasing the illusion of a career” smacks of someone who is bitter about having been surpassed at the office by a woman.

    • Buster says:

      You misunderstood my ‘illusion of a career’ satatement. Let me try to explain. The whole world system doesn’t value the human being at all, only money & power. A study of the monetary system (Banksters), the arms industry, the drug industry, the legal system & world political structure reveals a corruption that has the blood of millions on it’s hands, & is responsible for the unhappiness of millions more. Most of our ‘respectable’ careers are just part of maintaining the status quo & keeping most of the world’s population enslaved, for a profit. So most careers are in fact an illusion of progress, whilst the human spirit is robbed of the love and respect that we all really need. We are sold an illusion whilst missing out on what really matters.
      So, please don’t mistake that statement as some sort of sexist bitterness. It actually comes from a very deep sadness for the human condition.
      Let me also say that the romantic movie ‘model’ is not me being condascending, it is the movie makers who are doing that..selling something that appeals to our basic ‘monkey brain’ instincts.

      No matter, I will always confront the ‘victim mentality’ in myself & anyone else, as there is far more suffering than we can imagine being experienced by others on an immense & terrifying scale. Also top focussing on those ‘smug’ men who annoy you so much. Who cares about them anyway?
      There are plenty of real people about, so start noticing them instead.
      As I said, 2 or 3 to 1 male/female ration on most dating websites. Forget about the social acceptabilty rubbish, you don’t even need to get invited to parties to meet someone.
      Talk to people in a personable way & start seeing the real people underneath, not the stereotypes we box people as….’all men’ or ‘all women’.

      All this negative talk with sweeping statements is just constructing a bitter tomb to lay in.

  • Nina says:

    well said Miss Bates

  • asjbendall. says:

    No one is ever alone, least of all yourself, the warmth of your room and the safety of your home are your rocks. Emotional moments in the month should be grasped and stressful situations banished from your mind, NEVER LET YOU BODY BEAT YOUR BRAIN! By running a marathon you have achieved this to the best of your natural ability. Back to reality, washing out then in then out, raining, cold and overcast, chickens refusing to lay because your down, must sense a change in my mood! Imagine you have just received a beautiful bunch of scented sweet peas, your darkened bedroom tonight will have a glorious natural perfume to gently drift you to a more relaxed night, Plankton, alternatively I could bore you all night with tales of daring and do, with a dash of humour!

  • stormwind says:

    I know what you mean Plankton – well sort of. For me it’s not so much no one beside me any more – rather there never was – so the prospects of that changing are slight, but nevertheless there. Nil desperandum and all that.

    However, you can choose what you do with that time. Why imagine a coffin? Why not make it a secret hideaway with your handsome prince? No – it’s not going to happen, but neither is the coffin scenairo. Use the power of your imagination to create enjoyable situations. OK, they are only happening in your head – but that’s somewhere, and much better than them not happening at all. Plus, it’s quite simply FUN.

    Write stories in your head, visit places you’ve always wanted to go, meet your heroes, explore other planets – there are no limits.

    I’ve come to really enjoy waking up at night or taking a while to get to sleep. Last night I was drinking vintage champagne on a tropical beach in the arms of Johnny Depp. Now, unless you have a dracula thing – in which case, go ahead and tell us about it tomorrow – ditch the coffin and start playing with best case scenarios (however unrealistic) rather than worst. It won’t change the outside reality – but you will wake up with a smile on your face, and that improves the chance of the outside reality changing. Even if it doesn’t, you still had an enjoyable fantasy rather than a depressing one.

  • frenchopper2 says:

    I feel for you Plankton but let me just say that you are an extremely amusing woman and you write more entertainingly than many journalists writing in the broadsheets. I would refer you to Nuala O’Faoileain, an Irish journalist who found herself at a certain point in her life manless and single. She wrote a book called ‘Are you Somebody?’ about her situation which became a bestseller and for which she became a national treasure in Ireland because so many people felt as she did. She had the same honesty as you but not your wit. As I said in another post, she eventually found a decent man through the internet in her sixties and moved to the states to live with him permanently. Nothing is impossible. You are, not to put too fine a point on it, in a bad place right now but you have started something here in this blog which will lead you somewhere I feel. If not, it has certainly provided comfort and amusement to the people who read it.

