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I’m not the kind of person who could say to someone, “I’m sorry but I don’t value your friendship enough to put up with your bullshit.” But I kind of wish I was.  Or I wish I could find a nice, drama free way to extricate myself from situations where I want to say that.  I feel so full of petty meanness sometimes that I might explode with it. Even when I know it isn’t petty meanness but just the realities of the world.

I’ve been paying lip service to simplifying my life for a long time.  Getting rid of things, less possessions, less, desire, less grief.  But I guess I need to get rid of people as much as I do my possessions.  I don’t need 75 half-assed friends any more than I need 12 places settings when I only own two chairs.  But it’s not like you can call people up and say, “Oh, by the way, I just don’t get enough out of this relationship to make up for the effort I’m willing to put into it.”  Though maybe the world would be better place if all said things like that when we really need too.

In my case I don’t think it would change much but maybe to alleviate some of my guilt.  I don’t have a lot of external drama in my life, I don’t stand for it from other people.  I guess I wish I had more to give the people I really love, the people I’ve shared my life with over the last 10, 15 and 20 years.  My emotional resources are still limited and I do feel some guilt that I’m not giving enough back to my friends.  So maybe that’s why I feel some need to pick and choose who my friends are, like I can only distribute so much so I need to make the pool smaller?  Ugh, that sounds petty and cruel too.

I don’t think this is something I’ll be acting on, but it’s definitely something to think about.  Maybe not exactly shrinking the pool of friends, but who I really want around me and why.  To that end I’ve told Hawthorn that I really need him and really want him, but only as a friend and that any incursions across that line will sever what we have. Cruel.  But necessary, I think, for both of us to know where we stand.  I don’t think there’s anything left to say to Oak.  Cedar told me that he loves me no matter what and wants me around whether it’s friendship or romance.  I’ve drawn a line at friendship there too. But that’s friendship I want, something that’s transcended 25 years and is still strong.  I hope I can have that with Hawthorn one day too.

So I’m reading along in my happy blog list this morning, all the lovely folks who make me laugh and think and I come across this post by The Bloggess (who is generally hilarious and clearly crazy) and I’m nodding and agreeing all the way through it. Especially when she gets to the part about needing to be told that it’s going to be okay.  I feel like right now I am really, really lacking in lots of positive it’s going to be okay statements from folks around me (and from my own self).  And I find myself in an awkward space where someone does just need to come over and drag me out to do a photoshoot with wigs and fake cigarettes and make me have fun, but depending on how that’s presented and who is doing the presenting, I might be offended, annoyed or even more reticent to socialize.

Here are some of my problems that might or might not benefit from a surfeit of it’s going to be okay:

1. I still feel completely invalidated by the Hawthorn situation.  Like if we assume I made all the right choices, or the very best choices I could make given my circumstances and feelings  and the information I had at the time, and assuming that he is not cruel, intentionally malicious or out to get me then what? I mean, really, what? That means I’m just here, still feeling completely invalidated, like everyone either thinks I shouldn’t have known better or that he’s a horrible person.  I can wind the thread out and say, well I am in a better place now and I couldn’t have gotten to this place with out all the prior events.  But, BUT! So? I still feel like I need to be reassured that I did make the only choices possible, that they weren’t bad choices, that I didn’t do anything wrong, or anything to make the situation worse.  I don’t know who I am supposed to get this validation from, myself, I guess, but I suppose that doesn’t happen in any way but just letting go and I’m still too hurt to let go.

2. It’s really excellent, so good that I’m no longer in a nearly constant state of hyperoverdrive panic.  I can talk myself down or take a pill and generally deal with what’s immediately in front of me. But my social anxiety is still pretty high (though it has been for at least a decade) and I continuously don’t immediately recognize that need downtime when I’ve overextended myself socially.  But I also feel like I need validation for this.  Like I need to be told that it is okay for me to want to spend evenings at home alone.  Like I need affirmation of my legitimate need for alone time.  Someone (me?) needs to recognize that I’m not being a bitch, or a hermit, or weird and isolationist, rather I can only deal with, only manage so much, before I need to pull back and regroup.  Someone needs to tell me that it’s fine to take as much time as I need, when ever I need it.

