I crawl inside my head sometimes and poke around at things that have settled into the corners, stirring up dust and coughing while I try and sort through the dried bits and cobwebs. What I often come up with is a treasure or something that simply needs a bit of polish to return to it's former shine. I'm hoping this is one of those days but I'm processing as I write. (Also similar to real life where I process while I talk "it out.") (Which incidentally probably freaked my introverted husband when we first began until he figured that one out!)
The point. I'm dying of loneliness over here! Many years ago, we were blessed with one of those rare groups of friends where the kids were all the same ages, the hubbies got along great and hung out by the BBQ together, and the women... well we loved deeply. We scheduled playdates, planned events, hosted gatherings and did daily life side by side. We were there for pregnancy cravings, birthday parties (nearly every weekend in a group with 14 littles under aged 5) births- literally in the room sometimes- there for father's day golfing and mother's day spa-ing (made up word) and holidays in between like July 4th. I have to be honest, they were so much more fun than our families that we said yes to them and no to family more often than not, which had lasting consequences of course. I regret that so very much. I regretted it even more when a couple things went sideways, deception started happening, and lies started being told. It was toxic at it's finest and my heart began breaking as it all imploded. It's been years now and things are mercifully forgiven ... we sometimes pass one another at a store, stop and exchange sweet pleasantries but then we part and go about our life as though that depth never existed. I'll be honest, that part always makes me twinge slightly. It all changed me, I'm not going to lie.
I certainly don't trust like I once did, and once I've invited again and again, and pursued and gotten told "No, No, too busy, can't, other plans... " I tend to run away and don't try anymore for fear of more constant rejection. (Which I realize is totally weird and I should really try and change that.) I have to pretty much talk myself back down and remind myself that life really is probably too busy for them to fit us in... but then (raw honesty) I cry because their life is too busy to fit us in, and ours is often so empty, we have tons of places to fit anyone in, and THEN I'm done because I can only take so many no's before I stop trying. I can't for the life of me pick it back up once I've had the thought, "Okay, I can take a hint" cross my mind. Damaged and messy... Oh I hate it but that's raw truth from deep inside my friend-longing heart.
Years after the great friend implosion as I mentally call it, I began to make new friends and life moved, ever forward. Last year, a couple relationships ended and I realized today that I'm still in recovery if not right back where I was processing things from a decade ago! After all this time.
I still have a few stuck-like-glue girls I could call in a crisis. But that's what most of our friendships have resorted to, since life at this stage is a full out RUN behind our teens/tweens- Crisis intervention only. It will settle. I know this. But it's so hard to make new friends at this stage when I don't have all afternoon to sit on a park bench and watch my kids swing while I get to know a local mom. I was thinking the other day, it feels impossible and borderline creepy to try and make friends at this stage. For one, everyone seems to kind of already "have their friend SETS".. and for another my avenues for new friend making feel limited to church (still working on that small group)... and maybe the occasional school situation, work, and the pool I swim at. (Which is a whole other ball game and quickly goes from friendly to "whoa back off lady, wiggling out of your one piece in the locker room." Know what I mean? Let's just laugh at that okay? This has been a heavy one and I'm sorry for that but it does have a few light places so we can trap those and soak them in for just a moment.) (Actually the truth is, I don't even really talk to the people at the pool- They all know each other and visit, I feel like the new kid, too shy to walk up and say hello and they aren't saying hello to me either and now enough time has passed that it's just weird, like I'm the antisocial non-hi-sayer.)
I think this all means one thing. I'm a basket case! Or maybe... it just means I'm lonesome and want some balanced friendships but that takes time, which I don't feel like I have, because I want them now... just being honest. And maybe it also means that trusting others with my heart is a lot harder for me than it actually looks from the outside, since most people think they know exactly what I'm thinking and think I hold nothing back, which isn't strictly true anymore. I didn't know that about myself until I re-read what I said. I'll have to think about this some more. And I fear that I could keep writing with all kinds of thoughts on this. So I'd better stop here for the moment... but I would like to hear what you have to say on friendship!
If you have any thoughts, encouragement or advice, I'll take it.