Disclaimer #1 - I wrote this at 2 or 3am this morning. I don't imagine it's going to make much sense. I could go through and edit it, but then I'll chicken out and just delete it instead. I may still, but for now, I'm going to be honest and press Publish. I apologise if it's rambling and non-sensical. It's how my mind is anyway.
A couple of weeks ago, another blogging friend of mine left a comment on here, saying she missed me writing. I'm blogging, of course, here and there. Memes mostly. I knew exactly what she meant.
I miss me writing too. I miss my voice. I miss how this was my safe place. I miss how I could talk to my old regulars, hear back from them. Get things off my chest and honestly feel like I was being heard; and by people who cared.
But I've spent the last 4 months trying not to blog about something. And I feel like it's choking me. It's stopping anything else from coming out. I've lost my 'voice' and I don't know how to get it back.
I catch whispers of it, from time to time. Words form, swirl in my brain, arrange themselves into pleasant cadences and poignant passages. I feel a flutter of hope - maybe today is the day I'll be able to get it out. Find a way to write it out, make some kind of meaning out of it. Clarify it all, in my head, if nowhere else. Get this knot out of my stomach. Fix it somehow. Or move on. Either way, write it down, talk it out, feel the words flow. Until I sit here. And I stare at a blank page.
I don't even know who's listening anymore. And I don't know how to say it. How to say how desperately sad I am. Impossibly lonely. I wake up every morning and feel first the pain. I know within minutes if it's going to be a bad day or a really bad day. That's almost the easy part.
This time last year, the morning school run was my favourite time of day. I had a small, amazing, wonderful group of friends. We looked forward to each others' company every day, morning and afternoon - and quite often in the middle too. We'd come home in the afternoon and tend to our families until the end of the night, where we'd meet back up on our computers and talk for hours.
My whole life, I've kind of been a one girlfriend at a time kind of girl. I'm not good with large groups of women (well, let's face it. I'm not good with any groups of anyone anymore). But last year, I had a few friends - two in particular. Quite possibly the best friends I've ever had. C and I (and Sammy and her 3 year old daughter G) were together almost every day. Her home was the only place, apart from my own, where my body could relax and I could be happy and comfortable. Samuel was so in love with her, he would literally cry for her in the night, and beg me every day to go see his beloved "Tri-ya".
And now, nothing. And it isn't really anyone's fault. There was no real falling out (that I'm aware of). Noone did anything. Our lives just changed. 6 months ago my health was deteriorating fast, and C's husband had a stroke of some kind (not typical - it has taken exactly 6 months for a diagnosis, which they received just last week). He's only a few years older than me! His health and their entire life has been in crisis this entire time as his family has watched his (marked) deterioration. They lost their business, perhaps they will lose their home. He will not drive again, walks with a cane, has no short term memory.
They have an Aspie, J who was Alexander's best friend. Obviously, J is going through hell, watching his family's life change so dramatically.
And so he decided, (as 8 year old boys are want to do) that he hated Alexander. Just didn't want anything to do with him anymore. Which really, in the grand scope of things, is no big deal. Children make up and break up all of the time. They are sad for a while, they recover, they move on and make new friends.
Usually. ASD kids - not so much. It's been 4 months now and Alexander is a mess. Alexander is, quite frankly, not the same child he was at the end of last year. I overheard him, just a few years ago, talking to Sam in the bedroom. He was explaining (again, for the thousandth time) how J was his best friend last year. How he had J and (another)J and Z and M and L. How last year he had friends. How J told him they were best friends and referred to our families as the B-Mitchell family.
I remember it. It was a throwaway comment from an excited little boy last September after they had had a particularly wonderful day together. But to Alexander, it was a statement - it was solid. It meant that finally, finally he had a best friend. He was accepted. Happy. Normal.
And my heart broke as he told Sam that his life is ruined now. I know it sounds 'cute' or melodramatic. 8 year old boy decides his life is not worth living. But it's real to him. If you'd heard his voice -- the resignation as he explained to his baby brother that sometimes even if you're really nice to someone, they won't be your friend anymore. And that you can think you're happy, but then 'just like that - my life is ruined and I don't even know why. I was happy last year, when I was 7. But 8 is the worst year of my life"....
It was rough at the beginning of the school year. During the holidays, J hadn't wanted to see any of the group. Neither did C (my best friend), of course - she was just so utterly overwhelmed. So we did what she asked me to do - gave them space. I left messages, texts, emails. Touched base where I could. Tried to ignore the niggling feeling I got at no responses.
And I remember having a conversation with her in January. I had just lost a friend (it was the same week Lori's Tony died, as well as Lulu and her sister) and I was starting to struggle with anxiety again. She had just found out her mother had cancer, D (her husband) was deteriorating rapidly, with no progress at all being made by the Drs (not even a definitive diagnosis) and J was falling apart.
And she said to me "I'm full. I literally can't process anymore. I hear things, people are talking to me about their problems and I literally don't care. I just can't". And I understood completely what she was saying. And I left it there, determined not to burden her with what was going on in my life. J wasn't coping and wanted nothing to do with any of his school friends.
I explained this as gently as I could to Alexander. Explained that it was nothing he'd done wrong, and nothing J had done wrong, but that Alexander was going to have to give J some space. That it would all sort itself out when J started to feel better.