3. I often feel weepy and it’s not just teary but like abject misery.  Some of it is okay, I think, given everything in the past few years, given the immediate emotional situations I’m still dealing with.  I’m certainly still trying to identify and define all it’s sources though and I think some of it might be hormonal.  Like not just oops, PMS is making cranky hormonal, but really problematically imbalanced hormonal.  I’ve been tracking it against my cycle and it is about 80% worse around ovulation and about 175% worse in the roughly 8 days before my period, and the first 3 of my period.  This means, surely, a trip to the doctor, who will tell me (or not) that it’s okay.

4. I can’t go to the doctor or dentist.  I’m just so blocked on this that I can’t even pick up the phone to make the appointments.  I can’t really articulate what I find so upsetting about this.  If it’s possibility that something might be really wrong with me, or some conviction I have that something is wrong and won’t be able to deal with whatever procedure is required to fix it.  Or if I’m worried about money.  Or if it’s some huge jumble of all of these things.  Surely hearing it’s going to be okay from both the doctor and dentist will go a long, long way towards making me feel better.  And like actually making me feel better, like with less pain and discomfort.  I’ve been trying to reach out to ask people to help me with this, but I guess I’m not persistent enough or making it seem dire enough because I can’t seem to get a stronger response than, “Have you made that call yet? Are you going too?” And I think maybe someone needs to make the calls for me and take management of the appointments in hand for me until I get past this.

And annoyingly much of this comes back to being single. Just not having someone to lean on.  Having ‘lost’ 2 romantic partners and my best friend in the last couple years I am left feeling distinctly without someone to lean on.  I know this isn’t exactly true, that many friends will pipe up and say are there for me and they want to help, but it really isn’t the same.  And I don’t know how to address it exactly, or resolve it.  A friend was recently complaining about a car repair place asking if she wanted to leave it for a couple days and she was dumbfounded, why would any one do that? How would they get around? But of course the ‘normal’ assumption is that you have a husband or partner to pick you up or take you around or take up the slack.  The world assumes that.  Single and independent does have it’s perks but realistically most everything is easier when you have some sort of partner to help you, someone to take care of and to lean on in return when you need it.  Someone to tell you it’s going to be okay.

I got an email from my friend Dandelion last night asserting that she’s sorry she’s been absent (due to things in her own life) and that she’d like to be more present.  Of course I replied with love and welcoming of her renewed presence.  This is, surely a good thing.  Part of what had happened in the last year or two was a split from my long time best friend, which was not as hurtful maybe as everything else, as it was long time coming and I don’t feel like I bear any responsibility for the fracture of that relationship.  Still I lost a close friend which has made navigating some of this healing stuff harder than it would otherwise be.  However, I do know that I need to process and decompress the dissolution of that relationship and Dandelion is one of the few people I could have that conversation with who would really understand what had happened (Wisteria is another, but that will include processing it for both of us, which is, I think, different).  Also Dandelion was present for a lot of the stuff that led up to my break down period, so even even if she wasn’t around when it all went screwy, I think renewing friendship with her and talking about these things with her will be really helpful for me as I know her to be a good and fair listener and I don’t have to waste a lot of time explaining the background to why I feel the way I do.

This also got me thinking about how some people just give you what you need when you need it.  When I need to vent and or relax and feel strong female energy I call Violet and Calantha.  If I need to feel like someone loves me no matter what and won’t judge me I call Rose or Wisteria (and our long time tight knit group of friends) or Rowan.  If I need to laugh and remember there’s magic and humor in the world, I call my sister Dahlia.  I am glad to have these people, and all of you, and everyone around me in my life.  I am slowly recognizing that I need to be relying on my friends more and more, that they will not reject me, that they are already giving what I need without my asking and that I simply need to be present enough to see it.  Present.  In the moment.  And Mindful.

For anyone following along closely, here is the full text of the email exchange with Oak from yesterday mostly for my own recording and to note that even when I think he isn’t paying attention, or replying to everything, I know he’s noticing every detail, I just don’t always know what he’s thinking about it: click to see the boring details