"Thank you, my friend," my friend, Aaron, replied.
Of all the times, for his family to peek at his email, this had to be about the worst. I'm cut off from the one member of my support team that I relied on for weekend help, even if it was only via email. And now, it's gone because his daughter probed his open inbox, found a few of my neurotic messages, and told her mother whose own struggle with low self-esteem caused her jealousy to rise.
I wanted to write back, "Aaron, just tell them the truth - your moronic, neurotic friend, Jeanne, lost her job on Friday and her already shaky recovery from an eating disorder is potentially on the verge of a major relapse."
But I didn't.
To his email which requested that I stick to using his work address, I responded, "No problem."
It is a problem.
After receiving his message, I proceeded to kick my legs for about a half hour. Edie is already plotting how I will restrict tomorrow and the rest of the week.
I may as well get used to it. In two weeks, I'll be on my own. Sure, my friends tell me that we'll always have email, but isn't that like that famous movie line, "We'll always have Paris." It's a kiss-off line. It's like so many high school seniors who vow to keep in touch with their friends and then meet up with them at their ten-year reunion and ask, "Now, who are you?"
It doesn't work that way. It just doesn't.
In my life, there has been only one person to whom I can go months (and even a year) without speaking, then call her up, and carry on like we were never parted.
Julia is my soul-sister.
I just spent the afternoon with her today. At the end of our visit, we held each other tight. If an outsider had seen us, he probably would have pegged us for lesbians, but we're not. Ours is a friendship that has lasted for almost 20 years. There were times when we were sick of each other, but we simply told each other that we needed space and then a few days later, we were thick as thieves once more.
I can tell Julia anything and I know that she will always have a fabulous hug for me at the end of our visit. I hope she knows the same goes for me.
But it's hard for me to believe that this kind of friendship can happen more than once in a person's life. What are the odds? I can't imagine they are very good. I really can't.
As a person gets older, there is so much to do and never enough time. Life gets in the way. Tonight is the perfect case in point. If Aaron is only able to email me from work, what happens in two weeks when I'm sharing a computer with my husband who is as jealous or more of Aaron than Aaron's wife is with any one of his female friends?
I can see it now...
At first, I get up at the crack of dawn, praying that Todd is fast asleep or goes to get a paper so that I may have a few moments to hastily type a note. Aaron arrives at work around 8 a.m. and promptly replies, but when will I get to read the answer to my fervent plea for support or help? If it's a day when I won’t be going into the city, maybe mid-afternoon. By then, I'll have already managed to cope - by starving, binging, walking with Jack, or some combination of the three.
Sure, for a while, we may have lunch together on the two days that I take my son to daycare, but how long will that last really? and how would that look? We'll need to include others for propriety's sake. Does he really think that I'll keep going to lunch just to hear about them? Because I rarely get a word in edgewise when there is more than one other person in the room. So I can kiss my support system good-bye.
Edie has her arms wide open and a kind smile on her face. "I'm always here for you. I have never left you alone. You have never had to leave me."
I hesitate for now. But at the moment, I'm not near my main trigger. And right now, I still have some hope that I'll find the perfect position and they'll offer me all the money I need in order to live comfortably, before the end of my severence pay.
But as my last day draws closer, how will I stop myself from going back to Edie? As my support team collapses around me, to whom else will there be to go?
I know the answer should be me, myself, and Mom-me.
Like any of them have ever been strong enough to wrest control from Edie for longer than a week. And that week was during a time of less stress.