As promised, an update on all things DesCampian!
To say life has been rife with changes over the past few months is an understatement of epic proportions. Since June 24, I have:
- Found myself quite suddenly single, independent, and without any financial resources save those I create of my own accord;
- Started and grown a new business;
- Made some new friends; and
- Discovered that how some people define the word “friend” has no relation to my own definition.
Divorce is akin to being shoved through an emotional wood chipper and trying to form yourself back into a tree when you come out in millions of pieces. The glue that binds us together is largely comprised of the love and support from friends and family members who hold us together when we break down, remind us of our inherent self-worth, and offer their time (and wine) to us when that dump truck begins to sound like a good idea again.
I consider myself a hell of a good friend to many people in my life, but I confess a real weakness when it comes to asking people for help. When my life utterly transformed in June, I found myself breaking rank with my usual habit of eschewing the appearance of weakness, and I reached out to people for assistance.
Some answered the call.
Many dodged the call.
An entire group of people I thought was “family” disappeared overnight with nary a goodbye.
One person in particular, whom I have adored for close to 15 years and to whom I had never failed to give love and support to in difficult times, ignored my pleas for help. Upon receiving a text from him saying, “sorry I’ve been a shitty friend,” I replied “when the shit comes down you realize who your friends are.”
He replied “truth.”
He didn’t get it. He didn’t realize I was talking about him.
A woman whose marriage collapsed around her and who I carried for over a year through terrible times was as absent as a functioning brain at a Trump rally.
You think you know people. You don’t.
You don’t know people until you go through the worst experience of your life. Then you know people. On the other hand…
Here’s the Good News!
There is my friend “Isaac,” a man I’ve only known for a about a year but who has offered more advice and eventually-wet shoulders than I can ever repay him for.
There is my friend “Carol,” a woman who has taught me that through adversity comes strength and grace. She refuses to let me give up on those days when it seems crawling under the bedsheets is a better alternative than living a life.
There are my two friends “Frick” and “Frack,” whom I often see together but also separately. Each of these women has been through tougher times than I and emerged just fine. They are strong, smart, funny as hell, and consistently there when I need a friend and a good, long laugh.
There is my friend “Juan,” who has been through the ugliest divorce in the history of mankind but who still faces each day with a sense of optimism and wonder. He steadfastly rejects any attempts from me to feel sorry for myself, and in turn I do the same for him. Every time either of us is down, we text the same message:
…to which I reply,
There is my friend “Allen,” whose politics repulse me but who has always been there to listen, lean on, wail to, and with whom I always have a damn great time.
There is the man who owns the home I live in now: the only person who would rent to me as a new small business owner. As I searched for rentals during the summer, I was rejected over and over again because nobody wanted to lease a house to a woman who just hung out her shingle and had two dogs besides, one of whom is an obnoxious and unrepentant alcoholic.
Speaking of them, there are those two dogs, who each has breath that has gone from bad to dangerously terrible in the past few months. Every night they snuggle up to me, breathing their deadly noxious fumes almost directly up my nostrils, keeping me warm when my empty bed feels like an ice chamber.
But always, there is my kid.
The best thing that ever has or ever will happen to me.
When I picked him up from school yesterday, he gave me a little speech about how much he appreciates how hard I am working to keep us afloat and OK during this terrible time. I could tell he had been thinking about what to say for some time.
I had to pull the car over because I couldn’t see past my tears. And here they are again, cascading down my face not in sadness for what I do not have any longer, but the purest gratitude for what I do have: a brilliant, kind, beautiful empath.
He doesn’t deserve what is happening now, but as Juan said to me this morning,
This will make him strong. All of us need to avoid being a victim. He is smart and handsome. He has an incredible mother. He is a lucky young man and you two will be close your entire lives.
Readers, hold please. I need to get a box of tissue. Fucking tears.
OK, I’m back.
So what is this all about? Honestly, I’m not sure. Still, I believe in myself. Facing forces that far outnumber me, I still identify with David.
“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of God?”
Who, indeed? I have a pouch and a sling and I only need one stone – my big brain.
May my aim be true.
Have you gone through a shitstorm that helped you clarify your friendships and what you demand from them? If so, please leave a comment and tell us about it!