It sounds like friends is a generous misnomer here, those people seem to be acquaintances at best and not very nice ones either.
As for the writing one who stopped talking to you when you started gaining more exposure, yikes, that smarts. However, how supportive are you of those who helped you get where you are? Do you take time to lift them up? Maybe this friend felt left behind? Either way, it’s never pleasant to realize those you trusted and valued may not have deserved your friendship.
What you write about single moms resonates with me, not because I am one but because I was raised by one, a fierce, extremely capable and self-contained feminist who would balk at the description as she’s very humble.
We were not exactly flooded with friends either, then again this may have had a lot to do with not wanting to be a bother to anyone. My mom is like this, I take after her and still have great difficulty asking for help. There was definitely no village raising me, just my mom, with occasional guest appearances from my dad who lived at the other end of the country.
As for your holiday story, I don’t know what to make of it other than some folks are quite… insensitive. When I lived in Scotland, I invited near strangers to my home on holidays because I couldn’t bear the thought of them being alone in a foreign country so far away from their family and friends. They became good friends. There was enough food for everyone and I hastily shopped for and wrapped up a couple of knick-knacks so there’d be a small gift for everyone, too. Because tradition. My parents do the same. A couple of years back, a single dad who works with my stepmom’s son came over for Christmas with his young daughter so they wouldn’t be alone. She was the only kid there, but everyone including her had a good time. It really doesn’t take much to be a human. I have been on the receiving end of such kindness at low points in my life, too.
I hope you can find good people where you are, Shannon Ashley. Are there any groups you could join, maybe at the local library? Or perhaps you could start one yourself, a single parents group?
I wish I could help but I’m in WA. This being said, email addy in bio so feel free to use it if you ever feel so inclined. And don’t lose heart, there are good people everywhere, you just haven’t met them yet. 😉