Tag: godchildren

A walk and talk with S

I went for coffee with my friend S this morning. We went for a walk along the river, watching the swans, mooched round an antique and bric-a-brac store and a couple of charity shops*,  and had coffee in a sweet cafe with dressers displaying vintage china teasets.

S was my boss in a previous job and we have kept in touch. I have always respected and liked her very much and actually we get on even better now than we did at work. With the exception of my friend L (my goddaughters’ mum) and her immediate family with whom I lived when I needed support years ago, and those work colleagues I get on with but would not yet consider close friends, S is possibly the only friendship I’ve managed to sustain for several years – and I mean a meaningful relationship, sharing honestly how and who you are. It’s a friendship very precious to me. First because I care about S and think she’s a lovely,  interesting, empathic, fun, genuine and… I can’t think of the word. ….she has strong beliefs about what’s right and important and is very dedicated to doing the best by everyone, if that makes sense. When we talk she often brings perspectives I’d never thought of. We share a similar sense of humour. Secondly, it’s precious because she doesn’t judge me. She cares about keeping in touch and continues to share her life and thoughts with me, whether I’m in a good or a bad state with my mental health. She doesn’t judge and doesn’t dismiss me as unable to cope or engage, and doesn’t push me away if there are certain things I’m finding hard or not always able to be “normal”. Thirdly, she doesn’t require me to be in a particular state or way in order for us to be in touch. That is a really rare gift. There are few people I can say that about and that I’d trust as I do her.

I do have the same fears about losing her, being too much for her, harming or hurting her without knowing it, as I do with other people I care about. S and I don’t get to meet that often, maybe every couple of months or so, and it is often in my mind that if we saw more of each other I’d be too much for her just as I have been for everyone else. However my relationship with S seems more stable than most of my other relationships. I’m not sure why. I’ve wondered if it’s because she’s particularly empathic and she has previously worked in mental health, as have I, so she’s very reflective and has also got more understanding than many of us (me included) may be in a position to have about how PD and mental health conditions in general affect us. She’s also older than me. Or I wonder if it’s to do with having come to know her gradually as a boss first. Perhaps all these things help. I think it’s also an important fact that when I’m more ill, she doesn’t treat me as if that makes me useless or not able to participate in anything and she doesn’t require me (implicitly or explicitly) to be in a different state than I am.

I would think some of the difference must be down to me as well, though I do not know what I do differently with her from in relationships I’ve lost and/or discovered they were not at all for the other person what I thought they were – usually because I’ve hurt them or they resented me without knowing. I probably should try to figure out what I do differently!

Anyhow, this was a nice morning after a very sad, low, shaky week. Tomorrow I am going to meet with L and my goddaughters and the family, as it was my eldest goddaughter’s birthday this week. I’m very anxious about the travel there as unfamiliar or unpredictable places, routes, timings and so on are hard for me; I’m also feeling overwhelmed because there will be 8 of us in total. I don’t want to dissociate, get anxious or get upset which could harm the children and spoil it for other people. Whenever I go to something like this, the thought repeats in my head that I must not let my problems take over everything for other people and they need me to be more together. I was once told by someone I care about that this is what I do, when actually I was doing everything I could to hide what I was going through and self harming repeatedly to deaden my feelings. Now it’s a big fear that I ruin everything.

However, the only way forward is to do it. I really care about L and the girls and their family and it’s worth all the anxieties to get to see them and celebrate with them.

It’s a blessed weekend.

Ginny xxx

A visit to my goddaughters

A visit to my goddaughters

This Palm Sunday weekend has been a special one. The last couple of days, I have been staying with my goddaughters’ family. They are several hours away by coach so I do not get to visit as often as we might all like, partly as I am very anxious about travelling and my physical pain exacerbated makes the journey tiring too. Visits have always been a blessed time. My goddaughters’ mum L. is my closest friend and when I was at college, I lived with her and her family in holidays when I was unable to live with my own. Though a long while may go between times we see each other at the moment, we stay close in friendship and prayer for each other and don’t seem to lose the closeness despite the geographical distance.

L. is a very non-judgemental person, extremely compassionate and reflective, talented especially in work, study and music, selfless and giving, gentle and sensitive to others and extremely accepting. I am so thankful, in recent years especially, that she accepts me however I am, whatever I cannot do, whatever I’m feeling, however rubbish I feel. She makes it okay. I dare to tell her more than any other friend how I really feel.

My goddaughters bring abounding energy and a lot of happiness. Everything is exciting and new. They ask questions that make me smile and open my eyes to notice and be mindful. They find purpose and feeling in every moment.

We made cookies and iced them. This took several stages through the day and a lot of floury stickiness along the way – mixing, forming the dough, kneading in dried fruits and peel, waiting, rolling out the dough, cutting shapes, building new ones, then finally icing. We coloured. We went to the soft play centre. We read books. We played with the inevitable Peppa Pig Princess Palace. We went to Mass for Palm Sunday of Our Lord’s Passion. I got to watch my eldest goddaughter in her very first ballet show where she danced as a twinkling star.

I’m thankful. My heart melted to see happy eyes, smiling faces, hands outstretched to me for a hug, genuinely and fully pleased to see me, which astounded me. Their trust and unreserved enjoyment found me deeper within and for once I did not feel as though I was only watching from the outside and for a while, the real was stronger and louder than the voices and the noise in my head. I truly am blessed by my wonderful friends in this family.

Tomorrow morning I go home. This weekend is a gift I will carry with me. I am so thankful and so fortunate to be cared about and welcomed and loved in this way.

Ginny xxx