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I am really good at meeting people I don't know. I'm a very friendly person, even to people I do know. I tend to have a point though were I want to stop being friends with someone, stop going to a certain fuction, and then not bonding with people. I withdraw and like drop off the planet. It is very hard for me to maintain a steady relationship people and calling them, getting together, etc. I don't know why. I feel so strange. Any ideas? I do have depression issues, and didn't have a horrible childhood or anything. THanks!
Alison
 

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Alison, I replied to your other post as I can relate a bit I think to what you are saying. It can be hard to feel comfortable with people, I have been withdrawn for large chunks of my life and don't like being around lots of people i.e large crowds, I think I just felt rejected through life ,my mother abandoned me as a baby and it hurt for long time. We are all different and I personally like a lot of time on my own,but I made the effort since becoming a parent to keep good solid bonds with good friends whom my life would be sad without. I feel lots of folk these days are quite selfish and not very caring and so I have learnt to avoid these and enjoy quality time with quality people who actually care about me and themselves, not just trying to rip me off. Maybe you are going through some kinda change in your life where you need some time to yourself to remember who you are and what you might like out of life cos raising kids takes up so much of our energy,it's a full time job, it's soo hard to get time to just be and dream and create.Also I feel unresolved issues remain that way and at some point it is necessary to face these to continue on your path. All the best,Mary
 

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I just posted a thread called "isolating mom with social youngerster" that seems related to this post in some ways. I, too, can turn on the charm and build social relationships when I am really motivated to do so. Despite my depression, I have been able to function at work (before becoming a SAHM) and appear "normal". But I feel a great divide from other people. Most relationships with friends/acquaintances end up feeling hollow - like I can't really get any needs met in the relationship. I sometimes just don't feel interested in other people. I often end up harbouring anger at people, just for being human and having normal faults that I hate in myself or that I find dissappointing.

I have been in therapy for YEARS! I take anti-depressants. Not much has changed in regards to my relationships with others. I still feel isolated. It is a mixed experience. Part of me chooses to steer clear of others - forecasting dissappointment, rejection, poor boundaries or some other losing experience in advance of really getting to know them. Another part of me feels easily slighted because others aren't drawn to me - surprise, surprise- becuase they received my "LEAVE ME ALONE" message loud and clear.

I am interested to know how your parenting has been affected by this behaviour? Do you feel guilty about it in relation to raising your kids?
 

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Sandy and Alison--

I do know where you're coming from.. what you wrote really resonated with me, and I think what I've realized is that my son (16 months) will be okay whether I have a bustling social life or none at all. It's our relationship with eachother that really is the core, and I have met a few mums of teenagers who say, you know what? They're only little and with you for a few years (how old are your kids?), so keep them close, don't worry about 'socializing' them-- they'll go to school or out in the world soon enough and will want to be with friends.. I comfort myself on those days when I really don't want to be out there or when I just feel friendless, by spending some good quality time with Andraeus around the house. THat is HIS reality, I am the most important person in his life right now, and so what if we're not out chatting with the world! I don't think he cares, to be honest. That probably sounds harsher than I mean it to... I'm trying to say...
One major thing that I realized about myself through the whole post-partum mood thing is that I had trouble bonding with people partly because I was not trusting my instincts about who was a good person for me to be friends with and who was too much work or toxic to be around. I tended to choose the 'wrong' people a lot! I heard something once that you should part from a friend feeling better than you did before, and I believe that for the most part. THe other thing is that I WASN'T LETTING PEOPLE IN. That is, the 'right' people, when you meet them, will listen to you talk about depression, or low self-esteem, or whatever, and then they'll make you a sandwich or a cup of tea, and relate their own experiences, or just let you keep talking as they nod and listen supportively. I have found that it's a flip-flop process, where you have to first be open to meeting those people, then trusting your gut feeling when you meet them, and just feeling it out. You won't be able to bond with everyone--- Oprah magazine had a great article about girlfriends, and how each one you have is there for different reasons, and not one can be or do everything for you. I was putting all my eggs in that basket for years! Hoping that I'd meet THAT woman who would just be my best friend and we'd laugh like sisters, but it's like finding your partner-- if you're too focussed on finding him, you might not.
And you know what? I always kicked myself after and during conversations with other women because I thought "I'm saying dumb things, they don't get me, they're bored" and the faster I've learned to tell the truth to people, the more amazed I am that my guesses were often totally wrong. They'll say "No way! I'm totally in to what you're saying! I was just thinking, did I leave the stove on?" and stuff like that. And then that brings us a little closer, because often THEY feel a relief that they can be honest as well///

Does that help?

Erin
 

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Finding this thread is awesome. I thought I was the only one who felt like this. I have one good friend who lives states away now. We recently moved (two weeks after our first son was born) and I/we have been holed up the few months since. I have loved the time we've spent together, but family members (MIL, cough) keep telling me I need to get out and make friends. Okay, first of all, I am not 'built' that way to just go initiate. Secondly, I/we don't get out of bed most days til 11 or noon and emerge with a scant 3 or 4 hours sleep (feels like it anyhow). Without a good night's sleep, I just don't feel confident enough to engage anyway.

I guess I'm looking for permission to be a homebody. A great number of 'friends' exhausts me - I just can't keep up, then when I fail I berate myself 'cause I just can't do/get it. Nasty cycle.

I do worry about my son, though, b/c I don't want him to be like this.
 
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