Unknown

img_5057Sitting on the well-worn, blue speckled carpet, she laughed at her friend, Anna, who’d just said something off the wall, as usual. Laughing wasn’t at all uncommon, she laughed all the time, but for some reason this laugh had left her feeling this recurring empty feeling, a sudden jerk into reality, as if the laugh was fake and didn’t belong, even though it hadn’t felt like that. It occurred to her that maybe it wasn’t emptiness she was feeling, exactly. Then it hit her like an unexpected tidal wave, throwing her instantly off-balance.

She felt alone.

Holding her smile so no one could tell what she was thinking, her eyes scanned the room from face to face. Scattered about the room were the six young women who knew her better than anyone ever had. Yet, that made her sad, all of the sudden.

If she were to describe them to anyone, she’d tell them they were her best friends, her sisters. She’d do anything for them, that’s just the way she was made. Even if any one of them might not do the same for her.

When she’d met them all four years ago, it was like a whole world opened to her. She’d had best friends before, but living independently with and amongst these young women provided opportunities to see them every day, any hour of the day. In happy times and bad times, and all the in between. For the first time in her life, she had a place to belong.

She was likeable. Loveable, even. It was just her personality to mean what she said, and to say what she meant. People could count on it, and often did. She was dependable, passionate, and caring. She was open and accepting of others, even when people around her were not. Standing for what she believed in wasn’t something that was negotiable. It just was. Caring about people and having a genuine interest in getting to know them wasn’t an act. It just was.

Some were drawn to her for those reasons. Yet, those qualities also scared many people. Most, actually. She shared of herself, but not everyone did the same, or with the same depth.

Some didn’t want to receive that offering. Often, it was too much. She was too much, at least that’s how it felt.

Over time, she learned that many people wished to keep her at arm’s length. They wanted the benefits that came with being her friend, but didn’t always wish to reciprocate. Some would only take. And take.

The thing was – she never pushed people away. Especially the ones sitting in this room, even if it felt like they didn’t always reciprocate. Not only could she not risk causing people to feel abandoned or rejected…..she needed them. That was twisted and made no sense, and she knew it.

But, they were all she had.

Except, as she scanned the room, looking at each and every one of her ‘best’ friends, she felt so alone. It wasn’t the first time this feeling had hit her, but this time it was like an anvil on her chest. It was hard to breathe. In the pit of her belly, there was an aloneness that squeezed and knotted the muscles, rising like bile, choking her.

She knew these women. She had spent the last four years listening, even to all the things they didn’t say, helping even when they hadn’t asked, and giving them everything she had to give.

She loved them.

But, in that moment, she knew they couldn’t possibly love her, not in the same way. They didn’t really know her; they hadn’t allowed that to happen.

And you have to be known to be truly loved.

-image found on Tumblr; fictional situation, but based on real life

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20 thoughts on “Unknown

    • Thank you for the lovely compliment. I’m sorry you can relate! That story was based on my early 20’s. It hasn’t been until the last couple of years, in my 40’s, that I found friends that feel like they truly wish to know me. I know that had some to do with my expectations and fears, too.

      Love to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so glad things have changed for you. I find myself having a hard time wanting friends anymore, after so many years of being kept at arms-length. I’m careful who I become vulnerable with now and there are very few people who really know me because of that. Friendships can be so difficult, but having even just one real friend can be an amazing blessing. I would venture to say, that I only have one friend whom I can tell anything to. And I don’t really know what I’d do without them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you. I met a couple of amazing woman online, via blogging, and that has blossomed outside of blogging, which is wonderful, but they do live very far away. I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with one, and it was wonderful. Aside from that, I’m much like what you describe. I don’t have any local friends that are anything more than what feels superficial. For many years, I didn’t like me a whole lot, and that only compounded the
          issue. The time investment is also so hard, especially with kids and activities and all the other things you pack in a day, but I did try to make connections for a while.

          As you said, true friends are worth the time. I make the time. I never would have imagined meeting people via this medium, and it certainly wasn’t my intention. I’m so happy I have, but it hasn’t been without pitfalls too!

          I am so happy you have a friend with whom you can share and who appreciates you! He or she is also a very lucky person. 💜

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sounds like my life exactly…. lol…. Maybe it’s the age? I’m in my forty’s too, with mostly just blogger friends as well. One in particular, being the closest friend I’ve ever had. And of course none of them live near me. Maybe that’s why it works so well? We can’t and don’t have the normal expectations we would have, from a nearby friend. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            • Lol! I do think it’s tougher with age. Time is a gift, too, and it’s such a gamble sometimes to dedicate the time into something that will likely not work out! Maybe that is why long distance works so well. The expectations are different, yet the exchange and sharing can be just as soul-deep. Although, I do so long for looking my friends in the eyes and hugging them. Some days that is overwhelming! I have one in particular that is also the best friend I’ve ever had. Isn’t that the most amazing thing??? I’m so happy for you. 💜💜 Thank you so much for the share and it’s been lovely taking with you.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Oh I couldn’t agree more about wanting to see our friends in person. It’s hard to really be there for them during a crisis, when they’re thousands of miles away. It is so amazing to have that one person in which you can completely relate to in every way. It’s been wonderful speaking with you as well. ❤️

              Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh my word, Angela… I feel like this often! Like so many of my friendships are superficial. What I was telling you about friends who don’t take any interest in my writing, for example. How can you call yourself my friend and not want to know the person I am? The things I’m passionate about? Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry you do! That’s a phenomenon I wish weren’t true! I so agree – how can a friend not want to know your passions? And even of the subject matter isn’t their cup of tea, at least ask about it, have an investment in the happiness it brings! That’s true for any of life’s passions, and whatever burns within and fills our spirits and souls. THAT’S what I want to know about a person. That’s what I wish others wanted to share. I won’t ever not try to know those things, if I’m intending to know a person. And I can’t not share if that’s the intention, either. I suppose whatever happens, happens, you know? It’s not easy but it is what it is, I suppose.

      Love to you, Meg. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

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