Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Still Withdrawn and Not Enjoying It At All

I had hoped that once the medical tests came back fine, that I would emerge from my withdrawal from the world, that I would once again reconnect with people, reengage, get back out there. Alas, that has not happened. I have not done that and on one level don’t want to do that. Yet on another level I long for it. I long for the connections to others. I long to be part of the group. Yet I don’t want that either. I don’t want to be overwhelmed by it. I don’t want to be bombarded. Life is easier somehow all alone without intrusions. I am struggling within myself to figure out how one balances friendships and social life with maintaining a sense of self. I need boundaries and yet I’m having a difficult time figuring out how to set them. I seem to have nothing between being available to everybody all the time and shutting myself off completely. There’s got to be a way to find the middle ground and be comfortable with it.

I’m afraid that my social skills are quite lacking, and I don’t feel that I ever really had any strong role models in this area when I was growing up. My parents rarely socialized. My parents rarely went out as a couple. My dad would go hunting, but would either go by himself, with my uncle, or later with my brother. He did not have hunting buddies. As far as I know, he didn’t really have, nor does he have now, any friends to whom he feels close. As far as I know, my mom’s only socializing happened, and still happens, at the beauty parlor as she chatted with her hairdresser at her weekly appointments. My parents set the example of going through life dealing with other people on a business basis only. I have no points of reference for friendship or social interactions, and it isn’t something that comes naturally to me as it seems to for N.

I now have the revelation that there are a set of skills out there, social skills, about which I know little. I know etiquette. I know how to behave “properly.” I don’t have a clue how to make friends or be a friend or maintain a social life. No clue. Where’s the course on social skills? Where’s the course on friendship? Where is the set of rules posted? Why don’t I get this basic aspect of life? What the fuck is wrong with me?


Serenity said...

You know there's nothing wrong with you. It's this life we lead, so much time spent at work, and what's left over gets divided up between offspring and housework and if we're lucky we get to throw a bone to our social lives which for you and me, Tru, seems to be online friends and a significant other. Who has time for girlfriends? Sad but true, but not necessarily a mark of failure dear. And you might not be missing as much as you think anyway.
I also get completely peopled out from my work. At the end of the day, there's not much perky cheerful left for cultivating and maintaining friendship. We have to respect our own personalities.
If you are prone to SAD you need to head it off at the pass now, you know... that is what this post reminds me of, sweetie. Whatever light therapy or whatever that you need, do it. Serenity's orders. ;)Don't let winter get you down.

Trueself said...

Serenity - You may be partially right. I definitely am prone to SAD and given that I work in a windowless environment I get little sunshine since it's dark by the time I leave work each day.

There's another piece of it too, though. See post above this one.