Friendlessness/abandonment/loneliness


#1

Ever since I was a little girl, I've never had many friends. There have even been times in my life when I've had no friends at all. I didn't have friends in grade school. I was a loner in high school, not even by choice. I have had a few friends I thought I was close to, but everyone I get attached to seems to abandon me (by choice or just drifting apart) in the end. I don't really have many stable friendships Now that I'm in college, I have several acquaintances. However, every time I get close to a person now, I feel like I either hold on too tight (because I'm afraid they'll leave me) or push them away and inadvertently sabotage the relationship (including my relationship with my boyfriend.) Now, I know that many of you are familiar with my posts about my insecurities with my boyfriend and my self esteem issues. But I ask you to overlook them (I'm getting help for them) in this post. Has anyone else here felt like they have trouble relating to other people and forming lasting bonds?


#2

I'm not sure if I've responded to any of your other posts or not... so this is just based on what you've written here...

Do you have any siblings? If so, you probably understand how you're not always "buddy-buddy" with them 365 days a year... there are certainly moments of closeness and moments of feeling apart, but there is an overall consistency.

Friendships should be modeled after this. People need time to be themselves and to breathe on their on terms. If friendships become too overbearing then tend to shut down quickly.

What are your expectations for a friendship? At what point in an "acquaintance relationship" do you see "friendship" beginning? And at what point do you see that friendship abandoned? Are there ever any consistent steps that happen? I guess I'm trying to isolate what's happening to make things take this negative turn.

I have many people that I consider "friends" that I rarely get to spend time with and rarely even get to talk to. We're all very busy people, but when we do get the opportunity to get together for lunch or an event we reconnect, hug, smile, chat, and share! Often we only get that opportunity once or twice a year - if that! But I do still consider these people my "friends" and I know that if I NEEDED them they would be there for me in an instant (and I would do the same for them).

So, what are your expectations?... and how/what happens to make friendships go downhill for you?


#3

First of all, the whole idea of "BFF" is mostly factord in hollywood.

Friends are, for the most part, only part of our lives for a time. Very few are lifelong friends. During times we drift apart, and at times we are very, very close.

If you look at every friendship as a "forever" then you will always be disappointed. 99% of people who friends in highschool aren't friends by the time college graduation rolls around. After college, those friends also move on, move away. In early adulthood, especally as singltons or as young married without children there are a whole other set of friends...and when children come those drift apart, too.

Children grow and other friends are made, around voulenteering for an elementary school play, around cupcakes for highschool band. Then your kids move on, and they still have little ones, or visa versa. You do couples things, you do work things, you live 20 years and have those friends...all whom come in and out of your life. Then a spouse dies and you find yourself in groups of widows/widdowers again.

I have friends whom I've known for years, I have friends whom I've known for months. Moving to college for 4 years made me grow far from my family at home (who were most of my friends), now I'm far from home and even farther from my college friends. I've lived on my own for three years. Even though I had best buddies, "forever friends" in college I only talk to 4 or 5 with any regularlarity and the rest I just keep up with on FB.

I have new friends, mostly single.

If I get married, I will still number them among my friends, however, it will be nice to do "couple things". If I have children, it will be easier to befriend people with children so they can play....

Friendship shouldn't be thought of as forever. They are events in your life for a reason.

If you've ever done a long-multi day hike things go like this. You enter the trail by yourself, with your friend or even a band of people. Often you park in a lot and see others. You might help them unlad their gear...but they go another way. Along the way you will meet up with people, chat and enjoy them. You might even campout together. You walk and talk and share. At some point they go their own way, and you go yours. And sometimes you stop just to enjoy others. You meet with others and learn something from them. If you shut yourself down just becuase you hoped the first people you meet on the trail will walk with you forever you will never enjoy walking.


#4

to answer your question.....yes, and I know many who have felt the way you do. Myself at times included. I have learned to "talk" many times a day to Jesus. He does and will put people in your life that will be there for possibly a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Dont fret. Make HIM your closest most intimate friend, and all else will come!!!

Trust this! :thumbsup:


#5

Honestly, my friend, I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to bring all of this out in therapy. Heck, if you’re able print out your posts at CAF and show them to your therapist! The issue you bring up in this post and your thinking and behavior towards your boyfriend are incredibly intertwined, and a trained mental health professional is the best person to help you sort through it all. You should be explicit about your goals for therapy (increasing stable friendships, overcoming insecurities, not sabotaging romantic relationships, whatever your goals are). You also should be upfront with your therapist about your religion so that s/he can be mindful of the tenants of Catholicism when working with you. If you’re already working with a Catholic therapist fabulous, but if not most therapists are trained to be mindful of a client’s religious background.


#6

[quote="hellosunshine, post:1, topic:235980"]
Ever since I was a little girl, I've never had many friends. There have even been times in my life when I've had no friends at all. I didn't have friends in grade school. I was a loner in high school, not even by choice. I have had a few friends I thought I was close to, but everyone I get attached to seems to abandon me (by choice or just drifting apart) in the end. I don't really have many stable friendships Now that I'm in college, I have several acquaintances. However, every time I get close to a person now, I feel like I either hold on too tight (because I'm afraid they'll leave me) or push them away and inadvertently sabotage the relationship (including my relationship with my boyfriend.) Now, I know that many of you are familiar with my posts about my insecurities with my boyfriend and my self esteem issues. But I ask you to overlook them (I'm getting help for them) in this post. Has anyone else here felt like they have trouble relating to other people and forming lasting bonds?

[/quote]

I do not believe this is a separate issue from the other things you have posted about. If you have trouble relating to other people, you might benefit from group therapy at some point. I urge you to talk to your therapist about ALL of your troubles, and give the therapist time to get to the bottom of your issues. It might be that you are the sort of person who does not have a lot of friends. It takes all kinds to make a world. I know many people who have tons of "friends," in other words, they know a lot of people, but none or very few of those people really know them. Me, I tend to get close to only a couple of people and not really collect a lot of shallow friendships. I know that about myself and I don't pine for something else.

Having friends means being a friend. You have to put your needs aside and care about your friend, and the same needs to come back to you. With all that you've posted, you seem very preoccupied with your own anxiety and insecurity. Therapy will help that and you can discuss your social problems in your sessions. I hope and pray that you get some peace soon.


#7

You remind me a ton of myself, especially when I was your age. Heck, I am still struggling now. I shouldn't really give advice because that is probably like the blind leading the blind; however, I do think karow and DENNYINMI bring up two very good points- 1) therapy is wonderfully beneficial, especially if you have low self- esteem and relationship problems. I am going to go out on a limb and say that it is very important to have a Catholic psychologist first, a Christian one second, and secular psychologist as the least desirable. This is just from my experience. 2) Jesus is seriously the best friend you could ever have, and a solid, good relationship with Him will open up others for you. He can guide you to others who are like-minded. God bless you and I'll keep you in my prayer!


#8

This prayer helped me a lot in the past.

Prayer For A Lonely Soul

Jesus, Friend of a lonely heart, You are my haven, You are my peace. You are my salvation, You are my serenity in moments of struggle and amidst an ocean of doubts. You are the bright ray that lights up the path of my life. You are everything to a lonely soul even though it remains silent. You know the weaknesses and You comfort and heal, sparing us sufferings. Amen


#9

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