I can tell you are interested in this topic. It is such a bummer that I don’t have more to say about it.
1. I observe that some of you are talking about opposite sides of the same experiences.
- I am closest to my sisters/mom/in-laws, versus
- How do you make friends with someone who has all their needs met in-family?
- I tend to form quick friendships easily, but struggle to deepen them, versus
- I am so frustrated with shallowness that I can’t even start.
- I need people to let me go, to release me, to let me change, versus
- I need people who hang onto our relationship no matter what life sends.
- How do I trust again after being hurt? versus
- How do I break through the resistance of someone who can’t seem to trust?
Here is a summary of some demographics from the survey. Thank you so much for your honesty. I hope it helped to hear from the other side a little.
2. I observe that we are riddled with fear.
What can I say? Guilty as charged. We fight comparison and insecurity and distrust and jealousy, and even when we find the perfect friend, we spend far too much time worrying that she doesn’t dig us back.
3. I observe that while none of us wants to cast blame, we are all most comfortable outsourcing our relational difficulties.
Listen to me here: I am not judging you. I think the same way. She walked away, the community changed, they don’t understand me. Yet I observe that in all relationships (except my own of course – wince), pain is a two-sided knife. There is more than one party on this ballot.
Am I simply enduring the distress?
Could I be alleviating it?
Is there a chance that I am causing parts of it?
What might the other party say if she were describing the broken places in our relationship?
4. I observe that in spite of our relational bumps, the overwhelming majority of us have people in our lives whom we can trust with our darkest stuff.
And some of them have hung in there with us for a long, long time. We are unspeakably lucky.
To those who don’t have someone, I don’t even have words for what to say, except hang in there. I would change it if I could.
5. I observe that I am not smart enough at the moment to share more thoughts than this.
I will have to turn to stories.
My plan is to draw up a compilation of the questions you asked, and request input from some of the local women I respect. I hope to share their responses early next week.