Last time I spoke about Maeve’s exclusion, now I want to talk about mine. Listen…I warned you all in the beginning, that I am a complainer!
As a parent of a child with a disability, it can be very very lonely. People grow tired of being around you, because if you are being real and talking about your struggles, it is really draining to listen to. Everyone has enough going on in their own lives, they don’t need to listen to me go on about how exhausting mine is. I often leave out several details of my life, because I am not articulate enough to explain anything other than the Coles Notes version of what is really going on. I can see the looks and sense the eye rolls when I’m not taking their advice or listening to suggestions on how to live a life most people will never comprehend. Here comes Negative Nellie Steph again!
I am one of the lucky ones that has had the same friends most of my life. My best friends that I made when I moved to Scarborough at age 9, remain my best friends today. I can be 100% my immature self around them (I feel as though my maturity is at the same level as my 9 year old self), they know my history and understand me and my moods with very little judgement. If I am feeling a certain way, I rarely feel the need to explain myself. Unfortunately due to life circumstances, where we have decided to live, and a friggin’ global pandemic, I never see them. Everyone has so much going on, which makes our get togethers less of a priority. However making new friends as an adult hasn’t really been all that important to me. I am too old and too tired to try to act like the carefree fun loving person that most people would want me to be. I just don’t work that way.
Truth of the matter is, that after having kids I am afraid to let loose. I am natural worrier and feel that I always have to be fully alert and ready for whatever is about to happen next. I’m scared to drink and not be in full control. It feels as though something is always happening. For women my age, it is very rare to find one that doesn’t drink to escape their reality and unwind. I don’t have the luxury of being able to just relax with a child that I don’t need to watch 24/7. I would love to, but it isn’t possible. I guess that makes me boring? I assume that I’m considered lazy because I can’t jump up and partake in spontaneous activities. Everything we do needs to be thought out and planned. Even family members grow tired of this. My feelings are often hurt, but my husband reminds me that they are always going to choose the adventurous ‘drinking buddies’ over us. I get it. We never get too anxious about making plans work, because we know they will likely be canceled if a better offer comes along. We’ve gotten used to seeing people that we think are our friends attend events or outings with others, without giving us a thought. I’m not sure, but sometimes I wonder if it would be easier if they would just pretend to want us there?
I am far too sensitive and I’m embarrassingly loyal. Aside from my sister, I don’t ever really feel as though it is reciprocated. I keep trying to change it about myself, but I guess it’s ingrained deep in my soul. In high school I briefly befriended one of my sister’s enemies. That was over twenty-five years ago, and I regret it to this day (sorry Stacey! Perhaps it was payback for stealing my grade 6 boyfriend… Ha! That’s a story for another day).
I don’t know what the solution is. Part of me wants to make more of an effort to get out and live a little and be something other than a mom. It just doesn’t seem like that will ever be my reality. I think I have just accepted the fact that my husband is now my best and often only friend. Aside from my daily text chats with my girlfriends, occasional zoom calls and outdoor (socially distanced) walks, he is all I have. This isn’t healthy. In a perfect world, I would have never have moved here. I am being dramatic because it is only an hour away, but in our world you would think we live in another province. I’m resentful that we made the choice to be further away from my family and friends, thinking our lives would be very different. Unlike me, my husband doesn’t really care. I usually have to force him to go out and socialize, he is always happy to stay home. I’m left wondering why I thought it would be a good idea to move closer to his friends and family. I wish I could surround myself with people that just “get me” and don’t feel like I’m always making excuses. I really miss being around people that understand my heart.
I am a stay-at-home mom in my 40s, still finding it hard to believe that this is my title in life. Mom of two young girls and married to a pilot (in other words… part time single parent). I am ‘Auntie Boom’ to Willowjak, and have the tattoo to prove it! My youngest was diagnosed with autism at 2, and finally a rare genetic disorder called DDX3X at 5. I’m almost always tired, and I feel as though my goal in life is to survive. I’m sure that I am not alone on this quest.