    I do feel a bit for Buster too because you have probably as most of us have been hurt in the past. I had to laugh at your remark ‘chasing the illusion of a career’. I chased a career which has now given me up and I now find myself at 42 careerless and with no husband or children either which is not a good place to be in at all. Life is certainly wonderful for happily married men and women and they are very lucky. I think one of the reasons so many of us at this age feel so awful is that since the sixties we’ve all been told we’ve never had it so good and our expectations have risen accordingly.

    I was rabid feminist when I grew up because my mother was treated so appallingly by my father and I decided the same would not happen to me. I was going to live like a man but the laws change for men and women as they get older and there is no getting over the fact that women do have a shorter shelf life.

    I was a very attractive young woman and enjoyed that while despising the men who only wanted me for my appearance but now that my looks are fading I realise for the first time how important appearance is for a woman and how our value is directly related to our flesh and it is frightening. I first noticed it while I was on holidays in Nice when I was 39 and I walked down the Promenade des Anglais and men’s gazes just passed over me. I also noticed it when I started to be repeatedly addressed as ‘maam’ and ‘madame’ by men who before would have smiled at me conspiratorially because I was a pretty young thing. I am getting used to it but it is hardgoing becoming invisible.

    • Buster says:

      Despite having had an extremely traumatic life, I really don’t feel personally hurt by it. I’m as tough as I am sensitive. But I do have a very strong world view and empathy for anyone who suffers injustice, male, female, young or old. I also understand that we are all part of the world problem. Most of us are so in the dark we can’t even bear the light.
      Feminism was a reaction, not a solution. The problem was irresponsible men that were not dealt with. The reaction never addressed the problem.
      Lots of bitterness, very little understanding, but most importantly, very little love.
      Women are supposed to be cherrished & loved by first their fathers & then their husbands…Treated as if they were their own bodies by their man. This is the real empowerment to a women, not some angry ideology. That is where real confidence comes from, not some makeover. Oh, if you could only experience that feeling you’d know what I’m trying to say is true. It’s just the blueprint and we err at our loss.
      It is good that you are loosing that attention you once had, as there was no real love, only contention for it. Now you need to be with someone who cherishes YOU, but you need to have some real qualities to cherrish. Have you developed some or are you still angry, as most of us are. That is the question.

      But Love is always the answer!

  • Bambi says:

    What a great blog….every experience you describe is so familiar…. the party, the friends’ advice/ attitudes/efforts at match-making, your criteria (excellent!) etc.

    And the replies are pretty damn good too!

    Just 50, separated 8 years (after 20 years together, replaced, sort-of, by O.W.who is a mere 3 years my junior), have met everything from the not-so-sublime (SFAR; married looking for a mistress) to the ridiculous (32-year old, engaged). According to my friends (male AND female), I am “funny, gorgeous, intelligent, sexy, educated, sure to meet someone”… Add in no “baggage”, financially independent and a zest for life…… But, yes, you have guessed it, despite all of this….. still single! A-MAZING!

    Since separating, I have travelled to the end of the world (literally), done further studies, had two men tell me that they love me – I’m only counting the unmarried ones – and have had another I came close to loving, (only to find that he was not interested in committment).

