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When the rain stops pouring. Friday August 18, 2017

I've always found friendships a little tough. I'm a very loyal person and have often felt disappointed in loyalty not being returned. At the same time, I can easily feel suffocated and far too watched and minded in friendships. Throughout my life I've found my friendships ebb and flow, mainly ebb. I lost friends when they had children and I didn't. I lost friends when I had three children very close in age and they didn't. I lost many friends when my marriage ended. It has made me become choosy about who I trust and how I trust, but perhaps I've always been like that.

This is not a sad story. I really like where I am now. I have a small circle of general friends and a very tiny group who don't know each other but who are trusted implicitly. I'm lucky to have my brothers and parents. We're close in that if we don't all see each other for months we don't take offence and when something big happens we are tight. Few people know of my depression. Only one knows how far it took me. I don't have, and never will have, long term friends who have been with me always and who might combine to form a 'Friends' style TV moment. But as I say, this is not a sad story.

Nowadays, I tend to go about life making the most diverse and intense connections which can continue to make me smile and feel good months, even years, after we've met and un-met. Let me just clarify, I'm not up alleyways having clandestine encounters!

Most recently I met a gorgeous Taxi driver, comfortably aged with a comfortable aura. A youngish grandfather of nearly four, trousers pressed, shirt fresh, tie, cab spread with obligatory travel rug and a conversation to die for. I confess I have more than a soft spot for the older generation. I could have travelled around the town twice and not tired of his words. He had the art of conversation, not talking too long on himself before bouncing the conversation to me. Always more comfortable investigating others lives, I filled in the blanks and returned the ball. At the end of our half hour journey, he rounded down my fare and I tipped. I told him I'd had a lovely time talking with him and he said "and I enjoyed it very much too". After we parted, and he turned his cab, he leant forward to find me in the crowd and smiled and waved. I was already there to return it. His wave lifted me on to a wave which I'm still enjoying more than a month on.

What is my message today? That depression is occasionally a great thing. That the searing, soul despairing ache and physical pain can sometimes bring with it an ability to find true contentment in the smallest of things. And I wish everyone could have that.

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Jane SG Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 1:20am

Hi Ratg, great post. I find friendships callenging. I care too much and then get hurt. I'm extremely loyal but this is not always returned. I'm slowly learning to distance myself from those who take me for granted and only se to get in touch when they want something xx

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 9:47am

Hello Jane, I too had to learn the hard way about people who want you only on their terms. The friend who wants nothing is a find! I have exactly this friend and I'm meeting her tomorrow. We haven't seen each other in almost exactly a year, and it doesn't matter a bit. I'm glad you are becoming aware and carving out yourself as the place to nourish first, love ratg x.

Jane SG Sat, Aug 19th 2017 @ 6:11pm

Thank you RATG xxxx

Romy Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 7:45am

It is such bliss if depression lifts and we can find the ability to connect with others again and appreciate the magic of the mundane . It makes all the pain and distress felt previously feel like less of a waste of time and life. Long may your current good vibes continue . Kind regards Romy x

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 9:51am

Hello Romy, goodness yes, you've hit the nail on the head! Love ratg x.

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 9:52am

And thank you much for your kind wishes :-)

Sarah yellow rose Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 7:59am

Hi Ratg thank you for your great post, I knew it was you after reading the first paragraph! I can relate to so much of what you wrote. I've also realised trust is a big issue for me. I trust Moodscope, it feels safe to me. xx

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 9:58am

Hello Sarah :-) Its funny how we can start to recognise each other from a few words! Trust for me too...hurt comes easily and not trusting feels like such protection. Its great we have Moodscope to practice trusting! Its lovely to see you again, love ratg x.

Molly Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 8:13am

Hi RATG, how I agree with your blog and Jane's comment. Real friends are hard to find. Like you, I have often felt disappointed with their actions (or lack of them) or we lose the thing we had in common and drift apart. I think people change too. I love the story about the taxi driver, it is the sort of thing that leaves a warm glow in your heart. Your last paragraph is so true as well, us depressed people apppreciate the smaller things - especially on a good day. Thanks for the blog. Molly xx

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 10:00am

Hello Molly, I am so glad to see 8.13am next to your name :-) I'm often concerned when I see people posting in the night and I wonder why they are not asleep (then I have to remind myself that not everyone is on my time!!) Good to see you, love ratg x.

