Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Feeling Alone in the Storms

I've been really quiet on my blog because it's been a very difficult, trying time (once again) in my life. There has been so much stress and pressure put on me and I did not feel like writing.

This blog post is going to be pretty emotional and raw.

Let's talk about friendships or really the lack of them. I wrote a post about this same topic in the beginning of this year here where I've had to let go people I've met in this season.

Ever since I was a teenager, I've had trouble keeping friends. In all of the friendships I've ever had with women, there was always this element where I had to be fake. I couldn't actually be honest and truthful with them because it might hurt their feelings. For me this does not work. I like to just say it like it is instead of me festering or holding on to things inside of me. However I realized that 99% of the population does not work that way and so it causes problems.

People want you to be fake. I refuse to do it.

Inevitably I've always been the one blamed for being a bad friend and then a "break up" happens. It is always in these times where the other person's true feelings finally come out. This is when I see they were the ones festering animosity this whole time and it's a big mess. After various messages back and forth, I realize that there is no possible way reconciliation can happen because it wasn't real to begin with.

It is like I was friends with a facade, not the actual real person within them.

I've seen this cycle time and time again in my life. Today, this is why I'm upfront and real with people.

My husband told me this quality in me is why he fell in love with me. He loved that I had an opinion! Apparently on our first date I was ranting about the Catholic church?! haha! I don't even remember that, but it's obvious that God put us together. No one else I ever knew liked that quality about me!

It is the thing everyone else hates that my husband loves.

I say it like it is because I will not fester and harvest things inside of me. Any time I've violated this rule of mine, it always comes back to hurt me in the long run.

In these fake friendships, I always felt like I lost my freedom and my voice. It was like that person expected me or even peer pressured me into doing what they were doing. I hated it. I had to put up an act. I had to always agree with them. I had to like the things they liked. I had to basically be them and I hated it. It's like a bad controlling relationship.

To me that is not a friendship but that is honestly a prison. Today I refuse to befriend someone if that's the terms they have for friendship. I absolutely despise it and will eventually push the person away on purpose.

To add insult to injury, having a chronic illness does not help things either. It tested all of the friendships I've had.

The main problem is that....

I don't have kids.
I did not finish college.
I don't work.
I can't regularly go to church.
I can't "hang out".
I hate talking on the phone because it aggravates my health problems.

That pretty much throws every friendship and way of making (and connecting with) friends out the window. All of the things that people do with their friends, I cannot possibly do and it always puts strain on the friendship. If I do end up making a friend, eventually the emails or texts stop and then I never hear from them again. Time and time again.

So for me, all that I have are online friendships and I am grateful for those who have stuck around even if it's just 3-4 of you. I thank God for you every day.

I feel like most of those whom people think are their friends are an illusion.

They are there for you today because:
...you still agree with them.
...you can still hang out.
...you work with them.
...there is something in your life that connects you.

If you remove all of that, will they still be there? For how long? A few months? I had amazing friends when I worked at Kohl's and Pier 1, but that was over 10 years ago now and those people are gone. I personally have never seen a friendship ever last when there is nothing to keep a person connected.

This is a sad post, but one I wanted to write today. I really don't have any friends. No one calls. No one texts. I get no phone calls on my birthday. I get no invites to weddings. I get no invites to bridal or baby showers. Honestly if I died today, I do not think anyone locally outside of my family would actually care. I've had to come to the reality of that and somehow be OK with it.

I simply have no one at all in my life except for my husband and God.

I've entered in a time where my husband cannot help me in the place I'm in. He cannot help me with the struggles and pain that I'm feeling in my heart. I have been so emotionally and physically unwell, but instead of God bringing me people to comfort me, He has taken more away.

It might seem strange to many of you reading, but I believe that God has brought me to this place. He has brought me so alone and so low to show me that He is enough. I don't need likes on Facebook. I don't need a certain number of friends on Facebook. I don't need more followers on my blog or even more visitors here. I really only need Him.

Jesus was betrayed and abandoned by the only people and friends He knew. God knows the pain I'm feeling and I continue to trust that He will bring my husband and I community and friends that will accept us as we are today. Neither of us have that right now.


Kel P. said...

Dana, It had been so long since you have written one of your beautiful blog entries that I know you for... I was worried about you! I came to say that I miss learning through your own life lessons that you so eloquently share here. I am ecstatic to see you post, even though the subject isn't pretty and perfect. This is YOUR life, YOUR experiences, YOUR feelings, and you have the right to be honest about them!

