Friends (Long One)

I suppose we need these times of feeling unhappily squeezed to face some things, we wouldn’t face them if we were too comfortable.

Have woken up not exactly fully miserable but feeling a heaviness inside. Something is moving and heaving me around inside and wanting to be addressed. Was reading some heavy stuff before I got up, about reactive attachment disorder. Still trying to understand a friend who has it.

I woke with the enjoyable thought of leaving this current life set up and mostly disappearing from everyone’s lives. And living somewhere far away, never to be seen or heard of again. Alone to be entirely who I really am.

I always just thought I have a lot of dysfunctional friends because I’m dysfunctional, so can relate to them. And that is true, in the sense that I do relate to those who live outside of society much better than those who fit in. Poets, musicians, artists, philosopher types. Those who don’t like having 9-5 jobs or bosses. I don’t judge people in that sense maybe the way others would in terms of criteria for friendship. As long as they are free thinkers, that’s usually enough.

Of course in a sense I do fit in, tax paying member of the community with a 25 year old business and employees etc. And I am healthy and functional enough to help people with mental health issues. I don’t actually think I’m very dysfunctional. I don’t fit in to societies rituals and rules seamlessly or with people who live in that world unconsciously or unquestioningly.

I find myself quite perplexed by the normalities of how people live. And I mean just very normal things people take for granted are strange to me. How people drink every night, that they have weddings/get married in the traditional way. How so many hold down jobs they don’t like and dread every day. Go on holiday to make the awful job bearable. Watch the news every day probably several times. How over 90% took an experimental vaccine for an illness that only effected a tiny minority of the elderly and already unwell population. How they talk about such boring things. That is all bizarre to me and I just don’t relate.

On friends, I have noticed an increase in criticism towards a few and have noticed a feeling of guilt about that. Been a bit bored. I do love and appreciate them, and I have so few friends now, any company is relatively rare and quite valued, however…I just don’t feel myself or at ease in most of their company these days. Almost nothing discussed is of much interest to me.

Only occasionally I think afterwards, “that was good”. Except with M, I often feel energised with him. Most of the time I’m feeling uncomfortably mismatched with each one. Barely any are interested in the depth of exploratory conversations that makes my heart sing. And it is obvious to me that I am most uninterested in what almost all of them talk about.

There’s a lot of surface level chit chat and detail from one, I feel so bored at times. He’s capable of such interesting psychological chat too. Known him for 30 years. There’s world politics from another, and little else in common (except a life history since the age of 5). There’s seriously unhinged paranoid conspiracy stuff from the friend I have the best deep conversations and connection with, which is disappointing as I feel so close to him in many ways. Known him for probably 15 years. There’s one who is competitive and dramatic who I edit myself around so they aren’t threatened. Likes detail too. Long time friend since childhood so it’s has many many years of scripted stuff, expectations, sensitivity that make it hard.

There’s another whose depth I enjoy but have no idea what he is really like, very guarded and private. Says interesting things, and unusual responses, unscripted and original. And he goes off occasionally on rants about something that colour some of our encounters with an instability of energy and apologises after. Makes me wonder who he is as he is otherwise deep and sensitive and thoughtful, and much of what he says seems well considered. Known him for about 5 years. Another who I used to love talking psychology to but over the pandemic got very deeply into conspiracy kind of approaches and also Trump and the sort of things that I don’t relate to. Known him for lots of years. I do love these people dearly I might add. Sorry to be critical if any of you read this but it’s what’s going on. I’m wondering what I’m doing. Got to ask at times.

Yesterday I visited a couple of very long term old friends I also love, great catch up, nice range of topics and excellent depth. It’s like I’m judging a fine wine or something here! We arranged to go out for my birthday next week. Invited my mum too. They are odd friends too, though also fully paid up members of society, ex dentist, church choir members. Not drop outs. Very middle class so there’s that connect and rapport of understanding of conditioning.

