There are things I struggle with sometimes due to my BPD, but also due to being a human with, you know, human feelings. One of these things is fear of abandonment and fear that the people in my life don’t actually like me. That they just…. tolerate(d) my existence. This is especially true now, when I’m living far away from almost all of my friends.
That’s the trouble with taking a job in a far-away city.
I began noticing ache of loneliness when I first moved to Ottawa. Husband was still in the States at the time, so I often attributed the feeling to missing him. I’ve realized since, however, that even with him here… I’m lonely.
That isn’t to say I don’t appreciate the friends I have and am making here, or that I don’t love having Husband here now. I do. But with my friends back home busy all the time, I worry that they’ve written me off. I mean, they have each other, right? They don’t need me. The list of thoughts starts from there and grows: What if they think my life is too different, now? What if they resent my job and my marriage, because I’m not struggling with the same things they are right now? What if they think I’ve changed? What if they think I don’t need them anymore?
The intelligent, rational part of me understands that my friends are busy. They have lives outside of me, and perhaps they’re just going through some stuff right now. Stuff I really wish I could be there for, but stuff nonetheless. Whenever they’re free from their stuff, we’ll catch up. We’ll do stuff. We’ll talk.
That’s the thing that really makes me miss them: we don’t ever get to talk about the things we would usually talk about, anymore. Not the shows we’re watching, or our pets being little derps. We can’t blow off steam over a cup of tea and a so-bad-it’s-good movie. The little we exchange consists of news and the occasional brief “oh hey I have these two minutes for a quick update, let me just send a quick FB message”, and that makes me sad. I’m so terrified that our friendship will dwindle down to nothingness, and it’s stressing me out.
I can’t help but think of my one friend who married younger than me, and who ended up fading from our lives without so much as a howdy-do. We tried to keep in touch with her, but it was like she didn’t even care about us anymore. She had her husband and her baby and her life and it was as if we were nothing to her. It broke my heart. To this day, I can’t help but think “if only I’d done something more we would still be friends”. Though I am over the moon happy for her, I also can’t see photos of the family she once wanted me to be part of without my heart aching a little. I am so scared of the same thing happening to the friends that remain.
I wanted this post to be positive — to talk about how to keep friendships alive over distance — but it’s hard when I feel like I’m clearly not doing it right. In the day and age of social media, it’s impressively easy to not communicate with the people that actually matter.
I try, though. I send messages and texts. Sometimes, when I have my life together, I send letters, or care packages. I try to make video call dates. I’m Christmas shopping with the assumption that I have people to give them to.
Days like today, though, when I’m missing all the friends I have spread across Canada, I can’t help but be scared that they don’t want me anymore.