Have Always Felt Alone, no community...now it is affecting my child - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 41 Old 04-24-2010, 01:09 AM
 
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i am really sorry. i haven't had a close friend for something like 8 years now. i have done everything suggested here to meet people, and although i know dozens of women in town, well we are casual acquaintances and things never seem to go beyond that.

it is hard when it comes to the kids. i do feel sad for my kids sometimes that we don't know people to invite over to have a bbq and hang out with the kids. it doesn't seem to bother them as much as me, but they do get lonely and that is when i feel really badly.

i have no friends to celebrate my ups with and share my downs with. it does get pretty lonely at times. i've just come to learn to live with it i guess.

i wish i had more i could offer to you.

Midwifery student , Mama to my 4 amazing kids. treehugger.gif

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#32 of 41 Old 04-24-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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It's great that you recognize you have a problem. You should work to fix this to provide a better example for your kids. Do you want them to be friendless all their lives, too? I know that sounds harsh but there's a reason people say "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree".


Volunteer. Join a group. Start a group. Use Meetup or Meetin. If you like god, try a church. People are out there. They aren't all scary and horrible. After you've met someone a few times, have them over for tea. Or dinner. Get invited to their home. Go.. and bring a bunch of flowers. Yes, you may make a mistake or two but life is messy. You and your kids will both learn from the process.

Good luck.
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#33 of 41 Old 04-26-2010, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that sounds harsh but there's a reason people say "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree".


Volunteer. Join a group. Start a group. Use Meetup or Meetin. If you like god, try a church. People are out there. They aren't all scary and horrible.
Thanks, but honestly I don't believe everyone is scary and horrible. I just personally have a hard time trusting (probably with very good reason). I know for a fact that I'm a good friend. I'm not needy...I don't call at all hours of the night...I don't expect undivided attention...I am happy to hang out at home...I'm also happy to go out without kids...I am enthusiastic about new things...I am very thoughful...I don't ask for favours (basically rarely need any), yet I'm very happy to help out (ex: babysitting, cat sitting, a ride). Yet, in the past, I have had several friends fall away for stupid reasons (I don't feel like boring anyone with it all, but trust me...it isn't anything that I do...it is just life circumstances and they don't put any effort into remaining friends). That's where the trust issue comes in...I feel like I put forth a lot of effort in cultivating this relationship, and as soon as it is no longer easy for whatever reason (if someone is getting divorced, or if they move a little further away, or we no longer see each other daily), they are willing to just let our friendship die.

I do actually have acquaintances. But I would also like 2 or 3 good friends. THAT is the part that is hard to find. A lot of people (in my experience) aren't really looking for new friends...their lives are busy and they already have plenty of friends and acquaintances.

I work from home, so I don't have co-workers. And I actually have volunteered before before-child, and I didn't meet any real friends there. I made a group but nobody joined. I don't like church. LOL I'm a lost cause I suppose.
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#34 of 41 Old 04-26-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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I hear what you are saying. I've lived where I live for 7 years and am just now starting to feel like maybe I might have a few friends. There are a lot of acquaintances in my life that some might call friends, but I mean close friends.

Anyway, part of what you said about your relationships with others resonates with me. It is something I have dealt with in the past (but not particularly conquered). A friendship is full of give and take, and if you are the one always giving it isn't as deep of a friendship as you think/thought. I remember in jr high/high school having long time friends drift away and trying to talk to them about it and anyway, what they told me was that I didn't seem to NEED them and that I also would not stand up for myself and they were tired of me being so "nice". I thought that was stupid - why would you not want your friend to be nice? - but hearing what you are saying and looking back I think I do understand. A friendship is give and take. It is ups and downs. It ebbs and flows. We can't just hold on to the past friendship and keep it the same forever, even if we want. And if we are building friendships with people where we are only giving it doesn't really build the intimacy of them feeling like they are a contributing friend.

HTH

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#35 of 41 Old 04-30-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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In all you've written in this thread I haven't seen where you responded to what your DD is interested in. What are her interests? Is it possible that through pursuing her interests and facilitating her doing things SHE is interested in, you might meet more moms of 7 yr old DDs? That just seems like a really obvious route to try from all I've read here.

Also, maybe it's time for you to contact a couple of your old friends who have drifted away and ask them why they drifted away. You sound like you really really want to resolve this issue or figure it out, and the best way to find out what's happening in your relationships is to ask someone who's been in a friendship with you.

Can you do that, and do you think you can handle any feedback you get? It really requires you being ready and open to hearing honest feedback (although in the end maybe it isn't even about you, maybe none of those friends really perceived your friendship as over... you never know how other people see things until you ask.)

