Too close for comfort!


Things always get messy, difficult and awkward when I start to open up and get close to people. I know it is related to my past and the wounded child in me because I have witnessed this pattern repeatedly.

As soon as I get close to a person, the friendship becomes more difficult to maintain. People are supposed to work through their issues, iron out their differences initially and reach a point or place of mutual understanding. With that initial hurdle out of the way, they know each other well, have a solid foundation built on trust and from there can be best and great friends right?

Unfortunately not so for me; the closer I get to people the more overwhelmed and stuck I become with the seemingly insurmountable problems that surface. I suspect that it must be hard for others too, who have been abused, to get close to people. Is there any wonder when my primary caregivers and the very first people I was close to disregarded me and made me feel powerless and voiceless?How would I know how to have a close relationship and manage problems and issues confidently. I have had little practise other than my grandmother.

There is an unmothered part of me that wants nothing more than to be close to people and to be loved, yet there is another part of me that makes me so unskilled in close relationships.

All of this has come up because I have made a friend at work and opened up to her, but I am resentful sometimes because I feel that she is only my friend when she needs a counsellor or an empathetic listener. I am jealous more often than not when I am not included in her plans or not given enough attention. Sometimes I resent when she gives me the attention and want to run from it. She can’t win really I have to admit that it is partly my problem.

My expectations are so unrealistic and so high that people can never really win with me. I give a lot but I also expect a whole lot. I have always found it hard to make small talk and prefer to have deep and meaningful relationships. Yet it’s the deep ones that hurt the most. I find it easy to talk to new people, I am welcoming and approachable but I sometimes shy away from people who I have known for a very long time. Feeling awkward and uncomfortable and not knowing what is based on reality and what comes from my past. Do I have a right to be angry? Should I speak my mind or will I chase her away? Am I too demanding? Can I use my voice here? Is she trying to hurt me or is it me and my past again?

I am not spontaneous in my speech and cannot just come out and say what I feel or think in the moment. I have to reflect on things and prepare what I need to say  beforehand. How honest can I be? I have seen people who proclaim to be best friends yet they don’t reveal everything to each other. So are there things I just need to swallow?

I don’t want to expect too much yet at the same time I don’t want to be a walkover and I want to be respected and cherished too.

I am gentle with my struggle and confusion because how could it be any different. I know where it all comes from and that wasn’t my fault BUT it is time to turn things around and be more proactive in creating my own happiness now and choosing how to respond to things.

Rewiring those neural pathways to think and feel differently. I am 40 years old and I don’t need all that pampering and attention that I needed as a baby and little girl. I didn’t get it then but I am giving it to myself so maybe I can be my best friend, my strongest advocate and supporter, the one who regards me most highly and cherishes me so that I can stop expecting others to do it for me.

I really have done well with what I have been given and I am not dependent on others for my happiness because lets face it, people will always do and say the wrong thing both intentionally and accidentally so why be so needy of that care and love from the outside. I could choose to be realistic about friends and what they do and don’t do. Of course I can’t protect myself from all the hurt in the world, people hurt sometimes, it’s part of relationships and I have endured much greater hurt and come out stronger for it.

Hoping that you can make sense of my musings today and offer your thoughts my dear readers.



15 thoughts on “Too close for comfort!

