Overwhelmed by loneliness and the mistakes I've made

I know this is going to be long. I don’t think I can even provide 30% of the factors involved in my situation, but the most important is the woman I love, who I will just call M here. She is 42, and I am 43, for so e perspective.

I love her. I love her with every fiber of my being. I accidentally fell in love with her 23 years ago, back when she was dating my friend, whom she eventually married. I don’t think those feeling ever went away.

When they got divorced 3 years ago, we reconnected. We were both just getting out of very long-term relationships, and while I don’t think either of us were ready, once we opened that door, it was unstoppable.

My ex had taken my son far away from me around the same time. He was only 2 then. She had her reasons for leaving, but he was leaving too. I fell into a darkness that was so deep that I lost my job and the willpower to do anything but give up.

Except when M was around. When we were together, it was like all that other stuff went away. She was going through her divorce, and a custody battle of her own, but she still came to see me as much as she could. But the moment she would leave, the darkness would creep back.

She would push and pull me to get on my feet, to do better, to live. But all through this, my son’s mother was trying to get me to move out where they were.

He was my little boy, and I hated every minute apart from him. But I didn’t have the means to get there, and while I struggled with that reality, I only fell more and more in love with M.

M was afraid I would leave her. She tried so hard to make my life better, and tried to continue to be that light in the dark for me. She fought for me, she was there for me, all the while also fighting for herself and her own kids. And I wasn’t there for her the ways I should have been. I was so wrapped up in my own situation, my own grief.

I love her so much, but I also love my son, and I couldn’t have both. And I was stuck. It was as if any choice I made to better myself would lead to having to choose between him and her, and it paralyzed me. It paralyzed me for 3 years.

I’ve been struggling financially, emotionally, socially, stuck in a state of inaction. I don’t have a car and I live in a rural area, not near a bus line. Even getting an Uber is extremely hard here. But despite all that, M still tried to make my life better.

It became too much for her, and I was unable to be her light, in her darkness, when she needed me. My own darkness was overwhelming. Several times in the past 3 years, she ended things with me. Then I’d beg forgiveness and promise to do better and she would give me another try. And I would do better at first.

But every time, my despair would get the best of me. And now, for what I am sure is the last time, she is gone. I know that it’s my fault. I know she loved me with everything she had. I loved her too, but I was too selfish, too focused on my own misery.

I guess I’d always assumed she would love me forever. But now, it’s been weeks since we’ve even spoken. I am so close to finally getting my life back together, but she isn’t in it anymore. And the worst part is, I don’t blame her. I know it’s my fault.

She needed me to be someone she could rely on. I was never that.

But this heartache is crippling. I feel it the very second I wake up. I fight it off and try to distract myself with positive activities, but there are times throughout the day when I can’t take it anymore, and I break down. I’ll cry for 20 minutes at a time. And when night comes, I feel a sense of loss that seems to fill my chest, my head, my whole body. The emptiness where my son should be, and the absence of M who was the only person to make that loss bearable.

It is a feeling of absolute despair, and I don’t know how to push through it.

I know nobody can make it better. I know I just need time. But putting this out there, thinking someone might read it, will hopefully make me feel less alone.

Thanks for reading this, whoever you are.


Hey friend @Tim, I’m so sorry that you’ve been having to experience this, I can’t even begin to imagine what all of this must feel like. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of advice because I’ve never experienced anything like you have, not even close, but fortunately I do know a thing or two about being overwhelmed by mistakes and not having all the answers. In my opinion, one of the most important things to remember through all of this is that making mistakes, and even regretting them, is very normal, and human. I know it’s hard but you can’t let them be a weight on your chest because you can’t change the things you did, I know you want to, but you can’t. The best thing you can do is try to mend the relationships that you affected, get some closure for other people and yourself.

I also completely understand how the night can feel, sometimes it’s extremely hard to get through, the darkness comes and everything feels empty. The good thing about the night though, is that it always ends and the light always comes back, the night is temporary and no matter how it makes you feel, the light always comes back.

Like you said, I hope putting your story on here has made you feel less alone and I hope my response can bring at least a little comfort. You’re never alone and you’ve found the absolute best place to be, right here with us. Hold fast, you mean the world to me. I believe in you and I’m 100% confident that you will get through this.


Thank you. I appreciate your reply.

It took me about a day to get that all out. I kept deleting it and starting over. But I realized that it’s indecision that got me where I am, so I just took the time to get it out. It did help a little bit, as did your reply.

I have friends and some family nearby, but nobody in my life is impartial at this point. I am glad this site was suggested to me.


I feel it is important to add that I maintain a relationship, such as it is, with my son. We play games online, and chat or video call every day. He, also, is a ray of light for me, but it’s bittersweet because of the distance. And he is in good hands, which is the most important thing.

I just have to push through, and maybe I will have a place for him to stay some day soon.


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