Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Bubbles and Huge hugs

I wrote a post on Facebook a few days ago about my own experiences of the Social Bubble and have been asked to write a longer version, so here it is.

When I first heard that people living on their own could form a support bubble with another household, I thought, What great news! and skipped around the kitchen, as I am fortunate in having some really amazing close friends. At last - the prospect of a HUG! Like everyone living on their own, we are starved of that most basic of human needs - TOUCH. But now I’d be able to hug my friends!

But as the evening wore on, it gradually became clear that all my close friends have FAMILY, and family takes precedence over friends. So, at a time when the government finally appeared to be trying to make it easier for those of us living on our own, I now felt as if I were being punished for not having my own family. (I have brothers but I rarely see them, and my mother lives 100 miles away. Much though I love my mum, driving 200 miles to see her would not be support in any way. But I still felt guilty, that I was being a Bad Daughter.)

The fact that my friends have family commitments was quite understandable on one level, but because I was feeling very wobbly, it felt like a personal rejection. I began to feel unloved, unwanted, the odd one out - it opened up a Pandora’s Box of insecurity that I have battled with since being a teenager.

Once again it felt like Christmas (a friend once described me as The Waif and Stray), with everyone wrapped up in their family bubbles, while I stood outside, watching through the window, before trudging home on my own. Or at school, when everyone picked teams and you were the last one left. The odd one out. The one that the teacher made one team take, and they hated you for it. Yes, the demons really had a field day.

I finally plucked up courage and texted a dear friend, but I was by this time so worried about rejection (her partner has family commitments), that I was prepared for her to say No, sorry.

But bless her, they readjusted their family commitments so I can be part of their bubble and we celebrated with HUGE HUGS (I cried like a baby) and a glass of wine on Saturday night.

For someone who hasn’t touched another human being, let alone had a hug for three months, those hugs were simply the best thing ever.

I know I'm incredibly fortunate in having a Support Bubble, but those days of feeling really isolated and wretched made me realise that there most be so many people who feel the same. And who don’t have the prospect of a bubble to help them.

Those who don’t have friends or family nearby. Those who might have family but don’t get on (remember, this is supposed to be a support bubble, not a detention bubble. We’ve all had enough of those.) Those who have to make really difficult choices between children and partners, children and other children - the list is sadly all too long.

I discussed this, sobbing loudly, when I met with my dear mate Jacqui, and wondered how I could help others who are, for whatever, reason, Bubble-Less.

And while I can’t invite anyone to join mine, I would urge any family or couple to look around you, think of who you know who might be on their own, who might really need some support. They might not want to ask: they might be scared of being rejected. (I was.) And that would make them feel even worse. But if you can help anyone, please do. It would not only change their lives, but it might also change yours.

Just think about how quickly life can change. It could be you on the outside, looking in.


Dc said...

I cannot begin to imagine how you feel but am very happy you now have someone to hug. Our granddaughter was born 10 weeks early in early January. We got to see her just for a weekend before lockdown. Not been able to see her since as they live too far away (5 hour drive each way).

The other grandma is in the same position but has been on her own. She too can't do it for the same reason but now has a support bubble with her other daughter.

Manchester Lass, Now and Then said...

Awww Sue thankfully I had a tissue, your post was very emotional for me to read and I couldn't help the tears as I felt it stirred a lot of emotions for me to read this. I'm so thrilled you had your huge hugs, may many more by around the corner♥ I'm OK and thank you so much for asking:) Linda xx

Flowerpot said...

DC - I do hope you are able to see your granddaughter very soon - it's a very strange, emotionally restricted life we are living, isn't it? Do take care X

Flowerpot said...

Glad you are OK Linda - yes those hugs were just the best thing ever. Let's hope we have a bit more normality soon - or at least be able to hug more of our loved ones. xx

Chris Stovell said...

Oh Sue, I felt so sad for you reading this. It must have been such a huge step to reach out to someone. I'm so pleased that you've been gathered in by people who can support you and, even better, give you a hug. We're still very restricted here. All best wishes and a virtual hug to you. Cxx

Kim @ Him, Him Me said...

Glad you got your hugs at last! Skype, Zoom etc are no substitute for physical contact with another human are they? It's 12 weeks since I last saw my son and I can't wait for one of his bear hugs, I have OH so haven't been alone but we all know that choosing not to go out or socialize is completely different to being told we can't. isn't it?
Take care and hope you get some more hugs soon.


Flowerpot said...

Chris - of course you have different restrictions to us. Big hugs to you, too Xx

Flowerpot said...

Kim - I do hope you get to see your son very soon, What a very strange time for us all. Take care XX