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kiehn 11-06-2006 04:01 PM

What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
Please tell me what your concept or attributes of what a friend is? Ive been posting on the bipolar board for years and never even knew this board was here. So many times I could have used this board. I guess I wasnt meant to see it until now.

I think I must be missing some major important aspect of friendship. Ive known my husband for over 30 years, most of my life Ive been a loner with a small handful of a few aquaintances, no actual friends. My husband is the closest thing I have to a friend he tries but he just doesnt know how to be supportive. People always seem uncomfortable around me, I dont know why but I can sense it in their actions, body language and eyes. My husband says his family and his friends dont know how to act around me, because Im so senitive yet they've only seen me get very upset once in 30 years and that was when I learned a family member has abused my daughter and that was within the last 5 years.

I cant stop the tears from falling. Then this is nothing new it's been going on for years, I stuff things they build up and then overflow and I cant stop the tears. I know the only one I can change is myself and I've tried all different types of approaches. I even tried counseling many times but even that didnt help. One counselor told me to put my problems in a bubble and let them float away another said to just go to a peaceful place in my mind. Sure those are a quick fix but I wanted something to avoid stuffing all the time, which is probably why Im in another cycle right now of being unable to stop the tears again.

When I get hurt I go into a shell, sometimes I want to hurt back but yet I cant. Ive tried pretending it didnt hurt but it so fake and I know people see right thru me. My husband is quick witted and always has a come back, Ive tried to be like him but most of the time I when I get hurt Im speachless. I have no friends or family to talk to my husband tries to understand, but it's hard for me to open up to him because there's a lot of hurt there too and when I try to discuss it with him all I do is cry and he either gets defensive changes the subject, makes a promise he doesnt keep or patronizes me. Dont get me wrong, he's very caring in other ways, he'll make breakfast or dinner when Im busy, does the dishes, chores around the house. If I have some phyical ailment he tries to comfort me but emotionally he doesnt know how to be supportive.

I dont understand why I sense that people are uncomfortable around me. I guess that's not really a fair question no one here even knows me. This is the second post I wrote, the first one I deleted. I dont even know what I expect by posting this. There certainly isnt any magic cure.

Ive been a loner all my life, maybe I just never learned how to socialize, communicate and at almost 50 yrs old, Im not sure if I have the strength to learn. It's raining outside now and some how it's comforting. I need to go find something else to do to get my mind off of this and stop the tears. Thanks for listening

~charlotte08~ 11-07-2006 08:21 AM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
a friend is someone who you can trust, talk to, share your personal things with them, be loyal to, someone you consider special. someone that doesn't have the bond you have anyone else. i'm sorry that your daughter was abused by a family member. that happened to me too. when I cry, I try to accept what is happening to me and learn from that experience. i grow from each experience. accept that your life is the way it is. of course you can change certain things you dont like, but once you accept everything, you will feel better. hope things work out for you.

galinaqt 11-07-2006 08:48 AM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
I am also very sensitive person who can't react qucikly in hard cituation. I don't think that friend is something mandatory to have. I have two people I can share and they do something for me and that is good enough. I will do only that much for them. They are closer to each other and will do more for each other than for me and it is fine as well.

goody2shuz 11-07-2006 08:58 AM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
Dear Sue ~ ((((((HUGS)))))) for a brave soul who reaches out to the space that our dear friend Ruth often tread upon for the short while she was here. I know that it must have been her gentle push that led you here just as she led me over to the BP boards that I never thought to go to.

Glad that you came over's also a great place to be.

Baby steps, Sue......all it takes is baby steps. Go out in the rain and take a walk....I know that you are missing the friend that I am missing today and the tears and the rain are falling for such a great loss. It may rain today but after the storm the sun will come out and perhaps once in a while be followed by a rainbow.

A friend is what Ruth was to everybody here and what we have the ability to find in the real world too. It isn't easy to bare our souls as we do here because here we really don't have much to lose....but in the real world it seems different....but why should it???

Making friends takes a great anything we gain in life. It is a relationship in which we reach out to somebody else discovering the likenesses and accepting the differences. Sometimes there is great fear in allowing somebody to see our flaws and weaknesses but if we learn to overcome that by accepting the flaws of others we will learn to embrace the gift of friendship.

