Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Vulnerability

So, I've never been one of the popular kids in school. In my German high school I was one of the less liked people with only one actual real friend. I remember trying to fit in with the cool kids. And they would have me long enough to extract information from me, that they could later use against me. 
Then I became an exchange student. I went to the US, and I realized that the gap between cool kids and us regular folk is even bigger. The cool kids were the football players and cheerleaders, and my high school had a great drama department, so actors were also wildly popular. Once again, I ended up hanging out with the oddballs of the school. One of my friends was a guy named Jorma. He had hair to his butt and drew comic book creatures in his notebooks. He lived with his uncle and had the weirdest stories to share. The other people I hung out with were mostly other exchange students, those, who like me just couldn't make it into the cliques of cool kids.

Over the years, I tried to make friends. Heck, making friends seems to be the story of my life. They can write it on my tomb stone someday. RIP after a lifetime of "trying" to make friends. To be fair, I did make some really wonderful friends. I have three friends today, whom I consider to be the most beautiful people, and I really hope we will be friends for life. I would do anything for these women. 

But I have also lost a lot of friends. And here's the weird thing... most of them just kind of left. They're not gone. They are just not interested in being my friends. And I find that I'm hurt by this. I'm connected to some of them on Facebook. Recently I saw pictures of such a friend with another friend who also just kind of left. The two just totally hit it off. They have become close friends. And neither has an interest in being my friend. No reason. No fights, arguments, or bad feelings... none that I'm aware of anyway. They just don't want to be with me. Maybe the internet, maybe the transparency of it all make it that much more obvious. Maybe, if it wasn't for Facebook, I wouldn't know and wouldn't care. But as it is, I'm just hurt, because at least one of them I really liked, and I still do actually.

A few years ago, I had a friend. She and I met through a MOMS Club activity. We were the only two people showing up for it. We sat for hours and talked. And soon she became the person I talked to about everything. Our families clicked. We had a really good thing going. Then the end of the school year approached. I had a few busy weeks, and we talked a bit less. One day she told me that she was done with me. She no longer wanted my friendship. And she NEVER offered an explanation why. As much as I tried to understand, and I even went to her house for a conversation to clear the air, I had already lost her. No explanation offered... ever. I'm still sad about that to this day.

As far as the cool people go, they still exist in my world. How silly is that? I'm almost 40! Shouldn't I be done with this? I was told by someone that I was imagining things. It was one of the "cool kids" who said this. I honestly don't think she knows that she is part of the cool kids group. Maybe you just don't know when you're in? Let me tell you, though... you do know when you're out. Once again, you learn about it on Facebook. You hear about gatherings, that you were not invited for. You see pictures, you hear conversations. No, I still have not made it into the cool kids group, and I'm sad that I'm still trying. I could just let it go. To hell with cool kids. I don't need to be a cool kid. If only there wasn't this nagging feeling, that I'm missing out. 

And you know what, it's happening to my children, too. Neither of them belong with the cool kids. One of them has been trying for well over a year. It's not that her "friends" aren't nice to her, but she is not part of that oh so cool clique, and I have seen many bitter tears. Good grief, my kids are homeschooled, partly because I was hoping to avoid just that. How is it, that I now have to watch this with an achy heart? And yes, in her case Facebook and Instagram were also the places where she found out. Big gatherings of kids. All of her friends together... without her. Yes, this hurts. 
My youngest tried just twice. Each time he was tossed aside just like that. Both times the kids acted in the most rude ways you can imagine. He has not tried since. He has his online friends, and he has his best friend... He's satisfied with that. Breaks my heart, that among homeschoolers the same shit is happening as in any old school. I had no expected that. 

Recently, I reached out to a family to get our two families together. I did this mostly for my husband, because he likes the dad. My daughter and one of their daughters have never really clicked, but countless months after their last pissy argument it seemed to me like all was well. My daughter has only spoken kindly of the other girl. The mom took a long time to get back to me about getting the families together and suggested to only get us parents together, so as not to disrespect her daughter's feelings towards mine. I was in shock, I will admit. Wow, she must really hate my child a lot, if she cannot handle a dinner at our house. 
Well, no use to force her. I wouldn't want to be forced to hang out with people I don't like. But then, I am known to repair and repair and repair. I always try to better myself, and I am always (ALWAYS) willing to start over. Okay, so that's not true. There is someone in my life that I am no longer willing to start over with. But, I can still be friendly. A get together in a large group will not be a reason for me not to go for fear of meeting this person. 
I guess, what my real worry is, is that this girl is, you guessed it, part of the cool kids group. And with her strong dislike towards my daughter, what might be the consequences? I don't know. Maybe I'm overthinking this whole thing. 

Yes, this whole friendship thing has left me deeply vulnerable. I worry about people not wanting to be my friends. I think that something is wrong with me, if I am so very unlikable. I sometimes wish I was more like a guy. If he makes a friend, great... if not, oh well. Nothing to it. Clearly the other person's loss. I wish, I could say this, too. But then something happens... like a new person will enter my community. Someone I really like, someone I think they could become my friend. And the weeks and months go by, and my efforts kind of just go unnoticed... meetings for tea or coffee keep getting cancelled. And after a while, I see these new people together with other people... the very same people I had hoped to be friends with years before and never managed to do it. And they tell me that they are great buddies now, and they work out together, and they tell each other stuff... and they have little inside jokes only they understand. Yes, I have an achy heart because of this. Not that anyone will ever know... because I also own a mask with a smile. 

2 comments:

  1. Kudos to you, for posting.
    Hitting a spot there....

    But you know the funny thing? Well, maybe not funny?
    I don't know you too well, mainly online, but to me, it always looks like you are one of the cool kids. Oh my, what does this makes me? I don't even want to think about it.

    I (most of the time) found my peace, but I ache for my children, and this is even worse.
    I ache for my oldest daughter who had trouble finding friends after she had to change schools after the first semester. Even she knew a lot of kids there, she found only one friend and this was not even a real friend. And now, she's an exchange student for a year. Having friends, belonging to a group, maybe not the cool kids, but apparently there are no cool kids, the whole class is friends. Well I guess she belongs to the cool kids now, because she's not aware of it. :-)
    But I ache, knowing it's only one year and she's already dreading coming back and loosing what she had in Germany, knowing what could be and coming back to her school with no friends.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't think I can really offer much that isn't insensitive...and what I mean by that is that I am also not a cool kid and I don't have a lot of friends but I don't care either...hearing that doesn't really help much I know and I don't mean to say for a second, "just get over it". I don't know how to offer anything to make your situation any different though. It is prob esp tough on kids and that really sucks. I am so thankful that my kids don't seem to be bothered by it much either...they each have a few friends but not a lot and def not the cool kids. As I said, I can't offer much other than to say sorry you all are going through this. Hang in there and cherish the friends you do have...

    ReplyDelete