Frustrations Abound

I find myself today completely out of sorts. I had mentioned in my last post about how something negative had happened over the weekend, and it has left me feeling off kilter and unsure of many things.

I’ll start off by saying that I do not make friends that easily.  Aside from my overswhelming social awkwardness, I just don’t take to many people.  Growing up, I can only remember one instance where I had someone over.  That was because living with my mother, I was completely embarrassed by her alcohol abuse.  When I lived with my father and stepmother… I never felt like there was anywhere to relax.  The house was beautiful but rigid and unfriendly.

Needless to say, I spent much of my childhood rather isolated.  I learned how to entertain myself quite well, but I never really connected with much of anyone.  While other kids were outside playing, I was keeping my mom from passing out and watching a lot of movies.  It made me feel like an outsider for most of my childhood.  I used to be so resentful, too.  Even others who had some problems… they still had friends, did normal things, had normal family outings.  They seemed carefree and happy, and I was always worried and neurotic.

Let me just make this clear: I don’t mean this in a pity me kind of way because it is something with which I have made peace.

The hermit-like mentality was something that would come back to haunt me later in life.  The reality is that while I am fairly well-adjusted, I missed out on some keep developmental lessons.  While deep down I was loyal and loving to people, I did not always make the best of friends.  I would go through social periods followed by periods where people would not hear from me for months.  I would not answer emails or phone calls.  Even if someone was my friend, if their number came up on my cell phone, I would not answer.  I would literally freeze, crippled by anxiety.

This is the first time I’ve ever admitted any of this, heh.  It seems more ridiculous typed out.

I have had a couple of amazing friends who have forgiven me many times for my shortcomings.  The missed phone calls.  The stretches of time where I drop off the face of the planet.  The fact that I sometimes say completely dumb things.  Thankfully over the past couple of years, I’ve made some serious strides in overcoming these bad habits; definitely thanks in part to people who showed me that they actually liked me and enjoyed my company.

Of course it’s not all roses and daisies now.  I still say awkward things at awkward moments.  I still feel that fearful need to be a hermit.  I still have problems connecting sometimes.

Then on Saturday night, while we were out for Heidi’s bachelorette party, I received a blog comment notification.  Of course I made the mistake of looking, and I was devestated.

Dumped by friend via blog comment.  Not only that, it was the second time someone said to me that there was “no room” for them in my “new life”.  That phrase exactly.  My sentiments for her wedding seemed insincere to her, which was a slap in the face, as they weren’t.  At all.  She said that she was upset but understood why she wasn’t invited to my wedding, which was funny because she was invited, and the invitations have simply not gone out yet.  She thought I didn’t care.

Now I have no doubt that there are things I could have done differently.  When you move away from an area, it’s so easy to say “Keep in touch!” or “I’ll call you every week!”  So easily, however, there is a slight drifting between friends.  You cannot keep up the way you used to.  There are times I could have called.  Times I could have emailed.  I did do those things, but I could have done it more.

She thought that she was a second-tier friend long before I even left Boston.  I left in 2006, and this is the first time I had ever heard of any of these grievances… in a blog comment.

I think that’s what gets me the most.  As my friends can tell you, I can be a little dense.  Well meaning, but dense.  This was apparently something she was feeling back when I lived in the same city while I was dating my ex-boyfriend.  Now it’s over three years later, and this is the first I’m hearing of any of this.

When I read it the first time while I was out on the town in Boston with Heidi & Co for the bachelorette.  I was a little bit drunk, so I didn’t quite comprehend totally what I was reading.  The following morning, in the harsh light of day, while on a train traveling through Connecticut with a fierce hangover, it was much clearer.

I wanted to smash my phone on the ground, I was so upset.

I don’t really know what to think about any of it.  For the part about not fitting into my new life… it really angers me.  I’ve heard that now twice, from two separate people.  It really is bizarre because there seem to be two separate groups.  There are those think I’m better than I was before, with a much more secure sense of self and better follow through.  Then there are those who think quite the opposite of me.  I’ve been accused of trying “too hard to be a DC Socialite with [my] wine tastings and book clubs.”  The phrase “new life” seems so smarmy.  As if I sold out like an indie band who claims indie street cred right before going mainstream with Clive Davis.

Second, since when have people stopped communicating in any sort of relationship, friendship or otherwise?  People just let things fester and let the bitterness accumulate to the point where there is no chance of fixing anything.  Granted I tend to operate at the other extreme; I hate leaving things unsaid.  Maybe there are times where I shouldn’t ask the obvious question born out of paranoia, but it happens.  Better in than out.

