I read a really beautiful piece written by a woman this morning. You can (and should!) read it here.
She talked about her experience growing up surrounded by a group of female friends. Best friends, sleepovers, perfume sampling together, doing everything together really. Then moving away to a big city in her 20s and forming a new group of women. Filled with women’s marches, broken hearts, sicknesses and helping each other when they needed to move.
Epic sister love.
Then came the ‘breeding years’ as she calls it. Some got married, some didn’t, some had babies, some didn’t. She talks about how through all this they tried to stay together, but eventually faded out of each others lives and how much this rocked her world, how surprised she was that this could happen to them. Years later, she was super sick at home with her kids and she called on one of those beautiful friends from years before. Her friend came. She brought soup, medicine, flowers, the works. I love this story and I think it’s a beautiful testament to what friendship can be. I really hope this is how my daughters grow up.
I wish it was how I grew up.
Is there anyone out there that didn’t have this experience, for whatever reason? I had a couple different best friends throughout my childhood, and for about 1 year from 13-14 years old I had a big group of incredible, beautiful friends. After that I was alone for almost 2 years (these years were some of the hardest of my life) and then I met Mitchell. While having a boyfriend during my teenage years was definitely better than being totally alone, it wasn’t the same.
I realize that now more than ever as I see others talk about being friends with the same women for the last 10+ years. Growing up with them, how they want to get old and gray with them. I realized it when I got married and had no one to stand beside me wearing a pretty dress, realized it when I had only 1 friend even show up to my wedding.
I realized it when no one gave me a baby shower when I was pregnant with my first child. Or my second. When no one visited me and my new baby girl in the hospital. When no one brought me one of those famous freezer meals to make sure I’d get through one of those utterly exhausting newborn days.
I realize it whenever someone tells me about a memory they have from their younger years and I can’t relate so I just smile and nod. When I have no one to invite to my kids birthday parties. I realize it every time I see pictures of girls nights, spa days, birthday dinners, sleepovers, throwback pictures.
The reality hits me the hardest on the days I’m alone at home with two little kids and I’m completely overwhelmed by my mental illness and they’re crying and I desperately sit there in the midst of it all wishing I had someone I could call for help.
I realllllly realized it when I have reached out for help and got nothing. I don’t ask for help anymore.
Village? Not for everyone I guess.
In my case, I know it’s probably my fault. My personality is so big and specific and while I’ve tried so hard to change I haven’t been successful. I wish I could share my opinions less, bite my tongue more. I wish I could force myself even just to talk less. I know in my heart who I am has affected my sweet husband and kids too. It’s hard to swallow.
But it’s also my mental illness. Something I battle every second of every day. It has won a lot more than I’d like to admit, especially when I was younger.
So I continue on trying my best to make it through each day.
Some days are really hard and some days I can get myself to forget I don’t have people to call on. To babysit my kids or help pick me up when I’m feeling down.
I wasn’t sure if I should post this or not. I don’t want to come off as looking for sympathy. I don’t want people to pretend they care. But I’m posting it anyway. For anyone else who doesn’t have their village, for whatever reason.
This is me being your cheerleader.
I want you to know I hope you make it through this.
I hope one day you do find your village and I hope it’s everything you’ve ever needed.
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