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28.2.13

Couldn't They See Me?

We went to Jo Jingles this afternoon. It was the first time in 2 weeks as we had half term and the week before I didn't make it in time and rather than turning up late I missed it altogether.
I wasn't completely enthusiastic about going today. I'm tired, have a migraine and just generally feel a bit down. But when I mentioned Jo Jingles to Harry his face lit up and I knew I had to go for him.
It would be fine when we got there, I was sure.
We walked in, was greeted by the happy receptionist and walked towards the main room. I'm usually one of the first there but today there was already seven mums with their children, as well as the lady that runs the group.
I walked in, looked around and smiled, ready to say hello.
No one acknowledged me.
Fair enough.
I turned towards the lady that runs the group, who clearly knew I had just walked in; she was stood right next to the door.
Nothing.
I felt a lump in my throat immediately. I felt panicked and uneasy.
Why on earth is everyone ignoring me?
Instead of sitting myself on one of the red spots near the door, away from everyone else, I walked across the room to the corner, in between two other mums. There were two unoccupied red spots so I assumed I was welcome to take position there.
I wasn't asked to move but I almost felt that I was in the way, and that they didn't want me sat there.
I still looked around waiting for some kind of acknowledgement.
I'm fine that the other mums didn't. They don't really need to.
But the lady that runs the group...surely she should make us feel welcome?!

As other mums turned up I noticed that they were acknowledged, but other mums in the group and by the lady running it.
Now hold on!
Was I invisible? No!
Had I done something in the last session to offend? No!
So what on earth was going on?!

I sat there and just felt uncomfortable. I was aware of the fact that I had almost curled into a ball.
My shoulders were by my ears.
More than ever I didn't want to be here.
I didn't feel welcome at all.

I had already taken Harry's boots off which meant I couldn't just scoop him up and walk out. Pretending to go to the toilet but really walking out of the door and then running out of the main one and to my car.
How I held back tears I do not know.

The babies/toddlers were then encouraged to put the pompoms back in the bag, Harry ran around grabbing all of them and put them all away. I said "awwww he doesn't do this at home" and laughed.
The lady running it just blanked me.
I felt like an idiot.

As the group continued I felt more isolated. The mums all talked to each other and despite my trying I was just blanked, other than the one mum next to me who talked a little but was mainly acknowledging Harry who kept interacting with her.

I looked around and couldn't work out why on earth any of the mums felt it necessary to blank me. We are all around the same age, we all have children in common and are all there to have fun and feel silly at times.

When it came time to go I was relieved.
I was the first across the room and out of the door.
In fact as I was leaving the car park the other mums only just started leaving the children’s centre.

When I went with Charles last year the lady running it was polite. Always acknowledged you as you arrived, played with the children and said thank you and bye as you left.
Today, I experienced none of that.

It takes a lot for me to even attend this group so for this to happen just confirms my thoughts.
No one wants to be friends with me. No one likes me.
I look disgusting.

I'll be going back next week but just because Harry enjoys it so much although I am dreading it.
I'll make sure I'm the first there so I can get a spot on the end, near the door.
Maybe next week I'll be noticed, if not I'll just run.