Unlearning the Wrong Lesson

I’ve never been one to have a ton of friends, and I’m comfortable with that. I am a textbook introvert, and socializing tires me out. I’d probably be an introvert by nature, but having a sociopathic mother compounded my shyness.

At the moment, my small cache of friends live all over, but none nearby. I have a tendency to “click” with outsiders rather than those who are local to where we live. I’m not from here; I’m not from anywhere, really. Northeast US is more or less accurate, but I’ve also lived in the south and Italy. Because my friends are slightly more cosmopolitan, they also tend to move away again. Or I move away.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I need a female friend to hang out with. I am close to my husband’s cousin and he comes over about once a week. However, as much as I gravitate towards male friends, I do like finding women I can connect with.

Part of the “click” issue is that my mother’s influence makes me mistrust women. It’s an unfair prejudice that I work against, but it is work. And a lot of women are untrustworthy backstabbers. I’ve got a few wounds to prove it.

Word, Diddy

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More recently, the Boone debacle has me mistrusting my instincts. Usually they have served me well, but that friendship/business relationship went so awry and I feel I willfully missed the signs. I’m angry with myself, still.

Over the last few months, I’ve really enjoyed my sessions with my personal trainer. She’s a cool lady who kicks my ass, but we also have great conversations while working out. A few times, she’s dropped hints about getting together outside of our training sessions, but I’ve been non-committal. I’m totally gun-shy. I really like her and she even mentioned today that she too has more guy friends than girl friends.

Today she gave me a perennial plant for me and my family along with a sympathy card for my father-in-law. She also mentioned any time I was near her house, I should grab her for a run or that my husband is welcome to use her pool.

So, what am I so scared of?

Awareness of my problem will help, but I really would like to extend this into a real friendship. I don’t want to be second guessing myself and thinking I am somehow going to mess it up (I seriously doubt she’ll use me like Boone did, so my concern is that she’ll just flat out reject me for me).

I’m trying to look back at the Boone incident with wiser, but kinder to me, eyes. I got burned, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t leap again. I could really use a friend and I’d like to be one too.

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8 thoughts on “Unlearning the Wrong Lesson

  1. jsrelease@gmail.com says:

    I’ve been burned time and again by female friends. I seem to attract female friends who are very similar to my mother and sister and during my early twenties, I seemed to “relive” that little drama triangle over and over, just with different people. These relationships not only helped me stay isolated and enmeshed with my mother and sister but confirmed my belief that women can’t be trusted.
    I still am struggling with female relationships, but it is getting better. My latest issue with women is feeling like they will expect more from me than I can give at the moment. I want to be friends with people, have coffee, go out to dinner, but I’m not ready for much more than that. It’s a struggle.

    I know how you feel and wish I had something more to offer than telling you, you are not alone.

  2. It’s okay to put your toe in and test the water. Agreeing to meet for breakfast or lunch is not a lifetime commitment. I tend to jump in, and frequently ended up burned. When I take it a step at a time, it works out much better. I’m able to assess as I go along instead of having to figure out what hit me in hindsight. 🙂 Good luck.

  3. I am glad to see you use the word sociopath in describing your mother. Sociopath’s push boundaries. You perceive your trainer pushing yours. Give it time and see if she continues to make you feel on edge. If she is sincere she will wait out your reticence and reward it. If not she will push you until she pushes you away.

  4. I say go for it! Everybody needs a good buddy with common interests:). Plus if she has issues, you should notice fairly quickly……. Or not:)

  5. It is good to have friends. I struggle with having close friends to share things with. I suppose through Al-Anon, I have found a good group of friends. And, yes, some of them are women.

  6. You just had a major loss and you’re off balance right now. Take your time. You don’t have to make a decision right now and IMO, you shouldn’t make any you don’t have to. Friendships evolve over time and you’ve got that so use it. If she wasn’t involved in providing a professional service I’d see this a bit differently but the reality you value her as a Trainer makes the situation a bit different than one involving some random person you seemed to click with over a similar interest etc.
    TW

  7. TR says:

    Me2, that first female relationship with our mother has an impact through our other female relationships – it is natural to want a deep connection with other females and notice it and be more aware of how to go through developing a friendship. We didn’t learn it the first time around. I find I’m doing this right now – Learning how to build vulnerability one step at a time with someone. Hugs, TR

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