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3 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2011 - 5:46PM #1
Twinkle4ever
Posts: 5
My husband and I are recent empty nesters.  Up until about six years ago, we used to have a fairly active social life, inviting people over for cookouts and pool parties.  We didn't receive return invites very often, then we didn't at all.  This hurt both of us a lot, we didn't know the reasons for it, but with my depression that I have struggled with for years, I thought that was it.  We also thought that we didn't measure up to our friends standards.  The reason I say that is that we don't have a mansion by any means, our house is humble but we are thankful for it.  It could use some repair, but we always thought if people were true friends they would visit to see us and not our home.

My husband and I went on and filled our lives with reaching out and trying to help children who needed a family.  This consumed our lives for the past six years, until the kids left home.  Now we realize that we don't have a group of friends to socialize with.  We're not sure what to do about it.  I am afraid of being hurt again.  The exclusion hurt me a lot and the entire situation only serves to make me more careful of befriending people.  I am working with a therapist on my feelings of hurt, exclusion, etc. and have thought about approaching some of these people and talking to them but I know that I would get emotional and it would be unproductive.

To add insult to injury, one of these people who we used to socialize with approached me and was friendly again.  I was encouraged, thinking she was trying to rekindle our friendship.  It turns out, she wanted to know if I would hem pants for her mother and herself.  I found out later that she had a cookout that many people attended, but she never mentioned it to me.  I was hurt so deeply to think that, to her, I was only good enough for menial tasks and not to be treated as a friend.  It not only made me so deeply sad but also angry. 

I just read a facebook post that she and her husband are having a party right now as I sit here and write this alone in my home.  She sent an invite to someone else that I know, right on their wall.  Should I tell her that facebook etiquette (if there is such a thing) or at least common sense would be to send a private message so that the people who weren't invited wouldn't get their feelings hurt?  Were my husband and I away so long that people think we didn't want to socialize with them?  I would really like to know what I should do. 
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2011 - 9:14PM #2
JoyceB53
Posts: 2,341

You have my heart, but I honestly don't know what to tell you to do, because FB etiquette baffles me, too.  Sadly, I don't think you can tell this person that she can't talk about her parties or who she invites to them on her FB page, even tho, yes, I know how hurtful it is to you.  It would be to me, too.

I don't know what else to tell you.  I don't get many invitations anywhere, can't remember the last one, in fact.   Almost nobody comes to visit me...but...you may not smoke, drink, or use drugs in my home, either, and everybody I know smokes or drinks or smokes pot.  Sooooooo.......

Do you and your husband go to church?   Might be opportunities for friendship there.

In the meantime, hang around here, check out the first thread, "The Front Desk."  A lot of us check in there almost daily, "talk" to each other, and it's a nice place. 

All I can say is good luck...hopefully somebody else will be able to give you better ideas than I can.   I do want you to know that you're not the only person that friendship issues, tho...it seems to me that folks don't form friendships like they used to, altho I don't know why.

Today is the day that the Lord hath made; we shall rejoice and be glad in it.

---Psalm 118:24
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2011 - 9:53PM #3
Twinkle4ever
Posts: 5

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post.  I know what you mean about FB, I really like it because it allows me to reconnect with old friends since I live so far away from where I grew up, but it does have its drawbacks. 


You know what, we don't smoke, we are very occasional drinkers, and don't use drugs..it's good to get other perspectives, because I never would have thought that would be a reason for people to not want to hang around with us.  My husband and I do go to church, so that is a possibility for meeting people. 


Thank you for the thread suggestions, I will definitely check them out.  It's nice to know others have friendship issues too. 

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3 years ago  ::  Sep 07, 2011 - 11:37PM #4
karbie
Posts: 3,329

I certainly understand about your social situation. Triple it on depression. I don't think that you and your husband are necessarily at fault, either. there are a tremendous amount of shallow people in the world, or ones who seem to drop away from people who represent a different time in their life. We don't smoke, and at one point my son's asthma was so severe I couldn't use air freshener 2 stories away without him wheezing. I turned to unscented "green" cleaners both out of inclination and necessity. During that period, I couldn't be around my two closest friends here because they smoked and had multiple animals. He couldn't even take being around people who owned animals, much less the animals themselves.


