Where No One Knows Your Name

That’s a depressing title, isn’t it? Sorry if you came here for a laugh or silly entertainment. Some of my posts are heavy, and I assure you this is one of them.

I haven’t spoken about my divorce much. Mostly because the topic cannot be contained in a post. But, there’s something about my divorce that compels me to write. There’s a specific topic I can not ignore. It’s one of the many feelings that comes with the territory. Yet it’s a word we toss around so much it has lost its meaning.


I had an image – a mind picture – the other day as I walked to work. It gave me such an accurate way to describe loneliness.

I was somersaulting through space. I wasn’t spinning out of control. Nor was I in slow motion. Everything around me was dark, but somehow I could see other people somersaulting past me. I had no voice, but I knew that even if I did have a voice, no one could hear me.

I desperately wanted to to make myself flip closer to someone. Anyone. But I couldn’t control where I was headed.  I was simply flipping through this abyss with nowhere to land.

I remember thinking that this is what it feels like to be lonely. To be in the vicinity of others but unable to touch anyone else.

This is what loneliness is, I thought. A dark abyss where no one can do so much as even bump into me. Not even a slight brush against my hand or my face.

Tears started to slip over my lower lashes. I wanted someone to bump into me. Someone to call out my name. But I was in a place where  no one knew my name. We were all just fellow travelers on a journey, wondering if we would ever see light again. Ever feel the warmth of another human being, or the sweet sound of our names being spoken.

That is what loneliness feels like in this place called Divorce.

In reality, I have friends who know more than just my name. I have 900 friends or so on Facebook. I have met every single one of those people. They may not be close friends. Perhaps they are merely acquaintances but nonetheless we have some sort of connection. In all of those “friends,” I still find myself in that abyss from time to time. Even with the love of my close friends and support of some of these Facebook friends, who encourage me from afar, I still feel the intensity of loneliness.

Today is one of those days. I have spent much of it in tears. One of my dear friends has asked me to join her for coffee. She wants to know if I need to talk. It may have alleviated some of the loneliness, at least momentarily. But the kind of loneliness that comes from death, divorce or some other loss leaves a deep gash in the heart that will not be healed by short conversations over coffee. So, today I let myself somersault through the abyss. When I finally stopped flipping long enough to dry my tears and read a bit about how God’s love for me reaches through these dark places, I sat down to write this. Finally.

I must write. For no other reason than to write about loneliness. And maybe so that someone out there suffering from loneliness in a world filled with people, activities and responsibilities, they can feel that someone has at least tried to bump into them out there in that dark abyss.

Categories: Divorce, Faith, Writing | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Where No One Knows Your Name

  1. Faye

    Thanks Lynn…I needed the bump!

    • lynnhouse

      I’m sure you can relate to this… from the very little I know of you and your story. Thanks also for the message on Facebook. Next time you’re in Indy, I would love to chat over coffee.

  2. It’s been my privilege to bump into you throughout the years. I know the loneliness you speak of. I know how it is to fight against it and how it is to collapse in it and wash it with tears. You’ve helped me in my darkness. Hope I can do the same for you.

  3. Irwin Gelding


    I appreciate your thoughts and feelings, as you describe loneliness so well. I love to see thoughts on paper, even if it is not happiness or fun. This is life. This is your life. This is our life. Thank you.

  4. I cannot help with the loneliness but I can spend time listening to you — thanks for when we have talked. Remember, I was at dinner with you when you were still almost a teenager in South Africa, and then I was at your wedding — I am invested. Let’s talk whenever you want.

    Your friend,

    Rod Smith

  5. Tom P

    O.K. it has been almost a month since you posted this. Still feel this way? I believe enduring these feelings makes joy and love and serenity worth striving for. I lived lonely for decades in my addictions, always trying to fill the hole in my soul. Things are better now, and if I don’t believe it, all I have to do is help someone less fortunate. God bless you Lynn. I love you.
    A fourth step sounds like a good idea. (for me too.)

  6. Popped over from Fourth Frog Blog. Tossing in my two cents, because I went thru a divorce after a 14 year marriage, 13 years ago. It was awful in the beginning. And in the middle. And at the end. But it was the best decision I could’ve made in the circumstances I found myself.
    These many years later, it’s nothing but a distant memory. Life moved forward and I moved with it. I am not the same person I was, honestly. I am stronger, more confidant, happier.
    Remarried and moving with the ebbs and flows of life–I learned to trust my self again.
    Life is about evolution. Sometimes it helps to trust the process of evolving and give yourself permission to let go. Since this was written several months ago, I hope you’re bumping into more people these days.

  7. You are not writing enough — get to work.

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