    So, I consider myself to be “doing well”. having built up and created a new, interesting, independent- exciting, even – life… Sort of… But, like you, Plankton, I guess I would like to share it with someone special. Not necessarily a housemate, even… more a soulmate. Up to now, when men (generally divorced) have declared to me that they “never want to marry again”, I have nodded in agreement, suggesting “indeed, why WOULD any of us want to marry again”? And, ok, maybe marriage may not be where it is at…but the next time I am having this conversation with someone, I am going to say…”maybe not, but I would like to meet someone that I would spend the rest of my life with…” – and watch how fast he runs away!!! I had resolved on this course of action just recently, and then read your article in the Irish Independent yesterday…. I could have written it myself… It made me smile wryly, laugh too – and it made me sad. seems to me like there is a hell of a lot of wasted love going astray…

    You mentioned in one blog about maybe (just maybe) finding someone who would throw a 50th party for you. May I be so bold as to offer advice? I threw myself a wonderful 50th birthday party which was a happy, fun, quirky day, surrounded as I was by the warm fuzzy feeling of champagne(!), family and lifelong friends whom I know love me and whom I love dearly. There was a real sense of a journey…that, at 50, we have not, any of us, married or single, divorced or widowed, reached our destination. So, my advice: if there isn’t someone there to throw a party for you – do it for yourself!

    Finally – a request for advice. How to deal with the married woman who feels threatened by the presence of the single woman (more particularly, the divorcee)? I have tried everthing, but there seems to be no acceptable way to reassure this woman that, really, her husband is TOTALLY safe from me… 🙂 I suspect that you could do a very amusing blog on this topic….

  • Oh, I was kidding when I wrote my comments in to your article that you wrote in The Times 2 weeks ago- After I read your Times piece, I looked up your blog page out of curiousity- Two weeks have now passed and I can see form reading through your recent blog posts that you’re clearly getting truly nowhere-

    If you feel like traveling to the suburbs of New York City, I’m 39. I presently have zero (0) children and I have zero (0) desire to bring any new ones into this world anytime in the near future-

    -I’ll tell you more about me if you’re interested and if you write back (you clearly have my email address here)

    -I’m not crazy, at least not as far as I know, or at least not in any potentially dangerous sort of way, and I won’t ask to borrow 50 Pounds (or $50) from you…

    -I can promise you dinner then dessert and then plus a calm leisurely, plus perhaps a museum exhibit (or any other tourist activity) AND NOTHING ELSE… …. at first…

  • asjbendall. says:

    Night, Night, Sleep Tight, and Don”t Let The Fleas Bite! Good Night and Sleep Well keep that dress ready for September.

  • Joe Ehrlich says:

    As a middle-aged, single male with no debt, ex-wives or children, I take issue that we are “socially desirable” the instant that we come on the market. I find that the majority of women still picture themselves to be in their mid-twenties and especially worthy of all tall, handsome male’s attention and ignore the rest of us.

  • Dear Plankton

    It feels weird addressing another human being so derogatorily, but hey, if that’s what you believe you are, then that’s what you will be.

    Your latest post actually worried me. Not to be glib, but Prozac really, really works. When someone feels like they’re in a coffin, it’s not like they’re sending out come-and-get-me energy, and so the cycle of sadness perpetuates.

    Why suffer?

    I’m the 44 year old widow of a suicide – which is why i go ‘yikes’ when i hear people sounding depressed. i too have kids, and dogs, and a mortgage, and bills, and all those other things.

    I just ended a serious relationship with a man who was ideal in almost every way – but i needed a bit more love than he had to give. nobody was wrong – it was just how it was.

    why i’m telling you this is because I know perfectly well that i will meet another man who will give me enough love, because (a) i love myself enough and (b) i can give and receive enough love to another person.

    I don’t know where you live – maybe the ass end of nowhere? – but i know that there are men everywhere, of all ages, crawling out of the woodwork. But if your light isn’t shining, you won’t see them.

    Get out of that coffin, FFS – life is short and beautiful, so join in – and if you’re struggling, do something about it.

    with all good wishes
    suzanne harrington
    (does one sign comments on blogs? i’ve never left one before. sorry if this is the wrong blog etiquette)

  • Shit, i just reread my comment and it sounds like the suicide i refer to and the man who i ended a relationship are the same person – which makes me sound like a callous psycho – eeek – they were 2 different people, two different times, years apart.

    it’s late and i am very tired.

    sorry about that

  • asjbendall. says:

    I”m just sliding in beside you, my sweet peas smell well, your skin is beautiful and soft, and you are now in a safe pair of arms tonight.

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