Forum Replies Created
October 4, 2019 at 5:09 pm #316135
You are earning stars for your crown.
I think that line comes from an old church hymn from the 1920’s or 30’s, but my grandmother used always say it to people like you who give selflessly of themselves to help others. You are going to have quite the dazzling tiara when you’re all done. 🙂
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thank you again for being you this week.October 4, 2019 at 4:55 pm #316131
I just wanted to write to you and say, you’re not alone in finding it difficult to make friends. I have struggled with this most of my life. I grew up with a “best friend” who lived in the house next door. We were inseparable in our youth, but eventually she moved away and I have struggled with finding another close girlfriend for decades. For a long time, I thought it was me. I never felt the ease with which some people strike up conversations or the quick wit that allowed them to make everyone laugh.
Then I got older, and wiser, and I realized a few things. First, many of the people I admired were not actually any better at making friends than I, they just lacked the energy to care as much. If I failed to get someone to like me, I saw it as a referendum on ME (my value), whereas they were like, “Meh, plenty of fish in the sea.” They cared less about the outcome, so therefore they were less afraid to venture the risk. I don’t want to say they were superficial, but in some cases they were not seeking deep friendships.
Second, I believe my experience with a childhood “best friend” of 20 years gave me a skewed perception of what adult friendships are like. Some can be deep and lasting, but I will say I have gotten used to the idea that people are meant to pass in and out of our lives. You may connect deeply but for a brief time, or you may learn a lesson from them (some good, some bad) and then you grow and change and sometimes you let go and move on. Be your OWN best friend, you will never have to say goodbye. Love yourself above all others. Look at yourself in the mirror every morning and stop seeing the flaws. Smile at yourself. See the face smiling back at you. Find the one thing you love best about that familiar face and say it out loud. “You have beautiful eyes.”
Last, whenever I start to feel lonely and really get deep in my own head, I force myself to turn my attention outward and zero in on someone I think could use a little love. Feeling unattractive? Pointedly seek out that girl you pass in class every day and tell her you love her shoes. Don’t be insincere, but it’s not hard to find something to compliment. Smile when you say it. I guarantee you she will think you’re the most beautiful person she’s seen all day. Feeling lonely? Buy that old gentleman on the bench a cup of coffee. He’ll be stunned, and you may feel awkward, but I can guarantee you will make his day.
I have come to believe that MY purpose in this life may not BE to have a lot of friends. I used to want to be that person, but fate dealt me a different hand, and I have come to see the beauty INSIDE me. No, not everyone appreciates it. Sometimes I freak people out, but I hope you know that says more about THEIR insecurities than yours.
My daughter’s name is Katie, and she’s about your age. I hope you don’t mind me reaching out to give you the same advice I would have given her. I somehow have a feeling you probably really do have beautiful eyes! 🙂
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!October 4, 2019 at 9:19 am #316017
Yes, you are right. I can’t bear to see her hurt. I am the same with my son and even my husband. I FEEL their moods. When my son has a bad day, I too feel bummed out. When my husband’s father says something nasty to him (as old people sometimes do to their children) I ache for him. When my daughter complained about how insecure the acne on her face made her feel, I recalled my own insecurities with that as a teenager. Sometimes my inability to step back from my emotional connection is almost paralyzing. I’m happiest when everyone else around me is happy. So, you are exactly correct in your assessment: I thought I was listening, but I didn’t really HEAR her.
Thank you.October 4, 2019 at 9:01 am #316015
Thank you for your response. You are correct. The man she now lives with told me, “She was afraid if she told you she planned to leave, you would try to stop her.” and she was right. I would have tried. I will admit that. Seeing her so happy now, I’m glad things turned out the way they did, but yes, at the time, not knowing him or what sort of life she was heading toward, I would most certainly have tried to talk her out of it. I think I still see her as a little girl. Perhaps she sees me more clearly than I see her?
Since she left she’s called me for help cooking, tips on how to save money at the grocery store, to get my advice on applying for jobs. In reading that sentence just now I think how fortunate I am that she values my guidance, but at the time I think it helped cement in my mind how unprepared she was to take on a life of her own. I’m laughing at myself as I sit here writing this wondering if maybe all along I’ve been thinking she needs me, when really it was I who needed her.