Start out by getting out to the library or joining a club. Something that interests you. As you are gathered amongst others share in conversations with a smile and take the risk of allowing them to get to know you. As you do you will allow them the opportunity to find commonality in interests, beliefs, and values. And with time you will build upon that.

As we get older it sometimes gets more difficult to meet new friends but it is possible. If I were to meet you in a group outside of here, Sue, I would be honored to be your friend.:) There is beauty in sensitivity when somebody is able to feel and is not only a weakness but a strength too. Learning to balance it when it comes to others that are not as sensitive is something you can work on but do not allow it to deny you the opportunity to meet others who may learn from it.;)

As I said it takes baby steps and I would encourage you to go out and get involved in something you are interested in or perhaps volunteer and see who it will bring you to. There are many Goody's and Ruth's in the real world who would be thrilled to have a friend like you.:angel:

I am your friend, Sue, and know that you are a friend worth having. Go show others that by taking those baby steps out into the world. Look for the sunshine and the rainbows.....they are there as much as the rain we only have to go looking for them.

Love and lots of (((HUGS))) ~ Goody:angel: :wave:

brook65 11-07-2006 09:04 AM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
Hi - firstly there is nothing wrong with you - you are just different because your you.

To me a freind is someone who is there for you as much as you are there for them, also someone who will listen to you as much as you will listen to them. My dad always advised me to treat others as I would wish to be treated myself!

I totally can relate to your feelings, I am also a loner, as well as being a typical cancerian, homeloving and sensitive, have only a couple of geniune friends.

People do pick up on vibes of sensitivity, it is not a bad thing, it is just like you will pick up on someones over confidence. Naturally if you think about it we can all relax more around confident people, cause we know that they are less likely to take umbridge for what ever reason. Whereas if we are sensitive people, people are perhaps slightly worried about saying or doing something to upset your feelings.

Everyone is different, and I think sensitivity shows a nicer, kinder perhaps too soft for our good type of person.

I am assuming you are also shy, don't ever feel ashamed for that it is a rare and nice trait.

I do understand how you feel though

kiehn 11-07-2006 02:18 PM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
Hi Charolette
That's what I thought a friend was. Yes I agree if we can learn we can move forward. I guess Im just stuck in a rut have been for a long time.
Im sorry also your child was abused I hope you both have been able to find peace. Thanks again for your reply I wasnt anyone would be able to make sense of my post. Thanks Sue

Hi Galinaqt
Maybe a friend isnt necessary but it sure would be nice. Recently I've even dreamed I had a friend we talked about everything I even called her by name.
How strange I dont know anyone by that name. Im hoping it's going to be a dream come true. Sending you a wish that you may find a close friend of your own as well. Thanks Sue

Hi Brooke
Oh yes Im a firm believer in treating others the way I would like to be treated. That doesnt always work, my husband and I have been together for over 30 years and he still has a hard time remembering Im very senitive.
That's very hard for me to understand. Im one of those that believes actions speak louder than words. I want so much to feel his love in his actions notjust his words. Someone might say you've been together for 30 years, where have you been, hiding the pain in my heart. Long, Long story
Thanks for your kind words, each post I read here I cried again. Sue

Wow, I saved you're for last. Yes Ruth's passing affected me more than I thought it would. I didnt have a close bond like you, but I was closer to her than anyone else on the board. She helpped me many times. Im crying again, damn, I hate when I cry. I can only imagine your pain. Im a strong believer that the spirit lives on. Ruth had a strong spirit and I believe in she is around you quite often.

Yep you are right baby steps. Oh dont get me wrong Ive been a fighter all my life it was a matter of survival. I just get discouraged so easy and now that Im getting older it takes me longer to recover from a blow and I dont last as long in the ring. When someone repeatedly tells me something but doesnt follow thru, I have such a hard time trusting them. Oh, how I wish I could trust my husband with my heart. There's so much I dont understand or maybe I do I just dont want to face the truth. I dont know. Right now Im not sure I want to know.

