I read a news article yesterday about a Mom in southern California (I think) who drowned her two little girls. Sadly, there seems to be WAY too much news of that type these days. But what really struck me were the reported comments from her neighbors. "She kept to herself." "She never seemed to leave the house." "I don't think she had any friends in the neighborhood. No one really knew her." That really hit home with me. Not that I am in any way, shape, or form thinking about harming my kids! Not that part. I can't fathom that part at all. I've never been able to understand how any mother could harm her children. No, the comments from the neighbors hit home because they could have been describing ME.
See, I don't get out much either. I don't really know too many folks in our neighborhood. I don't putter in a garden or socialize outside. At all. I don't really have any strong friendships with anyone local. I keep to myself, mostly. Why? Mainly because I am a complete introvert and have never felt comfortable in social situations. But realistically, I don't go out much because I am disabled. Chronic pain caused by a rainbow of reasons have me using a cane most days and a walker when I have to walk more than 10 feet or so. Some of my physical problems have worsened in the last couple years and severe arthritis has slowed me down even more.
If it weren't for my family, I fear I would end up like that other news article I recently read about the guy who was found dead in his home after 7 YEARS. Yep. No one noticed he was gone... except his bank, who finally got around to foreclosing on his house and sent a realtor to assess the property. She found his mostly skeletonized remains on an interior staircase. I had a nightmare last night that it was me the realtor found. Cheerful thought, right? Comments from former co-workers were eerily similar. "He kept to himself mostly." "No one really knew him very well." "I thought he moved away!" Yadda.
The universe is sending me a message again. I need to get out more.
I did try. I spent 4 years helping out at my son's school. I had hoped it would help me make friends. Sure, now I am friendly with several ladies from the local PTA-like group I am a member of, but only to wave hello. Because of health issues, I haven't been to a single monthly meeting so far this school year, however. Sadly, none of the ladies I am friendly with have asked me if I am ok. No emails or phone calls wondering if everything is all right. I'm not pointing fingers! I know it's too easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and not really have the time to wonder about how others are doing. But it does help to make my point.
How do I fix this? What do I need to do so I don't end up a sad story that has my neighbors saying "We didn't really know her. She kept to herself."