Wanting and Being Wanted
By: Patty L. Fletcher
June 2, 2021
I really don’t think it has ever crossed my friends’ minds. If I thought for one second, they were doing it with malicious intent I would cut ties with them and stop all contact. Still, it is quite hurtful, and I’m having no luck finding a great way to write about the experience.
I suppose I should try and explain what I’m talking about, but I warn you ahead of time, it’s going to make me sound like an ingrate and that’s not the case.
Anyhow, let me just share a bit of backstory to set the mood.
The whole thing started getting to me in a big way last Saturday. A friend of mine stopped by to drop off some medication for my cat, Prince Edward and believe me when I say, I really do appreciate that she took the time to do it. I also appreciate the fact that she sat and visited with me a bit. Those things aren’t lost on me at all. They’re important and anyone who will do something like that deserves the credit.
However, the whole time she sat talking to me all she could go on about was this FAB party she was planning at her house later that evening.
Sitting down with a sigh onto the loveseat by the window she said, “I guess I’ll run over here to the store and pick up the rest of what I need. I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen the whole time everyone is sitting round drinking, talking and having a good time. You know?”
“Yeah,” I agreed, “you don’t wanta be in there chopping meats and veggies while they’re in there drinking all the good stuff without you. By the way, what are you drinking?” I wondered.
“Oh, we’re drinking Margaritas. I have this awesome recipe and they’re just to die for.”
“God!” I declared. “I love those things. I haven’t…”
“Yea, they’re going to knock us out.” She raved, and then proceeded to talk about what went in them.
As she continued on with her planning, I tried to remember the last time I’d been invited to a party.
Working hard to keep the longing from my voice I asked, “So what are you making to eat?”
Big mistake. For the next ten minutes or so, she listed all the meats and veggies she was making for tacos, fajitas or whatever else they might want to build out of all the grilled chicken, beef and veggies she was on her way out the door to buy.
Later, as she sped down the front walk, hurrying away, she called over her shoulder, “Be good and call if you need anything.”
Closing the door, I swallowed my tears, scolded myself for being jealous and hurt and tried to get on with my day.
Later on, my dad did come by to see me and he brought me a nice bottle of wine. This, I must admit did make me feel some better but the hurt from the fact that someone who called themselves my friend had never once invited me out with them or over to their house lingered in a lonely corner of my heart just the same.
These sorts of things go on all the time. I get texts from friends telling me they’ve been invited to dinner out or to a bar to hear music and never once have any of them asked me to come along.
Sitting here in my office, with Stevie Ray blaring through my speakers and the cat purring by the window I ask myself, “What is wrong with me? Am I so hideous that no one wants to be seen out in public with me? Is my blindness catching like the cursed COVID? What is it?”
As my trembling hands stroke Eddy’s fur and I struggle not to cry I determine that I’m A O K on my own and that I need no one.
Soon, I’ll have a new guide dog and I can start going out on my own again like I did when Campbell was alive and working.
I’ll get to know the new servers at Chilies or wherever and try to put the shattered pieces of my life back together again.
In the meantime, I’m looking at the ACB (American Council of the Blind) Community call schedule. I can always depend on the Community Calls to provide something to do and someone to talk to. I’ve even been blessed with the privilege of creating calls of my own and I must say, this gives me great pleasure.
You see, I’m not the only one who suffers with the type of thing I write of above and so when I found out that I could not only attend great calls filled with amazing people with whom I had much in common but that I could also create some of my own my brain flipped into overdrive.
I decided right then and there that I’d create a call where people could come in, let down their hair and be one hundred percent themselves. No judgement, no one left out, just fun-loving kind, happy people who liked talking about books, movies, traveling or whatever else they loved to do.
People who maybe have some struggles of their own they need to vent, or maybe try and gain some ideas from others on how to solve the blasted trouble once and for all.
In the end, I did indeed create such a call and it happens every Friday afternoon at 2 PM Eastern. It’s called Free to Be Me and that name means just what it says.
I’ve not been doing it all that long, but I’ve got a great group of regulars and each week someone new pops in to say hi and see what we’re all about as well.
This, I must say is a great feeling and when I’m in my call or visiting another, hosting or playing the part of an attendee at a webinar practice, I know I am among friends and am right where I belong.
Do I still feel hurt and left out due to my friend’s clueless actions? Sure, but it is what it is, and it’s been that way for years.
Long ago, I had a good friend who included me in all sorts of things she did and even helped me plan and have parties and group outings of my own. But one day she got married, moved away and soon we’d drifted apart. It wasn’t anything anyone did wrong, it was just our lives heading off in different directions.
Am I afraid of waking up one day and finding myself on the outside looking into the ACB Community Calls?
Yes, that fear creeps round a lot. But I shove it down and shut out the idiot voices that speak such things and I hope the calls continue for a long time to come.
Thank you ACB for creating a Safe, welcoming and Respectful place for me and others like myself to belong.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR…
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant.
To learn more visit: https://pattysworlds.com/