I will give some more thought to volunteering somewhere. This time when
my heart broke cracked open again a lot of memories resurfaced. I need to find something else to do. I write more later. Thanks Goody for your friendship. hugs2u2

goody2shuz 11-07-2006 04:39 PM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
Sue ~ It's okay to cry.....we all need a good cry once in a while. I think from what you have been sharing here as well as over on the BP board is that you are feeling lonely and wanting to talk to somebody....that is all perfectly normal. Everybody yearns for that. Your hubby is probably really trying his very best to be there for you and PLEASE do not take this in the wrong way, but it is unfair to expect one person to be our a way it is unhealthy to do so.:nono:

That is why you should try to find other ways to share what is going on inside of you even if it means coming here....I know that by my coming here I spare my hubby alot of having to hear what is on my mind regarding our daughters and sometimes even things that bug me about him!!;) And then I am better able to work things through without all the turmoil to work out with him....that's where friends come into the picture and there are plenty of us here.:) But I KNOW how you yearn for a real life one.....that's where the baby steps come in, Sue. Is there a continuing education within the high school that offers some courses.....I know our school district offers anything from sewing, to managing your finances, to quilting, to yoga classes or even digital photography. Even the local library has courses available....ours has a learn how to knit course that I am thinking of signing up for next week. There are even book reading clubs if you are into that sort of thing.

The important thing is to get yourself out there with other people with similar interests. Do you have a dog??? Sometimes just taking a walk in the park will get you out there amongst other dog owners.

I know you are a fighter, Sue, and that you can do this. I know it feels like you're getting tired of getting into that ring but you don't have to think of it as a fight, rather think of it as a project or a challenge. I guarantee that if you get out even a little bit and do something to try to be around other people even if just to learn something new or do something for yourself that things with hubby will not seem that fact I can almost guarantee that he will appear more interested and be happy that you are doing something for YOU that at times he may feel powerless in doing. One thing I learned from people here is that our happiness lies within and the more we go out of our way to find it the more of a chance we have of finding it.;)

Sue, like you I think actions speak louder than words but sometimes the action we expect is way too much or unrealistic. Men are complicated creatures and often show love in ways that aren't interpreted by us. For me it was when hubby waited for me to get up and poured us both a bowl of cereal. It wasn't much but it meant alot. It's often teamwork of making it through each day when there are teens taking over the household. Of his taking one of the kids off your hands so that you have some time away from the sometimes is difficult to see that the little things they do really add up to showing how they do love us.

Like you are saying, there is alot that has resurfaced in your life lately, Sue, and perhaps talking about it and dealing with it may be important in order to not hold it in only to have it come back to the surface over and over again. Perhaps it is time to put it to Ruth would often say I am here on a park bench if you need to have a seat and we'll settle in with a long cup of coffee. You just hang in there and know that there are many here to lend you an ear or two.

(((HUGS))) ~ Goody:angel: :wave:

galinaqt 11-07-2006 06:16 PM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
[QUOTE=kiehn]Hi Charolette

Hi Galinaqt
Maybe a friend isnt necessary but it sure would be nice. Recently I've even dreamed I had a friend we talked about everything I even called her by name.
How strange I dont know anyone by that name. Im hoping it's going to be a dream come true. Sending you a wish that you may find a close friend of your own as well. Thanks Sue

Actually I have a friend, we mostly write each other e-mails and meet few times a year, mostly together with our husbands and kids. We help each other some.

kiehn 11-07-2006 08:55 PM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
Im happy you have an email friend. Best wishes

You're so thoughtful, have such a positive outlook your family is so fortunate. A Postive outlook is not easy to find when someone feels like they are drowding. The town I live has a population of less than 500, has 2 gas stations and a small convience store that also offers postal sevice that closes at 2pm. There is now a 90% hispanic population here. It wasnt like that when we moved here 12 years ago. With the exception of their children most of them speak very little english and keep to themselves.

The closest major shopping, college, hopes of any type of classes is 45min to an hour away. My thrill of the day is to go to the post office and exchange polite chatter with the clerk for a few minutes. Gee I sound so pathetic it's sounds like a senario of 50 yrs ago. Sometimes when we travel back over to Seattle area it's kind of a reality shock. You are right about several things, I just want someone to talk to, to share with and men dont always see things the same, nor do they have the same interests.