So I home schooled, since that was my only choice...and besides, the school system was at the bottom of my list of priorities. due to the way his weight kept dropping and of course late night asthma treatments, I fed him anytime he was awake and willing to eat. All in all the whole period between 6th-12th grades weren't good for my own health and I still think the trade off was worth it. He's married, has a good job, and is a nice person. I've told him how proud I am of the man he's become and that I give him full credit for it. Even his father-in-law couldn't give him the "IF you hurt my daughter" speech because he knew better. My son's in-laws welcomed him with open arms and we did the same with their daughter. When she was sharing a bathroom with someone on the other side in her dorm, she stayed with us nights to be safe. Still used it during the day, of course--I think that if we lived closer we would be doing things with her family. They are great people.


the only--and I do mean only reason for that person to think you'd do her a favor without inviting you to her party is because she never returned an invitation or expected you to be more than an acquaintance, not a friend. If I'm going to be kind, perhaps some of her social "network" is precisely that--people either she or her husband think that they can use to help them in business or move up to a better position. In that case, you haven't lost anything but a bunch of users. I'd rather be a "loser" than a user, personally.


The people here are my friends, my therapy group, and my extended family-of -choice. we all have ups and downs, but we care about each other, pray for each other, and it is totally irrevelant how we look, dress, what we drive, etc--we offer who we are inside. to me, that's a wonderful way to truly know who your friends are.

"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 08, 2011 - 2:24PM #5
joycon
Posts: 2,788

Twinkle, it helps to become active in things in the community that interest you also. Since August I have been going to a weekly knitting group and I am making friends. I am also taking a communication technology class and I have made a friend there. We are even doing a scrapbooking crop on Saturday.


Hoping things get better for you.

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3 years ago  ::  Sep 17, 2011 - 10:40AM #6
Twinkle4ever
Posts: 5

I haven't been on here for a while...so busy at work this past week.  Joycon & karbie, thank you so much for your replies, suggestions, and comfort.  It really helps to know that people care.


Joycon, I am an avid knitter but I haven't heard of a group in my area.  I would love to find one.  I did join an exercise group in July that meets twice a week.  Everyone was nice but I thought it might be hard to get to know the other ladies since they all seemed close to one another.  I was sick and had to miss an entire week of class in August.  I didn't think I would be missed, but when I went back I found out that they were worried and wondered how I was doing.  I was really touched.  A recurring theme in my life is that when I'm in a group of people, I feel either invisible or unnecessary.  I am not usually the one people listen to or ask about their life or anything.  I am working with my therapist to get to the root of the problem and hopefully someday not feel this way, but it is so difficult when these feelings seem like such a part of you and so hard to overcome.  I hope that by participating in groups like these it will help.


Karbie, a large part of my problem is my major depression and although I know this it is still so difficult at times that it seems insurmountable.  It takes so much energy for me to work on just getting through the day at work with all the social interactions and then coming home and being exhausted and having to regroup and then back at it the next day.  You have had to overcome a lot while dealing with depression and I admire you for getting through it and reaching out and helping people on this forum who are going through similar situations.


You said that the only reason this person thought I'd do her a favor is because she never thought I was more than an acquaintance.  That is something my therapist brought up to me...that maybe I "make" myself invisible or unnecessary as a protective mechanism.  I had never thought about that before but maybe I do come across that way.  Does that make her actions more forgivable or easier to understand?  For me, it doesn't, I think I have a lot of work to do to change the way I am or I am going to keep getting hurt.

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3 years ago  ::  Sep 19, 2011 - 8:34AM #7
karbie
Posts: 3,329

When I said that woman probably viewed you as an aquaintence, I didn't mean that what she did was acceptable behavior. It was rude, self-serving, thoughtless and cruel. She wanted to use you to get out of paying for alterations. I'm not a good seamstress, but I'm very good at hems...being short makes it come with the territory.


If I'm trying to get waited on, I have inherited the family ability of being invisible. My husband has the  combo effect--the store detectives will shadow my 6'5" husband, but when he needs help they all scurry away.forget the fact that he's totally obvious and totally hoonest. It upsets him.Our son can do both at the same time, but since he became engaged to his bride, he stands straighter  and has more confidence. It's amazing to think they'll have been married for 2 years in December. Both sets of parents think our kids couldn't have found anyone better if we'd gotten to choose ourselves.


It's hard to let go of pain and anger at people so self absorbed they seem to assume the thrill of doing something for them for free will bring light to your wretched existence. Okay, I'm being sarcastic. My son learned sarcasm at his Mother's knee. One time he told me that I was going crazy, and I told him there was no travel time involved. He's used the line ever since.


Trying to reach out and help someone else also helps me. If it's a really bad day pain-wise, it makes me feel that I am still good for something. the people on the Depression group probably know me better than many people in my actual life.


As long as you hold on to pain or anger, they still have power to hurt you. That means that they are taking up brain space--and true to form, they aren't paying for it. Depression will suck you dry both emotionally and physically.I still have days like that. I think that as you get to know the people here, you won't feel as alone. I know that it has been a Godsend for me.


I hope it becomes that for you as well.

"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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