If wealth is measured by friendships, then I am very rich.
This has been a year where I’ve needed friends so very much, and they have been there.
Let me share how lucky I am.
Friend Number 1 - Marguerita
I met Marguerita when I first moved to Dundee in October 2000. She was on my team and also helped me choose the house which I still live in. Our friendship grew steadily over time. She’s an amazing, kind hearted lady and has always been fun to be around. She will make anything happen. I have to be careful not to ask her to find something for me because she will be unrelenting until she does!
In 2007 the hubby had a quadruple heart bypass operation. She was always there for me. She stayed with me while he had his operation and I waited for news from him. As I was already pregnant, she came to the hospital with me while the hubby was unavailable in hospital.
Later on in 2007, when I was in and out of hospital when pregnant with Adam, she supported the hubby and I with whatever we needed. She was always there. She was also my travel buddy, keeping me company while I travelled with work, even when I was being miserable. She travelled up with me to Aberdeen every week or two when I went to see a counsellor – for nearly 18 months. She never asked anything of me. She was just there.
Friend number 2 - Jenni
I only met Jenni a few years ago when the little one was 3. Her son is the same age as the little one. Jenni has 3 kids and neither her nor her husband drive. So I go up to her quite often. Our kids get on really well and over the last few years we have been on many great holidays together. She is very quiet and unassuming and very non-judgemental. This makes her really easy to talk to. I have never known anyone who embraces life as much as she does. It’s catching and I find myself loving so many of our activities together.
This year she has been there for me through everything that’s gone on. When Marguerita’s husband got ill shortly before the trial date, I made sure that she knew that I would not allow her to come to Wales with me for 3 days. But then I was distraught as I realised there was no way I could do the court thing on my own. Jenni arranged for her Gran, her childminder and her friends to make sure the kids got to school and back and were looked after until her husband was home, then came with me. She was there for me as I went through the trauma of reliving my video evidence. She sat through the rest of the trial while I hid for the day, not willing to risk catching sight of him in court. I can say that I would not have got through the trial without her.
And today we went for a second Xmas with her family. This year was difficult for me. The hubby’s mother died last year and I won’t have anything to do with mine after court. It means my Xmas memories are all tainted. All my childhood memories are. I was worried that the little one was losing out for my stuff – something I refuse to let happen.
Jenni bought her a huge pile of presents and the little one has been truly spoilt.
Friend 3 – Alison
You don’t know Alison. You’ve never heard about her. Alison was my friend from school who I haven’t see since I was 16. Alison testified in the trial on my behalf. She remembered conversations we had as kids. She had been feeling guilty her whole life for not speaking out at the time and helping me. I assumed she wouldn’t remember. It was so nice to see her again and amazing that she came to court for me.
Friend 4 – Jo
Jo connected with me when I had just finished training to be a Cognitive Hypnotherapist. She read this blog and would send me mails. Since then we have begun to talk on a regular basis. We have a Skype chat most weeks. We talk about our stuff, we talk about business, we talk about anything really. It’s a mutually beneficial and supportive relationship where we help each other move forward all the time.
Friend 5 – Adrienne
Whilst I have known Adrienne on a Social Media for a while, we only met relatively recently. Ironically, thought she lives in Dundee, we met in London at Euston station when she was down visiting her son and I was visiting Quest.
Adrienne has done day trips with me on 2 separate occasions when I had to go and give my video evidence and when I did the pre-trial visit. As you can imagine, a 6 hour drive when I was facing re-living the abuse on video was not a particularly pleasant experience – but she came with me and kept me distracted. She did the same during the pre-trial visit. Like all my friends, she asked nothing of me – she was just there.
Friend 6 – Ruth
I play Words With Friends with Ruth – an online Scrabble game. This is how I know her. She lives half the year in Uist and half in North Wales. I met her once a few years back for a coffee when we were up in North Wales.
Ruth attended every court date that he did. Sometimes she spent hours waiting for him to appear. She let me know what was going on before the police did.
And then she attended the whole trial. All 4 days. If she hadn’t have gone on the Thursday I would not have had the verdict until much later. I wouldn’t have known he went with his suitcase. It’s amazing that someone that I only know from online Scrabble would do so much for me.
Friend 7 – Michala
I first met Michala when we attended a risk course together. She is a fellow Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapist. She is one of the most intuitive people I know. Apart from Trevor, it is Michala who has helped me move forward most in this crazy journey. It has been moments with Michala that have revealed some of the most significant blocks that I have then taken to Trevor to help me clear. In between, when I’ve been trying to work through stuff, she has been there on email, asking me questions and challenging my beliefs.
And then there are all my friends on Social Media. These are people, on Facebook, that I know personally and Twitter, that I don’t.
I hear people complain about their Facebook friends. They say their timeline is full of fake stuff and people whinging. Mine isn’t. People I connect with are very real, and share their ups and downs. They are unerring in their support of me. No one tells me to shut up and get over myself when I struggle through the normal highs and lows of life. It is a safe place to share the lows and the highs and feel totally supported. I love my Facebook friends.
And Twitter provides something different. It’s supportive but in a different way. On Twitter there are people I have spoken to for years. They are people that know the before and after versions of me. When they see my struggles, they remind me how far I’ve come. When I have fun, they share it with me. When I ask for advice, they provide it.
I am extremely rich to have so many amazing people in my life – and that’s not even counting the hubby - but I’ve already told you all how awesome he is!