Regrets as I approach 45

I will turn 45 soon and I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ve lived my life thus far.

I’ve made horrible choices in my life, many of which have affected not only myself but others as well. I realize I’m not unique. One of my favorite series, “Being Erica”, centers around the main character trying to fix her present life by going back in time to change the things she did wrong on her list of regrets. There was also the show, “My name is Earl”. Earl had a list, too, of things he had to make right to reverse his bad karma.

I have my own list, many things I won’t share here specifically for the world to read. Though, it’s tempting and might be cathartic, some things publically confessed might hurt others and I might get sued. 😛 We all have some skeletons and I don’t feel like I have the right to pull other people’s out for display.

Let’s just say I’ve been a horrible person. And I’ve been a pretty damn good person. I’ve had times when I thought I could take on the world and do anything. I’ve also had many long bouts of deep depression. At times, I’ve thought I was all that and at times I’ve been insecure and thought very little of myself. I’ve gone from impatient clueless mother to the kind who’s gained strength and knowledge from having dealt with some shit.

But I’m a sucky friend.

Probably my top regret is pushing people away and cutting them from my life. One thing I’ve always had a problem with is recognizing when someone is a true friend to me. And another would be not letting people know what they mean to me for fear that they don’t feel the same about me. I’ve never assumed someone thinks of me as a friend, kind of like one would never assume someone is their boyfriend. A discussion has to happen. A question has to be asked, right?

I feel though like probably people think we’re friends and it’s just all in my head that we’re only acquaintances. Right?

I’m lazy. I want friendship to be easy. I want it to be like we’ve known each other for years and not have to do all the polite job interview/date-like getting to know you stuff.

I’ll comment on posts, I’ll text, I’ll be witty and have a fun sense of humor. I’ll say things are great and downplay or put a humorous spin on my problems so I don’t burden people. Until I actually explode with everything that’s bothering me and everyone downplays my problem for me or doesn’t say anything at all.

I’ll try to get together but I don’t take rejection well and if you’re busy once or twice, I probably won’t try again especially if you don’t suggest an alternative, I’ll just assume you’re not my friend because really, I have no idea. Especially if you never came out and said it.

Even if you’ve called me to talk about your man problems. Even if you’ve invited me to your birthday night out and my social anxiety gets the best of me, INTP that I am, and I cancel at the last minute. I’M still wondering if YOU’RE MY friend. Backwards as fuck, I know.

Ahhh… but. BUT BUT BUT. Maybe YOU didn’t know I was YOUR friend because I never said so?

One time, I went through something awful and when I finally told my acquaintance/neighbor/fellow new mom (who I thought of as a friend but didn’t know if she liked me as much so I backed off occasionally even though SHE approached ME) a week or so later after I dealt with the horrible thing, she asked me, “Why didn’t you tell me? I would’ve been there for you. That’s what friends are FOR.”

That’s the first time in the two years I knew her that I realized she was my friend. And she was moving several states away in a matter of weeks.

Maybe it’s because I had had friends in high school who turned on me and took up bullying me. I had some who broke off friendships with me because their other friends didn’t like me. I came to believe my friendship was over if a friend got new frienda and I was insecure around their established friends. I had so called friends who just used me. I became very wary of people and the label “friend”. Also, if I did something that caused a friend to get mad at me, I assumed it was the end of the friendship and became standoffish. I had no conflict resolution skills.

Fast forward to today. I have for one reason or other pushed away everyone who ever resembled a friend, especially during the latter part of my adult life where social media has been a prominent fixture. Ive unfriended people, deleted my account, created a new one, re-added people, unfriended again…

It’s an immature move, I know. And hurtful to people who unbeknownst to me considered me their friend.

The reasons are many. You don’t really like me (you never comment or I’m always the initiator). You don’t invite me (but I see the pictures of you with your friends). You’re always busy when I invite you (see above). We always disagree. I love a debate, so that’s not a problem in itself. It’s when your posse comes out of the woodwork everytime and gangs up on me and my opinion. I lost the debate from the start just by debating you on such a biased platform as your page. And then the posse clamoring to support your latest drama. Which I should have been more sensitive about because it was not just a drama to you. I was a horrible friend.

You and the rest of these people were friends and I couldn’t see it.

I overlooked the friend who was the only one who responded when I reached out for help with Sarah.

I neglected to realize one friend was always busy because she was raising three younger kids practically alone as a military wife while also working toward her masters degree.

One person I consider a friend but never talk to outside of Facebook offered and provided a place for us to stay during a storm with a multiple day power outage. Very thankful for that.

Just a few examples.

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