Some days, I realise I’m not like other grown ups.
Today was the last day my daughter attends a Primary School. This now involves parents grabbing pictures and ‘networking’ in an attempt to ‘keep in touch’ as their kids move on. Now, undoubtedly if my husband had been here he wouldn’t have sat quietly away from everybody else, and would have been in there chatting. I’m not good at that, never have been, and any amount of ‘well get in there and talk’ actually changes the situation. The people I have stuff in common with were spoken to, once everyone else had gone. My daughter thanked all the teachers. I had a word with the Headmaster.
Then we went home.
When I asked my daughter, she was beyond happy. All the pictures she wanted, all the friends talked to and important people sorted. Shirt has been signed, cakes and biscuits made happily consumed. I didn’t need to do anything except turn up and hold her stuff, and I did that brilliantly. It wasn’t my day, but hers. In that regard, I can carry off the job of Mum without stress. She’s emotional now, and I’m doing my best just to be here. The problem is, some days I just can’t socially interact with the world at all. It’s like I disconnect from how it all works and forget everything that I’m supposed to do. It isn’t that there’s no willing, simply a loss of the order to do stuff in. Social niceties somehow just vanish when large groups of people appear, and then when I get back to the one to one situations it hits me. You can’t be like this and still communicate.
The salvation now is that I realise it is happening whereas when younger I didn’t, and nobody told me what a twat I was. In fact, I don’t remember anyone ever telling me anything at all. I dunno if this is just because no-one ever got that close or it was because I refused to listen, or if memory’s just so awful it happened and I’ve lost the timeline. One memory did surface of someone who was really mean to someone else and expecting to be let into the house being told to summarily fuck off before she reached the doorstep. On reflection there should probably be more of that. I do remember the watershed moment though, when I was recovering from PND. The relationship I terminated then should have been finished a long time previously. On reflection, pretty much my entire life was full of people who were there for entirely the wrong reasons.
All of this stemmed from my inability to effectively communicate.
Time has helped, plus the ability to see more than just the six inches in front of me. Writing has allowed an opportunity to expand the world I have to spaces that previously I was uncomfortable inhabiting, and to help me discover more not simply about myself but more importantly the World around me. I can’t change some of what I am, this is abundantly apparent, but there is plenty of room for improvement. There’s never going to be a time when I look at anything and say ‘yeah, that’ll do’ and although this might have some negative connotations from time to time? I think I’d rather feel everything, all the time, despite the issues that sometimes produces. When it matters, this is never about me, and I get when those moments are. I’m still not 100% hitting the targets, but the success rate is far better than it was.
Maybe that’s no bad thing either.