Hopeful One Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 8:27am

Hi RATG- I too had a hunch it was you from the writing style.A good post too. Friendships are vital to our well being.For me it is important that people who become my friends are willing to spend time in my life as I am willing to spend time in theirs. As I have written before the people I meet fall into three groups- Trobba( trouble) ,Trobba not and no Trobba. The last form my circle of friends.

Especially if they also have a sense of humour and enjoy a laugh

Standing beside a valiant stallion, a beautiful blonde decides she must ride this animal despite having no previous riding experience.
Soon, she finds herself on the horse’s back, galloping through a lush green meadow.
Unsuspectingly, the horse suddenly picks up speed, and she finds herself euphoric over the freedom she is experiencing.
Once again, the magnificent animal picks up speed – except this time her inexperience gets the better of her. She finds herself barely able to hang on.
The startled horse is now in a dead run, and the beautiful blonde finds herself hanging off to one side of the horse, her head just inches from the ground… catastrophe seconds away.
She begins to frantically scream for help when all of a sudden…when
Frank ,who is watching all this, calmly walks up and unplugs the ride.

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 10:04am

Hello my friend, finally we meet again! How lovely to see you :-) I have been in and out of here (for no reason other than generally being a little Cinderella!) and I'm glad to see you. Your joke is perfect and it reminds me of when I used to use the back of my granny's couch as a was just the right size, shape and colour. She was not amused so I had to do it in silence so she wouldn't know! I'm laughing now. Thank you HO! Love ratg x.

Lacey Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 11:08pm

Good one,made me laugh HO Such fun so late at night Lacey

David Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 8:42am

Friends are very important in life, some come and go but always a hard core remains, who I will die for and hope they will do the same for me.In life, it's who you know rather than what you know.

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 10:06am

Very true David. The ones who you know would help if you needed them in the dead of night are treasures. Love ratg x.

Orangeblossom Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 9:25am

Thanks for the blog RATG. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Last year a friend of nine odd years ceased to make contact. It is as if we had never met or known each other. It hurt but I justified it by saying she had just married and maybe her husband is very possessive. I still don't know why. She also changed her mobile no. I remembered the analogy about the train and how we are all people passing through stations, some staying longer than others. Life is temporary and some people are sent for a purpose which when they have fulfilled it, they no longer need to be in my life.

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 10:08am

That's very hard Ob. I hope you can take yourself out of it and see that she made a choice about herself. The analogy of stations is just lovely! Love ratg x.

Lacey Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 11:12pm

Everyone comes into our lives for a reason whatever that may be My husband and I are still reeling from being dropped by a couple who we had loads in common with and had shared great dinners,walks, watching films etc Why? Who knows, nowt so queer as folk so the saying goes. My husband said that I probably said or did something to upset them while high....that hurt me even more....... Sad Lacey

Charlotte Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 9:48am

Glad that you are not sad.,, though I'm sure you have your moment.
Your post resonated with me as I saw myself in your post. I've recently done a bit of reading on being an introvert and having that confirmed in a work related psychometric test, I've now given up trying to find the explanation for fewer friends as I'm now able to see it as a "trait" and nothing more.
Ive been depressed, I suffer from anxiety too, but I'm much happier to now say"that's being an introvert" rather than try and justify why I'm feeling the way I do.
I have fewer friend than others, certainly less than when I was married, but the few that I do have are valued and nourished. Maybe "less is more".
And it means i can give more of my attention to the few.

Having struggled in 5 years to find "the one" and instead picked up some mis matched characters, I'm now content with an older gentleman. Maybe he's my cab driver?
Charlotte x

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 10:09am

Hello Charlotte, I thoroughly agree...introvert here too! And I used to think that was a bad thing. I now see it as a good thing. I'm going to try to find a little cartoon drawing to link to you which shows it beautifully...

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 10:11am

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 10:12am

And I hope he is your cab driver :-)

Lacey Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 11:13pm

Sounds like it Charlotte Best wishes to you both Lacey

Tutti Frutti Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 10:25am

Hi RATG I thought your cab driver sounded lovely, not surprised that the experience perked you up. NB I think the term "cab driver" may have taken on a bit of additional meaning in the exchange above but I am just talking about can drivers in the common or garden way again here.
Love TF x

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 2:12pm

He was just a delight, I'm still smiling when I think of him, and in a common or garden way :-) lovely to see you TF, love ratg x.