Gee I wish I could be inspiring like you, if I knew how to put the past to rest it would have been done years ago. I understand much more of the why's now but there's still so much hurt, distrust, betrayal and suspicsion. How can I build on that. The world is not safe like this board, which has rules that are enforced. The real world is not like this I learned that very young. Those that are suppose to protect you and help you dont. So the only one a person can truely count on is themselves. The problem is I know when Im getting close to my limit and what happens if I cross it. I just need a virtual overhaul. A body that never gains weight, never stress's doesnt get tired can take virtual vacations or even time travel. Ok, maybe that's to scifi. Gee maybe I already crossed that line and dont know it. lol Take care,
Hugs2u, Sue

galinaqt 11-08-2006 09:47 AM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
In my opinion if you want a friend you need to ask yourself a question if you are willing to do same things for a person as you expected he/she will do for you. It includes listening to his/her problems which may not be interesting for you, spending your pressures time doing something for him/her, taking risks on lending your car or money.
To be honest I am not that kind of person and I accept the fact that friends I have will only do that much for me and much more for each other.
We have a family friend who said that if somebody call her and never during conversation asked about her life it is not a person she would consider friend.

kiehn 11-08-2006 11:42 AM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
Hi galinaqt
Thanks for your thoughtful post. Sometimes what we are, isnt what we perceive ourselves to be, but I have always thought I was a good listener and even go over and above to help. It seems getting to the point where someone is comfortable enough to open up to me is the biggest problem, it's the door I cant get past. If I ask how this or that is going I just
a simply polite answer like they dont want to talk about it.

I have to agree most people Ive known in the past that always want to borrow something didnt always return and respect it. Im not usually attracted to friends like that. It seems the ones that have the type of qualities I would want in a friends are so busy with their lifes the dont even have time for themselves let alone a friend, they just dont seem intersested, or only call when they want something but are never there when I need someone.

Maybe I just need a stepford friend, lol, the perfect friend.

Thanks again, Sue

galinaqt 11-08-2006 02:00 PM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
People can be scared to open. If you say something negative about yourself it will hurt your image for the very least. I got bitten a lot by trusting people at work. Anything you say will be immediately reported.
I was even hurt by so called councelors who were payed to help me. Everything negative I told them about myself was turned against me.
It is not your fault and it is not like people don't like to open, it is a fear of consequences.
I can say that finding a good friend is same luck as finding husband/wife, supervisor who's good to you and so on. You may be lucky or you may not be lucky as simple as that.
Also some people are born with good people's skills and attract more than others, it is some kind of a gift one have another doesn't. You can develop it up to some level. I am not a person people will jump to be my friend, sometimes they treat me better after they know me better. It is just something to accept.

goody2shuz 11-08-2006 03:01 PM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
Hi, Girls:wave: I think that you bring up alot of points about friends and how friendships develop. It's not just like you meet someone and it's instantaneous......sometimes it takes time and many times great risk. It's not easy to share our weaknesses with another but somebody usually has to make the first move.;)

Nobody is perfect and Sue to expect to find the perfect friend is setting your sights too high. I think that you would make a great friend to somebody but it will take time and the risk of putting yourself out there in order to develop. Most friendships develop when we least expect them too but the chances of them developing are far higher if we interact with people.

I am sorry that you live in such a small place.....I have a feeling that perhaps alot of what intimidates you may be that everybody seems to know everybody elses business. I live in a town like that but the best way to deal with that is to get out there and allow people to develop their own impressions rather on information that was perhaps misrepresented by somebody else. You know what....I love the movie "Something to Talk About" with Dennis Quaid and Julia Roberts in fact I would recommend that you go out and rent is a great movie to show how people can rise above first impressions and gossip within a small community and how we all have skeletons in our closets!!!:D

Anyway....what's the worse thing that can happen by getting out there more....even to the grocery store anywhere where there are people. Heck take a book or a cup of coffee and just sit in a public place. The best thing to do is look in the community happenings part of your local paper and see what is taking place.....even a meeting taking place. The more you put yourself out there the more of a chance you have of meeting a friend.

I am at first on the shy side and once I get to know somebody well enough will open up.....there are really only 2 or 3 people that I feel able to really open up of them was Ruth she made it so easy.:wave: And I believe that there are people like Ruth in the world that we can open up didn't happen overnight even with Ruth.;) I found over time that we shared alot of common beliefs and thought alot alike.....and as time went on I found myself better able to open up with her as she did with me. It just didn't took time and many posts here to know that she was somebody I could do that with. And that is how it is in real life takes time, trust and the ability to take a risk in getting to know another person.

I also find that coming here is a great place to practice....nobody is out to judge here we are all needing support and willing to give other words we are out seeking others to talk to and in most cases find that by doing so we are able to find the basic ingredients that we need for friendship. The anonymity makes it so much easier but the concept is still the same.

