The Travelling Sisterhood
In my late teens and early 20’s I found that I made friends much easier with men than with women. I found that men were more willing to accept all of my idiosyncracies much more than women and as I later found out, thought that my ‘manic’ episodes were hilarious. I mean, which guy wouldn’t want to associate with a chick who would drink until she couldn’t see straight, had a history of dancing on tables and of lifting up her shirt whenever she could? Women were quick to judge and dismiss this behaviour, rather than embrace it …. and understandably so. I was not a good role model for women the world over.
AND THEN, if I did manage to find other women who were willing to accept this kind of behaviour, when I returned to some sort of stability or dropped down to depression, I found THEIR behaviour out of sorts with me own.
It was fair to say, that I didn’t really have many friends of value. When I look back, this is to be expected really, as I didn’t value myself.
Somehow though, through all of this confusion, I managed to befriend a woman called Marilena, who accepted me (idiosyncracies and all!). I know I sometimes frustrated the hell out of her, but she was willing to forgive and forget and remember what I was like when I was stable. This woman has been with me through thick and thin for the past 12 years and was my maid-of-honour at our wedding. She doesn’t know I was diagnosed with bipolar, due to my own embarrassment and to be honest, I don’t think she would see me any differently. She might better understand those times when I frustrated the hell out of her, but that would be all there would be to it.
This friendship has lasted despite me moving to the west side of Australia (4 hours flight away) AND moving to the Middle East. Whenever we can, we attempt to catch up and we pick up exactly from where we left off.
I have had a few close friendships with women since meeting Marilena, but these have fizzled down, even though some embers still exist.
One of my work colleagues who recently left the United Arab Emirates to live in London is one example. She will never take the place of Marilena, but I know we will always be connected one way or the other. In fact, when she found out I was visiting Amsterdam, she asked me to consider dropping into London and staying with her. Unfortunately, the hubster’s schedule does not allow for this, but I was grateful for the kind gesture.
Another woman, who has not even met me, but has befriended me via WordPress invited me to catch up with her when we thought we may be visiting Hamburg. There are a few women who I have linked up with since writing this blog that I feel a real connection to. I guess our struggles mean that we have something in common and NO man in the world is going to understand just what we go through when staring face to face with yet another unsuccessful attempt to fall pregnant.
I have also made connections in Abu Dhabi, that despite not being strong friendships, will see us being connected for life, whether it be just through Facebook, or catching up from time to time.
Building friendships with women has been made a lot easier than ever before for me. There is something very deep and spiritual-like when two women build a strong connection. This transcends anything I have ever experienced with male friends, excluding the hubster of course.
I now cherish my female friends greatly. I just wish we would stop being so damn judgemental and bitchy (me included) … we shouldn’t treat our sisters with such disdain.