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Fractured Families

Updated on December 11, 2016

Near my home in Adelaide


Moving from home

I occasionally reflect on my own situation and how I become "isolated" from family and friends.

I went to two primary schools, and two high schools - we didn't move house, but when I first started school I had to walk nearly 2 kms to school. Some years later a new school closer to home commenced and I went there. At high school, I changed to follow another course. as a result, I didn't really make a lot of long-term friends out of my school days. In fact, I had little contact with any school friends from then on.

I admit to a slight envy of people who have friendships that go back to their school days, because I have none from those days.

When I was 19 years old I left home to do my nursing training at a hospital some 450 kms from home. I was there for 4 years ultimately and it was there that I made some good friends. However, I married in the town, and moved interstate. Several times. Each time I made new friends, but very few have remained long term.

When I left my husband after 45 years of marriage (yes, it was a long time and I tried to make it work, but failed!) some of our long term friends sided with him, and left me out. Some I have never heard from again!!

I think of my parents (now deceased) that remained in our "home town" - they had siblings, and other relatives as well as my sister and her family. Up here in Queensland, I have my own two children (both living some distance from me) but no other family and no long term friends.

Now headed to my mid 70's, the loneliness is something that does bother me. While I have 2 children (both married and with children) they too live some distance from me, so I seldom see them. I have seen my son 4 times this year, and my daughter marginally more.

I would love to see them more often. Distance is an issue of course, but there are other factors. I cannot afford to live near them. I have to rent accommodation, and as they live in cities, the rent is more than I can cope with. In any case, living near them also "exposed" me to visits from my ex-husband. Something that I do not want.

My choices are limited. I had to move to another part of the state - to get away from the ex, and to find less expensive rent, but it has exposed me to this loneliness too. I have been at this address for over 4 years and have great friends, but would love to have a closer relationship with my family. I cannot see a solution!

Old Home Town

Pelican at the park near my home town.
Pelican at the park near my home town.

Small Families and Long Distances

I wonder what life would be like if my parents had more children? If I had another brother or sister? Or if I had more than 2 children?

Sometimes I think I should not have followed my husband as he was promoted and transferred around the country. Really, though, as a wife I had limited choice.

As it turns out, I ended up living in Queensland, Australia, in a much warmer climate than my home town, and as I have Raynauds Disease. Here I have very few episodes, but when I visit my home town, especially in winter, I have challenges.

So here I am in a turmoil.

I need to move from my current rental housing, but will find it difficult to find anything suitable at a price I can afford. I don't want to mow lawns. (Currently I do, but it is not easy as I have a few other health issues.)

My options are limited. I am not alone. I know that senior single women have a lot of challenges. Only time will tell if I manage to succeed in making a good change.


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