Yesterday was a really rough day for me. It started with the writing issues, worked its way into a lunch out cut short because I had to scoot home for a delivery, wound its way through a truncated trip out to the drug store, and ended up with me clinging stubbornly to feeling low.
Because, yes, sometimes I can admit how stubborn I am.
C and I had it out a bit about my isolation. See, I don’t go anywhere. Maybe to the grocery every few days, but other than that…well, the last time I went out with a friend other than C was in November of 2006. Before last Thursday, the last time C and I went out by ourselves was in October 2007, right before the baby was born. Every other social opportunity has been a family function. And so, in my weakened state last night, I decided that this must be because I am shameful to be seen with. (Sometimes that little lunatic portion of my brain takes the reins and works the rest of me into a huge lather.)
The long and short of it, folks, is that I have next to no friends. C has friends. From time to time, not frequently but several times a year, he goes out and socializes. I do not. And what’s more, I really don’t try to make friends. C doesn’t try either, but he’s out doing more things and is around more people. And it isn’t fair that he gets to go out more than I do, but it also wouldn’t be fair for him to stay home just because I never get to go out. And herein lies the rub.
I suppose part of it comes from having this sort of idea that when you got married you had ‘couple friends’. You know, like we’re a couple so we have the same friends or some of the same friends or at least we’d have people to go out with or have over from time to time. You know, play Yahtzee and drink wine or something. (I have no idea what I’d pictured us all doing but it’s there in the back of my mind nonetheless. It’s prudent to mention that the idea of company gives me hives but I guess in my mind I glossed over this little fact.)
Another part comes of wanting things to be easy for me. If C is out meeting people he can pre-screen them and I don’t have to deal with being the cloth diapering, peak-oil worrying, hairy-leg sporting, tattoed hippy freak amongst a world of Gap shopping, nanny having, pedicured Ladies who tote their children around in expensive strollers.
Is it becoming clear how much I think of myself as Other? In some ways I think I make myself out to be more interesting than I am.
I feel at home in my home. I feel at home with my children, whether it’s coloring a flowerpot with Lucy or flopping around on the bed with Chico. I feel at home with C, both when we sit in silence and when we have heated debates about politics or anthropology. As soon as I leave the house, I turn up the music really loud and I walk as fast as I can to wherever I am going. I hold doors for people and I am painfully polite to store employees and other customers, but I wrap myself literally in layers of clothes or figuratively in the music I am listening to.
I am acutely aware, too, that my social discomfort makes people think I do not like them. This is a tough one for me.
I am trying to write all of this to know that I am being honest with myself. Because really? Something’s gotta give. I’m tired and sad this morning, and it isn’t going to get any better until I figure out why I’m so worried about being embarrassing to be around and how to lower the wall around me enough to give myself a chance to actually embarrass myself.
I don’t even know if this is making any sense. Hell, I’m not sure it makes any sense to me. There seem to be a bunch of issues at play with my whopping insecurity right there at the middle like a blind crossing guard letting them run out into traffic while I try to pass through the intersection riding a unicycle.
I know I’ve written about the friend thing before, and it’s part of the package, but I can’t help but think that there’s something else. I think maybe it goes back to what I wrote yesterday about wanting someone else to be in charge. I don’t want to have to find friends, I just want them to happen. I don’t want to have to try to fit socializing into my life, I just want to be invited somewhere. Otherwise it just seems like more work and it’s easier to sit on the couch watching crime dramas. And I’ll cop to this one too–I am jealous that C has friends who want to hang out with him because I am never invited. It is always assumed that I will stay home with the kids, and it makes me feel like the ball and chain because either I complain about it and I’m the wife who wants her husband to be as miserable as she is or I invite myself along and neither of us has fun because we’re at the mercy of a babysitter who doesn’t want to be watching the kids until 4 am Or midnight even. I don’t have an answer to that part except to say that I don’t want to be someone to be escaped.
I don’t know. It’s all of this and more. It’s every fear I have about myself and probably a few I hadn’t realized. It’s a really huge pain in the ass. It’s making the people around me miserable, which is going to make them not enjoy spending as much time with me. It’s self-sabotage.