Thursday, April 23, 2009

Isolation

I am a loner at heart. I like people but I do not make friends easily and that bothers me to no end. I am afraid that I will be hurt, laughed at or ignored so I tend to hang back at the fringes of the group. I want to be friendly, to make a connection but I don't have the words. I don't know what to say or how to say it.

If I am lucky enough to make a connection I will be a loyal friend. I may not always call, social anxiety still affects me. But I will be there for you if you ever need me.

This has always bothered me but I have accepted it as fact. I am not meant to have a lot of friends. I am meant to be a lone reed, if you will.

And it really doesn't bother me. The friends I have I will cherish forever.

But then there are days, days like today, where I would give anything to have that ability to converse easily. To make friends that I can call at any time for any reason. To have that person close by (because I do have those friends who live far, far away) that I can call when times get tough. Someone to say come over, I am here for you.

Things have been rough with Bunny. We are going through a growing phase. She is testing me and I feel like I am failing. I know so many others have faced these problems. But I don't have that access to them. I don't have anyone to call and say how did you handle this.

My friends who have children do not live here. They are not SAHMs. We are not going through the same things at the same time.

And so I flounder. I try and I fail. And then I try some more. I have some success and then more failure. I cry and I laugh and then I cry some more.

I want to have the personal connection. The ability to connect with someone, to commiserate, to share stories. But I am awkward. I am all angles and sharp edges. My pieces do not fit in easily to the communal puzzle. I know that if I could just shave an edge off, I would fit in. But I don't know how. So I sit on the edges, a piece belonging to a different puzzle long lost. If there were a land of misfit toys, I would be there. The elf who wants to be a dentist, a train with square wheels, a cowboy who rides an ostrich.

And I get mad at myself for this. Its my fault. If only I could be less like myself, I could have what I want. I could have that friendship, I could be less alone.

And I know its true. How would you know how lonely and afraid I am? How would you know how much I want a friend? How would you know unless my tounge could speak the words only my fingers can say?

So every day I say, today I will try. Today I will make a connection. And every day I fail, I remain quiet. Every day my fingers type the words I cannot say.

(I worry about hitting publish here. Should I say this? I am lonley but not alone. I have support from my husband and from my family. I just miss having friends around who know what is going on. I will get through this. I will survive. And maybe just maybe I will make a new friend . . . someday.)

19 comments:

Karen said...

Oh, Renee, I hear you! I'm the same way. But, honestly, I kind of like being the lone reed with sharp edges and all...

One thing that I did when The Midge was Bunny's age was to join a music class with her and the mom's in the class kind of became my support group for times when I needed to commiserate with others. The class met once a week and then the mom's started a weekly play group as well.

I wonder if there's a small art class in your area where you might find the same camaraderie. Might be worth checking out.

Christy said...

Oh I totally relate. Joining a moms group in my area was a good thing for us, but you may not want to do that. Maybe join a class where you can have fun together - we swim on Thursdays and we both just love it. Plus it wears her out. Maybe music or dance? Or perhaps you could get out for a class in the evenings by yourself? I don't know what else to say except: I KNOW! It's hard sometimes!

amanda salmon said...

many of the things you wrote are the same way i feel. i've been in a new town for 3.5 years and the friends i made at first have either returned to work, or got put off by me (its sort of a long story, you can read about it on my blog ha ha if you're so inclined... http://amandajsalmon.blogspot.com/2008/04/im-not-looking-for-advice-maybe-little.html )

anyway, there are just those days when i feel SOOO beaten down by my kids. they just keep testing me and i keep saying no and they dont listen. no fun at all!

i have had a really hard time cuz there are so many stresses in my life (renos, DH works alot of extra time to support us, new baby, etc) and i just want friends who love me and care for me. what i have discovered is my "real friends" (as in long term ones) have not lifted a finger to help relieve this stress, its only new acquaintances or people from church that have. it makes me look at the community i'm in in a new light, but sends me into confusion over my "real friends" in a big way...

MamaCarter said...

Oh honey, I am sorry you are having a rough time right now with Bunny. I love you and wish I were there with you.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I hate to hear you sounding so sad...

And I know what you mean about feeling like you're failing. It's just so frustrating. I always call it my "poor parenting." It's riddled with inconsistent discipline and over-indulgence when it makes my life easier. I'm a mess.

I don't have that much advice for making new friends. It's harder as you get older - not so many opportunities to meet people.

I agree with the others - you may just need to find a place to meet people with common interests. Mommy groups don't really cut it because the common interest isn't lasting. Kids grow up.

EatPlayLove said...

Well, you know I have felt the same way lately. And we both decided we would be hanging out if location wasn't an issue. I hope it feels better to say it.

I agree about a moms club. Have you tried momsclub.org they have chapters all over the country, i've made some great mommy friends that way. It costs about 20 a year to join.