Tutti Frutti Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 10:31am

Brum Mum i have put a couple of comments for you on recent blogs but rather late at night so not sure if you would have seen them. I am pretty sure that the main comment was on Mary's "get a life" blog. Basically a thank you for some stuff you said to me on moodscope which has been helpful. Hope you will get to read it. Love TF x

pS sorry for hijacking today's blog RATG.

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 2:14pm

No apology needed, its our meeting place, not mine. I like to think of it as a park bench where we wander and stop for a while.

The Gardener Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 11:51am

Thanks RATG - those rare moments of 'entente' are real nuggets of joy. The clouds came down with a vengeance, I have never felt more hopeless in my life. Flowers still glorious - but difficult to see. It was a very cloudy morning, I opened curtains on to terrace and Morning Glory flowers cascading everywhere - up the drainpipes, in the neighbours. But Mr G 'shut the b****y curtain, the sun's blinding me. He insists on wearing a green plastic vizor - eye specialist hates it - so the world is always dark, and Mr G insists on all the lights on at mid-day - then says I (underlined, don't know how to) am blinding him, and wants them all off again. The charitable say he can't help it - all the professionals and most of the family say that a lot of the time he knows the harm he is doing 'tyrranical' current word - he's angry with the world - says he's miserable and staying that way, and takes it out on me. After three hours of non-stop grumbling this a.m (comfortable bed, France Musique, breakfast in bed because the nurses are late during this holiday period) the comforting (to me) sounds of our neighbours starting their day - that the super nurses to tend to his needs. So I am looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of a silver lining (please give generously). First gleam of hope, SO many friends, some from all my adult life, some made on the pavement - because I have joined the 'club' of stallholders, so Wednesday mornings start with kisses, hugs and hand-shakes - and the odd Nem to keep me going - we have Viet-namese who cook all sorts of goodies outside our shop. On Monday Les called me an 'enchantress' for my prose - most chuffed - most of the time just the outpourings of a garrulous old woman! And, RATG, I thought taxi drivers only talked politics! Thanka, love xxx

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 2:20pm

Hello darling girl, garrulous makes my world go round so carry on :-) I love that you have kisses, hugs and handshakes in your week especially since Mr TG might only manage to keep his in a scrapbook nowadays. Taxi drivers round my bit of the world usually talk roadworks on repeat. I love stepping inside and discovering who I'm meeting. It reminds me of Mr Benn, do you remember him? Loved that programme!! Love ratg x.

The Gardener Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 4:02pm

The world needs RATG's. I've gardened, shopped, done church flowere - Mr G insulted me roundly this a.m, got him from Respite - said they were all mad there (why does he think he's there? Before we got in the car he said was stupid and did not talk sense. And the whole week-end to come. I AM going to do my own thing - and try to curb my own temper. Like the guy in 'A Fish called Wanda' 'don't call me stupid'. x

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 5:14pm

Yes TG, do Your thing! Wish you were near, I'd drag you to a few Festival shows :-)

The Gardener Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 5:35pm

A few days ago someone was extolling the joys of 'Mamma Mia (Mary and Bear, I think). I watched it again last night - still think it Naff - and girl playing Donna's daughter needed her thyroid seeing to, those poppy eyes - but, it was lively. I've sunk even lower, reading Tom Sharpe 'Wilt' books, and find them funny. Requiem for the passing of an intellectual snob

Lacey Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 11:17pm

Take it easy TG Count to 10 and put on your 'happy face to the world' look It's all you can do in such harsh circumstances I feel for you but you have support and that's something you can't buy...friendship Take care Lacey

Anonymous Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 3:07pm

I ran a group and recently a lie was told about my husband and myself. Some of our very closest friends believed it and stirred things up which eventually caused the group to break up. It has been one of the most painful experiences which I have ever gone through, and along with my depression it has left me suicidal. I just don't know how to get over the betrayal of friends which I have had for up to 20 years and the fact they could believe the lie over knowing who we are. I miss them so much and wish I could explain it to them and make it right, but it has gone too far now.

The Gardener Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 4:06pm

Oh, anonymous, I'm sick of bitching women. Have a gang of them round here - there is a tacit 'bury hatchets here' at the door of my shop. However the meet in sort of concentric circles in various cafes, seemingly with the intention of doing each other down. Two have 'had words' the hard-skinned one still comes, the one who had had a tough time, same age as me, with a biting humour, is now staying away. I really feel for you in such a situation. A rather weird American friend said 'life's too short to hate' but she's got it wrong.

