Hi Ladies. It's me. Y'know, Sue.
I can't remember the last time I did a post. I've mostly just been blog stalking. Nearly every new challenge, I start fresh with counting my calories and tracking my points, but after about 3 or 4 days, I run out of steam and decide that I just don't care. I've been fairly consistent with my exercise, mostly because it has morphed into an essential mental health outlet, but my motivation to have discipline and order in my eating and my life are severely lacking.
I think what it boils down to is that I'm lonely. My husband was gone for 3 months doing job training and he has been home less than 10 days since he's been back from Houston. He heads out for a month-long hitch on a new oil rig tomorrow. When he got home about a week ago after a week-long hitch, we were spooning and he was saying how nice it was to be home. I just broke out crying, much to Dan's discomfort, and said, "It's nice to feel like I matter to someone. Someone my own age."
I feel much like Samantha in this post. I just haven't developed a really close friendship with anyone here in Cokeville. My friendship with Zoe, who died 6 weeks ago, seemed to have the potential to go in that direction. I could call her to come hang out whenever I was feeling lonely but didn't want to drag my kids out and didn't want other people to see my messy house. But Zoe is gone now.
Zoe's death has brought a lot of insecurity and hurt feelings to me by way of recognizing what my relationship to the Nate family really is. For those of you who don't read my regular blog, the Nates are sort of our adopted family here in Cokeville. My husband was mission companions with Brian Nate, they are best friends, and Brian and his wife Becca were the main reason we moved to Cokeville. When we moved here Brian's parents (who we rent our house from) told us that they considered us one of the family and that's just how it was going to be. We eat Sunday dinner with them at least once a month, go to all the family birthday parties, celebrate all of our family birthdays with them, and we spend a fair amount of time hanging out.
It has been somewhat disappointing since we moved here because I really thought that Becca and I would spend nearly everyday together, in and out of each other's houses (we're next door neighbors) all the time. For awhile, in the first year, we shared a lot of meals together and I would go over there a lot just to chat. But several little things have just caused us not to spend as much time together. I often feel chained to my house because I feel guilty leaving it messy and yet instead of cleaning it I often just avoid it and take a nap. Becca is a homebody, she doesn't really like to get out much and sometimes I just want someone to come see me so I don't have to drag my kids anywhere or feel like I'm imposing. Our younger kids are at the age where they don't have the social skills to play well together for very long so when I go over to her house it often ends with our kids fighting and me feeling like I just need to leave.
Anyway, when Zoe died, I was in Houston visiting Dan and wasn't able to get home until 3 days after she died. I was so anxious to be with other people who loved her and to share in the family grieving process. But by the time I got back, everyone was kind of talked out and I really missed out on a lot of the conversations and special moments together. As preparations for the funeral were made, I felt excluded, but had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't family and it wasn't really my place to get as involved as I wanted to be. I was trying so hard to be sensitive and understanding of everyone's feelings, really needing to talk but understanding that everyone else was spent. So I just kind of bawled on my own and talked on the phone with my sister Becky and my BFF Lori. Then I started to feel really hurt about the fact that none of the Nates were trying to comfort me. That none of them acknowledged that Zoe was important to me, too. That I was feeling empty and lonely without her. All this time Dan was gone and I really didn't have a shoulder to cry on. Then I started to feel just mad, mad that the Nates said we were family, but really, we're not. That has been shown to me in the aftermath of Zoe's death. Yes, they care about us, but we are not really part of their inner circle.
Katie, Brian's sister, was Zoe's best friend. They saw each other every day and apart from Zoe's husband and 2 children, Katie has felt the emptiness of Zoe's absence more than anyone else. At first I tried to call or stop in every day to see how she was doing, but it soon turned into something that was just as much for me as it was for her. We would sometimes exercise together or I'd go find her at her mom's house and we'd chat, or we'd watch a movie with Zoe's sisters and mom who were here from England for 3 weeks following the funeral. I started feeling better and feeling like I had someone who was my everyday friend.
But in the last 10 days or so I stopped going over to Katie's every day because I was working on some newspaper articles and Dan was home for a couple of days, so I was pretty home bound. This week I finished all of that, but had to catch up on my housework because I'd been ignoring it for too long. So by today I was ready to get back in the swing of things. I went for a run while Dan was home to watch the kids and I stopped by Katie's. It was brief and I was hoping to spend some more time with her this afternoon, but another one of the Nate siblings, Lori, came to town for a visit, so they just kind of did their own thing.
Crap. This isn't just about Katie. It's about the realization I had tonight that all of the friendships I have in Cokeville seem to be all initiated by me. I'm sure I'm exaggerating and being a drama queen. But right now it feels like if I ever want to spend time with anyone, I have to initiate it. Rarely does anyone just stop by my house, I go to theirs. No one calls me for company. Most of the phone calls I get are usually just when someone needs something. People are just too busy with their families.
To be fair, I'm not as outgoing as I could be. I go through spurts where I try to get out a lot, go to the library and get involved with town activities, but other times I can be holed up in my house for days at a time. If I'm being honest, I still struggle with my depression, even though my meds are regulated pretty well. It's still just hard to force myself to keep moving sometimes, to keep doing, to think less and busy myself so I don't become melancholy. But a lot of the time I just want to escape to a long nap. And that is not a great tool for relieving loneliness.
I've definitely been overly sensitive about not being included in everyday activities with Katie and the rest of the Nates. The fact is that I didn't spend every day with them before Zoe died, so I shouldn't be offended about that same pattern continuing now. I guess I just have a more accute need for their company right now.
I just want to feel like someone needs me. I want to have a friend who just stops by unannounced and stays for 2 hours. Zoe had started doing that. I want someone to call me just to chat. I want someone to bring their kids over and make sugar cookies. I want someone to say, "Let's get a babysitter and drive to Montpelier or Logan." I want to feel welcome enough to take my loud, sometimes pain-in-the-butt kids to my friend's house and not feel like they're wondering when we're gonna leave. I want someone to do crafts with. I want someone to be excited about painting furniture with me. I want a friend I can go over and sweep the kitchen floor for while she washes dishes. I wish I had a house big enough to invite my friend and her kids over for a sleepover and stay up late eating junk and watching movies or playing games.
I wish I could put all of you in a genie bottle, keep it on my desk and rub on it whenever I need some company.