I have never been good at keeping friends.
I’m neurotic and anxious and get caught up in whatever is in front of me, often to the detriment of those closest to me, especially if they’re not right in front of me.
If I were to try to psycho-analyze myself, this could be from a whole plethora of reasons:
- Parents. My parents were socially awkward and my mother had panic attacks about even what other family members thought. This meant that I asked for glasses of water even at relatives houses and never really could ‘make myself at home’ no matter how kind and inviting the host. I thought I was being polite, but I came across as aloof and cold to people who didn’t share those same rigid social expectations.
- Old-Soul. I spent most of my time with adults and had trouble relating to kids my own age. As a child of divorce, I lived with my mother’s side of the family. There, I was often around my mother and step-father’s friends, especially for weekend camping trips or dog shows. Every so often there was a child my own age, but they were few and far between and often had their own siblings or friends to cling to. I was the youngest for a good 10 or so years at my mother’s family gatherings, the nearest in age being 10+ years older than myself.
- Compartmentalization. When your parents are divorced, you put a lot of your feelings in boxes. Boxes that can never touch or mix or things start to get complicated. Complicated means painful. I still remember being chastised for making my mother cry during one such exchange, when they had to drag my toddler self kicking and screaming, choking on sobs about how I didn’t want to leave my dad and I hated my mom. I did some variation of this heart-break no matter which family I was being passed to. As I got older, I tried my best to make both sides feel wanted, often by living in the moment and ignoring the other side existed. I was two very different people depending on which life I happened to step in that day.
- Decisions. – I’m an introverted, flaky, indecisive person. Period. Sure, I’ve gotten better at making choices in my 29 years of existence, but a good day of decision making for me is being able to firmly tell my friends “I would rather not eat pizza. Let’s go for Thai.” Heaven forbid they resist and try to force on the pizza. If it’s a bad day, I’ll cave and pretend I always loved pizza; on a good day, I might push my preference one more time before ordering drinks and an appetizer instead of pizza. A bad day in decision making, is all the friend’s whose birthday’s or parties I’ve missed either because I’ve forgotten completely or my anxiety kept me making excuses to stay home.
- History. I have a terrible track record for friends. Friends moved out of state and we didn’t keep in touch. Sudden fall outs where things were grand and then the next day I was wondering why the hell I was a villain. Vicious fights that left me bitter and feeling maybe I just couldn’t get along with women. Betrayal, as I felt I kept choosing friends who liked me only as long as I was a sycophant, but tossed me aside if I ever differed in opinions.
But, for whatever the reason (and something I don’t plan on analyzing right now), I’ve managed to be friends with two lovely ladies for almost 10 years now. We’ve had our share of fights and frustrations, anxious days and awesome days, destructive and constructive behaviors.
I don’t know how I’ve changed as a person (if at all) so that suddenly friendship is working. Maybe I met these two when I was finally free to be myself and not trying to be someone I’m not. Maybe they are just incredibly insightful and forgiving. Perhaps, we’re all just the right amount of crazy to get along.
Whatever it is, I am incredibly lucky and thankful.
To them, I promise some more blog appropriate posts (less mushy awkwardness) in the future, but for now, I just wanted to start off with a big THANK YOU! ❤