Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The other side of friendship

Sometimes friendships are easy going, and sometimes they aren't. I debated posting this journal I wrote because I don't want any hurt feelings. Then I thought most of the people I talk about don't even read my blog, but then I thought I write on this blog for me and that it's very therapeutic to be able to get my feelings out and share them. So, no hard feelings, just true and complex feelings. I will always love my friends, even during the punch-outs.
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I feel the need to write about some things going on in my network of friendships, but I also am unsure of how to phrase things in a way that is clear. I have a pretty large group of friends who are all enmeshed into each other’s lives. Most of them all grew up together here in town, and have a pretty deep connection of friendship. I, on the other hand, am the outsider. Now, I have a very close relationship with the ladies, but not so much with the guys of our group. This is understandable of course and normal; my husband is close to the guys and I’m close to the girls, but for many reasons apparently I am not close at all to one person in particular.

I feel as though I am the punching bag for this person, the go to person that will take any insult or bad attitude thrown at them. I am not important, and there for I am the one who gets spit on when the mood strikes. I can’t say that this person hasn’t been a good friend to me. But, I’ve always felt that the only reason for that was due to my relationships with those around us and of course my marriage. I know for sure I would never have been a part of this person’s life otherwise.

This round of punching is still fresh on my mind. Maybe not on anyone else’s mind, but the wound is still healing for me. I don’t think anyone really saw this round as significant, but I did. I saw the reactions of others as part of it all. How most people just brushed it off as another interaction between us, nothing significant, and nothing to be concerned about. It made me cry, it made me cry more then once, and that’s pretty significant to me. The words weren’t significant, and really not the action, but the fall out, the memories, and the lack of empathy is what made me cry. Just writing this is making me tear up, and that sucks! The knowledge that I will always be the outsider who causes conflict was really part of the emotion for me. My reaction is to defend myself, but with some thought into it I’ve decided I need to just back away for awhile. Step out of the situation, and stop interacting for awhile. No more spontaneous get-togethers for now, more planning, less interactions. Leave the situation alone; let the hurt feelings and emotions dry up; and allow time to bring our group back in agreement.

I have a difficult time with people who always see the negative side of life. Mostly because I know how hard it can be to live like that. Trust me; depression takes you deep into the negative side of life. But, I’ve always been able to look past the dark whole and see that life is better then I think. I am not depressed today, and have not been for quite a long time now. I know I am happy and that the state of my life right now is good and joyful. It won’t always be that way for me, but I will always try to see the good around the bad. For example, I remember going through my depression after Julia was born and being able to realize that life would be so much worse off if I hadn’t had her in my life.

Those people who see that dark side of life all the time really get to me, because as a person on the outside, I’m always able to look at their lives and see the bright side and the roads to it. I suppose at my age I am considered a full-fledged adult, maybe even middle-aged (NO!), and would hope that my priorities in life are pretty set up and figured out. I know for myself that most of that is true, and I will always have more to add to or others to change, but for the most part I feel like my life and my family’s life priorities are straight. But, when you’re looking at all the negative stuff in your life how are you working on those priorities? I get so sick of complaints about this or that, and how bad life is when all around you are people who love you and are there for you.

It can be hard to be the outsider in a group like my friends. As an outsider I don’t have the “family” connection with everyone. I have to earn respect and understand how to read these people a lot better then some of the others do. I suppose I also have to be nicer, more forgiving, and easy-going too. That can all be pretty difficult with such intertwined dynamics that is such our group. I hope that some day not everyone will see the conflicts I have and say, “Yeah, he really doesn’t like you.”

2 comments:

Robnlin said...

Not that this conversation ever needs to happen on your blog... but this morning my heart ached as I read your words. It hurt because I dont want you to feel like the outsider.... I want you to feel like family.. family that has a horrible step sibling that we have to deal with because we our parents have made a deal and there will never be a divorce and no matter how many miles apart we live.. we will still have to love each other forever and just remember that deep down we are all shits at times and we wish that we werent. I love you... remember that in time all things will pass. I am at fault for looking the other way.. however... I have been on the other side and have stood up for my feelings and have sat on the front porch steps of my own home and watched as everyone thought I was going crazy. Be strong friend... I will stand by you... just sometimes as your silent partner.

Rebekah said...

So who's the horrible step sibling? LOL - yeah I know!