Kari said...

Everyone has such great advice, I'm not sure I have much more to add...except know that we've been there. I feel like that's little solace, but although you feel isolated, you are not alone.

I wish we lived closer to each other, I'd love to hang with you!

Anonymous said...

Renee......you should know that you always have me..i know that times have been rough for me lately but family will always come first. I am and will always be here for you. I will come over whenever you need me to. You are not only a sister due to marriage anymore...you are like the sister I never had.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah...and also..about bunny....just know that no matter what, she will always love you. Trust me..mine does stuff like this to me all the time..but at the moments where she wants hugs and wants mommy and those moments of little smiles and joy from her take over any moments of her acting her age..which is what Bunny is doing..she loves you unconditionally...and don't you ever think otherwise.

Z said...

Oh, I hear you on this one. Especially the "those few good call-whenever about-whatever friends I DO have are far, far away" bit - same here. I have "friends" (acquaintances) here, but my good friends are some distance away. And I want someone like that nearby, and have not been able to make a friend like that in the 5+ years I've been here.

I've got no advice re: Bunny, as I have no children of my own yet. All I have is sympathy, because I can see myself being in that exact situation, in a few years...

Rachel said...

You're NOT alone. I often feel the same way. I WANT more friends. I'm smart and fun to be around. I'm loyal and open. I just don't know where to start. I don't know where to meet others looking for friends and even if I did, I'm not sure I'd know what to say when I got there. I'm horrible at small-talk; I either clam up or divulge way too much too soon.

Being a sahm is a hard job made even harder when you have little or no support. You've got some great advice from the other ladies. I wonder if you'll be surprised at how helpful 'reaching out' through blogging is. I've "met" some amazing friends that way. I promise you that "this, too, shall pass" and I'll share something I've learned in the process of raising 4 kids. Choose your battles. We take raising our kids so seriously because we love them so much, but if it's easier (on everyone) to let some things go, or relax a bit in some areas, do that! Bunny will be fine. I know this because I can tell from this post how much you love her and how wonderful of a mommy you are!

I'm visiting from Kari's blog and I'll be back.

Griever said...

Sounds like a lot of people here care about you. I know what you feel, in some ways at least. Don't give up. What you write will help other people who need it.

Babe in Babeland said...

Hi! I like your blog. And I completely understand this post. I am very outgoing, but I also really love my alone time. And although I feel like I have a lot of friends, sometimes I do feel so alone. I think it's very normal--especially as a mother. Thanks for writing so honestly!

Kelly's Ideas said...

I feel the exact same way.. I am not an outgoing person..I'm very self conscious and it bugs the heck out of me.. My close friends are far away and it does get lonely.. I would love to have one really good friend close by.. someone who understands and loves me...so for now I will continue to go out of my comfort zone...meet people and lift people up...hoping one will see inside me too.....you are not alone..believe me..

FranticMommy said...

Mommy...you are soooo normal. With ALL of it. You and I could be the same person. In social settings, I feel akward..a complete dork. Put me on a committee or a project and I will rock it though. Parenthood: they don't come with instruction manuals and unfortunately our oldest kids always tend to be the "test mice". So, NO, we are not wrecking our kids for life. They love us with all our sharp corners and flawed edges. In their eyes, we are kings and queens. You'll be FINE Mommy!

anymommy said...

I feel like this a lot, truly, and it's always worse when the kids are tough.

You are a great mom to bunny and I absolutely know that you are handling things well...but I wish we could talk about it all over coffee tomorrow morning. I'd love that.

Eskimo Bob said...

BWM aka Renee,

Came across your blog from Underdogs'. Most folks see me as outgoing - in fact my profession demands that I am outgoing - but I am really really shy. When I am able to unwind - I really do not want to interact with other folks, well that's not really accurate - but I read your blog and understood exactly what you were blogging about.

It's nice to have the outlet of the blog isn't it?

Well - hope that the sun shines on your shoulders again soon. Looks like tomorrow may be mostly sunny so the outlook is good.

michelle said...

Renee, know that you're not alone in how you feel. Most of my friends who have stayed at home have had that very same conversation with me at some point. Maybe we need to do a girls outing soon...we haven't done one in a while so maybe we can come up with something to help you vent some of your frustrations...loud hair metal music to maybe rock out and sing your heart out to???

iMommy said...

This is so hard, because even the best bloggy friends simply aren't available when you want to call someone and chit chat (although, I would TOTALLY give you my phone number if I thought you'd call me! Seriously!!!). Even though I'm not a SAHM, and I go to an office every day, I'm the youngest one there... always getting the "you have two kids already?!" questions... and generally alone. My 'friends' from college and high school aren't even married yet, and I have a three year old.

Maybe I will send you my phone number. I mean, I can't come meet you for a cup of coffee, but there's something about a friendly phone call that can just make someone's day.