While talking with Nancy my therapist we somehow got on the topic of pity. I brought it up when I was talking about how tough the early years were with Thomas. It was a time when Thomas was in and out if the psych hospital, then residential school, then I had a miscarriage.
For whatever reason I decided to reconnect with a friend I had been close with in high school. We hadn’t talked in years and we were “catching up”. Tommy and I had attended her wedding and now she had a young child. I mistakenly thought that because we were so close years ago that I could tell her what my life had been like the past year. I think I got to the point of admitting Thomas to residential school when I heard it. Pity. There it was and I couldn’t believe it. I felt punched in the stomach to hear it in this person’s voice.
Nancy asked me how that felt and I replied, “Less than. That my life was that far from normal, we were less than.” At that time I was so taken aback by the pity I quickly made small talk to get off the phone, but of course not without my own jab about a new friend she had made. I wasn’t nice.
Nancy discussed pity with me that people who pity others build themselves up and look down on others. That was kind of the feeling I had. I mean in retrospect I didn’t have to dump my life on her like that but I really considered her a “friend” and friends don’t pity other friends. Right after I hung up with the pity friend I called my best friend. I was crying and telling her about the other phone call. Then I said, “My life isn’t that bad is it Jenn?” She answers, “well actually it is but I’ve been walking along side you so it’s not so bad to me”. My best friend was honest with me. Honest. I can handle honesty.