Monday, June 22, 2009

Separated

There are times, like now, when I feel very separated from people in my life. Life experiences I've had that most people in my life have not had seem to create something of a wall between me and them. Maybe it's a wall I myself create unwittingly. I just know that there are not many - if any - people in my life who can relate to having dropped out of high school and been a teenage runaway . . . having been on the receiving end of physical abuse from a spouse for many years . . . having a spouse die - let alone die of a drug overdose . . . having six children . . . having twins . . . having a baby with Down syndrome . . . having a husband with cancer . . . or all of those things. That's not to say that my friends and acquaintances haven't experienced their own brand of shit, and it's not to say that there aren't people out there who have experienced much more trauma than I have. And really, this isn't about "Oh, woe is me, what a hard life I've had." Not that I would have chosen half of this shit, but it's all made me who I am today, and how can I complain about that? What I'm trying to get at is just that there are times when these things leave me feeling isolated, an outsider, times when I can't help but feel that people who know me see me as something of an oddity. And maybe it even makes them uncomfortable.

And by the same token, there are life experiences that a lot of my friends and acquaintances have that I just can't relate to. When my friends talk about their college days (which seems to be a big topic for reminiscing over), I can't relate. I have no idea what it's like to have a close-knit extended family. When my girlfriends have all had their babies and had mothers who came to stay with them to help out, nope, can't fathom what that's like either. And this fosters separation between us, too.

Now it's the cancer thing. I am positive that it's driven a few people away. People who gave so much to us in the aftermath of Finn's birth, and who have shared plenty of good times with us, too. But they are clearly absent from our lives now. People who write breezy updates on their Facebook pages but have not offered a single word of support or well wishes, or even an inquiry as to how Michael is doing, since he was diagnosed in February. People who, if confronted with this fact, I am sure would say something along the lines of "Oh, life has been so busy . . ." or "We didn't want to bother you . . ."

It hurts. I don't think I'm that kind of friend. I'd like to think that no matter how busy I might be, I would find the time to offer some kind of support to someone I called a friend who was going through a crisis. I'd like to think that if any of these people were faced with such a crisis, that they wouldn't be deserted by any of their friends.

Nobody owes us anything, and I hope that's not how this comes across. All the help, support, food, etc. that we have received is deeply appreciated. But I suspect that our life has just gotten too uncomfortable for some people. It has separated us.

3 comments:

Nicole O'Dell said...

Lisa,

I'm sorry. I feel like one of those friends. To be honest, life has been busy--I could write a list, but it means nothing, nothing in the face of what you've been going through.

Also, I'm not really sure what to say...I AM praying for you guys but I know (and understand) that you handle things in a different way. So, I'm praying but keeping that to myself.

THAT, however, is no reason not to offer a hug. And, for being remiss on that, I am sorry.

Blessings and peace to you guys. I'm still praying and think about you a lot.

Tricia said...

I can't speak to the friends who disappear (though I have a few of those), nor can I speak to all of your experiences from my OWN personal experience (though I can relate on a more than one)...but I just want to say that it's precisely your beautifully (and many times not so beautifully) odd story that compels me to read every day and count you as a friend--even if not in real life. You're not a boring and that's what makes you an interesting. Shit shapes you as much as you shape shit. And that is my t-shirt philosophical lesson for the day! hahaha

(And the fair weather friends? Eventually I just say, "Eat it.")

Yorlett said...

I can relate to few of your life experiences. I think ‘my wall’ is how much I have grown apart from few people in my life, for having experienced different things, we now have different perspectives. Sometimes, that makes me feel like an outsider too.

To me, friendship is to show up when a friend needs you, regardless of how many things are going on. Unfortunately, since life has no guarantees(anything can happen to anyone at anytime), a couple of people have found out lately -when going through their own trying times- how much it can hurt to go through a crisis without support. Hopefully, in the future when they know someone is going through difficult times, they will show up for them, somehow.