My emotional kid as a reflection of me

posted by Jeff | Saturday, October 29, 2022, 11:17 PM | comments: 0

I had a really long bedtime with Simon tonight. He expressed feelings of loneliness, which I am deeply familiar with at his age and beyond. I'm just not sure what to tell him, other than, "I've been there." I imagine it's even harder since he's an only child.

My childhood, in the general sense, was pretty lonely. No one really "got" me, my parents didn't engage, and honestly I feel like very few people tried to. If it weren't for a couple of adults in high school, specifically the athletic director and the guy who hired me to do TV stuff from the city, I'm not sure how things might have turned out.

I tried my best to explain to Simon that close relationships were difficult to come by for me, but it didn't mean that they didn't exist, and it didn't mean that I was not valuable. I understand this to be a spectrum for most people, where they fall somewhere between few close relationships and many trivial relationships, or somewhere in between. I definitely fell in the "few deep" category. In high school, there were a few people that I gravitated toward even if I didn't have a lot of frequent interaction with them outside of school. In college, the same pattern persisted, with a few close friends each year (including a number of women that I wished were more than just friends). By the time I got to adulthood, I had my eventual wife, and after we split, a few others that were younger but still intensely interested in me as a person. It felt like I met a lot of people when I moved to Seattle of various depths of friendship, and I still can't entirely explain why that happened. (For real, in those two years, I met people that I felt I deeply understood, even if I didn't see them much after we moved again.)

What do you do with all of that when describing it to your offspring? I'm not even sure other than being honest about it. I get his feelings, because they're similar to what I've experienced my entire life. Feeling lonely sucks, but some people get you, but most people don't. What can you suggest other than patience? Eventually, someone will sit next to you and hold your hand, or if it's not romantic, they'll say, "Yeah, I feel what you're going through."

I just hope that I can figure out how to help him feel less lonely. Being a teenager sucks, but it can be a means to an end. Adulthood can be a time when you're comfortable in your skin, if you learn to value yourself first in your earlier years.


No comments yet.

Post your comment: