Degrees of friendship

I’ve questioned my dysfunctional relationships with friends since I was a teenager.  As I work thru the questions, (be prepared for a long sentence) I now believe that by being an only child of older parents, who had a dysfunctional relationship with each other and expected me to be their one and only true friend, I may be on the path to discovery.

It seems I don’t end friendships they just pass on.  I’ve become friend and confident’ with more people than I care to acknowledge.  In most of these friendships, there hasn’t been a lot of give and take…or should I say, I’ve seen that they have a need, I feel their pain, I become enmeshed in their drama, I’m fulfilled because they need me and find myself once again trying to take care of them and their issues.  My emotions become overwhelmed and I feel like I”m drowning…so I slowly swim away to save myself.  While I know some of these friends like me and depend on ME, many times I am not fulfilled because there is no depth to the relationship and I don’t seek them out when I have a problem.

I’m getting it.

I have several friends that are good friends to me.  We like each other, we care about each other, if one of us is in the valley, we know that the other one will throw a rope.  We don’t have to talk on the phone, we don’t have to see each other every day…we just are.  They cross my path and I cross their path…there is a mutual friendship.

Then there is Margena and there is Kim.  Kim is the real deal.  There is no selfishness to our relationship..she knows every one of my secrets.  Margena is the longest known real deal.  Gena’s life is very difficult right now and I spend time together listening to her right now.  She’s had my back and taken care of me many times in the past.  The other day I was meeting her for dinner and she said that she wanted to meet and watch my face while I talked about my new grandson.  That was one of the most amazing things anyone has ever said to me.  It made me tear up.

I”m learning that I can have friends but I don’t have to be all up in their business and they don’t have to be all up in mine.  It is okay to have different degrees of friendship.

Until next time.

13 thoughts on “Degrees of friendship

  1. Personally I always feel like there must be a secret to friendship that I never learned. Or, you know,l ike everyone else has already chosen friends, and I am the one left over! I used to have “work” friends, but I don’t have that kind of job now. And I always worked about an hour away from where I live, so after the job ended, the work friendships faded, too. And many of the people I was closest to have died. At least I have Xanga!

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  2. That really makes sense to me. Here lately I have learned that I don’t need to know everything that is going on with my friend. I am trying to give her space and let her grow. I think it is good for us both. “Sex in the City” was a fictional show that somehow blurred the lines of what girlfriends truly are. 

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  3. @strawberryfieldsgirl – I wish I had sisters. I have sisters in law but am only somewhat close with one. You are fortunate that you are your sisters are close. Not all are. I don’t have local real life good friends. Part of my problem is that the person I most want to spend time with is Craig and he is generally a loner so I tend to be, too. I wish he and I had couple friends. Although I have to say, we had a good time when Tracy and Corey came out to visit.

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  4. @tracy – I was in a situation where someone revealed her deepest, darkest secret. I was shocked and heartbroken and angry (at the person who had wronged my friend). She later talked about the look on my face. At first every feeling I had was on my face but then I tried to pull it together. I didn’t want to fall apart in front of her because in my mind she was already dealing with so much. She read my trying to pull it together all wrong and that somehow I was closing up on her. Honestly, even if that was the case and it wasn’t, some people just aren’t as intuitive about what is the right thing to do at that moment. Doesn’t mean they don’t want to do the right thing. I can understand not trusting people because you have been hurt before and you and I both know that people will fail you but that doesn’t mean your friends want to fail you. Sometimes people don’t do the right thing because well, we are fallible and maybe not too bright. But I think there are a lot of people who love you and would like to be there for you. 

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  5. @skanickadee – I love sitting and talking too!!!  We don’t have to go anywhere as far as I’m concerned…well…except for sustenance

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  6. @Ninasusan – You know Nina, one of the reasons I am so comfortable with you is because you say what you think. I really value that in a friend. I have a hard time figuring people out and it just makes it easier when I don’t have to guess if what a person is saying is really what they are thinking.When you and the gals visit, I always feel compelled to entertain you all and take you to interesting places and I while I really enjoy that, I look forward to a visit where we sit and talk more.

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  7. That was so interesting to read. It’s great that you’re able to figure it out like that. I’m still working on it..Thank God I have sisters…There is a meme that shows some old ladies dancing around and it says something like, your friends will be there even in your old age so make sure you pick good ones…When I see that, i wonder to myself, do I have friends like that?  I’m not sure I do…it makes me kinda sad.

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  8. @skanickadee – Thank you!  You are one of those friends I put in the genuine column…that I feel I can be me and you will still like me…and…you shoot from the hip.  Knowing you is knowing you and I won’t expect to find you are a totally different person.  That is safety for me in the friends department!

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  9. @tracy – Im kind of tired of always trying to “figure it out”. But with each new thought I have about who I am, I feel like I”m a step closer!I have a history of getting a new friend and latching on so tightly I don’t feel the squeezing until I can no longer breath. 

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  10. I think the friend thing is hard to get right. I think a lot of people either lean too far to taker or giver. Too many people are takers. When you think about it, creating a friendship is creating an intimate relationship like a marriage but you have no guarantees with a friendship. You just have to trust this person and you just never know if and when they will let you down. I’m happy that you have figured out how to make it work for you. You are a very sweet and kind person Nina. You deserve happiness.

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  11. I enjoy reading about your self discovery and the process you go through to get there. I have always said that I am a horrible friend. I only want to talk to people, when I want to talk to them, and I very rarely share all of my secrets with one person. I like to split it all up amongst many. I think that the intent is to protect myself from someone really knowing me and showing their disdain. We are a particularly screwed up bunch.

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