If I died today, would anyone miss me? I know my husband, my kids, and my immediate family would miss me, but would anyone else?
My honest answer is: I don’t think so.
While I’m being completely vulnerable, I don’t have very many friends and I definitely don’t have a “best friend.” There is no one I could call in the middle of the night if I were in a crisis who I know would answer the phone. No one who I could text funny memes to. No one I have inside jokes with. No one I could FaceTime just to chat about some dumb thing that happened. Sure, I have a few people who we hang out with and have a good time. I get invited on the occasional bachelorette party and to birthday or baby shower. But I am never totally comfortable being there and I find reasons to RSVP “No.”
People say that motherhood can be lonely. Your life revolves around your kid’s needs and schedules. You prioritize washing dishes and folding the never-ending pile of laundry when you get a spare minute or two. You worry about if they are eating enough nutritious foods to keep them healthy, growing, and satisfied. You think about yourself last for fear of being thought of as selfish.
But this feeling of loneliness and isolation started well before I had kids. It began when I basically gave everyone in my hometown the middle finger and moved away for college. I never tried to really connect with other people, introducing myself as “kind of bitchy” before anyone even got to know me. The word “bitch” is now a trigger that sends me down a deep hole of self-hatred. The feelings got worse when I could see coworkers hanging out with each other, or hear about conversations they had outside of work. I was rarely invited to hang out with anyone outside of my now husband’s circle of friends, and that always felt like a pity invite.
I have grown enough self-awareness through working through my depression and anxiety issues to realize a lot of this came from being an insufferable, unhappy, moody, immature, and over-sharing twenty-something year old. I was so desperate for people to like me (and still am…that shit will not go away) that I probably came off as annoying AF. I tried too hard and talked about myself too much. There really wasn’t anything exciting happening in my life so I just complained about everything to anyone who would listen to my talk for five minutes.
Now when I get feedback about my behavior I am immediately thrown back into all of the feelings of “nobody likes me.” I get immediately defense of my actions, even if the feedback is just meant as constructive. Then the self-hate spiral starts with analyzing my own actions and then reading too much into the reactions of everyone else.What was the look on their face? Did they seem annoyed with me? Were they mad? What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just act normally? It usually ends with a panic attack or at least a very ugly crying session.
So now that I’m 29, married with two kids, mostly friendless, moving across town, and unemployed (until I start my new job next month)…where the f*ck can you make adult friends? And with COVID-19 raging right now, how in the actual f*ck are you supposed to meet new people? The internet? That doesn’t exactly sound great (she says as she is basically begging the stranger reading this on the internet to be her friend…she is very aware of the irony).
I think if I today was my last day, I would be remembered as a wife, mom, and sister. But I would rather be remembered as a stellar friend. The person who would pick up the phone your name came up on the caller ID, no matter what time. The person who could make you laugh with just a look. The person who validated your feelings. The person who will serve some great guacamole with killer margaritas. The person who supported you through all of the hard times. I would like to be remembered for all of that.