I was wrong. For the first weeks of school, despite them sitting next to each other in the classroom, J wouldn't acknowledge Alexander's presence. Not a look or a word. Nothing. I remember that first day - the shock and hurt on my son's face. I remember taking a deep breath, pushing back any defensive feelings, reminding Alexander what we'd talked about and telling him he'd be fine. Bidding both boys farewell, going home and crying for 3 hours, at the bewildered look on Alexander's face.
And for weeks, I reminded him of what C had said. "J doesn't want to see any of his friends at the moment - it's all just too much". And I pretended not to notice (and prayed every day that Alexander wouldn't notice) that he was playing just fine with the other boys. I watched him every day kick a soccer ball around with J and E, put his arm around Z but ignore Alexander.
We encouraged a new friendship for Alexander. A little boy who had just recently moved to Australia. Sweet, gentle, shy - perfect for Alexander. It was going well enough (though Alexander was/is still holding out hope that J will come around). Until a month ago, when the family moved away. Another chip away at Alexander, another little crack in his heart.
So it's the end of April. And J's never going to come around. Or who knows, maybe he will. I know that Alexander still wants that more than anything. And Alexander has started to notice that C doesn't have anything to do with us either. That the old group has gone. It's not gone. They're still there. I'm just not in it. He suggested to me the other day that if I just went to C's house, she would like me again, and then maybe J would stop hating him. What do you say to that?
While I was busy giving C the space she asked for, the others were able to rally around her, it would seem. Those relationships are all going strong. I tell myself (literally) every day that it's just circumstances. They live closer. They can help out more with her kids (living closer and not being ill). But it's time to be honest. Ours is the relationship that failed.
And if you'd told me that 6 months ago - I'd have laughed in your face. C and I were inseparable. Jo-Anna was my friend for 6 years before we parted ways. I didn't miss her nearly as much as I miss C and P. I haven't spoken a word to either of my sisters in years now. Not a whisper of regret. I dont' miss them at all. There hasn't been a day yet that I haven't cried at some point at what I've lost with C&P.
And you know what the worst part is? They haven't noticed. Not really. You know when you build something up in your head (perhaps a bully from school, or a high school crush who said Hi one day) and you agonise over it, replay it in your head over and over and over again. Imagine what you'd do differently. how you'd have fixed it. And you meet them years later and they have no freaking idea what you're talking about. Because as big as it was to you, it's nothing to them. So you're not only heartbroken, you're pathetic and humiliated.
That's where I am with C. This is honestly no big deal to her. Sam asks for her every single day. He cries for her. Next to Joel and I, she was the most significant person in his life and he was suddenly cut off from her, cold turkey. I feel sick to my stomach every single time I go to the school, knowing I will be ignored. Or worse - get the superficial 'stranger' small talk.
I can't do small talk. Never could. I am utterly incapable of ignoring the elephant in the room, pretending that one of the most significant relationships of my life has fallen apart at the seams, not even a noise as it falls to the ground.So we stand there (rarely) and do the 'small talk' of 'aquaintances' and inside I'm screaming "what the hell are we doing here? How do I know nothing about your life, no matter how much I ask. You know nothing about mine. You don't even ask. How did we get here? 6 months ago you wanted to move away and start a business with us, work together every day. And now, I'm not even on your radar". Last year I was worth picking up our lives and moving away together. This year I'm not worth knowing.
And please. I get it. This isn't her fault. At all. Her life fell apart and she's treading water here, just trying to keep all of the balls in the air. A sick husband with an aquired brain injury. A hard-work, confused 8 year old Aspie, a 5 year old and a 3 year old, sick parents, family dramas, financial crisis..the works. Her own depression and anxiety issues. I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy the hell that C has been through these past 6 months.
That's part of why this is so frustrating. I can't be mad at her. There's no bad guy (though perhaps me writing this will see me take up the position) here. P works full time now - she legitimately doesn't have the time we used to all have. C's life is a mess. And mine is falling apart in ways I haven't even told you. It's all just such a mess. Such a waste.
So here we are. Leading to tonight. The worst night I've ever had as a parent. A night when my sad, confused, angry 8 year old autistic son went on a violent rampage - beating the crap out of me and his brother (mostly I was able to protect Sam, but he's terrified and has woken 3 times so far in tears;it's 3am now). He screamed and ranted and deliberately went for my (physical) weak points to try to inflict maximum damage. He did a pretty good job of it.
It's been 6 hours now. I've had Mersyndol for the damage to my shoulder, head and hip. My back is spasming and won't stop. I've had 10mg of diazepam. The tears won't stop either. I'm lost. Utterly, hopelessly and completely lost. I don't know where to start to make this better.
I just want to rewind. I want to go back 6 months to when I had a best friend. When I had someone I could talk to about this. Who would listen to me and hug me - God, she gave the best hugs anyone in the world could give. I want to go back 6 months to when I had another best friend who could jolly me out of it, our matching senses of humour the highlight of my days.
Mostly, I want to go back 4 months to when my darling, sweet little boy was happy. I want my life back.
Disclaimer #2 - Please, please don't say anything mean about my friends. I don't want to turn comments off, I need a kind word (or even a swift kick up the ass). I love them, I miss them. They've not done anything wrong, this isn't their fault. You can bash my sisters, my ex best friends, whomever. But not these two. I miss them. I love them, despite all of this mess.