Someone said something to me a few weeks back that has stuck with me. I am not calling her out here AT ALL, and if she’s reading this now, know, I am not mad. You said it, and with me, honesty is always the best policy. It’s just made me think. A LOT. She told me she didn’t think we could be friends anymore because my openness of aching for a husband and child made her feel guilty for what she has.
I haven’t stopped thinking about this since it was said. We “made up” and agreed to proceed as if it was water under the bridge. But I just can’t let it go. I never let criticisms go, no matter who they come from. I am always working on making me a better Traci, so this profound statement has made me think about me and really started me re-assessing my relationships and my choices.
It has so many meanings, and says so much about both her and I as people. For one I’m being punished for being open and honest, something not many people are. And for that, I will never apologize. But, for the hours and hours I’ve read tweets, blogs posts and listened to problems with friends’ kids and husbands it just kinda took me aback. In fact, I started to think I was the problem. I’d gotten too blue. I’d allowed my sadness & loneliness to take over.
Enter Cheryl, my therapist. I’ve seen Cheryl since I left my abusive ex back in 2001 on and off when needed. Sometimes I need her more than others, sometimes I can afford her more than others! (I need health insurance so that I can go back to her weekly or bi-monthly regularly soon!), but I digress. She knows me well, she’s watched me morph into the ME I want to be from the survivor I came to her as. She’s sat by and watched me uncover all my layers. She’s allowed me the freedoms to do things at my own speed and when I was ready. She’s been patient but firm, she’s been honest even when it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. But she’s also sat by and watched me fall, watched me figure things out for me and THAT is the kind of therapy that has helped me be confident with who I am. Cheryl has given me the self-confidence back that my abusive ex took away.
So when after a week I couldn’t shake this comment that was said to me, nor figure out how to proceed, I decided to mention this to Cheryl, because like I said it’s really been bothering me. See, those of you that ARE married and have a family don’t REALLY get what it’s like to be part of this single & childless club. The older you get the more awkward OTHERS feel about you. I hate it don’t get me wrong, I make no secret about that, but, society puts me in this position of being an outcast. It’s all over the place. Marketing doesn’t know how to handle people in my shoes. Movies, books, they’re just starting to catch up. Not everyone finds that happily ever after at 28 years old. You stop getting invited to parties, because you create an odd number. You aren’t included in people’s children’s parties, because I guess they assume because you don’t have a child, you shouldn’t want to be social. The Saturday night plans dry up, and it’s as if you are invisible. IT’S AWFUL. You spend holidays and weekends alone because unless you’re part of a couple, most often you are forgotten.
When I mentioned all of this to Cheryl the other day in reference to that comment that was made to me, she put her hand up in the middle of my mile a minute ramblings, she charges by the hour people,I wanted to get it all out there,she said in her quiet, very stand-offish demeanor, “hold on a second. I see a problem here”. Well holy smokes, that’s not what I expected AT ALL.
She proceeded to spend the next 10-15 minutes (yes I clock watch since every minute costs me $$$), explaining to me how this was the other persons problem not mine. And it was a relationship/friendship I should let go if that’s how this other person feels. (I’m still not prepared to have that conversation nor end a relationship I value no matter what), but I have every right to feel lonely. To feel left out. To share how much it hurts to be left out of Memorial Day and then July 4th plans. If one can’t read what I have to say and not take it personally than that is THEIR issue. Not mine. The healthiest thing I CAN do is get out how lonely I am. How finding someone for me isn’t about feeling complete, I am complete, and proud of the person I have become, but, I am ready at 36, almost 37 years old to move to that next stage in life! And have every right to be disappointed that I’m not there yet. Being married with kids is the ultimate club I have spent more than 35 years wanting to be a part of, and I’m just frustrated I’m not there yet. I don’t begrudge anyone else’s happiness, I couldn’t be happier for my married friends or my pregnant friends or even my friends with newborns. But it doesn’t diminish the fact that THAT’S WHAT I WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD!!!
I am different, I am not afraid to say what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling or what I’m feeling. Not a lot of people are comfortable with that, and I apologize if I ever put anyone in an uncomfortable spot, that’s not my intentions. EVER. Your blessings are your blessings and I’m just getting impatient for mine and sometimes the sadness and lonely take over. I work hard at looking for the positive but sometimes, in my little corner of the web I just need to vent and I hope that you’ll continue to be my friend anyways. We all go through different things at different times in our lives, but compassion is what makes friendships last.