  1. My thoughts are.. that Arthur C. Clarke quote at the top is great. There’s nothing like a bit of existential angst and realising that the unverse is vast and has no interest in us tiny humans, to put our problems in perspective. Sorry for focusing more on the quote than on what you said.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate to what you wrote. I used to have really high expectations of my friends, especially those I consider “close” to me. However, I only set myself up for lots of disappointments. What I realized is that we have not been able to set a healthy boundary between “me” and “other” (although we know in our heart of hearts that we are all ONE in this universe. The magic happens when we decide to no longer depend on others to complete us, to fill the hole in us. When we decide that we are our own source of happiness, whatever other people do to/for us, would not be to such a scale that would hurt or destroy us emotionally. When we are confident of our core being, there will not be anymore “wrongs” coming from others. I have been trying to practice this mindfully recently, and caught myself blaming others for what they had not done to fit my standards. Once I caught myself in the act, I turned my thoughts around and tried to adjust my fixed standards, allowing the others their own way of handling things. I found that immensely liberating. Finally, I came to understand what “letting go” means. I am sure you will too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • wow, you expressed that so well, so articulately. Yes just the sound of letting go is immensely liberating! Because then you don’t hold people responsible for your own happiness. Thank you so much for your insightful comment, I will reread it to digest it all!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. ” I find it easy to talk to new people, I am welcoming and approachable but I sometimes shy away from people who I have known for a very long time. Feeling awkward and uncomfortable and not knowing what is based on reality and what comes from my past.” — Me too!!

    And I have a really hard time talking about superficial things. I’m a sit and have deep conversation person, otherwise I feel more awkward and uncomfortable. Like I’m pretending to be normal but really feel awful. Which of course — now as I write this — I can see this makes so much sense. I spent my childhood pretending I felt normal and okay when I didn’t. I’m lousy at pretending. I’d rather hangout by myself and not bother. Lots to think about here! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I relate to this. I get hurt by people a lot at times as I feel exquisite sensitivite and sometimes I feel others don’t get the depth of things that I do. I have had to learn what is realistic and unrealistic to expect from others. I have a sense that part of my journey of loving and growing is to learn to fill my own well and do the things that make me feel stronger, That said I go through deep feelings of loneliness at times and wish for a truly close friend I could really relate to most deeply. Its a difficult dance, one we need to bring all our mindfulness, love, patience and acceptance to. Thanks for sharing your inner heart and struggle here.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, I feel less alone knowing that there are others who share these same struggles.It is indeed a “difficult dance”but we are already doing the hard work. I believe sticking closely to myself and embracing everything that comes up is the way forward rather than denial or resistance! Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful responses!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That deep searing loneliness has been a part of life for as long as I can remember. These past few years it has abated. It was a loneliness so suffocating and powerful I needed to run from it but could not. Not sure why it has lessened greatly, but my guess is that I connected with the most important being to me…me. And I wrote about the truth of my life, letting it lift into the universe to float rather than reside inside where it had blackened my soul.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You are never alone in whatever circumstance. Mostly there are people who are either just like us or going through worse. I can totally relate to what you have written. Over time, I have come to realise that one person cannot be everything to us; (even superman had flaws , lol!) It just shows how human we are and how we need to learn not to be overly dependent on people. We needn’t expect too much from people else we only will get disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I too relate to what you wrote about friends and about people who say hurtful things,be they intentional or accidental.I recently made a new friend who had a normal childhood,so i can’t expect her to understand me completely.I feel the need to open up to a friend about my narc parents and to share what i can no longer keep inside of me.It badly needs to come out,or otherwise i’ll burst.Having been hurt too many times in the past,i first wanted to know how she feels about abuse in general,so i brought up a hypothetical case about a woman being raped.”What do you think about it?” i asked.

    Her answer was shocking:”We make our own reality.That woman attracted that type of man because she had a victim mentality.You know,the law of attraction,the universe responding to your thoughts,fears etc”.I strongly disagree with her.I saw her statement as victim blaming.Practically,she was saying that abuse is always the victims fault.I immediately withdrew my trust in her.Ofcourse i changed my mind about telling her about my parents.

    Somewhere,i read that i should listen to my intuition.If i interpret something as victim blaming,then it really is.There are thousands of such damaging quotes on the internet,all victim blaming in disguise.

    You are right,it’s very difficult for us survivors to deal with the world.The normally raised form friendships naturally,but not us.We have dilemmas on how to behave around friends,how much to tell,how to speak our mind when something bothers us.We fear that we’ll push that friend away and so on.Life with trauma attached to it is hard to navigate sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

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