I don’t have a whole lot of friends. Those I have I want to keep, but I lack a really good friend, you know, a bestie. My life has run a course that seems to have made me isolated and seemingly introverted when actually I crave people. I crave contact. I’ve always been good at making friends, being kind, thoughtful and usually selfless, but I lack the ability to keep friends.
Two lessons I’ve learned in therapy (still having trouble accepting one of them) are 1, I can’t control other people and 2, it probably isn’t because of me. These lessons are a little difficult to jive together. I accepted the other day I’m a manipulative and controlling person, part of my codependency, because I have this vision of how things should be and I try to cajole people into doing the things I think they should be doing. Awareness of this is a huge step towards stopping this. I like to think I’ll have a better life, better friendships and longer lasting ones if I just let people be themselves and do what they do.
Now for the second thing, I’ll give an example, in 2014 I invited a couple over for dinner. I was going to cook for them, and then hopefully play Cards Against Humanity, which this event is the reason I bought the deck. I set a date and time, but the couple didn’t respond if they could attend, actually they didn’t respond for days. I took this extremely personally, as in what did I do that caused them not to want to come over for dinner, but to give me the silent treatment. My counselor said she would’ve never thought that way, she said she would have thought what was with them that caused them not to come over for dinner.
Of course now looking at my opening paragraph I sound like a victim and that is another thing is to get out of the victim role and accept my own actions, the role I’ve played all these years in why I don’t have many friends. When I was a kid, I really didn’t have much control because we moved around so much, but in the last 15 years, mea culpa.
I have high expectations of people, of how I think they should treat me, which I’ve mentioned this before and I need to clear out those expectations because people never meet them and I get depressed and resentful and I feel like they shouldn’t be my friend anymore.
Recently I had to end a friendship and I feel I had one ended with me. I had a toxic friendship and others had noticed how being his friend, and shouldering his problems was affecting me. I had more than one person, even outside of my family tell me I needed to end this friendship, but he was the closest I’d ever come to having a bestie in years. It was hard cause I cared, I still care, even still worry about him and still think about him. What made the relationship toxic? Well, I’ve been suicidal for months, and it is morally right to talk someone out of suicide but it is really hard, when you want to die too. He told me one night: “We should do it together.” I actually stayed his friend for weeks afterwards, even through my hospitalization, and it was a week ago I told him for my mental and emotional health we couldn’t be friends. He said he understood and I told him goodbye.
The friendship that I feel was ended with me is due to the person I considered my friend, has not been responding to me. I’ve since stopped contacting them, and accepted the friendship may be over, but it is again, hard. I had just recently started to consider this person a friend. I’ve known him for almost a year, but with a lot of relationships I have, I don’t immediately consider someone my friend. I will miss him, he gave good hugs, had a great sense of humor, and a smile that was contagious. I spent a lot of time crying to him. Like my toxic friend, he’ll always have a place in my heart and if I’m lucky enough to have him contact me down the road, years later, I’ll be most excited and thrilled to make his acquaintance once again.