Friday, August 2, 2013

What the dress needed...

Recently I blogged about that dress that doesn't quite fit. In this post the "dress" was obviously a metaphor for "life", but in reality there really is such a dress in my closet.

So perfect in color and style, it even fits, yet in the 6 months I had owned that dress, I'd only worn it once. I'd tried it on many a morning, only to take it off before I headed downstairs, because something felt wrong. I tried the belt, the cardigan, tights, boots, flats, just didn't feel comfortable to me and looked strange in the mirror. Until this week, when I wore it over my new shaping shorts (i.e. a much less constricting, much cheaper version of spanx). The dress finally felt, and looked, the way I imagined it in my mind's eye. And despite the tighter undergarments, it was extremely comfortable to wear on a muggy and chaotic day from dawn to dusk.

All the dress needed was a little support.

And here's where I turn the analogy around and acknowledge that support is exactly what's been missing from my life recently, and what I think I need in order for things to feel comfortable.

I've written before about the lack of community in our daily lives, and about my desire for closer friendships. Its a feeling that comes and goes---and times of stress are when I feel the lack the most. This is clearly one of those times, where I need someone other than G that I can confide in---for comfort, suggestions, or simple solidarity. Someone who is outside enough to give a fresh perspective, but knows me well enough not to dole out assvice.

I don't have anyone like that in my life right now, and I'm not sure how to make it happen. I used to have extremely close girlfriends, but have lost touch with most,  due to the immense distances (geographic or lifestyle) between us. G & I have some couple friends we get together with, but that's not really the venue to discuss such personal topics as marriage counseling, in-law relationships, or body issues. I have colleagues I can vent to about work, but...same. My sister and I text frequently about kid stuff, but I consider some topics taboo with family. And the few friends I've managed to make all seem to be in very very different life situations right now (one newly engaged, one married 25 years with older kids)...they are sympathetic, but don't get it, because they are not currently living it.

This may be one of the main reasons I get it. But you don't (as far as I know!) live down the street, so I can't have you over for a nice glass of wine and a chat.

Unsurprisingly, I've read other bloggers that mention this same problem. Its hard to make friends when you're older, and throw in the time and energy constraints of working & parenting, and its easy to want to avoid the whole thing. I have to remind myself that this is important to my mental health and I need to do something about it (but what! seriously, suggestions welcome!). Because everything fits better with a little support.


  1. I'm in the exact place too - it's definitely something I need in my life, but have no idea how to get it!

  2. I think friendships are honestly something you have to work at creating as an adult-- and be patient about. If you meet just one new person that you really want to spend time with every 3 months, that's 4 per year, and over 3 years, that would be a pretty large community. But yes, it can feel pretty lonely in the intervening time...

  3. Thank goodness for the internet-- Nicole and Maggie can still be best friends just like in high school. :) Though we're actually living very different lives in many respects... but I think we know each other well enough that it doesn't really matter that one of us is childless by choice and the other has two kids and so on.

    We made pretty good friends when we first moved where we're living now, but they were all graduate students and have since moved on and we've lost touch. We made some good friends when we were on sabbatical in a West Coast city, but now we're down to Christmas cards. We're left with long-distance friends made close by technology-- mostly from high school and graduate school. DH is in regular contact with two of his graduate school buddies even though one of them lives in England.

    Our lives revolve a lot around kids these days and there just aren't many adults who I want to get close to who have kids our kids' ages, especially with our kids being so different, and us being blue staters stuck in a red state, and so on. So I dunno. It's hard as an adult, and I think without the internet I really would have to move to a West coast city. There are so many more people there that we just automatically click with, and they're so much easier to find.

    As much as I complain about mommy forums, they really were a great place to find the kind of support you're talking about when I needed it. I think there's a reason that most of the people on mommy forums have babies and toddlers, and not just SAHM. Toddler years may be even more socially isolating for some working moms because you don't have the playgroups with other moms in the same situation. So I guess if you're looking for another outlet, maybe a mommy forum... I was on the Soulcysters one for a while (started when ttc with PCOS) and it had some good people. People do love to give advice on fora, and sometimes that advice is good! And it was always really nice to just be able to ask a question and get an answer. Of course, the drama and the debates got old fast and are the main reason I ended up weaning off. (Blogging is now my main vice/hobby.)

    Hang in there! And, as they say on fora, *hugs*!

  4. I'm extremely lucky- I do have friends IRL that get it- at least to a certain degree. But these friends are women I met online through infertility support sites- if it weren't for the internet, I wouldn't have ever met any of them. I often wonder how I would have felt, going through infertility 30 years ago, when there was no www. It would have been very lonely.

    These days, even though I have infertile friends IRL, many of them don't understand my specific situation. I have my daughter, but have been unable to have a second, and the window will be closing for good in a few short months. Even those who have a history of struggling to conceive will tell me that I should just be grateful to have my daughter- as if my feelings about our inability to carry a second baby to term are invalid. It's incredibly isolating.

    I also find it difficult to make real, lasting friendships as an adult. I don't think the prevalence of social media is helping the situation at all- most people are so busy connecting online that they don't seem to remember the importance of IRL friendships. I wish I had some awesome, useful advice for you, but I'm struggling with the same issues. I joined a couple of book clubs about a year ago, and am slowly getting to know some of the women in those. But it is taking a very long time- people just seem so busy these days, it's tough to really get to know people. I'm just being as patient as I can, and giving the friendships time to unfold organically. It's not easy, is it? Hugs to you...

  5. We are expats living far away from family. Not that family would help, or could, or would be allowed (they are to stay alone with the children when I am dead, hopefully this will not happen). Germans are far from being friendly to strangers, but I managed to make a couple of friends (Bavarians are not exactly German :-)). But still, we have the children in common, and I am not ready to start telling them about family problems, it would take too much time, that we do not have, and it is so much easier to just talk to my husband and that is to be enough. It is. But sometimes I would like to talk to a grirlfriend. Which the interwebs is so helpful with. But how can you have coffee online?!

  6. Funny, I have the same thing going on with the literal dress--OH! HEY! MAYBE MY ASS NEEDS A GIRDLE! And of course I need the metaphorical girdle as well, and yes, it's SO HARD TO FIND. I joined a group in the hopes of finding some people in my neighborhood, but so far it's been all people with tiny babies who live a million miles away. SIGH.

  7. As you know, I feel exactly the same.I don't have any solutions, but just solidarity.