I Am a Horrible Friend

I am a horrible friend. No, really I am a horrible friend. It’s not that I am anti social. It’s not that I really don’t like people. I use my husband as the excuse. Oh, I can’t go to lunch with you because, well, Chris gets frustrated when I am gone. He does but that is not the real reason.

I grew up an only child.  My mother used to say she thought she lived in a nut house.  Dad would be talking to himself in the basement and I would be talking to myself upstairs.  She would be on the main floor of our 2 story house listening to us both. I grew up outside a small town in the country. We had neighbors, but I wasn’t exactly friends with them. To be honest I was far more comfortable by myself than with most kids around me. 

This is not to say that I am socially inept.  I get along with the majority of people.  I make friends easily and I think people like to work with me. In fact I can probably count on one hand the amount of people who dislike me.  Those people do dislike me intensely though.

I am a very open person.  What you see is what you get.  I could care less what you know about me.  I will share everything about me even if it means putting myself down to make you feel at ease.  This has frustrated my husband and children.  I have learned to leave out information that would upset them.  I feel safer sharing my life as a joke or on the pages of this blog than in person.  Pretty sad huh?

I aim to be non judgmental with my friends and family.  I try to be there for them if they need me, but I am still deep down that little girl who feels safer sitting out in the field where no one can see me, talking to my cat. I hate talking on the phone.  I am not comfortable going out on the town with friends.  I always feel like the odd man out.  This is where I get out of hanging out with people by blaming Chris. 

The funny thing is facebook has reconnected me with the childhood friends that have known me the longest.  It has also allowed me to stay connected to the people I have worked with and I consider them friends.   Living here in Florida has introduced me to some amazing people that I truly love.  I feel blessed with the friends in my life. The problem is I don’t really know how to fit them into my life.

The other thing about facebook is it lets me be friends with nearly no effort.  I mean I may have small conversations with people, I may “like” something they post, but I don’t have to go have lunch or coffee or dinner with them.  Is this a good thing or bad?  I really don’t know.

The difference between my childhood friends and newer friends is the childhood friends have withstood the test of time.  We are the kind of friends that despite the time and distance we pick up right where we left off.  They also understand what my life is and who I am. They forgive my idiosyncrasies.  The newer friends are the ones I am most insecure about.  They don’t know my history and the personality they see is the one that I show the world while working. 

I have made many friends here in Florida, but I am not so sure if I have or not.  It is hard for me to sit down and spend time with someone.  I don’t make a lot of money so going out to eat is hard to do.  I prefer to spend my evenings and weekends with my husband.  A girls cruise, like the one my friend Jessica did recently, is totally out of the question. I have Monday afternoons and Friday afternoons open. I have one friend who I adore, but never make time for her. I know she has given up on me. I don’t blame her. I am very sorry Val.

The truth is I have a husband who loves to spend time with me and I love to spend time with him.  My mother is now here in Florida living near me.  I am finally able to have a relationship with her that does not include my dad.  My eldest daughter has moved closer and I get to babysit her daughter and spend some time with my daughter.  Add all of this to my cooking, gardening, and writing I just don’t know how to find the time to share with others.

I realize a large part of the blame is on me. Why can I share the most intimate information about me, but sharing a meal or spending time alone with another person intimidates me. You would never know it if you met me.

I don’t always realize that we are friends if you know what I mean. You see, I am not all that confident in friendship. I prefer to be safe and alone. There is also a two way street with friendships. I am insecure in being the one who always makes the effort. Asking someone to walk the causeway with me constantly makes me feel needy and not the kind of friend someone would need or want. In every friendship there is always the one who does make the majority of effort.

I guess everyone has their own limitations when it comes to friendships. I’m just being honest. I love my friends and I am here for each one of them, but unless a miracle happens, where their schedule and mine are the same we aren’t going for coffee or having a girls night out. I am here to listen and not judge. I am here to pray for you and to encourage you when you are down, but other wise I suck.

So if you know me, forgive me please. I am an only child who still seeks the solitude instead of the crowds. It is my safety blanket.

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6 thoughts on “I Am a Horrible Friend”

  1. After living in South Bend for 17 years then moving back to Berrien Center, I’ve found myself struggling with keeping in touch with my friends from South Bend. I love them all but am finding myself leaning toward accepting that life happens and we do move on and I’m finding that difficult to accept. And now with the additional responsibilities here it makes it more difficult to find time. Having friends takes time and effort and I’m trying to figure out how to add that into my life.

    I do not think you are a horrible friend and please don’t say that ab0ut yourself! You are there when we need you and that is most important! Asking people to walk with you is a great idea….you get some girl time and you are both benefiting from the fresh air and exercise.

    Let’s keep positive energy around us – no negatives allowed!! I love you my friend and I think this blog is a great way not only to help others but also to do some healing yourself.

    1. Thank you, this post has been written in my head over and over and actually started at least 5 times on paper. Being that open and honest opens the door to condemnation. So I am fearful of the reaction. I am glad that you took it the way it was meant.

      I wish I could help you figure it out, because it is hard. It also doesn’t mean you don’t love the friends you had in South Bend. It just means you are in different places. Another hard fact is that it is just as easy for them to move on. A fact I learn over and over again.

  2. What papyruscharm says about accepting that life happens and moving on, that’s something I really need to work on too. For me it is hard to say but I actually don’t mind having moved on, I don’t mind that my friendships have become nothing more than Facebook updates. I am actually grateful, it is so much easier this way. I can still call them my friends and when we need each other we are absolutely there, on Facebook chat or Skype due to miles between us. But I no longer feel the need to fill their days to make them happy, to do the girly shopping which I hate. Now I am just me and I can focus on that and now my real friends are seeing that too. It is hard because some have realized I am not who they thought and others are able to see the new me with more respect because I am finally giving to myself. As for the friends I have come by since this change, they got to see the real me from the start and they ask for nothing more. I have been very fortunate in finding just a few friends, but good ones.

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