Perhaps you’ve heard this Goyte song? It is on a constant loop on our local pop radio station. Other then the word ‘screwed’ which bothers me mainly because my seven year old in obsessed with said pop station and I am quite certain he will start to use the word ‘screwed’ upon hearing this song 50 bazillion times, I like this song. I actually liked the beat more than anything at first. It reminds me of my teen years when I alternated between pot smoking hippy rad pseudo surfer girl (which has nothing to do with song but mostly a point of reference as to what I was like when I was 15) and Live105 dark clothing Goth loving alternative rock girl. The song reminds me of the latter and not the former. I listened to Bob Marley and Peter Tosh for the former, FYI. Digressing…
ANY WHO, I started to listen to the words and those words got me thinking. Especially the line, ‘now you’re just somebody I used to know’. I have been one my whole life to make poor decisions when it comes to some people. I have made poor choices with friends over and over again and boyfriends/boys I wanted to have as boyfriends. I have felt like my past is littered with poor choices when it came to all things people related. So that when I finally reached my late 20s, I was determined to stop the madness and found myself starting over in some ways, in good ways. At that time I made two amazing friends and I met my husband! Then I let things slip back to the way they were before I made that conscious effort.
Looking back over my past “relationships” used to make me cringe. Oh the bodies of those people I no longer wanted to know or wished I had never known! Now today I look back and rather than seeing the negatives of those relationships, I have grown to see the positives. They are just people I used to know and they are also people who shaped me. The problem for all of these years is that I would throw myself fully into a friendship without recognizing that perhaps, likely, they were not really into me as much as I was into them.
Yes, I mean beyond just boyfriends, just plain old friends, and worse yet I would ignore the good people, the people who did genuinely want to be friends. To be fair, I did this to boys too. I always liked the unobtainable ones and I could not see the nice ones who were interested in me because I was so overwrought about the ones who would not look at me. That is wicked bad way to live one’s life in my opinion. Not only because it created really unhealthy relationships but it simply crushed my self esteem. I could never get what I thought I wanted even though what I needed was right in front of me.
It hurt too. It hurt when they left me, I felt abandoned by them. I was constantly left wondering what did I do… oh and by the way this has happened as recently as two years ago so I write this like I am in a better place, I am over it, it no longer happens but it does. I still let this happen to me. Once things go ‘wrong’, I assume the worst about me. I think I must be a shitty person who does not do or say enough OR I do or say TOO much. It rips me up inside. It takes time and distance for me to see the reality of things and yes in some cases I know I was at fault OR there was fault on both sides. The only person I can change is me is what I have learned from all of this. It was good to know those people and while it is hard to think that maybe some of those people did not like me or have bad thoughts/memories of me, that is their issue/problem, not necessarily mine. I also realize that I am wrong often and I make mistakes that cannot be changed. I just need to live with them or let them go.
The thing that always bothered me was how I was willing to forgive some of these personalities because I wanted to bend over backward to make an already broken relationship work. I could not see what a bad foundation a friendship was built on so then I would be hurt or left wondering what the hell went wrong, what did I do… see how this a bad and harmful cycle?
What I have learned is that some people are just incapable of forgiving. I simply forgive and forget. It is my nature; it is the nature of growing up in my family. I might be angry for a bit but generally I just let it all go. I am also willing to admit when I am wrong and I will move on. Some people just cannot do that. I often wonder if you asked older adults who live to be quite old if they hold on to anger, if they will say heck no, I let it go.
I have developed severe social anxiety from this. Not a good thing I know. I fear that I am going to fuck up. I fear that I am going to do harm to someone so rather than being nice and letting a relationship go where it might go, I just avoid it or worry about it. I tend to put on my mean girl face and hide in my house even though my inner self loves being social and I do enjoy spending time with people I am terrified to both hurt someone and be hurt.
Given time, all things that I thought was horrible were not. People also forgive and/or forget and many people change. I have found some friends who I am so glad to have mended those fences with if you will so that it makes me smile just typing this. Most people are not malicious, they did not mean to do me harm and I honestly did not mean to do them harm but in some cases we were in different places in our lives. Places that did not allow us to mesh, time sometimes changes that. We grow up and get over ourselves. Not always, but sometimes!
Finally, and that is where the song title comes into play, sometimes people who come and go from our lives were there to teach us one thing or a few things but then they just become somebody that I used to know. No less important but not a part of my life today. I have been considering my life lately and how small my social circle has become. It is okay most of time. My social anxiety in the past three years has reached heights that I cannot explain in some ways. I simply dread going out the door if it involves a certain level of interaction with unknown people. I get the sweats and I cannot breathe and I find myself playing out awful scenarios in my head and I just dread doing whatever event it is I have to do. I end up either saying things I regret or not speaking at all giving people the impression I am unhappy/uncomfortable/a mean girl!
Even little things like going Farmer’s market a couple of weekends ago was terrifying. I was okay until I got there but then there were all these faces and noise and my heart started to pound and I focused on Marisa only and I could barely smile and it was terrifying. I wanted to turn tail and run away. I did not, I stayed, and we had a great time. I just wished we had more. I wish for my children that K and I had more friends, a wider circle of people to hang out with, host parties for and generally just enjoy our home and lives the way I always saw my parents doing… Maybe that is 70-80s thing of the past?! I know over the years different parents have approached us to get their kids together with ours and I avoid it. So many fear erupt around this especially if it involves one on one time with me and another mother!
The most recent painful experience involved my children. I do not want my social inability to harm them and yet I am finding it does… so that sucks. Mostly this is new. I was reading Miss Zoot’s posts about overcoming her fears and doing all of these amazing things and she seems to do it so gracefully. I want that. I think the more I give a voice to these fears the better I will get at it. And the more self aware I am about myself the better judge of people I will be. If I can keep myself I check and not throw myself into just one or two people but rather look at all of the potential in folks, that not everyone is going to be my bestie, I can grow my social life, my family’s social life. This thought process is scary but I am hopeful about it too. I am thinking about joining a couple of “groups” in town to get started, just to see if I am capable of this. A general way to combine things I love with a place to make new friends, to grow my social world.
I want this so badly and I am ready to change this lifelong behavior, this lifelong belief that I am not good enough, that I am bad person. I want to write a new book for myself, I am ready!