One of my favorite pagan podcasters, Scarlet of Lakefront Pagan Voice, recently wrote about her own social anxiety. This has led me to think a lot about the nature of friendship. Some people seen to find it an easy concept, but maybe that’s just the way it appears.
Part of my intention with this blog is to be honest. Of course, I find honesty difficult because I know that my honesty can be used to hurt me.
I have always struggled with friendship. To say that I grew up in a dysfunctional home is an understatement. Around age 13, I believed that no one actually wanted to be my friend, or anyone else’s friend. All relationships were at best transactional – what did they offer in exchange for what I had to offer. Of course, I also didn’t believe that I had much to offer.
My mother and older sister both spent most of my tween years telling me that men would only like me because of my breasts. My mom doubled down on that also constantly telling me women (ok likely she said girls) would never really be my friends because of said breasts. She never missed a chance to reinforce that any time I had a disagreement with a girl friend.
Considering this, it makes sense that I’m still surprised and even suspicious of people who seem interested in being my friend. Yet hope, foolish and cruel bitch, springs eternal and so I keep trying.
After too many abusive relationships, and I am including non-romantic ones, I find that I am slow to trust people. Once I do, I trust and I’m loyal, but that is often not reciprocated.
All of this makes me hyper sensitive to distance. The friend that stops calling, or consistently turns down invitations hang out. That person who is always too busy to see me, but not too busy to do other things and see other people.
I admit, that when I see these behaviours, or think I see them, I pull away. I stop trying. I stop communicating because after all, no one could actually want to be my friend in the first place. Whatever it was that I had – the thing the other person wanted – is gone or no longer what he/she wants/needs.
I am not very good friendship.
I am grateful for the people who make the effort.