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Really.  I have no one in my life right now that I consider close enough to call friend.  I have some acquaintances but they're very involved with their own things, etc. and that's all well and good.  It's as it should be.  But as of one week ago Wednesday I "lost" my best friend.  And it feels...sad...odd...scary...sad...

I wrote a long diary last week detailing the account of how, after nearly 17 years, I "lost" my best friend.  Here's a link if you want to trudge through details:

Letting Go of Amie?

I picked up a bug of some kind this past weekend during the great snowstorm Nemo and had a chance to reflect on everything.  Amazing the volume of thoughts you can think, and the nature of those thoughts you can have with a fever of 102, 101 - then normal.  Ha!  I was able to reaffirm that I did and said everything I could to try to help avert disaster and ruin in Amie's life over the past 10 years and by the end of the weekend, I felt at peace with myself about things.  Since I'm a God person I prayed for healing and to be able to move on.  I also prayed that Amie would get help now that she is with her family, and that she can begin to cobble the shattered pieces of her life back together when she is strong enough to do so.  That in my mind would be best done after intensive therapy but that's all I can hope or wish for her at this point.

I haven't heard from Amie.  She's not txtd or called and quite frankly I'm relieved because even though I'm at peace with myself I'm grateful for the time and strength that distance from her can and will give me.

That does leave me with the one looming issue: I have few friends right now.  Actually only one friend: my cousin.

The thing is I don't give away the title friend to anyone and everyone I come across.  I think it would be reckless to do so.  I'm pretty sure I've been that way for a long time.  In grade school, I had few friends even though I knew a ton of kids.  Same deal in high school, I had four friends but only one best friend and tons of pals.  You get the idea.  So I don't take giving that title to someone lightly.

It's hard for me to trust.  Very hard.  Based on my background of sexual, physical and emotional abuse ages 4 - 14 it's like distrust has been hardwired into my psyche.  Nine years of weekly therapy with a fantastic therapist did wonders to peel away a lot of layers and to heal me but I do think that trust might always remain a difficult thing for me to give to someone even though I've improved greatly with this concept over time.

But right now it just feels odd to have that void in my life.  And no, we weren't the type of best friends to talk or txt daily but I know with the SOTU coming up I could call or hit her up via txt about how we thought Obama did, or hashed over last night's Grammy winners and losers...[sigh]

So I feel like I'm adrift somehow, like the rooms of my home are suddenly empty.  I'm not completely alone of course.  I talk to my dad every evening after work to see how he's doing and make sure he's ok.  I email my cousin every day except for weekends. We're close and I'm glad we became friends roughly 12 years ago.  And I do have my work buddies that I chat with during the day when I have time and we occasionally have group outings that are a lot of fun.

And maybe it's just me but does it seem to get harder to make friends as you get older?  It's something you really have to work on.  It's not like when you were kids, started playing together and the next you knew, you were friends.  Or at least pals.  It's not so hard to be pals once we get older but it sure does seem to be harder to become friends.

Anyway this is just me spilling my thoughts and feelings out here.

Originally posted to Dumas EagerSeton on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:21 PM PST.

Also republished by Personal Storytellers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

    by Dumas EagerSeton on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:21:04 PM PST

  •  Put yourself where friendly people are (8+ / 0-)

    I'm assuming you want human contact,  not website approval.
    Think about where friendly people might be that are in conjunction with your interersts---then go there. Pick some kind of volunteer thing youre intersted in and do it.
    It was a lot easier when we were in school and aplaymates were available every day. Now you have to go out and look.
    Sounds like a good time to get out of your house and start letting go of the past.
     In order to get friends, act like a friend. Act friendly! If you don't know what I'm talking about, start learning.
    Good luck!

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:43:53 PM PST

    •  Thanks for your input! (0+ / 0-)
      In order to get friends, act like a friend. Act friendly! If you don't know what I'm talking about, start learning.

      "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

      by Dumas EagerSeton on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:38:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What are your free-time interests? (9+ / 0-)

    We joined a state park volunteer organization. We have joined our local Audubon group to go on hikes.

    Go volunteer someplace and do something good for others. You don't have to do it every day, but even once a month might be something.

    These activities have increased our friends.

    Maybe something like that would work for you.

    Please proceed, governor

    by Senor Unoball on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:48:40 PM PST

    •  Yes have given thought to volunteering with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball
      Go volunteer someplace and do something good for others. You don't have to do it every day, but even once a month might be something.
      my own interests in mind.

      And yes a little at a time is best.  Thanks,

      "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

      by Dumas EagerSeton on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:41:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe you need to try different churches (8+ / 0-)

    until you find one where you can trust again.  In NYC you must have many choices.  

