Welcome to day 6 in the #AtoZChallenge of random reflections. Today’s prompt comes from the 397 Journal Writing Prompts and Ideas eBook again. It is “Friendship”. The attached question is: “What makes a friendship tick?”
Now I happen not to have any close friends other than my husband, but I definitely consider my husband my friend in addition to my partner. What both of us appreciate about each other, which I think non-romantic friendships may share, is our sense of humor. We have a lot of “inside jokes” and our own terminology that only the two of us understand. For example, when one of us goes on and on boring the other, we say “banana spider”. This one in particular has been in our vocabulary for many years.
Our friendship isn’t just based on humor though. Over the years, we’ve been through quite the hard times, for example with my institution stay. I met my husband for the first time six weeks before being admitted to the mental hospital and he stuck by me through all the 9 1/2 years of it and the year I’ve been out of it so far. Humor helped us through, but so did a serious discussion every now and again.
I have other people I am close to, but these friendships are usually based on shared experience, such as them having the same disabilities as me. Though my husband and I met on an autism forum, he is neurotypical and otherwise non-disabled. He has seen me through most of my adult life, but he does not share the same experience of being disabled. Like he once said “needing social care is like a different world”. In this sense, I’m glad to have peers, some of which I’m close to online and may meet every once in a while and some of which I only talk to very occasionally. This obviously also depends on geographical location.
The first peer I met was a woman who was on a support list for my eye condition. I first started E-mailing her off-list in 2004 and we’re still online friends. She lives in the United States, so we might never meet in real life. Both our lives have also moved on since 2004. She is now independent and successful, while I’m just sprouting branches in the real world. However, I appreciate being her online friend.