“The hardest thing for me to deal with was the emotional part of being alone and having so little to do with my time that was constructive. I was really lonely and although I quickly developed a routine of going to the gym and hanging out with coworkers or walking by the river, I honestly had no idea how I would possibly move on from that. I cried every night for a month. I got really good advice from outside family to basically cut out all the sentimental bull shit and move on. The sooner you can move on the better and stop thinking about it”

That’s from a very recent leaver.  Old timers will say that decades later you will likely still be dealing with it and that at some point processing it with other people who have left the hof is very useful.  You can’t just bury a problem like this.  Like Jack’s magic beans it can lead to a whole heap of trouble!  (maybe that is what that story was about!)  But in the short run, make yourself get up and do something useful. Look forward, not backwards for the most part.

If you think it would be useful to have a mentor/friend who has been through this just write to us and ask.  [email protected]

2 Replies to “Loneliness”

  1. How can anyone who left the community not feel lonely! Loneliness played a significant part in my life after leaving. Oh, I tried to cover it with sport activities, volunteer work, regular church attendance, and being a generally cheerful chap. But behind the outward appearance was a wounded “child of the Bruderhof”; albeit one already in his mid 20’s. In the depth of my despair I penned a few lines. I want to share them here.

    It is quiet tonight and i am alone
    i have been alone for a long time and it has always been very quiet
    in silence i wake up and in silence i go to work
    the circular saw is screeching thru a two-by-four

    and it is silent

    In silence i contemplate singing birds
    rustling wind, the noise of life maturing
    everything around me is bursting with life; noisy life
    a ceaseless song of love for the creator

    and yet it is silent

    In silence my hands move noisily as i talk to a friend
    and with deep appreciation i drink up the reply:
    a word of courage, a joyous joke, a heavy burden

    oh god, this never ending silence!

    Tonight i turn to you, because you are all i have in my silence
    i am lonely in the ceaseless silence of twelve years
    i wish there were no memory of soundful days
    of music flowing from lips of praise
    to the strum of a guitar

    i wish i could blot out every last memory of happier days
    noisier days, when i was yet a child
    i wish…i wish…i…

    And in my lonely silence
    i turn to you, because you are teaching me not to wish
    nor even to ask, but to be strong

    even in silence.

    (Melchior Fros 1976)

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