BuJo Evening

I’ve been socializing so aggressively that today was the first time in ages that I had a chance to enjoy a few tranquil hours, alternating between reading, bullet journaling, and doing the laundry. These are my most restful activities and I should engage in them more often.

The aggressive socializing hasn’t anything to do with COVID but, rather, with suffering a very painful betrayal by two friends and beginning to fear that I had lost the knowledge of how to make friends. Yes, it happens to us, older people, too.

12 thoughts on “BuJo Evening”

  1. Betrayal by friends can make us question our identity but it doesn’t impede our ability to make new ones. And I don’t think age is a factor when considering how painful it is.

    I can only speak from my personal experience–and I think being close to your age bracket–that it does knock us for a loop when people we trust break it. But it’s no easier at 46 than it was at 26. And this year has been the worst of all.

    Or are you socializing because you lost 2 friends and are trying to fill the gap? True friendships take years. Many people are superficial and pretend to be someone they are not. I hope you heal from the betrayals and find true and lasting friendships that add value to your life.

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  2. I have no idea how many friends you have but losing four? friends in two years seems like a lot to me. Then again, I have different ideas of friends and betrayal than a lot of other people.

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    1. Right? It’s got to be something about me that’s causing it. The analyst says I so want to be liked that I conceal the parts of my self I think won’t be accepted and as a result come off as fake. Which is true. Only happens with female friends, too. With male friends I’m honest like a cardiogram. Mommy issues.

      It got so that at gatherings I automatically discard the people who are like me and can be good friends and hone in the people who are not going to be able to accept me. As a result, I end up with female friends who, for years, can’t process the information that, for instance, I work. It doesn’t penetrate their consciousness. It’s very aggravating. It’s like I’m re-staging the same situation over and over to get the same result. So now I’m trying to get out of this with limited success. Very limited given that one of the “new” friends just sent me a text message asking me if I want to go to the playground with kids right now. We’ve known each other for 2 years and I have to remind her I work about once a month.

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      1. She sends me a message (not today but recently), “can you take the kids for the day, I have to run errands.”

        No, I write, I’m at work.

        “Oh. And where’s Klara then?”

        Where’s Klara?? Klara is at the same place she’s been every working day since she turned 8 months old. I’ve known this person for years, and she still asks.

        I’ve had this conversation so many times, and it’s after years of knowing people. “So what did you do today? Worked? Wait, but where was Klara?” One of the friends asked me this question literally every time we met, which was several times a week. I was thinking of tattooing it on my forehead. “I work. My kid goes to school.” It’s got to be something I’m doing to pick them.

        It’s a sore subject, so I now can’t stop ranting.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. chuckles
        Did these new friends seek you out? Sometimes it’s not you hiding parts of yourself but people projecting upon you.

        As for the other friends? Sometimes change is hard to accept. I can tell myself I’ve remained the same, but that isn’t quite right.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “Right? It’s got to be something about me that’s causing it. The analyst says I so want to be liked that I conceal the parts of my self I think won’t be accepted and as a result come off as fake. Which is true. Only happens with female friends, too. With male friends I’m honest like a cardiogram. Mommy issues.”

        Oh. My. God. Like I’ve been struck with a lightning of recognition.

        Same. I have terrible experiences with female friendships. (Exceptions: My BFF from childhood died from a heart condition at 31, and I miss her dearly. I had another good friend from college, but she lives far away and we’ve grown apart.)

        As an adult, especially here in the US, every attempt at friendship with a woman has been a disaster. Worst case scenario is complete betrayal with her badmouthing me behind my back and me regretting (I always end up regretting) sharing anything real about myself. Best case scenario is me having to tone myself down when I see I am freaking out the other person with my intensity, and/or deliberately diluting the interactions (both in depth and in frequency) so as not to overwhelm the other person. Honestly, it’s not really worth it. Interacting with men is so much easier (when the sexual part if off the table, of course).

        I’ve always thought that my mom loved me, but never really liked me or understood me. I could tell from a young age that she resented me (for being too much like my dad, including excelling in intellectual pursuits, and generally for valuing different things than her). On occasion, I could swear she envied, hated, or was intimidated by me. She got back at me for these perceived slights to her own self-esteem by eroding mine (offhand remarks about my flaws, including my unfeeling nature (read: not responding to her manipulation as she’d planned) and her favorite: my looks). I don’t think she did any of this consciously, but the harm was done.

        Objectively, I was educated and cared for, but subjectively I needed things from her I didn’t get. I don’t really want much to do with my mother anymore. I feel guilty for not feeling more guilty about not making an effort to keep parents in my life (they live overseas), but I just can’t. Mom is still such a disruptive presence, that the only way I tolerate her is via text. I can’t even videochat with her without her pissing me off in the first five minutes with some asinine remark about my looks, or my kids’ looks (FFS), or the state of my house. (I get agitated just writing about her. Oof.)

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Wow, I could have written this comment myself, word for word. My experience is identical. I feel very understood. At least, now I know I’m not a freak, so that’s good.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Perhaps it is not the mommy issues that cause a problem with female friendships (or at least not the only factor), it may be cultural. I am happy to say I have no mommy issues. My mother was an excellent, supportive mother. I have a total of zero female friends. I may have some acquaintances that I interact with, but no friends. I do not have bad experiences like you do, but I was never able to successfully build a lasting friendship with another woman after immigrating. I find I am just not able to relate to women here. I did have good female friends back at home, but it is hard to maintain a friendship living far apart.

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          1. Could be. I do find it hard to relate to the locals, even though I am familiar enough with the culture that they no longer shock and baffle me, but I do shock and baffle them whenever I am not closely guarding what I say or how I act.

            I hope people have close friends here, but from where I’m standing, the only relationships on offer seem extremely superficial and I just don’t see anyone who’s close to anyone the way I used to be close to my good friends back home. Maybe I’m just not privy, but maybe superficiality is all there is, for everyone or almost everyone.

            Here, with American female friends, we meet up once in a blue moon, talk about kids and jobs for a bit, no real vulnerabilities are ever revealed because everyone is always low-key flexing; there is no real depth or sharing or support. I suppose if I want referrals for schools or handymen or such, these relationships are useful, but if I’m being honest, these people are only friendly acquaintances or friendly colleagues, not actual friends. This is probably all there will ever be,

            However, I don’t know about Clarissa, but it was easier connecting with dudes than girls even before emigrating, so I know it’s not just that. I think immigration just exacerbated my distrust toward women by compounding it with cultural incompatibilities.

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          2. “never able to successfully build a lasting friendship with another woman after immigrating”

            A wild gender-essentialist(?) guess. Maybe as a general rule women find it harder to make female friends across divides… they need some kind of strong core common experience to bond over whether life experience or common cultural background or work…

            Male-female (or male-male) friendships can cross bigger gaps with less in common (IME).

            And in the US there is a general cultural preference for shallow relationships (not a judgement but just a description). Americans like broad and shallow social networks while most of Europe (for example) goes for more narrow but very deep networks. In some countries you make your friends by your teenage years and after that… not much changes.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. All of my friends here are immigrants. From very different places. But it’s 100% immigrants. I haven’t become friendly with anybody native-born in 12 years here.

              I connect well with older people from here. I’m friendly with a bunch of 75+ year-olds. But I wouldn’t call it a friendship because we are in very different stages of life. Anybody under that age – it’s like I’m an alien.

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  3. Forgetting you have a kid seems like a brain blip.

    There are women who do nothing but talk of their kids (and grandkids) all day every day and plaster their photos and images and videos everywhere and they literally would have nothing to talk about to casual acquaintances otherwise. Perhaps subconsciously because not every conversation is Klara, Klara, Klara, they forget?

    Or they are far more casual with you than than you are with them? I don’t remember the ages, names of kids my acquaintances from middle school have, for example.

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