    Pick architecturally beautiful buildings, and visit them.

    Find a volunteer opportunity that matches your skills.

    Remember the "merchandise approach" from Selling 101; " That is a beautiful scarf you have on, do you mind telling me where you got it?

    Once you start talking to someone, keep getting them to talk by being interested in them.  Accept offers to share a common interest, or even a coffee.  Offer to help.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

    by weck on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:54:21 PM PST

    •  We do, lots and lots of them. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weck
      Maybe you need to try different churches until you find one where you can trust again.  In NYC you must have many choices.  
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      DES

      "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

      by Dumas EagerSeton on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:43:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been there too (7+ / 0-)

    I've definitely gone thru long periods of longing for friendship. My job is one that sort of make me a vagabond, constant travel with like coworkers. We all have odd schedules that bring us together for a few days at a time And then we might not see each other for a decade. So making friends the traditional way when in a new place, thru work, didn't work.

    Nor did I ever live in a community where making friends was easy. Living in a big city almost makes it harder IMO since no one makes eye contact, everyone is busy, etc.

    Recently I moved to a town where it all seemed to fall into place. I'm middle aged and for the first time in my life I have girls who will call me up to go out for a drink or movie or whatever.

    Anyway I'm very sorry you feel longing for friends, because I know how it made me feel to be in that place. I'm a shy person so it was very hard for me to reach out - which I really never did. I agree with the above advice about putting yourself in places with nice people. Join groups - I actually met a lot of people when I lived in Philly by getting involved with yelp.

    Anyway good luck to you. I hope you find friendship soon.

    •  I'm glad you have some gal pals to spend time with (0+ / 0-)
      Anyway I'm very sorry you feel longing for friends, because I know how it made me feel to be in that place. I'm a shy person so it was very hard for me to reach out - which I really never did. I agree with the above advice about putting yourself in places with nice people.
      and I'm sorry you spent so much time being on your own.

      I definitely need to get back on the horse and start all over again.

      Peace,
      DES

      "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

      by Dumas EagerSeton on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:48:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not as easy as it once was (5+ / 0-)

    When I was in high school, followed by college, every class was filled with students like me.  We weren’t there to make friends.  We were there because we had to get an education.  So, we spent a lot of time around each other, whether we liked it or not.  Each semester consisted of different classes with different students, and every semester shuffled them into new classrooms.  And yet, out of that incredibly rich milieu, I had only five really good friends:  two in high school, and three in college.

    When you get out of school, that pool of friendship-possibilities shrinks to almost a handful.  At work, there are a dozen or so people you get to know, and that dozen or so is it for years.  If you take up an activity, it is optional, unlike school. So, when it doesn’t pay off right away, we tend to give up.  And when it is obvious that meeting someone, whether for love or friendship, is the main reason you are taking up that activity, it is slightly embarrassing.

    When you are young, you live at home with your parents.  And so you are willing to do anything to get out of the house, even it is just hanging out.  Making friends sometimes requires a great deal of hanging out.  But once you get your own place, staying home definitely becomes an option.  Sex drives us out into the world when we are young.  Those who marry find that marriage is isolating. Those who do not may find, especially as they get older, that it is not worth it, and so that motive for getting out among people loses its force.

    And we have to exercise more caution as we age.  When we were young, it was easy to get rid of someone, if the friendship was undesirable for some reason. We made ourselves unavailable, and the unwanted friend was quickly able to find others to be friends with, given the vast milieu that school provides. As you get older, the person you tentatively become friends with has limited options too. And so, if you decide you really do not want to be around that person very much, he is going to be a whole lot harder to get rid of without hurting his feelings. As a result, we become reluctant to start down that path of friendship in the first place.

    Finally, as we age, our capacity for friendship declines.  Just as we can no longer fall in love with the same passion as we did once, so too are we incapable making friends like the ones we made long ago.

    •  I dunno (9+ / 0-)
      our capacity for friendship declines.  Just as we can no longer fall in love with the same passion as we did once, so too are we incapable making friends like the ones we made long ago.
      I think making friends is a skill that can be improved on at any age. It takes practice but the more you do it the better you get at it. Like everything else, the first time  is the hardest, it gets easier after that.
      just becausse youre getting older and less good at everything doesn't mean its not an important skill that can be improved on.
      A lot of it is all about attitude. if you want a friend, be a friend. start by being friendly, another skill that can be improved on at any age

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:27:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You sound depressed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, marykk, Senor Unoball

      Our capacity for friendship does NOT decline. I am in my early 60s and have made some of the greatest friends I've ever had in the last five or six years. I've made a bunch of new ones just in the last couple. I meet new people all the time. In fact, I believe I am capable of making much better friends now than I was when I was younger. I am in touch with no one I went to grade school with, one person from high school whom I wasn't even friends with then, and one person from college.