Have another friend who also isn’t a drop out, the mum of a dear pal I love dearly and grew up with, whose house I have frequented for over 40 years! She and I rejoice in each other’s company and openly express our love for each other. It’s so refreshingly delightfully lovely.

The middle class connection. There’s a rapport when a similar upbringing has happened and a bit of a cultural gulf when the friend has had a rough upbringing. No judgement at all of course on anything about that. Just there’s a lack of familiarity with working class culture. I see how strong it is in people. Introduced 2 working class friends who instantly bonded and talk a lot of working class references when we are together that I don’t relate to. And which bore me a lot.

There’s 2 other friends whose company I like once a month we meet. People I met on a psychology course and have remained friends with. That’s almost always interesting. We go deep too at times, though they are neophytes to the self enquiry delving game. And I have to remind myself to be a little sensitive and careful as I forget how scary and threatening that can be. Both very middle class so there’s shared conditioning there too.

Whose company do I really enjoy? My pal M. And also E. Both have a serious level of commitment to becoming more conscious. Bringing the contents of the unconscious into consciousness. And that is a favourite hobby that I’m quite devoted to. It’s my life.

I feel almost completely myself around M, and that is quite rare. I probably would have settled down with him as a life partner years ago, if the instability and damage hadn’t been there. We were so close, I thought we were soul partners and I was so devastated when his issues appeared and sabotaged the relationship. It was a big curveball. We remained friends though and at more of a distance some kind of friendship sustainability has been achieved. That hasn’t been easy or smooth.

Dealt a tough hand, abandoned as a 3 month old baby, first year in a home, then adopted with subsequent lifelong attachment issues and other effects, so I have to navigate some serious issues of his at times. It has been very challenging to maintain a friendship. He has fears with being close, with being even friends with anyone, and anger has caused problems and damage to my trust and ability to be around. He has done so much work though and continues to and that is so admirable and courageous. And he is very open minded and I love to be around others for whom nothing is out of bounds. I’m comfy with him being in my house too.

My son too, he is also one, a closest of good friends. I love his company, and we have lots in common to explore. He lives abroad. We are in contact regularly sharing podcasts and articles and having deep discussions. I’d say he is my closest friend actually. Is that unhealthy? Sorry to him if it is!

My sister doesn’t live here but I consider her to be a close friend. She’s an explorer to a degree, bit of depth….nothing too risky though. She is wildly investigating her potential and strengths these last years which are blossoming and it’s beautiful to see. She is miles more confidant too so is not so threatened. So we are enjoying a fine rapport and level of honesty. Very middle class conditioning bond thing in common.

And I’ve made a new friend recently who I’m meeting once a month. We seem to have psychology in common and I’m open to seeing what else. A bit of a rough background, and then very successful in the corporate world, turned therapist a long time ago. Astute, but how deep I don’t know. We are developing trust.

So I have working class and middle class friends, and when there’s closeness that is completely insignificant. I’m after depth in people. Explorers. Hardly anyone doing that though. Most are nursing and loving up their fears instead. Wow that’s critical! Well it’s my diary, I can write what I want.

And me, how would I judge myself as a friend? Well. On the negative, I’m fussy. About surroundings, places, spaces and atmospheres. Yes I have a range of topics I’m interested in from the natural world, self enquiry, even a little quantum physics, local history, psychology, art, design, spirituality, philosophy. But little tolerance for topics I’m not. I like intensity. And I’m told I don’t hide when I’m bored. I can be rude. Intolerant. Too direct. Boastful sometimes. Is that boastful to insecure people and celebrating success to confident ones who celebrate with me perhaps? Im confident enough to celebrate other peoples successes in fulfilling their potential for the most part. So jealousy and comparison aren’t major faults though I’m capable of it. I’m generally encouraging, supportive and generous. I can talk too much about boring things to others if I get excited. Not a good story teller, not much of a sense of humour. Kind and empathetic. Good listener.

Why am I criticising here and not just appreciating? Well maybe I’m taking stock and checking in with myself that I’m not being too fake for the sake of some company.

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