Oh my. :-0October 3, 2019 at 6:56 pm #315915
I just wanted to add that she returned my text this evening with a warm response and thanked me for my love and support. I’m very content with that. I hope you have a wonderful evening and I thank you again for your wisdom and perspective. Hugs to you. Goodnight.October 3, 2019 at 4:40 pm #315895
I’m so happy you are enjoying the music. It sounds like you have the perfect weather for it.
Thank you for your response. I needed a different perspective. I have only been able to see my own perceived failure as a parent, thinking she would not have gone if I’d been a better mom, and that my family is forever altered. Broken.
Shortly after she left, I said to her, “Do you have any idea what it was like for me to get that text from you?” and she said, “No. I can’t imagine, but right now I have to do what’s right for me.” At the time it sounded so selfish, but in reexamining it through the lens you have offered me, perhaps her words show a gutsy determination to be independent.
I visited her a few weeks ago and she told me the one thing she wanted from my husband and I was for us to have faith in her. I told her I would try, but I think my actions have shown her just the opposite. Yesterday I sent her a text to say I was sorry. She hasn’t responded.
I’m trying to have faith that she will reach out when she’s ready, and in the meantime, refocus my energy on what I want the next chapter of my life to look like. I want to be done grieving. I want to be able to walk through the store and see a cute Halloween decoration and not tear up thinking, ‘she would have loved that.’ That happened yesterday. My husband said, “Why don’t you buy it just because YOU like it, even if she’s not here to share it with?” I thought, ‘now why didn’t I think of that?’ 🙂
Thank you again for your response.October 2, 2019 at 4:57 pm #315649
I don’t know if it is okay for me to post this here, but here is the recording I have. Hope it works.
And yes, I need to find some balance in my life. There are reasons I’ve been away – and I’m happy to share, but I don’t know if this old thread is the appropriate place to discuss it. For now, coffee and quiet time are getting me through. I’m glad you found the same refuge!October 2, 2019 at 4:25 pm #315643
Thank you for your response. I see what you’re saying about the screen name, but I’ve decided to keep it as-is and instead add a picture to my profile for flair! 🙂 Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no? I think I was just surprised someone else came up with the same name. One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to wake early, make coffee and sit in the living room listening to the Vespers Mass by Rachmaninoff while the sun rises. It is the only time of the day I am completely free without any other demands on my time or energy. In those moments I feel calm and powerful. And then my day begins and “poof” I return to being a pumpkin. 😉October 2, 2019 at 2:30 pm #315627
Just wanted to say hello to you. I’ve been away for a long time and upon returning I see another poster is using my same screen name. I’m not sure how that is able to happen, but I will likely change mine rather than make a fuss. I hope you are well. I wanted to thank you for the advice you’ve given me in the past. Happy Wednesday. How have you been?October 2, 2019 at 12:17 pm #315609
May I ask for an update on your situation? Have you been in contact with your son since your post of 10/18/18?June 5, 2016 at 6:21 pm #106590
Hello and how are you? You’ve been in my thoughts and I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. I have a minor update on Vegas Fiend. She has given notice at work and will be gone by the end of this coming week. I just thought you’d like to know that issue sought it’s own conclusion.
However, I’m sure we can find other things to discuss and I would very much like to stay in touch with you. Hugs! 🙂May 24, 2016 at 2:03 pm #105518
Just wanted to wish you a happy Tuesday and thank you again for your fellowship last week. I want to return to our conversation, but I’ve had a little life-hiccup this week that’s going to keep me away from the keyboard a bit more than usual. Just wanted you to know you’re in my thoughts. 🙂May 20, 2016 at 4:17 pm #105213
I went back and reread your prior message and realized I didn’t fully answer your questions there. You asked why I wanted to know about your experiences and what specifically I wanted to know. You also asked if I wanted you to share in order that I could trust you more.
