I came home after I met her and cried six years worth of relief. My heart lifted and released its anxiety of loneliness. I moved here in 2004 with a child who has multiple disabilities. It is 2010, and until today I had not found a friend to truly connect with, a support group centered around our unique struggles, or a compassionate soul to confide in. That is entirely too long of a time. It was not for lack for trying, believe me. I tried it all. It just wasn’t happening. This is not just an experience, for the community here it is a tragedy.
There were therapists, professionals, doctors, teachers, school administrators, un-supportive family that provided more resistance than understanding, bouts of meeting friends that either excluded me based on religion, education preference, or used drugs and partied too much. I walked away from all of these. Not my fit, and I refused to take less than I expected. I knew what friends were supposed to feel like. They don’t talk behind your back, they don’t judge your every move, they don’t exclude and they don’t use you merely for their gain. And professionals are not your friends. They provide you a service, and they leave. Counselors must be paid to hear your problems or you don’t matter.
For six years I watched my husband fall away from me in his mental illness, my un-connectivity repeat itself attempt after attempt, long distance friends become as far away spiritually as our move created physically…. and myself was all I had left. I could have lost myself in these circumstances , I fought not to. I was all I had. I carried this family emotionally, alone. I was not even sure I could trust in a creator or higher power to really be there anymore. Was that even real to me?
She was a breath of fresh air, no, more than that. She was oxygen to my soul. Even in this moment I am in such shock, processing in my head that it’s actually really happening. Paralyzed to yet reciprocate, I marvel at the miracle of friendship, love, support, care, concern, compassion, and companionship. She held both my hands in between us as I told her in a bit of despair ”oh my daughter,…. oh and myhusband!,…” and she said,
” you are not alone…”