Little guy is an awesome good natured little guy and handled his birthday disappointment beautifully. When his one and only guest arrived, he beamed with joy, and had a wonderful, if cozy party.
Hubby handled my absence and entertained the mother that stayed. He told me that the same thing happened to her a few weeks ago…no one showed for her daughters party. Summer is apparently a difficult time with sports and vacations and split homes.
Little guy did not seem to notice my absence, so absorbed in his friend. That was good.
We decided to take him out to a movie to extend the fun on our own since his party was so short. I was nervous, already feeling down and out of sorts, and not having been to a movie theater in a couple years. But I wanted to try.
At the theater, the previews had started already when we arrived. The theater was loud and dark and crowded. We could not find enough seats together and my anxiety was building. It started to feel dangerous. I was having trouble seeing and hearing, and now struggling to breathe and remain grounded. Crap, crap, crap.
Hubby started walking to the front with kiddos and I backed up to the back wall, leaned there and hugged my back support pillow, trying to breathe and focus. Hubby came back for me, looking torn, does he follow me or his kids. An usher came and asked how many seats we needed, and just laughed and walked away when we said how many. Hubby pointed to some in the middle and by then I was near panic and could not pass by or touch those strangers knees. I wanted to get out of there. So I did.
I left the theater and sat in the food court by myself. It was bright and quiet out there. I did several grounding exercises and felt normal thoughts returning. What was I going to do for 90 minutes now? What was I going to say to kids for why I left? I could not get back in, hubby had the ticket stubs. I was thinking of ways to explain my situation without sounding entirely insane when hubby texted that he found seats and would come and get me.
He didn’t give up on me! I was so grateful.
The theater seat was horribly uncomfortable, curved ergonomically for someone that can bend their spine. I did my best to adjust and use my pillow but I was really hurting by the end. Other than that, the movie was cute enough, I started to calm down after about 30 minutes, and was pleased to be there with everyone and not excluded.
Being excluded sometimes hurts worse than the pain or anxiety, I am finding. It makes me feel I am not good enough and let everyone down.
I need to fight harder to find ways to be a part of my own life.
Best part was my lesson I learned from my 8 yr old on rolling with it and having fun anyway. We were cuddling later that evening and he sweetly said to me, “today isn’t exactly how I thought it would be…but it was a good day” and he hugged me. I told him I was so happy he had a good day and that I loved him.
And in THAT moment, everything was right in both of our worlds I think. Man I love that kid.