I just don’t understand what is happening right now.  A good friend of mine said it seemed like I was shedding friendships from a time when I was a person I don’t even recognize; a girl who was scared and unsure about everything in her life, and even more neurotic than now.  I did not have healthy friendships, nor did I have healthy relationships during that period in my life.

It still hurts.  When a friend drops away, I feel I lose a little bit of my history.  I lose a bit of my family.

Something to this effect has happened three times now in the past year.  The first was a gross misjudgment of character and was a friendship that ended by my decision.  The second was someone who I thought knew me and obviously didn’t.  I also thought she was my best friend.  She thought I was trying too hard to be a socialite and that what we wanted out of life had become to diametrically opposing.  She also didn’t like one of my best friends and it was always a sore spot.  Now this.

I try to tell myself that another friendship door closing makes room to meet another, but it still hurts.  A lot.

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7 Responses to Frustrations Abound

  1. Rhian says:

    i am really sorry that this happened. It’s really hurtful for a friendship – or any kind of relationship at all – to end this way: through the impersonal and (oddly public) means of a blog post. Any kind of dissolving of a relationship should be done in person or at least over the phone…the internet really isn’t the place for it in my opinion.

    It seems like you’ve been blindsided by this which shows me that you have more going on than these people who are ditching you via the internet or whatever.

    what i mean is, you have a busy and active life. You’re not sitting around staring at your phone or your buddy list and waiting for certain people to call or talk to you. You aren’t keeping score with thoughts like, “well i IMed her first last time…now it’s her turn”. These people who are dumping you though seem to be doing that. They seem to be keeping tabs on random judgments of friendship and you don’t seem to be making the grade – even though you have no idea that you’re even being tested at all, let alone have a concept of what you are being tested on.

    my thought is this: you are confused by this because you aren’t being petty and because like you mentioned above, you believe in communication before just totally ending things out of what appears to be nowhere. had these people been communicating with you instead of drawing conclusions based on imagined scenarios than they probably would have had a lot more clarity and a lot less of this behavior.

    I don’t want to say “you’re better off” because I really think that’s a weird thing to say; who knows if it’s true or not and really it has nothing to do with anything. I do want to tell you though that one thing you can learn from this is maybe to check in with people more often and let them know to talk to you if they are sensing an issue coming up? That’s the only thing i can see around this: communication.

    i’m sorry that you are going through this and i sincerely hope it gets better

  2. Zandria says:

    How come I didn’t know about this website? I saw it linked from your Twitter account and I was like, hello! What happened to Beauty of Argument? 🙂

  3. Ohmygoshi says:

    Ohhh that’s just low to dump someone via blog comment!! I’m so sorry that happened to you. It’s an awful feeling and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I once had my best friend dump me by de-friending me on Facebook!!

    I hope you know you are far from being an inadequate friend. And shame on her for thinking otherwise!

    xoxo ❤

  4. Megan says:

    Dumped via blog comment — that is a first. And utterly ridiculous. I’m sorry!

    If it makes you feel any better, I suffer from seriously bad anxiety, too. There are often periods when I can’t answer my cell phone — and never answer the phone at home. It takes me days to respond to emails, if I ever do. I have no idea why this is — especially since, in person, I’m incredibly vivacious and, I think, really nice! I just have a terrible time maintaining friendships… because it makes my stomach hurt.

    Ha.

    I wish it were funny… and sometimes, I guess it is. Like you said, typing it out makes it seem a lot less scary than it is! It took me years to admit to my friends and family about my social anxiety — or to even call it that myself. Thankfully, I have good friends who know this about me — and know that I don’t mean to seem aloof or unfeeling about stuff. If this person didn’t know that about you, I say it’s their loss.

  5. Pam says:

    Wow, that’s….so not cool. I’m sorry for your pain. 😦

    I know how you feel in a way… I’m really bad at
    answering the phone and calling people back too. I will text all day, any day, but for some reason actually speaking to people on the phone bothers me and makes me anxious. I will continuously put off calling someone, or calling someone back. I don’t know if it’s really similar to your case, but I kind of get how you feel…

    I know the pain and frustration that comes with friendships ending. In the past year, with all the changes that have come about in my life and myself, I’ve come to understand that some friends just can’t, or won’t come with you on your new journey.

    All the best,
    Pam

  6. Jenny Bewbsicles says:

    What the hell? That’s terrible. I’m so sorry!

    • Jenny Butts says:

      ALSO ALSO ALSO I don’t understand the “new life” comments either. I always thought you were just coming out of your shell finally and still don’t understand why anybody would begrudge you that. I guess that’s the group I’m in.

      And I don’t think you’re “shedding friendships” since you’re not the one dumping them. Right? I don’t think this is totally your fault, but then again I do the exact same thing you do sometimes with not answering my phone or emails and such…

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