Even if it doesn’t quite heal the pain, time definitely seems to lessens it.
Summer camp starts this week. Our family run holiday camps. For me, it marks my 8th season of not being a part of it. For the first few years I struggled emotionally with missing out on an experience I had been a part of since I was just four years old. I found it hard to even listen to my family discussing the holiday camps infront of me. If I was well enough to visit, I was still hesitant too because it hurt so much to see what I was no longer a part of. Now though, that pain has subsided.
When that neurologist told me in November 2010 to have a quiet Christmas and see how I was in the New Year, my mum and I scoffed a little at being fobbed off, but I’m not sure any of us imagined it’d all still be going on almost nine years later.
Being replaced, within the family business, in a role I felt was truly mine hurt more than any other part of my new M.E. life, but that feeling has certainly decreased over time.
That role doesn’t fit my life anymore. I’m so far removed from that version of Anna now that I simply can’t imagine fulfilling those roles within the family business right now. It’s a sad realisation but it’s a matter-of-fact one rather than a pessimistic one.
It’s an odd thing to sit and think about. And if I’m not careful I’m sure I could fixate on the things that are lacking from my life. But the truth is that I can’t be sure I’d still be involved in the family business in the way I was back then anyway. I may well have got a job that didn’t allow me to be fully immersed in the holiday camps as I was when I was a university student/graduate. None of the people who worked at the camps when I did are still working there. People move on. But it wasn’t their family business…
It was always assumed that I would take over the business with my siblings eventually. I am aware that it’s now incredibly unlikely but who knows what the future will hold.
With the new season of Summer camp starting, it means that my M.E. anniversary is edging nearer. I am certain that M.E. will be a part of my life forever now. Again that’s not pessimism talking, it’s just a realistic approach and the level of acceptance that I’ve reached. All I hope is that the severity lessens, as quickly as the pain did over no longer being a part of the family business that I loved and lived for.