I can really relate friendship wise. I remember being embarrassed when I got married because I didn't have girl friends to invite to my wedding. And as I've lost my health over the years it has only gotten worse, as you have experienced first hand. I have also wondered who would even come to my funeral. But you know what? Some of the most beautiful people are the most unappreciated, and you are a beautiful person. Your honesty is a breath of fresh air, and your unwavering spirit is an inspiration. How easy it is to trust God when things are good, but what a REAL testimony to trust him through unrelenting troubles. I have wished that you had compassionate people around you to help when you are struggling. I know it's so hard to to reach out and easier to just isolate yourself when fighting an illness most people just don't comprehend. "Friends" say things out of ignorance like "just be positive" and find a way to blame you for your suffering, leaving you wishing you never confided in them at all. But please don't be afraid to turn to those closest to you and make them aware of your needs. And just know that you are not forgotten and often on my heart, even though I am only a stranger to you.

I want to say "hang in there" but I realize those are such empty words when one is greatly suffering. I wanted to believe your absence meant you were out enjoying your life, but I worried you were still fighting a hard fight, and I am sad to learn that's the case. I am hoping better days are coming soon for you! Much love to you, Dana...

Dana said...

It's nice hearing from you Kel! :) Thank you so much. The chronically ill understand on a level that the healthy never will. People get mad when I say that stuff, but sadly it is the truth. As humans we don't learn from other people's experiences and we tend to have to experience it ourselves. God knows this about us too.

My husband and I eloped, but I would not have had girl friends to invite to my wedding either!

I have had many instances in this season where opening up to people lead me to heartache. I won't replay what happened, but I had to stop sharing some details about our journey that makes people really uncomfortable. Obviously when we are healed, I will not be editing things out of our testimony. However while I'm still walking in it, I have had to protect myself at times. I've seen a side of God that many today do not believe exists. God is not always embracing us and making everything better.

Thank you so much for your kind words today. I use the phrase "hang in there" all the time, so no worries! Your blessing many months ago came at the perfect time btw. God used you to help us when we were in a tight place. God bless you and your husband. :)

Dee Elle said...

Hi Dana. I found your blog looking for info on NutrEval. Your symptoms sound to me like what I've been figuring out for myself and that is a chronic undiagnosed infection could be at root of your issues. I haven't read your whole blog, just the NutrEval and this one (which resonates - you and I are in same boat. I move a lot so definitely don't have energy to mingle). It's okay, because I need my energy. My friends don't understand; but thank goodness I have some old friends I can call up and gab with like I never moved away.) Anyway, I wondered if you've ever tested for h pylori, b. hominis, d.fragilis and other critters? I have been seeing a very well-known chiropractor for a year and spent $10k+ which has only worsened my symptoms/condition. I previously treated h pylori, and tested negative 9 mos. later, but really, it has always been there. I have pain when I eat, so have considered my state to be fibromyalgia. I don't have pain when I don't eat. Anyway, the lining of my gut is WORSE and I'm reacting to MORE foods and breaking out in weird hives that grow to pimples. ITCHES like CRA-ZAY! And we know that the skin is a look into the GI tract, so ... I leave you with this link for further study if you're up to that. It's okay to pray, but don't give up on the search! http://bit.ly/1KLwbKy (the seminar referred to in the link is tonight, I hope you get this message and are able to sign up. Maybe you'll be able to ask a question, idk.) I have celiac, Hashimoto's, SIBO, h pylori, and who knows what else (and that doesn't include what I don't remember because h pylori is sucking out my B vitamins making me have dementia like my dad!) On further exploration into the bugs mentioned in the article, I found this one on how to get diagnosed (blogger is from Australia I think): http://bit.ly/1VrrxEq.

Dana said...

Thanks Dee. When I came to believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and repented of my sins, God very clearly told me and my husband to walk away from the chronic illness communities and to stop trying to find healing elsewhere. He wanted me to seek Him and so that is what I'm currently doing.

Good luck with your search. I did all of that for 7 years of my life. It ended up being expensive, harmful and fruitless. I have no idea why I'm sick, but I know that God can heal it whether or not I know the underlying cause. That is what I'm counting on!!

Abigail Shelton said...

Thank you. My small world has gotten drastically smaller with a diagnosis finally of POTS. I'm without words how clearly you summed up the emotions of lost "friends". Just wanted to say thank you.

Unknown said...

This is a very good blog, and a very sad post.

As my true friendships are revealed in my struggle I am amazed that they have the character to stick around. I have good weeks and bad weeks, and during the good I get back into my old grooves and do the things that bring me joy, make money, basically the motions of the world. How quickly I forget my own suffering and the suffering of others, even with a day or two of relief. It may be a sad statement about myself, but I get where these other friends disappear to, I do it to and I've been to the bottom and continue to visit it on occasion.

You are genuine and a good writer, thank you for doing this.