I asked you to share because I am interested in you, and wanted to give you a chance to speak your truth for a change. You do so much listening and offering advice to others and I think it must get tiring to be always absorbing, absorbing, absorbing, so much negativity. I remembered from another post of yours that you and your mother had a difficult relationship, and before I spilled a bunch of “mom” stuff, I sought to understand how it might impact you. When you said my prior story left you with raw emotion, I wasn’t sure you really wanted to read any more.
As for trust, you’ve made me feel quite comfortable and my reticence in sharing is only out of shame for my mother, and of course the sadness of seeing it all in undeniable black and white. I think for now we should end things on a high note for the weekend. What do you say to that?
I would just like to thank you for being you. I also want to thank you for all the wonderful, kind and genuine things you said to me and about me and for really seeing me in a way few people do. You have a true gift of insight and understanding – and you use that gift to help so selflessly. You are a beautiful person. Being in touch with you finally has been the highlight of my week.
So Happy Friday to you Anita! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I am not on the computer as much on weekends so if you don’t get an immediate response, rest assured I will be back. I hope wherever you are the sun is shining and you are at peace. Hugs! 🙂May 20, 2016 at 11:02 am #105171
I find myself almost at a loss for words – and that’s weird for me – as I normally just trust what’s in my heart and say it, sometimes in really awkward ways like: What you said to me made my heart feel puffy Anita! LOL
Normally I would be afraid of wearing the label of “gentle soul”, as it has come to be known to me as a label of weakness when said by others, and yet you made it feel okay. Thank you! So often I hear it used in terms of ‘you need to change’ or ‘toughen up’ when in fact I consider myself actually a very strong person.
But yes, I do fear. I can tell you that I’ve developed a chronic sense of perfectionism because I fear criticism so much that I just don’t ever put myself in a position where I need to be reprimanded. Luckily this is something that, just in the past few years, I’ve started letting go of a bit, but for a while it was exhausting. I feel I’m now able to say, “Hey, I dropped the ball. Sorry.” And move on. Well, sometimes I move on. LOL
As for sharing the story of my mother, OMG yes, it is painful, and I’m not sure why it is so hard for me to tell the facts as they happened – after all I didn’t make them happen – these are HER actions. But I’ve always considered my mother a paragon of perfect motherhood. I patterned myself after her. I wanted to be just like her, and when she behaved out of character, I couldn’t assign the responsibility to her – much as I couldn’t with my father. I had to come up with a plausible reason why she did what she did – something out of her control.
Of course, in the back of my brain I know the truth, but if I don’t say it I can go on pretending it isn’t real.
And I go back and read what I just wrote and think, “these are the words of someone who is completely broken,” but I don’t feel broken. I smile every day. I have a great life. I do get down now and then, but when I do I always ask myself, “Who can I help? Instead of sitting here dwelling on my sorrows, there must be someone out there hurting more than me. Who can I help?” and I’ll text a friend to wish them a good day or take someone to lunch just to perk them up.
Just last night I called my mother to check in on her and she told me how much she loves talking to me. How can you not WANT to hear that? How can you not be moved by that and want to forgive her for everything she did and let go of the past? How can you not say, “I’ve done bad things for which I would like to be forgiven. I’d like to have the chance to outrun my past. Why shouldn’t she?”
So yes, in answer to your question, I completely agree with you that sharing can be painful, and I think, in just acknowledging that you’ve told me what I need to know about your past – at least for now. I think we understand each other. ☺
More in a bit. I have a few work things I have to get done. I hope you’re having a wonderful Friday!!!May 19, 2016 at 4:31 pm #105094
Thank you for your response and for giving me permission to acknowledge what I’ve denied for so long. I know that sounds silly, but I feel that’s what you did in your response. I can remember prepping my husband to meet my father for the first time. It was the only time I think I ever categorized my father as an abuser. It hurt even then to say it, but I felt I had to warn him what he was potentially getting in to.
I have more of the story to share – the part wherein my mother ends up looking really bad – which is going to be even harder for me to write than the first part, but first I’d love to hear something about your own experiences.
Hope your walk was refreshing. I too took one during lunch today and I feel better. Write when you can, no pressure. Have a wonderful night. 🙂