What do you think?
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#36 of 41 Old 05-01-2010, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In all you've written in this thread I haven't seen where you responded to what your DD is interested in.
She loves art. And colouring. And swimming. None of those things really make it easy to meet other people. She does all this stuff, but we've never met anyone through it. I was thinking I'd try to put together an "art club" (or something) for the summer. Probably will be a bit difficult considering I don't know anyone but I'll give it a shot.

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maybe none of those friends really perceived your friendship as over
This is very likely true. There are never fights or drama. Just drifting apart. But the thing is that the people I care about always seem to drift away. I mean literally ALWAYS. I don't have a single friend from my childhood. Or highschool. Or twenties. They are all *poof* gone. Even though, at one time, we were very close. I know life happens. I just don't understand how all these other people seem to have strong life-long friendships. With ebb and flow, they are suppose to eventually come back, right? Well they never do. And in the day of email and facebook, there really isn't much excuse for not trying to stay in touch, even if life gets busy. I am really easy to find. Like I said before, I'm just not pushy and I tend to be shy especially when I start feeling like the other person is losing interest. So even though I don't want them to drift away, I won't actively try to stop them. I will still call to ask if they can meet next week for coffee, or leave them an email saying hi. But once they start drifting, they no longer put effort into keeping in touch.
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#37 of 41 Old 05-01-2010, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Coming at this a bit from the other side:

OP, you say you aren't "needy," but your friend (and other people you've mentioned the "I like to only have a few close friends" thing to") could very well think you're going to depend on them for *everything* since you have so few friends.

One or two friends *don't* have to be everything to you. There can be other moms you chat with on the sidelines of the playground or your kids' sporting events. You can have book club, church, whatever friends. You *can* have a few close friends, but also be friends with other folks. Maybe you only see them at church or whatever, but does having other friends dilute the close friendships? Absolutely not! I have a dear friend who is of a different political persuasion. We skip the politics and still have plenty to talk about. I get my fill of political talk other places.

I do have acquaintances, but I don't really consider them friends. And when I have a couple of very close friends, I don't rely on them for everything. Not at all. When I mentioned that, I just was referring to this: when my friend and I go out with the kids to the park, she will inevitably start chatting with someone who has a baby the same age (just a few casual comments). Before long, they are trading phone numbers since the kids seem to play well together (and this has taken up 30 minutes...I don't have a baby this age, so I'm really just a third wheel in this conversation). Then the next week when I ask if she wants to meet for coffee on Tuesday morning, she can't because she's going to the library with this woman from the park (or whatever). That's just one example...it is like she's trying to build a huge army of "friends" (or friendly acquaintances I guess), but basically her real friends get squeezed out because there is only so much time in a day.
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#38 of 41 Old 05-01-2010, 04:46 AM
 
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I think the problem with the whole thing about people seeing you as needy for only having a friend or two is that many people naturally fall into best friend relationships, and they don't seem to consider each other needy. They call each other up and ask each other for favors and such, and it's not weird because they have that kind of relationship. So when you think you are getting a friend where you finally feel comfortable calling her up or asking her to do things with you, and then as soon as you start moving it to that level, the other person just drifts away and always has an excuse not to do anything with you, you feel like you've wasted your time trying to cultivate that friendship in the first place. And it's very frustrating, and you get to a point where if it happens all the time, you realize that you are just never going to have any good friends that you can call up to go for coffee or see a movie.

I have a lot of acquaintances, I just don't have any true friends. I have one friend from college, but he lives far away, on the East coast and I live on the west. We mostly talk via telephone or through World of Warcraft chat.

My daughter has her own friends through school and activities. I volunteer and go to church and am in choirs because I can see and chat with the same people on a regular basis and it feels like having friends. But unless I move back to Virginia, I'll never have anyone to hang out with and do fun things. So I feel for you!
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#39 of 41 Old 05-01-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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My mom is very introverted, shy and serious. (I'm introverted but not shy at all) And she was a single mom who struggled to make ends meet. What she did was find a Girl Scout troop. Once I started she became a co-leader. She didn't have to be the one to "lead" she let the more extroverted leaders do that. But she was really good at planning crafts and gathering the materials and thinking things up and doing support work. It was positive in so many ways. I think it took a while for her to become friends with the other leaders, but twenty-five years later she is meeting up with one of them this summer for a grandma getaway. I got to do stuff we never could have afforded to do and my mom and sister where always there. Of course in Girl Scouts I had a community of girls just my age and my mom made friends too. She still doesn't have a ton of friends but she has a few and we definitely had community during my childhood. I think Girl Scouts still attract strong, interesting, community-minded inclusive women (judging from the girls and moms who I've met in my area) There were always a couple of home-schooled girls in my troop. There is a version of Girl Scouts in Canada, right?