The Gardener Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 4:06pm

Oh, anonymous, I'm sick of bitching women. Have a gang of them round here - there is a tacit 'bury hatchets here' at the door of my shop. However the meet in sort of concentric circles in various cafes, seemingly with the intention of doing each other down. Two have 'had words' the hard-skinned one still comes, the one who had had a tough time, same age as me, with a biting humour, is now staying away. I really feel for you in such a situation. A rather weird American friend said 'life's too short to hate' but she's got it wrong.

The Gardener Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 4:06pm

Oh, anonymous, I'm sick of bitching women. Have a gang of them round here - there is a tacit 'bury hatchets here' at the door of my shop. However the meet in sort of concentric circles in various cafes, seemingly with the intention of doing each other down. Two have 'had words' the hard-skinned one still comes, the one who had had a tough time, same age as me, with a biting humour, is now staying away. I really feel for you in such a situation. A rather weird American friend said 'life's too short to hate' but she's got it wrong.

the room above the garage Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 5:10pm

Dear Anonymous, how awful! I can only imagine how distressing it must be as well as frustrating and sad. Lies are the deepest hurt. Horrible! I hope you have some support to help you step through each of these awful things. What is available to you? Its a multi-faceted situation and might need a multi-faceted support. I'm thinking a counsellor would be a great help. It might take guts and bravery to get there and go through it in detail but churning up the bad stuff might just make way for some good. Writing to the group to explain it all might also be cathartic and you never need to send them what you have written. The process of working it out and putting it into words can be enough of a healer in itself. And please remember, you have no control over what these people have chosen to believe so try not to waste energy worrying over that particular with saving Your heart. The length of the friendship actually means nothing. Let them go and save you. Keep talking. We'll listen. Love ratg x.

Mary Wednesday Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 6:50pm

This post is intensely painful for me. I make many warm friendships but only a few very deep ones. I had four. It now seems I have only three - and I'm heartbroken that someone I trusted totally and confided in deeply should, for reasons that have not explained, backed off entirely. When I think of how much we have shared together and how deeply we cared for each other I am devastated. I am too heartbroken even to blog about it.

Mary Wednesday Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 6:53pm

But I loved your taxi-driver. I too make those fleeting but deeply meaningful connections. We remember them for years, perhaps even for all our lives. I remember a lovely young man with whom I had a really deep conversation when I was about 12, sitting on the side of the harbour at Wells-Next-to-the-Sea. He told me to follow my dreams, even if those dreams were not the expected ones. I can't remember what he looked like, but I remember the connection, and his words.

Lacey Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 8:16pm

Mary I hope you feel better in the coming days and weeks. Don't be so hard on yourself please Your telling of your tale at Wells-Next-to-the-Sea resonates as I love that little place ( we are planning to retire to Norfolk,a place near the sea) We visit often and I created a lovely scene of your being given wise words when you were so young. You will always remember that conversation even though you've forgotten who the man was and what he looked like. Wise words for a very strong and wise lady Love Lacey x

Lacey Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 8:17pm

Plans for Norfolk are 5 years off yet but I'm raring to go

Ach UK Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 7:23pm

Hello RATG, Thank you for your post. Yes I can connect with your experiences that friendships ebb and flow. The pain of realising that you've lost someone is intensified if one only has a small group of friends. It is also difficult when one becomes unwell as there are few who may be able to help.
One person who I thought was a good friend dropped me by writing me almost a Gill Doe type letter. Took me a while to compose a non judgemental reply wishing her well for the future and to feel free to contact me in the future. Learning to "Pay it no heed" was very difficult. But conversely some people I only thought of as aquaintances have really turned up trumps to help me.
Anyway, thanks for bringing the subject up.
Hope your room above the garage has a good heater as the weather is not summery at all.

