Monday, August 10, 2009

All the Lonely People

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from ?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong ?
"Eleanor Rigby"
The Beatles

I've been thinking a lot about loneliness in the last few days. Not because I'm lonely. It's hard to be lonely when you are a wife and mom to two teenagers. My life is filled with people I care about and sharing our lives together.

I've been thinking about loneliness because of George Sodini, the man in LA who shot and killed three women in a gym in LA. Now please don't misunderstand, I think that what Mr. Sodini did was reprehensible and cowardly. And my heart goes out to the victims and their families. This is without a doubt a tragic and heartbreaking event.

But what struck me about this tragedy is that Mr. Sodini was angry with women because he felt ignored by them. He claimed he had not had a date or been intimate for close to 20 years in spite of the fact that he considered himself to be a decent looking guy, who kept himself fit and attractive. And yet he couldn't find a girlfriend. Obviously, there is more to this story. And it takes more than mere attractiveness to attract the opposite sex. But, I couldn't help but sense Mr. Sodini's loneliness and his helplessness in the face of it.

Again, don't misconstrue my thoughts here. Being lonely does not excuse what Mr. Sodini did. And in no way do I feel sympathy for Mr. Sodini. But after reading this story, I couldn't help but think of all the thousands of lonely people in the world. The ones who have never found love or companionship. Or those who found it, but lost it and never find it again. In my busy and full life, I haven't given much thought to what it must be like to lonely- year after year, with no end in sight. It's a sobering thought. And it makes me thankful for the love and affection in my own life. Some days when I'm feeling overwhelmed and pulled in a million different directions by all the demands made on my time and attention, I fantasize about living alone with no one to please but myself. I've been rethinking that fantasy in the last few days. As I said, I've never given much thought to loneliness. But that was before I read about Mr. Sodini.


Sandy said...

Interesting topic. I have always been very self sufficient and never minded being alone (of course that was always knowing someone was coming home or there were people to reach out to) but lately I have been thinking, too, that being alone wouldn't really be my choice. But I can't imagine killing a bunch of innocent people would be any kind of answer. Too bad he didn't just kill himself and be done with it.

Mary said...

Yeah, that whole thing was disturbing. There are a lot of lonely folks in the world but they don't let lose and go just murder innocent people over it. And what a coward. He turns out the lights and just randomly fires through the room - so he doesn't have to see who he kills before he kills himself. There were clearly deeper issues with this guy to drive him to this action - which most likely led to his being alone to begin with.

MissKris said...

I'd have to go thru my Archives to find a blog entry I wrote about a man in our neighborhood my hubby and I called "Subway Sam" about a lost soul! I would like it very much if you'd copy/paste this link and come visit me...I have a 'challenge' for you! :-D

Bethany said...

I can relate in some ways to the lonely man. I'm getting older and still haven't found *the one*. I live hours from my family (close enough to visit every few weeks, but they are not in the same town at all) , most of my friends have moved away and lately I've really been struggling with being alone and lonely. When I'm working and into my schedule, I don't notice it, but every once in a while it hits me and hurts. Believe me, living alone is not too fun- it gets hard to come home to a silent house every day. Thankfully, I have extra jobs that pull me away from the apartment!

Anita said...

I have wondered about this gentleman too, and wondered what else was going on in his life for him to feel so desperate and alone. Certainly he had mental health issues.
I was single until I was 30 years old,and I did occasionally feel lonely, but I had a challenging career and many friends, but none of that came home with me every night. I think a solitary life can be very lonely, and while some must prefer it, it wasn't for me.
I do fantasize about my life when my children are all grown and it's just Kevin and I.

Ronnica said...

That's interesting that your fantasy is my life, and mine is yours. How much we long for what we do not have!

I don't think a lack of love relationships necessarily lead to loneliness. I've not had a boyfriend in over 10 years, yet I rarely feel lonely. There is a deep longing of my heart sometimes for a relationship and family, but I wouldn't necessarily call it "loneliness" nor is is overwhelming most of the time.

Gamma Sharon said...

There had to be depression in there too.
My daughter has had a lot to deal with in the last 5 years and depression is part of that loneliness... she does hate being alone, especially when something is going on like storms etc. She also feels like the third wheel when she is with other women her age who have kids...they talk about husbands and kids with there Daddy's... it is hard on her.
I also long for just me time and have fantasized about living alone... I guess we just don't know how we would handle it.
I truly think this guy was more than lonely and depressed though... he had something wrong with him to be able to do what he did!

FranticMommy said...

I too have wondered about that man. If just one random smile or nod hello from a stranger would have changed the events of the day? Then, I put it back on him. George was lonely. So why didn't he volunteer? Why didn't he take the step to be active in his own community? Guess we will never know.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"It's hard to be lonely when you are a wife and mom to two teenagers."

To the contrary. Sometimes I think that situation can be very lonely. Many around, but lonely in a different way. I have not read anything on this killing in CA. On purpose, I suppose. Very sad.

And wanted to comment on your explanation of why librarians can't check out the new books first. That just sounds so "Librarian". Makes sense that lovers of books would be so respectful.


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