I guess you could say I chose to be a hermit. I’ve always been a shy and quiet person, I think this comes from my school days because I was bullied so much even from Primary School. I went through my school life being bullied for anything from having pointy teeth (apparently makes me a Vampire!), being a total tom-boy and idolising mentors and wanting to do well in school (teachers pet!). I never really had any friends close enough who would bother to defend me and I never dared say anything to my parents because it just wasn’t the done thing- it’s extremely difficult for someone who is being bullied to admit to anyone that it is happening.
I started secondary school with a total positive attitude in which I was determined to make new friends, take no shit from anyone and show the bullies where to shove it. That didn’t happen. I found myself usually sitting alone in classes and I didn’t have the confidence to try and speak to anyone. During these years you’re out there trying to discover yourself and not many people seemed to like who I was. This had a big impact on my school work as I would usually sit alone, daydreaming about what it would be like to be popular or just be anywhere else but school! I went through more years of being bullied for being a loner, again for being a tom-boy and trying out a mushroom style haircut (so it wasn’t in the way when I was doing the sports I enjoyed!), because my older sister was a ‘Goth’ and anything else they could come up with at the time! By the time I got into year 10 i’d totally had enough, I managed to scupper some confidence from somewhere and made loads of good friends! I felt like I could finally be myself and it turned out I was a very funny girl a lot of people wanted to be around! I had some really good friendships and left school with brilliant grades, but as what happens to many people I don’t hear from any of them anymore. Since leaving school I’ve met so many new people but friendships when you’re an adult seem to take me back to those days!
After I had my daughter I found myself getting upset quite a lot of the time because I felt so alone. As a result of the bullying I went through in the past I’ve never made any ‘BFF’s’ so other than family, no one came to visit me or my baby. To be honest after the first couple of weeks my family didn’t bother much either. I spent the first year of my daughters life on my own, apart from my partner and a few family members. I refused to go to any toddler groups because I didn’t want to meet or talk to new people and I would only venture out of the house once or twice a week if I had too. It was only when my daughter turned one, when she was walking and talking, that I knew I had to start taking her to playgroups for her to socialise- I knew I had to do it for her.
We started going to one 2 hour group a week but I found it really uncomfortable and spent the whole time just following my daughter around and avoiding any adult contact or conversation. As the weeks went on I soon noticed that it was the same group of girls coming to the group so I started joining in with small bits of conversation and they mentioned that they all go to another playgroup twice a week not far from where I live. I made excuses for a while but felt bad on my daughter because she was enjoying the time playing with other kids so much. Safe to say I gave in and pretty soon we were attending three playgroups a week and had both made a group of friends from it! We even started having coffee’s and playdates at each other’s houses, had a Christmas night out and have worked together to host fayre’s to raise money for the playgroups. I finally felt like I had friends and was out of the house all of the time! What is it they say though, something along the lines of ‘too good to be true’?!
As with any group of ladies (or should I say girls?!), there soon proved to be a lot of drama between them. A bit of “she said this about you, yeah and she did this!” is all I heard every time I went to playgroup. Now by this point I had found out I was pregnant again and had just bought our first family home (Eeek! Very exciting! Loved saying goodbye to our small council house!) so the last thing I wanted to hear or be involved in was the type of drama I heard going on when I was a teen! I carried on with the friendships for a while longer and the girls even threw me a baby shower but the drama still didn’t show signs of improving. It quickly got to the point where my name started circling around and one of the ‘friends’ had developed some kind of hatred against me- I had no idea what was going on! Back to hermit life I went! Apart from taking my daughter to the toddler groups, I hardly spoke a word to anyone, kept myself to myself, declined all invitations to have a cuppa and spent the rest of my pregnancy at home. To be fair, I also couldn’t waddle very far so the excuses were pretty genuine! 😂
My daughter became a big sister in February this year! A baby boy! 💙 I kept all the playgroup ladies updated throughout the last bit of my pregnancy and received a few cards and gifts once we started going back to group. I sharp realised the drama hadn’t stopped and a few of the ladies had stoped speaking to each other! I’ve become a bit closer with one of them recently as she’s helped me out alot in group (holding the baby while I see to my daughter, doing crafts with her while I feed etc) but I’m back with the ‘take no shit’ attitude and refuse to be involved in any drama!
I did make a really good friend through one of the playgroup ladies whilst I was pregnant. She’s my age, was pregnant and due 9 days after me also with a boy, and is totally on my wavelength. We talked through facebook every single day about our pregnancy and what was happening in our lives in general and she came over a few times to have a natter (and drink raspberry leaf tea 😂) Since we’ve had our babies though i’ve only seen her once and we don’t message as much as we’d like. That’s just life in general though right? Some days there’s just not enough hours!
Like most Mothers probably do, I still have my hermit days where all I want to do is stay home, lock the doors, mute my phone and spend time with my kids. I still have days where I feel totally alone and to be honest, I still don’t feel like I have the type of friends I need, where I can speak to them about anything and everything and know that if I need them, they’ll be there. But i’m getting there and being able to say that makes me happy. Oh and wine. Wine makes me happy too! 😘
Mother Hermit xx