I was going to continue my purging of the whole “I am scared of having a girl” stuff, but I’m pausing to note my eternal gratitude and eye-opening.
I do not have a lot of strong female relationships in my life. Part of all my writing here has been to explore that and to try to change it. I was raised to not trust women, and the trust that I have placed in a few women (mostly in my family) has not been rewarded. So it’s hard for me to start friendships.
The flip side of this, of course, is that (a) I am missing out on one of the best parts of life: rewarding, whole, grown-up friendships. Bonds. reciprocal love and respect and support and (b) I am lonely at times. I have some acquaintances, but no one I’d call a close female friend.
This has hit home with this pregnancy and how I want Beany (and the already-here Monkeys) to see that Mama has strong friendships that enhance her life, and that Mama’s friendship enhances other people’s lives. Oh, and balance. There’s that, too.
It all hit home this week. Twice on Facebook I put out a call for some help. The days the boys aren’t in school, I could use some help. I always hear (especially my improv) acquaintances with wonky work schedules are looking for ways to make some extra money. I need help. I don’t have energy for a full day with the boys at home and was asking if someone could come and sit with the boys (with me around) for a few hours…one time deal or regularly. Pay would be involved. Good pay.
And out of the hundreds of friends I have — one person offered help. I am devastated, but it was a wake-up call.
I’ve been reaching out more to people — only to say hi and check in. I did this before, but I’m upping my efforts now. Most emails/texts go unanswered, but a few are responding.
It’s that basic basic basic premise: If I want to have friends, I have to be the kind of friend I want to have. I’ve had to shut off all of the nagging in my head, “You’ve written to them before! They never respond! You’ve gone to their shows! They’ve done nothing in return!” I’ve thought about the women whose presence makes me feel positive and empowered. The women who make me feel like they enjoy my company as much as I enjoy theirs. Those are the women I’ve reached out to.
There has been some difficult honesty…there is one woman who is super-connected and very much loved in the theater community. I feel weak around her. I constantly worry if she likes me. I also have wanted her desperately to like me. I did not write to her.
I’ve felt, quite frankly, like a loser. I hate asking for help, and I hate if when I do, it’s ignored. I did a reality check and yes, I do respond when others are in need.
As I said, it was a motivating, albeit painful, experience the last few days. I’ve needed help. I have no network.
When I went to get the mail today, there was a package from a mama in my Mommy group. She sent me some treats…chocolates of various types. Just because she knows I am having a tough time.
It was the long-distance hug I needed. I keep reaching out, because when someone reaches back, it bolsters the soul