People used say to me how I am coping really well and they don’t know how I do it. I found that hard to understand, as if I had given up what would become of Isabella? She is totally dependant on me and cannot do anything for herself. I know that people deal with things in different ways and that some people may go through depression, anger or even guilt. I guess that is why I was anxious about meeting other Mums in the same boat as me, I felt I was in a good place and getting on and dealing with the situation. I didn’t want to meet anyone who was coping in a different way. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that I don’t feel angry when I see drug users abuse their rights as parents or sad when I see Isabella’s friends who are walking and talking. They are just fleeting moments and they don’t interfere with time that I spend with Isabella. I always promised myself that I would stay strong in front of Isabella and not cry. When Isabella’s Physio suggested that I meet up with another Mum that lived locally with a little boy of a similar age, I was hesitant. She gave me her phone number and it stayed on my kitchen notice board for weeks. I would glance at it everyday, but didn’t feel quite ready to make that call. I would say to the Physio to tell her that I was busy and would call her soon. Finally I plucked up the courage and sent her a text message and I was glad I did. We arranged to meet the following week it was the earliest we could manage inbetween hospital visits and home visits – already we had common ground and hadn’t even met yet.
We hit it off instantly and I was completely honest with her about my intial hesitancy. On our first meeting we had so much to say and so many experiences to share, we just didn’t have enough time! Over the coming weeks it became very apparent the way we were coping and the way we saw the future was very similar. We found both our children are very similar in character and their behaviours. Isabella can be very weary of strangers and new situations. She is a little Mummy’s girl and in certain situations only Mummy will do. It was refreshing for someone to be able to understand this and say they go through exactly the same. In fact it was nice to be with someone who understood everything. The times I had spent with family and was made to feel awkward or uncomfortable, she understood. The times I had expected more from a professional working with Isabella and felt let down, she understood. The feeling of being under pressure and scrutinized by outsiders, she understood. The list was endless. I had finally found someone who I could talk to, who genuinely understood. My friends and family try, but no one ever truly understands a situation until they themselves are in it. I now feel I have someone I can turn to and offload without always putting on my Mum or my friends and it works both ways. I feel very lucky to have found her.
Our friendship has grown and we now tackle things together head on. We have had some uncomfortable moments where we stuck together.(That’s for another blog!) We have lunches together, go swimming, shopping and go to the park with the kiddlywinks. In fact we joke and say our little ones are a couple! Although we need to find sometime together without the children, so we can get to know the sides of each other that aren’t Mummies. I know that is hard as it’s a full time job, but we have promised ourselves that very soon we will be putting on our glad rags and painting the town red…well may be just a shade of light pink 😉