      The pool is limitless, but depression can build walls that block your perception of this. PLEASE get help. You don't sound like just adding more activities will help you because of your mindset.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 07:34:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some interesting insights. What I know is true (0+ / 0-)
      It's not as easy as it once was
      about me is that my making friends chops are rusty.  But I also agree that once people are married, have families and begin to age, more responsibilities make it more challenging to have, obtain or maintain friendships.

      I guess that's some of what I was thinking about when I posted before.

      Thanks for your comments.

      "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

      by Dumas EagerSeton on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:57:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm my capacity for friendship hasn't declined (0+ / 0-)
      Finally, as we age, our capacity for friendship declines.  Just as we can no longer fall in love with the same passion as we did once, so too are we incapable making friends like the ones we made long ago
      yet - part of the reason I posted my diary in the first place because I want and need pals, chums, and a few good friends.

      I'm sorry that it seems maybe you've withdrawn a bit from the world or from the experience of being human.  Sounds like you've been hurt a lot?  Please don't give up on humankind.  Some, actually lots of people can be real stinkers and clunkers but if you look hard enough you can find some real gems.

      I'm still passionate about lots of stuff even though I smacked into this wall.  I do think it's temporary and those bruises will heal.  It's very hard for me to trust but at least I know I still can.

      Warmest wishes,
      DES

      "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

      by Dumas EagerSeton on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:07:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Volunteer At A Food bank Once A Week..... (4+ / 0-)

    You will quickly find like minded friends among the volunteers.  Some of the brightest, most compassionate, interesting people I've ever known, I met there over the last two years.

    Give it a try.  

    •  I've definitely been thinking along these lines! (0+ / 0-)
      Volunteer At A Food bank Once A Week.....
      Thanks!

      "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

      by Dumas EagerSeton on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:10:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  do you have a dog? (5+ / 0-)

    the neighbor's dog who barked at me until last week now thinks we're best friends.

    Kinda think it isn't well treated at home.

    Keeps coming over to play 'stick.'

    Not a dog owner myself.  never had one.

    it's cool though, we hang out.

    •  No but I have two kitties who are good company. (0+ / 0-)
      do you have a dog?
      But I love dogs and all animals really.

      Glad you have a four-legged friend to hang out with sometimes.  Nothing like that always-glad-to-see-you spirit they have.

      "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

      by Dumas EagerSeton on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:12:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is hard to lose a friend (6+ / 0-)

    you cannot make a true friend overnight.  It takes time and experience of being together to feel a real click as opposed to being with someone who is pleasant.  The older you are you know the longer it takes to make a new friendship, just because you have a much longer list of shit you won't put up with.

    When a friendship, for whatever reason, ends - well, it is tough.  It is a real loss.  There's the same emotions as if you had a divorce.

    But when you do meet someone with whom friendship is a good possibility, it won't be work, it will fall into place.  What the work is, is in exposing yourself to enough people so you can find the friend among the masses.

    I am going through a similar thing with a friend right now - I don't know if it can be repaired, and I also know she can't be readily replaced through someone I met last week.

    •  Well said Catesby. It is like a morphed up (0+ / 0-)
      When a friendship, for whatever reason, ends - well, it is tough.  It is a real loss.  There's the same emotions as if you had a divorce.
      divorce.  Ugh!

      What hasn't helped is that I got sick a few days after this whole thing fell apart - sort of like I fell apart, my immune system went down and bam!  Fever, flu or whatever invaded.

      Today is the first day I'm actually feeling better - including physically, even though I'm sniffling and coughing yet.  But I also feel hopeful about my future.

      I'm sorry you're going through hard times with your friends and hope things can work out for the best.

      Sending you soothing vibrations,
      DES

      "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

      by Dumas EagerSeton on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:22:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please talk to a therapist (5+ / 0-)

    Loneliness is self-perpetuating. There are loads of people all around you, but when you have built up walls and a whole series of reasons you can't access these people, you may need more help than just "go out and do things."

    I think my best friend is suffering from this syndrome, and I may have to drag her to a therapist because I can't just tell her what to do. Her father just died, and she isn't coping well, although at 92, you have to be prepared. She says she now has "no one," but seven people showed up at the hospital to be will her; a friend from church spent all day yesterday with her.

    You are never as alone as you think, but if you think you are, you may need help in building bridges.

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 07:32:00 PM PST

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