I've been thinking a fair amount about friendships lately.
I think that I'm not a good friend much of the time.
I lost a very good friend many years ago(ten plus?) She said to me once that she felt that if she wasn't the one making the effort to contact me then I would just kind of let our friendship fade away. I could totally see how she felt that way, in terms of contact, although I didn't feel that way at all. I loved her and her family. I never would have let that get away. I thought friends went through times when they were close and times when they weren't. I didn't realize we had drifted so far apart that we couldn't get back together.
She decided to end the friendship. In the end I think it was my emotional instability that made her decide not to be friends with me. My mom had just died and following that we were in the thick of our infertility journey. I was depressed and sad and I withdrew. We stopped going to kid's birthday parties. We stopped socializing at all really. We were in a lot of pain.
Actually I'll never really know why she ended it, because she wouldn't give me an explanation beyond "we grew apart" and "I have a lot on my plate right now". It's just speculation.
Losing that friendship was a type of pain that rocked me to the core. I don't let too many people in and to be rejected like that hurt more than I thought possible.
This isn't about her. That was a long time ago and I've mostly moved past it. Occasionally I'll get nostalgic and I'll still miss her though. She was a lovely person.
It's more about me feeling like I'm not the easiest person to be friends with.
I mean, long distance I can be a good friend. I love to send surprise stuff to people I like in the mail. I'll love your instagram posts, and comment on your Facebook statuses, and even attend your online "party" for whatever you're selling.
But in terms of actual human contact, no.
I probably won't go to your birthday party, or block party, or Tupperware party(do they still do those?), especially if there will be people there I don't know. I'm awkward around strangers.
Shit I'm awkward around people I know.
You might be hard pressed to even get me to meet you for coffee after work, as I prefer to go straight home and not talk to anyone. I'm on the phone and dealing with people all day and it takes every ounce of energy in me to do that.
I forget to return texts and fb messages.
Don't even bother trying to reach me via phone. Not gonna happen.
I hole up in my tiny house on the weekends and it takes a lot of effort on my part to leave. If we had grocery store delivery I probably wouldn't leave at all, from Friday night until Monday morning.
I'm a severely introverted person.
On top of that, Joe is a very good friend to me and most of the time I don't need more than that.
I can be moody, and sad and/or not feel physically well many days.
I find it hard to have small talk or talk about trivial things.
I guess I feel like I'm not the most fun person to talk to/be around, especially after a long day(or week) at work.
Facebook can be a lifeline for me because it is contact with other people, without actually having to be in contact with them(if that makes sense).
I have different types of friends on Facebook. Some don't post at all. Others only post funny videos or memes. Some are passionate about politics, or animals, or certain diseases they are afflicted with, and post mostly about those things. Others the majority of their posts are about their kids or families.
But some of my friends share a great deal about themselves on Facebook. Their lives, their struggles, their health issues.
Those are the friends I identify with the most.
Many of those are people I've never met in real life.
I can only venture to guess that those friends are sensitive people, like me and that's why I relate to them so much.
I love your stories. Little snippets of your life, good bad or ugly. Many of your stories I can relate to and they make me feel less alone if I'm going through or feeling something similar.
Many of my friends think I share too much online. Actually I would say most feel that way. Some of them are judgmental. I share too much(I do), I only share because I want sympathy(sometimes). Mostly I share to feel less alone about some things. There's much to be said about another person saying those feelings you are having are valid, I understand, I get it.
That's why I love and miss blogging so much. I miss people's stories. I miss hearing about the grief you're feeling over the death of your mother. Or how your child is going through a tough time at school, or how you're struggling with keeping your shit together amidst the grief or pain or chaos happening in your life at this moment.
I miss substance, and since I'm low on human contact with my friends that's how I receive it.
That was rambling and kind of went all over the place and I'm not even sure any of it made any sense.
The bottom line is:
Much of the time I don't feel like a I am a good friend.
I get caught up in my own issues and don't take enough time to look outside of those.
I can be self centered.
I can be a hermit.
If we're friends, please know that I value our friendship, even if I don't say it(or show it).
Please don't take it personally if I don't respond to you or am not up to date on what's happening in your life.
Please don't give up on me.
You're my friend for a reason and I value our friendship.
P.S. Just wanted to add that I don't blame my friend for ending our relationship. I've had two friendships that I let go, but I did try to rekindle them after a long period of no contact. I sent their kids something in the mail and I never received a response. I took that as a clue that it was over. Like I said, I can be a shitty friend but I do try.