Do I even have any real friends?
Do I even have any real friends? I have wondered this every. single. day. since I decided to separate from my husband last year, and I guess... honestly, long before that.
I am an introvert that masks her social anxiety by being incredibly extroverted in awkward situations. To everyone else it may seem like I am incredibly comfortable, but I promise you this... I am overthinking, sweating, and racking my brain for good subjects to talk about, while also wanting to go hide in the bathroom for the entirety of the evening.
I also quite likely forgot your name directly following you telling it to me, so bare with me.
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We moved to CLE in 2013 - my tiny family that is ... and, I knew no one. I wanted to stay in Columbus... in my comfort zone. However, my then-boyfriend's job wanted him deeper into his sales territory, so off we went. I had no family or friends of my own and relied solely on the connections I had made through my significant other to suffice for the meaningful relationships every new mom needs.
Please don't do this. Please, don't allow yourself to be so wrapped up in your relationship that you feel there is no need for outside connections, or in this case connections of your own. Download Bumble friends, make a sign and stand outside of the grocery store - promise, if I see you, I'll do happy hour with you on the spot, join a mom's club (Actually, don't do that last one. They are the worst. I actually went and hid in the bathroom at a mom's club function once).
Once my marriage went south, and I made the decision to leave, it became evident to me that none of my new found Cleveland group was going to stick around. My marriage ending was all my fault and I must have been experiencing postpartum depression - four years after having my second baby... obviously. It couldn't be that I was just unhappy. It couldn't be that I self-sabotaged my way out of my marriage for an actual reason. Could it?
(Disclaimer...I was not locked in a basement. I was not unhappy my entire marriage. We had good days, bad days and in-between days just like all relationships, but our lack of compatibility was evident - and don't you dare say it wasn't if you've ever been in a room with both of us at the same time.)
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I was on an island...alone.
I wanted the divorce...so naturally it was my responsibility to leave our home, even if I had nowhere to go. Off I went...on an apartment search. Embarrassed, doesn't even accurately describe how I felt in this moment. The community we lived in is less than accommodating to single moms on a budget. There is one apartment complex in the entire city, and it smells like...cat pee and regret. I couldn't do it, I could not bring my children there, and I could not do that to myself. So, I moved to Plan B...living just outside of the city where my children go to school, dangerous territory for someone mid-dissolution negotiations. This option was again, not ideal, and not available for two months. WTF was I supposed to do for two entire months?!
Where do I go? I refused to stay and continuously fight in front of my girls - something I will never regret. Lucky for me...I did have a few real friends who stepped up and offered to let me stay with them during this fiasco of an effing time. Y'all saved my life.