Life as a Doula, Journey of a Woman

Monday, 6 January 2014

The Invisible Woman





I am truly in a wilderness, an inhospitable wood, or a barren desert.  I'm lost.  Just outside in my peripheral vision, on line, I can see the folk I know getting on with their lives and activities.
Once I was part of all that stuff.  My work was crazy busy, I met hundreds of people every week.  Then the redundancy, followed by the shame of not being able to bounce back like a person is supposed to.
Everyone else has moved on.  Gradually, over the last year, I have faded from their vision, and from their minds.  Hell, I seem to have faded from my own vision, and my own mind.  In being scared to commit to anyone emotionally (Jesus I even manage to wriggle out of going next door for a cuppa when she asks me, and I really really like her) I seem to have rendered myself invisible, even when I'm right in the middle of the action.
After 15 years of school runs, school plays, school concerts, school friends, school gossip and school everything, suddenly no-one goes to school any more.  I couldn't wait to be free of the place, but in becoming so, I realise that it was an anchor to my life.  As was the presence of my offspring at home...working or at college, they needed feeding at the end of the day.  Now  there's only one left, and one occasional returnee.
I should feel so free.  The group I performed with split, and the new splinter implored me to join.  The group I belonged to before them said 'come back...come to a rehearsal...just come out for fun...any time...' And a fourth group offered, actually approached me and offered.  I was so flattered, but said I was taking a break.  Why?
I went to Church!  ME!  Mrs Irreverent Smoking Drinking Swearing Pagan Wife actually went to my local church and sang hymns and listened to a preacher.  I prayed with my community, and took tea and biscuits among the octogenarian population of my village most of whom were more vital, fit, engaged and involved than I.
I spent a Saturday sobbing in my car in the little car park which served the woodlands next to which was my childhood home.  Over Christmas my forester son came home and we had walked these woods, me telling him of my childhood camps and he identifying wild service trees, and Douglas firs, and Jew's ear fungus.  With my boy gone back to his home, I looked through steamy car windows into my forest and in the absence of my parents or childhood friends, it seemed to contain my essence.
Down the road was the big supermarket where mum and I shopped and drank coffee every Thursday of her final year.  I drove there and got a cup of water for my pills.  I sat there, like a bag lady, alone and invisible to myself whilst the rest of the world buzzed around me.  It would be nice to work here, and I had tried to get a job but failed.  I'll keep on trying.

I need a break,  I need a life, I need to give, and to receive, and probably not take the whole thing so seriously.
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