It wasn’t a conscious decision. I didn’t plan on it. But it kinda sort of happened, and I’m not really sure what to do with myself – if I need to fix it or if this is all for a purpose.
As most of you know, I have had trouble finding other people I feel I can really connect with here in the lovely central valley. Everyone either seems to move away just as I feel I have found a beloved friend – or after a while, when they spend any real amount of time with the unfiltered me, they act overwhelmed and make some excuse to remove themselves from my company and I end up seeing them less and less.
Luckily I have an amazing friend in my husband, and he and I truly enjoy one another. But he has been working crazy hours lately and has had to take lots of trips to his office (several hours away) sometimes for a week at a time. Which leaves me on my own, with three kids and no adult interaction (unless you count seeing my in-laws at the kids/school/home exchange). I may be going more then a little bit crazy.
I have lived here now for very nearly 10 years (short just couple months). And I still feel completely alone on the “friend” front.
A few months ago I had a friend I used to go walking with every Tuesday morning. She had kids similar to my kids ages – She was down to earth, I felt I could truly open up to her, and I thought she felt she could be honest with me. She was a little conservative, but no more so then your average raised-in-church-housewife here in the valley. But she was sweet and genuinely seemed to enjoy our time. When kids were off school for a bit, she and I took a break from our walks. (Kinda hard to get any kind of good walk in while towing along 5 kids under the age of 8. No issues there!) But when I asked if she wanted to start again after the break, she told me that she was taking her walks alone every morning as a chance to have some quite time alone.
Ok – I get that. Every mother needs some alone time.
Then I just heard she has organized a “moms walk together once a week” kind of group with some of the other woman that we mutually know. I haven’t been invited. She avoids me at the moms group we both belong to and seems uncomfortable whenever I join her table.
I think I’ve been dumped…
I had a rough patch about a month and a half ago. Christmas was really rough and not at all merry for reasons I can’t really identify. In a place where I could not handle the pressure of being the doer/organizer of almost every single social event I am a part of, I stopped. I took a break. I needed to breath. And then I watched on in sadness as no one, not one person asked why. At the end of it all, I figured I would wait for others to come back, to see if without my constant reminding, people felt connected enough to put forth the effort to maintain a relationship.
I’m still waiting.
I invited a dear old friend over for coffee the other day. We made the plans on a Saturday. She was scheduled to come over that Wednesday morning. I didn’t send her a confirmation text like a usually do. She never showed up. I never heard from her. I saw her in a restaurant a few days later from a far, Maybe she didn’t see me (though I know her toddler did). I waited for her to come to me, watching, waiting for eye contact so we could say hi. Never happened. I was working – perhaps she didn’t want to interrupt…I”m sure there is a perfectly logical explanation to all this. But I must admit, I am starting to find it very hard not to take it all personally.
Is it me? Am I unpleasant to be around? I know I can be a lot to take sometimes. And I am trying to tone things down, truly – but for once, I would really love to not have to try anymore?
I went to a group meeting recently with several people in attendance that I really respect. Every time I tried to talk, I kept saying things wrong – I am not sure if it is because my tact is out of practice, you don’t have to walk on eggshells much around kids, so I am not used to filtering. Perhaps I seemed over-eager. But several times, I would say something, make a suggestion or comment and the answer was either curt and business like with a quick walk away and further avoidance for the rest of the evening, or the answer was outright combative. I went from feeling like perhaps I had a good idea, to feeling about 2inches high and the biggest fool in the room. Which then makes me walk away and avoid for the rest of the evening. I don’t have the energy. I REALLY don’t. I can’t fight with you over nothing and everything. I will walk away. I need kindness right now. I need a little bit of care. Verbal sparring, especially with no really real purpose is truly beyond what I can do. But then I have to wonder, was it all in my imagination? Is my lack of filter also paired with a lack of comprehension? Maybe I just don’t read people correctly anymore, maybe it is all in my head?
And yet, the moment I stopped planning it all, pushing for, organizing, it all stopped. Here I am alone. Was I really the only driving factor for every single one of my relationships? Is God preparing me to move away? Because I am finding small enough reason to stay lately.
Do I need to join more groups? I have joined a lot of them over the past few years. Some that have lasted, though I am exhausted and discouraged after each meeting – and some that have fallen a part or I have moved on knowing from the start that there is no place for me here. Others I still go to, praying before each meeting that there will be someone else there like me. Someone else that needs someone.
Lately every conversation I have had with just about anyone outside my home lately, leaves me feeling like I am WRONG. Where has this combative attitude come from? Is it me? Maybe I am wrong…
I want to go home. I don’t know where home is at the moment. I don’t think it is here – but I want to go to it. I”m tired.
I have a couple of planned social events in the next week – I am scared. Apparently I”m not good at this anymore and I”m tired of screwing it up. But I need people so I will attend.
My husband is about to leave again for a week. I’m terrified. I will survive.
I’m going through a bit of a desert. And I think I am changing. My world is getting a little larger – my vision is expanding, I’m growing older. I know I need community – but I also know that I will not waste time with those that make a habit of tearing others down – and this can happen a lot in the “mom community.” This combativeness needs to stop – but we also need to stop being so damn sensitive. If I see another “stop the mommy wars” crusade article I may vomit. Figure that one out. There are two sides I feel stuck between and it makes me tired. If you feel the need to be right in every. Single. Conversation then I am done. Find someone else to be your emotional punching bag. And on the other end of the spectrum, I cannot waste time with those that cannot handle honesty. I can’t hold you up emotionally, you need to do that yourself. I want to be a support to you, but I cannot do all the work – you have to join in and be open to change. You also have to be ok with talking through some of the rough stuff – because I don’t do small talk very well. But no bitching – no husband bashing. Venting every so often is fine, I get that. But it can’t be just that. I want to talk about hopes, dreams, grand plans for the future. A world apart from where I seem – great adventures, philosophy, home remedy’s, parenting tools, funny stories we never want to forget, memories that made us into who we are. Battles we have lost, colors that have no name, rhymes that make us laugh so hard we pee just a little – what we would do with a million dollars, what we would do with no money, no home, no limits and all the time in the world. I also like talking about sex…and books and movies and shows….ok now this is sounding like a dating profile! ”I also love long walks on the beach, peach tea and reading too much.”
Is it too far fetched? Maybe.
I think I am being overly dramatic – but I get to do that here, hypocrite as it may make me. Please, no words of “it will be ok” or “I had no idea! let me fix you!” You know I hate that. Life goes on, we deal with crap. We learn from it, we move on and are better people for it. I know there is purpose. I know this is a phase. I will make it through.
Perhaps I need to write a book on loneliness…