Oh, and I know this may not be popular on MDC (or it may be common,who knows), but you don't actually have to be like-minded to be close, bonded friends. I have a lot of friends and none are really like-minded. They must be at some core, metaphysical level, but they don't raise their kids like I do, have the same spiritual beliefs that I do or eat like I do. Or they have one of those things in common and not the rest. Those external things are not the best way to connect with people on a deeper level. I come here to get like-minded opinions AND encounter people I disagree with, I try to be pleasant and supportive with my friends (yes, this used to be hard for me )

Remember too, that it is normal to have just 2 or 3 good friends. It took me a long time to realize that I could have acquaintance friends that I could call and meet for a quick coffee. My two oldest and closest friends are flaky and hard to get a hold of for a long time that meant I didn't consider them my close friends, or I was sad about it a lot. But I can leave either one a message that I'm going through something serious and she will call me back. Oh, and they both became less flaky when I chilled-out and backed off....And I'll realize that I have a bunch of reliable people I would never discuss such a personal issue with. For a long time I would consider a person's reliability level as a gauge of our friendship level, but I don't now and I enjoy all my friends a lot more.
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#40 of 41 Old 05-01-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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My mom is very introverted, shy and serious. (I'm introverted but not shy at all) And she was a single mom who struggled to make ends meet. What she did was find a Girl Scout troop. Once I started she became a co-leader. She didn't have to be the one to "lead" she let the more extroverted leaders do that. But she was really good at planning crafts and gathering the materials and thinking things up and doing support work. It was positive in so many ways. I think it took a while for her to become friends with the other leaders, but twenty-five years later she is meeting up with one of them this summer for a grandma getaway. I got to do stuff we never could have afforded to do and my mom and sister where always there. Of course in Girl Scouts I had a community of girls just my age and my mom made friends too. She still doesn't have a ton of friends but she has a few and we definitely had community during my childhood. I think Girl Scouts still attract strong, interesting, community-minded inclusive women (judging from the girls and moms who I've met in my area) There were always a couple of home-schooled girls in my troop. There is a version of Girl Scouts in Canada, right?

Oh, and I know this may not be popular on MDC (or it may be common,who knows), but you don't actually have to be like-minded to be close, bonded friends. I have a lot of friends and none are really like-minded. They must be at some core, metaphysical level, but they don't raise their kids like I do, have the same spiritual beliefs that I do or eat like I do. Or they have one of those things in common and not the rest. Those external things are not the best way to connect with people on a deeper level. I come here to get like-minded opinions AND encounter people I disagree with, I try to be pleasant and supportive with my friends (yes, this used to be hard for me )

Remember too, that it is normal to have just 2 or 3 good friends. It took me a long time to realize that I could have acquaintance friends that I could call and meet for a quick coffee. My two oldest and closest friends are flaky and hard to get a hold of for a long time that meant I didn't consider them my close friends, or I was sad about it a lot. But I can leave either one a message that I'm going through something serious and she will call me back. Oh, and they both became less flaky when I chilled-out and backed off....And I'll realize that I have a bunch of reliable people I would never discuss such a personal issue with. For a long time I would consider a person's reliability level as a gauge of our friendship level, but I don't now and I enjoy all my friends a lot more.
YES to all this.
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#41 of 41 Old 05-01-2010, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So when you think you are getting a friend where you finally feel comfortable calling her up or asking her to do things with you, and then as soon as you start moving it to that level, the other person just drifts away and always has an excuse not to do anything with you, you feel like you've wasted your time trying to cultivate that friendship in the first place. And it's very frustrating, and you get to a point where if it happens all the time, you realize that you are just never going to have any good friends that you can call up to go for coffee or see a movie.
Right, exactly. I do spend a lot of time cultivating relationships before I get to the point where I feel comfortable and trust the other person. For me, it takes quite some time before it moves beyond casual "lets meet for coffee" acquaintance-type friends to someone I really care about and feel relaxed just hanging out with. And it feels so good to actually get to that point. So it is totally frustrating when that person who I care about and trust then starts to drift away. When there isn't an equal give-and-take in the relationship (both of us calling periodically to check in, both of us setting up times to hang out, etc) I start to feel uncomfortable. Like maybe she's over me (I'm boring, I annoyed her, she's busy with other friends). So I tend to still check in causally here and there, and I wait and hope she'll show me a sign that she still wants to be my friend (emails me to meet up, for example). If that never happens, I might ask her what's up, but I won't push if she brushes me off ("oh, I'm just so busy right now"). But inside I feel really, really hurt and I just let the relationship go. And so does she. Which ends up making me feel like something is completely wrong with me.

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There is a version of Girl Scouts in Canada, right?

Yes, thanks, I have left my information for a call-back.
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