Lacey Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 8:09pm

I was just thinking the other day that some of my best friends I have known for 15 years+ and that's lovely
My heart sang and and I had goosebumps....
At school,I had few female friends as I couldn't get with the bitchiness and back biting that went with the territory of school life
So I became pals with the boys and that was fine. I knew where I was with them but I missed girly chats about clothes,makeup an,of course, boys!!
Now, my closest friends know I go up and down and they support me as I do them when they are going through bad times
Life is a curates egg- good in parts but being close to those you trust is the best of all
And it gives you a warm,cozy,wrapped in a safe fluffy blanket feeling.
Even when you are down.....
Take care of you xx

Dragonfly Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 9:21pm

Thank you for your blog Ratg, which touches on an ongoing struggle I have with the end of a 'friendship'. One which actually set out terms & conditions, encouraged my confidence, controlled and manipulated me then lied when I stumbled across the true persona. And of course they lied. Like Anonymous above, I've felt suicidal in the aftermath, particularly as I truly believed this 'friendship' had come along as something good following a previous hurtful experience. I feel that this person abused their position and my attempts to redress the situation resulted in more hurt for me. They lied again and sent warning shots across the bow to remind me of their positon and perceived authority. I think it was because of my desperately low self-esteem that I hung on to something that I knew in my heart was toxic, but I began to feel that it was my fault I couldn't 'conform' and that if I only tried hard enough I could make things right. As of course one usually can't. I lost myself in the process. The thing is that I have just the loveliest people in my life who accept me for who I am; exactly as I am, so why I persevered I really don't know. Well, I do because I was hugely encouraged to confide in this person and I think it coincided with a time in their life when they were adrift. Now that they're anchored, I've been discarded. I feel set apart from the world and that I must have 'stupid' stamped on my forehead. But I also have fleeting encounters of intensity and exchanges of confidences as I'm a soft-natured and trusting person. I allowed someone to abuse that trust and now I feel betrayed, angry; the whole gamut of emotions - even envious of this wonderful life they portrayed which I now know not to be true. I still feel I should put the record straight, not in any vengeful way but as they actually work in a position which likes to take the moral high ground. I just don't know what to do. Loyalty and feelings of great hurt seem to be common amongst us here, so perhaps we feel these betrayals more deeply x

Lacey Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 11:24pm

Write them a letter Dragonfly telling them how their actions made you feel, even the feeling of wanting to take your own life. Then either send it,keep it somewhere safe or burn it Do the same in 6 months time etc and soon your upset can be written on the back of a stamp then it will have no more hold over you Hurtful people usually are hurting too but,of course, oh can't see that just as they can't see what effect their words/action have had on you If that doesn't prick their conscience they must have no morals or scruples whatsoever and therefore not worth worrying over Nite nite Lacey

Leah Fri, Aug 18th 2017 @ 10:37pm

What a lovely blog wit wonderful responses. I liked the sotroy of the taxi driver. As I have never driven over the decades I have had great conversations on buses, trains, ferries and trams, just a few minutes listening to a stranger's life story is captivating and can be dry touching. I hope you are well .Leah xx

David Sat, Aug 19th 2017 @ 6:24am

When in London some of my best friends are Black Cab Taxi Drivers and Westminster City Council owned one to be able to transport staff faster using Taxi lanes.
Uber is gradually undermining the Taxi Drivers and their KNOWLEDGE sadly.

Lexi Sat, Aug 19th 2017 @ 4:12pm

I love this post. So beautiful RATG and so true - depression I think makes us aware of the special, quiet, intimate and least expected moments. xo Lexi

LP Tue, Aug 22nd 2017 @ 9:03am

Hi ratg,
Like you, I haven't maintained friendships in the way some people seem to. I have also felt confined, for me by obligation and guilt. Yet like you I love meeting and chatting to people. I'm an Aquarian, no idea if that means anything!
One close friend lives at quite a distance and we're not in touch regularly but when we occasionally do make contact it is still special.
There are friends who are physically nearer and very similar but don't know each other. I thought they'd given up on me as I've given up going to things that they invite me to when I don't want to. I haven't even made an effort to visit them and have been feeling bad, that I'm just not a very good friend.
I don't often go onto Facebook, but having been on leave for a while, I recently dipped in. I changed my profile picture and people " liked" it, including one of the two friends. I found you can send a wave, so I hesitantly did that, hoping against my better judgement that I wouldn't be hunted! No such luck! Ticket Invitation followed which I nicely declined. More suggestions and a call followed which I dodged.
She turned up yesterday with the ingredients for eggs royal for brunch for whoever was in! I made coffee and we hade a lovely catch up. Like the rag doll blog today I guess that we are still loved. I get that you may not need or want long term friends, neither do I particularly, but sometimes they just happen and you are there for each other warts an all! Never say never :) xxx

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