Recently I was talking to a friend about Punkin and her seeming lack of social skills and her self-reported lack of friends at school. "I just don't think she knows how to be friends" I said. I've watched her interact with kids in our neighborhood and she just seems...lost.
And I realized over the weekend that the apple truly doesn't fall far from the tree. I don't know how to be friends either. I mean, I DO, but I don't feel like I'm good at it.
There have been some times when my feelings have been hurt when I wasn't included in something. I was talking to Mr. Daddy about it and he said "Well, you haven't really been making any effort. YOU don't reach out to THEM." And I realized he was right.
I think some of it goes back to some events in elementary and middle school when a group of girls was mean to me. That was one of the most painful periods of my life and I think has led to a continued distrust of most females. It's very difficult for me to let my guard down and be friendly. I always wonder in the back of my mind, "Do they really like me?" You'd think after 20+ years I'd be able to let that stuff go. Not so much, as it turns out.
But I was also never one to talk on the phone as a teenager. I never asked for a phone in my room. If my friends called, I'd chat for a moment and then say "I gotta go." I was always comfortable spending time alone (except for that brief period in college to which we will not refer at this time. ahem.)
I don't know what it is. I just get home from work and sort of cocoon into my family. I think this has been made worse recently by the fact that I'm tired and overwhelmed with work and all of my responsibilities. I've been working on learning to say no and some of the pressure feels like it's lessening.
This is not to say that I don't have friends. I do. But as I texted back to a friend the other day, I just feel like I haven't been a very good one. And to all those people who are my friends, this time that old cliché is true. It's not you. It's me.
1 year ago