So, to recap……had friends…..husband died……made additional friends……. became the sole supporter, nurturer, decision maker, fearful, neurotic, maladjusted, hardened, intolerant, and INTOLERABLE wretch,…..assumed my friends had accepted and understood (even if they were a tad annoyed) my present day personality…..Chapter One friend came to town during COVID.
Now that you are all caught up with Chapters One, Two and Three of my Chapters of Friendship, let’s move on to Chapter Four shall we?
During this plague infested time of COVID, I have totally tipped the panic disorder severity scale. My friends (bar one), have been less neurotic, or should I say, they have been “normal”. I did not partake in….ummmmmm…… ANY FORM OF NORMAL HUMAN BEHAVIOUR!!
When our side of the world started getting back to some kind of, barely there, normality (that period shortly before abnormal became a thing again), my friends started getting together for coffee a little. Nope, not me….I stayed shut up in my hole, unless I absolutely HAD TO go work or get *&%$#@ food for my children, who INSISTED on eating during those months!! Sure I was judged, mocked, ridiculed….but I couldn’t have cared less. I desperately needed to stay safe!!
Now, just a bit of background info on me and my germ-a-phobias……..have none. Yes….I am as shocked as you….a phobia that I don’t have?? Wow….who knew?? I was that mother who, if dummy dropped on floor, couldn’t see the point in sterilizing said dummy, when I had just seen my child mopping the floor with their tongue anyway!! Washed child’s hair…child ran out to play with hair still wet….no problems here….child cannot get sick from wet hair!! Hot and humid night….fan on….children do not get sick from a draft!! Viruses make people sick……not air, wind and water!!! Dust…….dust can be annoying with allergic children….but what are you gonna do??
So when ”Rona” arrived on the scene, even my children were like, “mom…..what is wrong with you? You are not normally that person?” Well, now we were dealing with something new, foreign, cray cray…..I hadn’t put many years of thought process into this *&^%$ dreaded plague!! I reasoned with myself, not completely sure myself why I was behaving like that!!
So life just paused in my house. No going out unless you ABSOLUTELY HAD TO!! This lasted for a good five months, until I could no longer chain the kids (more so the social butterfly I call Pepper) to a tree.
Back to my Chapter One friend, whose ”Namaste-ness” soothed my soul and calmed my ticks!! We kept in touch over the years via social media (so beneficial in situations like these), and saw each other once or twice, very fleetingly, when she visited family in the country. But for all intents and purposes, we were so distanced, that she just remained part of my first chapter of friends.
In ”Covid December”, she had to return for a family situation, and she stayed for the longest she had ever stayed, so we saw more of each other than we had in 20 odd years. We spent very special and quality time together, and I literally felt as if she had never left.
I was always aware of how similar we were in certain respects. We were both very reserved, shy and, in retrospect, probably lacking more self esteem than a colony of teenagers!! Stop that frowning…….I see you……..I REALLY WAS that girl!! In fact, between you and me, I kind of am still that girl. But, be that as it may, we were also very different in many ways.
However, with this visit of hers, I realized how much more she understood me than I would ever have imagined.
Anyway, the conversation of ”Rona” came up…obviously….a lot’…… obviously. But on the one occasion she quite innocently said, “you know, I have been thinking a lot about you during this time, and wandered whether you are more stressed than me, being that you are your children’s only living parent?”
“Yes, yes I am”, I replied, explaining how, even though my children are now older and could be self sufficient if they had to be…….um….jury’s still out on that one……. it terrifies me to the depth of my being to think of them losing me as well!! And we carried on with our afternoon chitter chatter.
At a later stage, she said how much she had missed my energy, honesty, candidness and sensible way of looking at things (also known in my social circle, even by me, as my intense, tactless and nutjob way of looking at things) She said she missed what she got from being with me. This calm and sensitive ‘’deserter’’, who I used to try and absorb the ‘’Namaste’’ from actually LOVED AND APPRECIATED…..AND MISSED my company!!
She enjoyed my company, she missed me and she appreciated me for who I was, and understood me for who I had become. I cannot tell you how validating that was for me. Just in the course of the light conversations we had together, and without being asked, and without even realising it, she made me realise that who I had become was who I always was, with a bit of ‘’life happens’’ along the way, and that I was actually not as horrendous as I had allowed myself to believe.
It was only when I got home, did I realise, that this “deserter”, who had, in the last 20 years, barely spent time or even chatted a great deal with me, had understood more about me than the friends that I had spent the last 15 years chatting to, and spending time with. It all fell into place (even for me), as to why I was behaving so out of character. I had just assumed my friends were right, and I was wrong, and bought into the ridicule. Well knock me over with a steam train, why don’t you.
Thank you my deserter. I do not think you realize what you did for me. I was so touched by your message that I had ”filled your cup”.
You my friend, filled my soul.