Growing up, I never really trusted people enough for them to become my friends.
And then I had children and was kind of ‘forced’ into letting people in a little more; after all, I wanted my children to have friends, even if I didn’t.
So…one day in the school playground, I took the brave step of saying ‘hello’ to a parent I had carefully selected – a parent who always greeted her children with a hug and warm smile and who looked kind. Our conversations began. Play dates were exchanged and, slowly, a playground friendship developed.
As time went by, I began to trust a little more, the familiar face in the playground.
But, eventually, the question I had been dreading was asked: ‘Do you have family locally?’
I had a choice – to lie to my new friend, or tell the truth. This was a really difficult decision for me to make because, as a survivor of child abuse, I was left with always fearing two things – exposure and rejection. I decided to “Feel the fear and do it anyway” and I told my new friend the truth – that I have a sister that I adore and she lives not too far away, my dad lives in Canada, but the rest of my family – including my mother, are not in my life.
For the next few weeks, I held my breath for any fall-out that may occur. Nothing. Our children still played together and our friendship carried on, getting stronger and stronger as time went by.
Four years on, my new friend is now my special friend. We are in Spain together sitting on the roof terrace of her house; husbands chatting away, my friend is reading and I’m writing.
Life is all about risk. There are never any guarantees with anything we do, but if we don’t take risks, we can miss out on beautiful experiences and beautiful friends.
Written by ‘Survivor-Uncensored’