I grew up as an only child- nothing special there. Makes it hard to learn conflict resolution or the value of close relationships, but whatever. I spent 17 years in Texas (my choice), with some great quality time with biological relatives, but more than half of that time, I was “exposed” to co-workers, and that was it. I was (and still am) so thankful for those ‘friendly co-workers’. They are still treasured.
I moved back to my hometown in late 2002 to help my dad take care of my mom- again, my choice. She died after a sudden illness (sepsis). I worked for 16 months before becoming totally disabled, and apparently that was too shameful to tell other people about, as my dad couldn’t seem to acknowledge that my body crapped out, and I was essentially homebound. He’d tell me that people at church (who had known me since birth for the most part) asked about me and he didn’t know what to tell them. The truth maybe? I’m not sure what was wrong with that. Not a single one of them ever called to just chat, tell me what they were up to, or WHATEVER. For the one or two that I’d happen to see at the grocery store, or whatnot, not ONE ever followed up on the “we’ll have to get together”. Did I ever contact them? Yeah, initially I did contact a few people. Crickets. For co-workers, they never returned calls, here in friendly fucked up Rockford, IL…. out of sight, out of mind. Message received- loud and clear.
My body does. Not. Work. I was forced into social isolation. In the beginning, it was not a choice. It was not some form of being a hermit, or antisocial. To leave home is a logistical nightmare. I’m not dependable because of physical symptoms. I cancel things away from home a LOT if it’s something I can reschedule- including MD appointments. I know this is a HUGE problem for meeting people…. but I can always answer the phone. It’s pretty quiet. Except for MD and DDS appointment reminders.
But, ya know ? I’m lucky. I’m independent, and can figure out how to take care of things. With so many divisions in the world (political, religious, etc), I really have no interest in dealing with humans. As far as the people I actually know, I can keep up on Facebook. There’s no need to make any plans. That includes what family I have left. No more visitors staying at the house, or even dropping by to visit. The doors are closed. If I’ve seen people more since dad died than when he was alive, I’m not interested. There’s nothing here to see.
If I, or my life were of any interest to “friends” or “family”, they were around before dad died. There was some sort of contact- whether it be phone or Facebook- and thank you for that. Not being in the same room for an hour at Christmas, or some forced ‘gathering’ among my mom’s asshole siblings, who just wanted me out of the way (whether the reasons they gave were true or not- and they were NOT) – whether we spoke much or not. It’s kind of been like watching my own funeral while I’m alive. I’m not relevant to those who claim to be concerned. Is this a pity party or tantrum? Nope. It’s a line in the sand. I’ve drawn it. And I’m done.