I looked over your previous post to me and I see how it may seem like I am positive and inspiring and that the way you see things is everything opposite of that.....but you have been through alot, Sue, much more than I have. But the thing that Ruth taught me was that prayer when things get so tough and in honor of her I am going to share it with you....

[FONT="Verdana"][CENTER]God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.[/CENTER] [/FONT][/COLOR]

You need to realize that there are things that you can change and things that you cannot. Looking forward instead of back may be helpful....all that crap that happened is terrible and truly happened but looking ack on it constantly will only have you living in the pain. YOu survived it as did your family and like most things in our life that go terribly wrong we have the choice to live in it's pain over and over again or to perhaps shelf it and walk away from it a stronger person. I think that you need to accept that you cannot change the past but you CAN change your present and future. Focus on that Sue and learn to leave the past in the past. I hope that I am not overstepping my boundaries but I am trying to do the same now when it comes to Erin.....the last few years were scary and filled with pain and just today the therapist told me that I have to not be living in that fear or pain and it makes alot of sense. I have to learn to live one day at a time without looking at the past and allowing it to have an effect on the future. I know it is hard to do but it makes sense. And perhaps it will help you at the same time.

You are a great person, Sue and don't you ever forget it!!!

((((HUGS))) ~ Goody

kiehn 11-08-2006 03:26 PM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
Hi galinaqt (very unique name and Im curious what it means)

Wow, thanks for the imput. I guess Im one of those that doesnt judge people on their faults, but more on how they treat others. So it never occured to me if I might bring up my past or an aspect of myself I'd like to improve others might look down on me or use it against me. Ive seen a few counselors but have only found two that seem to want to genuinally want to help.

Long long ago (land b4 time) lol, I still remember thinking all the good guys, friends were already taken. So at almost 50, I may have a better chance of winning the lottery, then finding a close friend. That's not so great casue People that have a lot of money often attract the wrong kind of friendships, so how does one attract the right kind of friendships. Sometimes I try to be so helpful I have actually pushed people away. Other times I simply dont know how to relate, like asking questions without putting someone on the spot. That's what I need to win a Communication skills lottery, hahaha : )

Maybe this whole friendship issue is just one of those things that has to come on it's own time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's nice to Hear some one elses outlook sometimes helps open and board our own. If I can be of help in some way let me know. I will keep an eye open for any of your posts. Thanks again, Sue

kiehn 11-08-2006 04:08 PM

Re: What is a Friend? / What is wrong with me?
Hi Goody
You must have posted while I was posting cause I almost missed yours.
galinaqt made a comment about remembering to ask how someone else
was doing in conversation. Im have always problem with insecurity and
for a brief moment I thought I might have said something to push you away.
I was rethinking everything I had written then remembered I forgot to
asked how Erin was doing, how she repsonded to you with your loss. Ok, now babbling, oh my mind was rolling last night. Goody has such insight,
how fortunate Erin is, why do some kids end up with someone like you and
others well enough about that. That's what happens when I take my antidepressant it shoot me up fast, sometimes I get hypomanic and have to stop it then I go into depression. Urrrrr

Focus on the future, that's pretty scary. Im just trying to deal with the present. People learn from life and what life dishes out to us, it's only by new and positive experiences that we learn to trust. Like you with Erin future postive experiences will replace the past. In the past I always considered myself a christian, that was kind, considerate, caring. Im not going to go into details but several years ago, I had some severe reality shocks and have never regained my trust in God. I dont know where that leaves me, and I dont think this is the place to discuss it. In fact I'll be honest if my feelings offend you, I will understand. I do not judge anyone elses belief's and have finally found some sort of peace with mine. Maybe God will choose to reinstore that lost trust but Im not going to hold my breath. One day at a time is all I can handle.

I will check out that movie, it sounds like something I could not only enjoy but benifit from. I love Julia Roberts acting and Im not sure about Dennis
Quaid, name is very familiar. Did he play in Quantum leap. I love that show.
Time travel my dream vacation.

Forgive my jumping around, must be the bipolar in me in fact Im having a hard time staying focused right now so if I dont repsond to everything you said that's why. You shy, no way, you sure dont give that appearance to me. I do agree 100% this is a great place to practice, learn, feel accepted. I will extend my offer to you as well if I can ever be of assistance pleae ask. Im not ashamed or embarassed to discuss any aspect of my past bipolar including. Thanks Goody hugabunch

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