1st off I would like to say, I’m not looking for pity. In fact 98% of the time I’m thrilled to not have a big circle of close friends. I give everything to the few I have, if I had more there wouldn’t be enough to go around.
That being said I know there are plenty of people out there like me who are not ok with it, this is for them:
In elementary school I lied to gain attention/friends. It didn’t work very well and I can honestly only remember 2-3 elementary level friends (k-4th.) Somewhere in there my friend Mary called me out and told me that everyone knew I was lying (how could they not my stories were outrageous) this was a VERY good thing, and she did it with as much love as and Elementary student could. It changed my path immensely, thanks Mary!
Middle school (5-6th) wasn’t bad I had a small group of friends with what might have been called the popular kids (small school here there were 3 of us) They were awesome Dale and Samantha, I owe a lot of my personality to these two honestly. Irving wasn’t bad.
Middle school part 2 was hard, VERY HARD. I moved in the middle of 6th grade and this new school was 5th-8th. I went from being a big dog to a nobody. Being the new kid made me interesting for a while but it didn’t stick long. I talk a little too much (still do) I liked to ‘1-up’ people (I dislike this trait very much now) and I had no problem saying what I believed. It got so bad in fact my parents pulled me out for my 8th grade year and homeschooled me. Away from school I was a camp directors kid and while I had full run of the place I was mostly tolerated and the main directors kids were too ‘mature for me’ (at the time, we all grew up.)
High School, home schooling might not have done much for my cool factor but it helped my self esteem a lot. I figure out who I was (book loving, hard headed, out spoken Christian who loved to play sports but wasn’t very good at them.) Starting my Freshman year felt like a fresh start to me. I had my own sense of style and while I was still picked on from time to time, it didn’t stick, it stung but then faded. I had an eclectic set of friends to say the least. A few Church friends, a few of the other ‘outcasts’ and I forged a weird bond with a few of the girls from my softball team. We were never ‘good friends’ but they tolerated me well. Until senior year, at the young age of 17 I was over the drama. I didn’t want to deal with it and I decided to duel enroll after learning I could have graduated the previous year if I had only taken my government class. It was a good year, I met Mark we started dating in December and by the time prom rolled around we knew that our relationship was leading towards marriage. This made me weird again, not that any of us knew that was the reason why, but I just couldn’t’ deal with ANY level of drama so I quit drill team (which is a shame it really was fun, I was honestly scared of being a caption, that was part of it.) I helped start and run a youth ‘hang out’ for 2 years and that is where I loved to be, a large group of other teens where I could be my full weird self and I could get along with them all, at least at a base level. I made some really amazing friends through the Fish Tank and still talk to many of them today. This is they 1st place I felt 100% at home being me .
Collage, my 1st year was in community collage living with my parents and then marriage. Once again I was weird, to young to fit in with the newlyweds at Church but married so we didn’t fit with the collage age group. We found an amazing group of older married couples to be a part of and they took us in whole heartedly even with all the love we were just ‘different’ then Mark was diagnosed with cancer. We had people who genuinely cared for us but there are boundaries that people are afraid to cross since the word Cancer was involved. We made connections back home at the Conference my parents ran and I started to feel at peace. We moved to the cities, I got a new job with some AMAZING women but by that time Mark was sick and it was hard to develop a deep relationship with anyone but those that reached out. They did though, Denise from work our small group from Church, they reached out and I finally learned to reach back. It was a great run, this was the 2nd time I felt 100% comfortable being me, then Mark passed away.
Post Mark, My friends were great, so supportive but it was never quite the same, they were all couples, I wasn’t. Once again I didn’t quite fit in. I remember 1 family having me over for dinner every Thursday (or was it Wednesday) we would eat, they put their kids to bed and we would watch Survivor. It was the only season I ever watched and I’m sure it was the best one. 🙂 Several other families reached out, I had dinners here and there but I felt like an outsider again.
Now, I’m married, have 2 kids and 3 friends I would call in an emergency. Its not because others aren’t willing, I know they are, its my comfort level. It takes so much for me to open up. I’ve been teased, torn, widowed, lost, found, loved and hated. I have learned that I’m honestly not the greatest of friends, so I want to make sure I can give to the ones I have not just take. I’ve even let go of a friend or two along the way when I realized either I wasn’t what they needed or they weren’t what I needed. Nothing against them personally, we just weren’t a match.
So here I am, a grown adult woman who still struggles with friendships, not just making them but maintaining them. I’m working on it, I WANT to be a good friend but its hard when you’ve never quite fit in.