When I left Cambridge, I was saddened by leaving behind some dear friends, one in particular. She is managing to come up here once in a while though, so that’s cool. I was otherwise very happy to come up here, the more I got to know the area the more I was happy. I have already lauded them and praised them but basically I gave up a cramped and waaaaay overpriced Cambridge house for a larger and really sweet Cottage here in the Chesterfield area, which is positively delightful both in its nature and in its people. The only people I already know relatively near are two very dear friends who live in Yorkshire, and everybody else, everyone else is now once again at a safe distance. I have moved countries and counties and towns since birth, a new place is my safe place.
But I do have an enemy. I do have one for whom I take my anxiety pill even on a Monday morning when my husband is out and therefore unable to trigger me, bless his heart, or there is no potential conflict coming. She is my neighbours’ eight-year-old, daughter.
She is a cute little wild creature, she might remind me of me, or she might remind me of a toddlerhood friend from New Zealand I used to climb under the fence to see, whom I ditched very soon as she was too insistent (Maybe? My sister guesses I was just bored with her. I have no idea.)
I don’t know. I hear her calling my daughter over the fence and my heartbeat spikes. She brings out the stern bitch I can be and then the guilt that follows. I gush a little occasionally to compensate but try to hold back lest I encourage her too much. She brings out all my parental insecurities: I am very aware that my daughter will record every millisecond of how I deal with this little girl (her age). I try to be wise and illuminated and patient and educated and … she tires me out. She is my little BIG challenge. She is the one element in this otherwise idyllic environment that reminds me I have many issues. Maybe she isn’t a little girl at all, but a naughty little pixie, nipping at my heels and keeping me on my toes.
Edit, a few hours later:
I may have to take another pill, my heart races, she hasn’t stopped coming in and out, knocking, crying to keep my daughter (also 8!) outside. Ever heard of boundaries? I look to my daughter to understand how best to act. I don’t want to be too harsh, I was never very child-friendly before I had children, in fact, I could easily have been voted the “least likely to have kids, ever”. I can’t risk setting a bad exmaple for my daughter, nor is it fair that she should be left alone to deal with a child who is clearly lonely and needing affection and attention, but it isn’t up to us to give it to her, is it? These past few years it was always “Learn not to give people what they ask for, even without speaking. Do it for the kids if not for you!”, so here is my little big challenge. Not a person, a child. How can i refuse a child? But I know my limits, and there is no reason why my own daughter should learn to give into moral and emotional blackmail like I have done, for so long.
I am not taking the pill, I will remember to breathe, I will try with some relaxing music, and i will try very hard to concentrate, focus, and get some work done. No, I will cheat, and I will take the pill, as the day is still long, and then do all the rest. Nobody gives you a reward for doing it the hard way!
Edit 3:20 pm:
I don’t want to hurt her feelings. She reminds of me, intensely seeking out my new best buddy, though that buddy didn’t feel half as enthusiastic about me as I did about her. She comes and knocks at the window again. My daughter has the right to want peace and quiet and her time to herself, and this little girl has the heartache to deal with of having a potential new best friend who doesn’t want to see her. I know all the things we say to her have been said to me before, and they wouldn’t make sense to me, and I am an adult! Oh i know how she feels, and I hate it: my daughter is right, but I get how my little nemesis feels. I don’t know what to do. I let it just … I beg it to just leave my mind.