Wednesday, January 27, 2010


A lot of things have changed in my life in recent history. Least of which have been several friendships.

You could say I really noticed the trend just over a year ago with someone I met on a homebirth message board. She moved to my city, I showed her around our town, hung out with her and her kids and then had to distance myself as she got more and more brainwashed by a "church" (cult) here. It really hurt to do it, but I realized things were getting really bad when I started keeping a mental list of safe conversation topics in my head--I was tired of her trying to convert me so I tried to stay away from controversial topics as much as possible.

As things seem to happen now, in the age of social networking, our friendship met it's end on Facebook. I am sure it started with a video I posted on my profile depicting her Lord and Saviour in what I thought was a very amusing song and dance about Proposition 8, but to her was very offensive. With me, the final nail in the coffin was realizing I was only finding out about her life via status line updates and not at all from her. I started to feel less like a friend and more like a stalker so I quietly deleted her from my friend list and retreated to my corner to try to heal my wounded heart.

A few people have entered and left my life since then. I don't make friends easily and have never had a wide social circle so I am unsure how to deal with this revolving-door of people entering and exiting my life. Every exit is painful and often confusing to me. Am I really that hard to get along with? I wonder. As friendships evolve I am left with many questions that never seem to get answered. In some ways I wonder if I am making the relationships in my life more complicated than they need to be. I am not alone in my feelings. The January issue of Chatelaine magazine had a very interesting and comforting article in it. Here is the link to it, if you want to read it. I can wait.

I am having a harder and harder time dealing with how Facebook has changed how I interact with people. It is pretty easy to see how useful it is when you are talking about far-flung friends and relations, but what about the ones that live across town? I mean the ones that you can call without incurring long-distance phone rates. Why are we using it to talk instead of actually TALKING to people now??? I spend all day at home alone with kids. I crave the sound of an adult voice on the other end of the phone line sometimes. Being a stay at home mom can be a very lonely, isolating occupation and in some ways Facebook makes it better and in other ways Facebook makes it worse. I think that Facebook can make sticky situations even stickier.

It is crazy how I can be so mature and sure of myself in so many aspects of my life, but stuff like this throws me right back to Jr High, when I was so insecure and had no idea what made relationships tick. It has been many, many years since then. What am I missing here?


Anonymous said...

I don't use facebook. I found it . . . odd. If fact, most of the people close to me don't know/ask the name/address of my blog. They know I blog, but understand it's primarily for family and friends who live far.

That makes me old :-). But, they're old too so it all works out.

I too like the face to face, the cup of coffee, sound of a voice, shared emotion.

Good luck to you. It is hard to go through friendship upheaval.

Anonymous said...

I could have written that post. A couple of years ago, I had an excruciating split with not one, but three friends. I think we have to accept that most friendships are temporary and fill a need for different phases of our lives. It's OK to let people go, especially if they are draining you. It's just as hard to be the one who's let go, of course.
I'm on Facebook but I could easily live without it. It's a bit of fun for me, that's all. But it does make us lazy when we could be calling our friends and arranging some real time together.

Ami said...

I had a Facebook account but deactivated it a few months ago. It was just... too much like high school. People I didn't like, many I didn't know, asking me to 'friend' them.

Why? I didn't like them when I was incarcerated with them. From reading their pages, I still don't like them.

I have one friend IRL. (I mean outside the family).

I don't spend a lot of time with other adults. I was reminded of several reasons for that again today when I went shopping with the other site directors from my company.

Bunch of gossips, and the only reason they weren't talking about me is that I was standing there.

Nope, give me my bloggy friends. They're supportive without being suffocating.


Rina said...

I posted about something similar to this a little while ago, about not having/how to make friends...

Facebook - oh Facebook. So hard to get rid of but so often I desire to do so. What you say is so true!!! It's sad that people now say - oh, I mentioned this or that on Facebook, didn't you see it?

Not only that but the DRAMA that ensues. People are lot more uninhibited when it's a computer screen instead of a real face in front of them.

When I first started on FB, I friended EVERYONE and their dog. Literally. I was friends with my aunt's dog. Yes, he had his own profile. :/ I went from around 400 friends to now, 175 and even that is too many, in my opinion.

I purge every so often. If I haven't talked to them or interacted with them in SOME way on FB in a couple of months (even that's too long, no?), I delete them from the list.

Finding/making/keeping friends is tough for me too. I'm a real homebody and a lot shyer than people think I am. I stress about lags in conversation, I worry about what they are thinking about me, if I'm wearing the 'right' clothes or talking about the 'right' movies/books/etc...

In the past few months I've gone to my bathroom and cried (and I do NOT cry) because I want a girlfriend to talk to about issues going on in my life right now.

So I get ya. And sorry for the epic novella, LOL.

Carolyn said...

Until Paris Hilton, I never even heard of a BFF.

I think my mom explains it best: people are like clothes.


Bear with me...

You try them on. You see if they fit. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they make your butt look big.

Sometimes you take them home and wear them around the house with the tags still on, only to return them a couple of days later.

Clothes come in and out of fashion. What you wore last year may not "go" this year, so it sits in your closet, ignored. Eventually, it goes to Value Village.

You have a few favorite items that are heavy rotation. They get a hole in them. You patch it.

You have a favourite tee-shirt that goes in the laundry every week. You wear it for years. It's comfortable and familiar. Eventually, however, even it can't stay anymore. It outlives it's usefulness. It gets cut down into rags. But there's always a replacement "favourite tee-shirt" in the wings. And guess what? It might be blue instead of red, but it's just a comfy, and it'll see you through the next few years.

(who knew my mom was so smart?)


break ups suck

Anonymous said...

I'm your friend.

I'm also on mat leave... you can call me. I'll call you back if you want, I have free long distance on my cell.


Anonymous said...

I think that it helps me to remember that I'm not in Junior High any more. *Everything* was about friends then.

Now everything is about *life* and friends are something I struggle to fit in here and there. I don't think there are many women who feel that having friends as adults is easy.

You and I hardly see each other, but that's about how often I see anyone outside my family. Except those people with whom I am arranging playdates for Tias.

It's just hard to manage it all, and so I don't think you should be taking it personally. Shrug off those student days and claim your confidence!