From Being A Loner To Being A Friend
I used to say that I have many acquaintances and only a few friends. But I think that might be changing. I’m an only child. For my first 3 years the only friends I had were my parents’ friends. We didn’t live in an area where there were a lot of children. Even after we moved to New Mexico where we’d stay for the rest of my parents’ lives (my father, 87, still lives here) there weren’t that many children my age to associate with so, again, most of my “friends” were my parents’ friends. So, when I finally went to school at the tender age of 5, I didn’t relate to the other kids in ways they were used to. Instead I related to them as a small adult. And that made it difficult for me to accept them as someone I’d like to continue associating with – nor did it endear me to them.
As I got older I was the target of middle school snobbery. My best friend at that time was a girl who was into Bela Lagosi, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, and Peter Lori horror movies. Neither she nor I were the best examples of attractive girls. So our female classmates picked on or snubbed us and the boys tended to ignore us. Again, I had little reason to make friends with the girls who ran around in cliques.
Then came high school. More of the same but now I had raging hormones. Not that I had problems with my monthly periods, but I was extremely interested in boys. And yes, sometimes I made a complete fool of myself.
So for the first 16-18 years of my life I judged people by the standards of my parents. My parents didn’t gossip; I didn’t gossip. If I was made fun of, I tended to not put myself in contact with those people. I saw friends be mean to their best friends so I didn’t have any best friends – I wouldn’t open myself up to being hurt.
I got married at 18. I probably shouldn’t have. Did I love him? I doubt it. But I stayed with him for almost 13 years. But when he started denigrating our then 7 (or 8) year old daughter and made her say she was stupid, it killed every feeling I might have had for him (I was already unhappy and beginning to really want away from him.) Within six months both children and I were gone. I moved back in with my parents. While I had been married to him, I had had only one friend. Even when I worked, I didn’t make friends easily.
Now back in New Mexico, I worked at McDonald’s. I was a 30 year old mother of two working the lunch shift. There I met another woman, about 15 years older than me who also had two children – but they were older than mine. She and I could take and fill orders faster than any three teenagers. We became friends. Not that we saw each other after work, we didn’t. But we sure had fun at work. That job only lasted about 6 months, then I left to go to a junior college on Title 23 money majoring in accounting.
By then I’d also moved out of my parents’ house. There I met, through a neighbor, my current husband. We married less than a year later. And, since I couldn’t continue college now that we had a good income, I quit school. But that didn’t bother me. I still pretty much kept to myself.
Five or six years into our marriage I became interested in Wicca and dedicated myself to the Goddess. My husband was concerned at first but then realized that he’d known me for quite a while and didn’t believe I’d go the stereotypical route of being a witch. So he supported me in my studies.
During my early Wiccan years, I worked as a lunchroom aide at my son’s school, then as a substitute teacher and finally, when my son went to middle school I got a job with the support services subcontractor (Johnson Controls Inc.[JCI]) for the Los Alamos Scientific Labratory. That’s when I slowly began to make friends.
When I went to work for JCI I was 40 years old. Nobody knew I was a witch until about a year later when I “came out of the broom closet.” There were the usual requests for curses, lottery numbers and the like. Since I believe anything I put out there will return to me three times as strong (aka The Law of Three) kind of puts the quietus on any curses – I’d explain it like this: it’s like punching someone in the nose and getting a broken arm as a result – not going to do it! As for the lottery numbers, I’d tell them if I could do that I’d use the numbers myself! After that I was truly accepted and others were interested in me. I did a good job at work and worked my way up from a timekeeper to the Labor Capture Coordinator in less than three years.
Now I’m 65 years old. I’m retired and, after being an employed member (meaning I had to take off from work to be able to attend meetings so I only weighed in once a month) of the local TOPS Chapter for more than 15 years, I am the Chapter leader. And that other mother I worked with at McDonald’s? She’s my co-leader! I can also say I’m friends with all the other 7 members of the Chapter. I also have friends among the people who go to the dog park every afternoon around 3 or 4. I’ve made some great friends with the Wiccan leaders of Ardantane (a Wiccan College/Learning center.) All I had to do was wait for everyone to grow up and be my honest self.