This is really just going to be a vent post because I have some things I need to unload. If that sort of thing doesn’t appeal to you, you might not want to read this.
I’m so lonely. I don’t have any significant friendships, by which I mean people that I can be myself with and that I talk to a couple times a week. I’d really like friends to hang out with in person, but I’d definitely appreciate even just an online or long-distance friend if they were someone I felt comfortable with/trusted/could talk to regularly.
I’m not sure why I don’t have friends. I don’t know exactly what it is about me that makes people not want to be friends with me. Part of it is normal life stuff. For instance, I had a great group of friends at a job I worked at several years ago, but everyone moved away one by one (except me). I’m friends with these people on facebook now, but our friendships just aren’t the same anymore now that we don’t see each other every day at work or hang out with each other in the evening. I’ve had friendships that kind of slowly faded after people got married and/or had kids, which is understandable. Life changes can make it harder to keep up with friendships.
But I feel like it’s more than that, like there is something wrong with me. Besides my husband, I only have one person that I spend time with once a week or so and I actually can’t stand her. She is very negative, critical, self-centered, and almost to the point of being a toxic person. I remain in contact with her out of guilt and pity because her life kind of sucks.
My best friend from childhood lives an hour away. We met when I was ten and were extremely close. We even roomed together in college. We worked at the same law office after graduation until she moved an hour away. Of course we couldn’t hang out as much then, and our visits decreased as time went by. She got married and had a kid. All understandable reasons for us not being as close as we were. However, I’ve never stopped wanting to be as close as we used to be. I have continued to make efforts to hang out and stay in touch. For the past couple of years, though, I’ve felt like I’m nothing but a pain in the ass to her. I still text her from time to time; I try to keep a balance of often enough for her to know I miss her and want to talk to her, but not often enough to be annoying or make her feel obligated to respond to me. I get half-hearted responses sometimes and really great ones other times. I miss her like crazy and I hate not knowing if I am annoying the hell out of her. I worry that she only maintains contact out of sense of nostalgia or obligation.
I have another friend I’ve known for almost 20 years. We met online in a chat room when we were both 13 years old, so our friendship has always been long distance. We’ve met in person a few times. Our friendship has gone through phases of talking every day and phases of not really talking at all for several months. He’s also married and has kids. About a year ago we started texting every day, throughout the day. He texted me while he was at work, when he was eating out with his family, before he went to bed at night, even during church. I felt like I could really trust him and talk to him about anything. I was going through a really shitty time health-wise and it was awesome to have him to talk to. Then around late September/early October (right around the time I started coming off all my meds) he got busy at work and started texting less. It made sense that he couldn’t text during work hours for sure, but he wasn’t texting in the evenings or on weekends as much either. I knew he was having a rough time at work so I still messaged pretty often; I wanted him to feel like I was there for him even when he didn’t have the time or energy to talk to me. I spent a lot of time thinking about him and how I could be a good friend to him even though we couldn’t converse as much. I figured the only thing I could really do was try to be understanding and send encouraging and sympathetic messages. Since then we’ve talked less and less. He mentioned a few times that he was sorry he was so busy and couldn’t talk as much and always blamed it on work. I wanted to point out that he was texting WAY less during non-work hours too, but I didn’t want to make him feel bad or cause any conflict. I constantly felt like I was annoying him when I did text, but he insisted that wasn’t the problem. That was actually kind of frustrating because I could tell he was distracted when texting me and that the vibe was different, but he kept saying it wasn’t. I hate when people are acting different and I know it, but they refuse to acknowledge it. Anyway, at New Year’s I said we should try to talk every day in 2018 because I thought that would help us be more connected, but it actually made me feel worse. I could tell he was just texting out of obligation so we wouldn’t miss a day and that he wasn’t really into talking to me. So I stopped initiating conversation and we’ve talked about half of the days out of the past month or so. I still get excited when he texts me and I try to be supportive and sympathetic and encouraging in response to anything he says, even though the last time I tried to talk to him about something that was bothering me he was pretty dismissive. It’s just nothing like it was before and I don’t understand why. Being busy is one thing, but the whole nature of our friendship has changed and it makes me feel like crap.
I go back and forth between feeling like other people are assholes and feeling like there must be something wrong with me. What do I do that makes people go away? What is so terrible about me that I lose my friendships? I’ve never lost a friend to a big argument or conflict or blow up. People just fade away; my personality makes people leave. Why is it that I spend so much time and energy thinking about how to be a good friend and how to not get on people’s nerves and put so much effort into being understanding and sympathetic toward other people’s problems and don’t get that in return? I let myself get attached to people and connect with them and trust them and then they end up drifting away like everyone else.
Anyway, this has been a rambling, poorly written rant. It does kind of help to get it out. And just for the record, if it’s my fault that this happens, if I’m the reason people go away, I’d gladly take responsibility for it and make a change. It’s just that I can’t do that if I don’t understand why or what I’m doing wrong.