Saturday, April 5, 2014

Guess I'll go eat worms.

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms,
Long, thin, slimy ones; Short, fat, juicy ones,
Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.

Down goes the first one, down goes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and sway.
Nobody knows how I survive
On worms three times a day.

People don't like me.

Okay, I feel like people don't like me.  

I realized I am surrounded by people who don't like me; where I work and where I live.  There are people who just don't like me.  I don't mean everyone hates me, because that's not true.  I don't think I've had a student that didn't like me.  I think I can be a friendly person.  I'm not walking around with a scowl on my face, every day like my blog inspiration, Ice Cube. I know the people I admire the
most, like me...  Most of the time.

But doesn't it seem like the people who are the biggest douche bags, the ones who really make a point of NOT liking you, can make you feel like nobody likes you at all?  They make you feel like a nobody.

I know that partly, I'm doing this to myself.  I focus on the people who don't count.  I am usually very good at not worrying about other people's opinions of me, but it seems like lately, the "We Hate Joanna" fanclub has made a concerted effort to affect my life in a negative way.  That's not in my head, unfortunately. My life is a mess.

So, lately, I have been evaluating my own role in all of this.  What did I do wrong?  What do I do wrong?

In many cases, I did nothing at all.  I mean that in a good way, and a bad way.  I did nothing to these people, that would give them a good reason to really, really not like me; but I also don't do anything to nurture or even start real friendships.  Do you know what I mean?  I have spent a whole lot of time, since college, putting in no effort to have friends.  I don't have friends. I spent most of my time, from the age of 13-22 with my sister Mikhaila, who is 10 years younger than me. If I wasn't with her, I was with a boyfriend, whoever that was at the time. Family came first, boys second, and what friends I did have didn't even earn a bronze medal. I put them far away from me, and I didn't do anything to keep them happy. Mikhaila meant the world to me. Somehow, even though we were at two different points in our lives, two very different maturity levels, she was always my best friend. Family, now including my husband, are my friends.  I don't want anyone else.  I didn't think I needed anyone else.

In college I had very good friends. They were the kind of friends I should have stayed in contact with, but until I entered the world of Facebook, we never talked at all.  My best childhood friend and I reconnected on Facebook, too.  She was the kind of friend who made my life very difficult sometimes.  People who know you best have the potential to hurt you the most.  The more you tell your friends, the better they know how to make you feel terrible.  She was like that.  Most of my "friends" were like that.  Guy friends, were sometimes the best to hang around with.  There is less drama with guy friends.  There is no secret jealousies, or gossiping with guy friends.  But, in my experience, guy friends also want to get with their "girl friends."  I didn't have a guy friend who didn't try to kiss me, grope me, or hook up with me, every single time they were drunk...  Or sober.

It wasn't until recently, that I realized how lonely I am.  During the times I have not been working, (in the summer, or during medical leaves of absence), I am alone and isolated most of the time.  I spend 35 hours a week, most weeks, only in contact with my 5 year old twins.  When my husband gets home from work, we spend at least 3 more hours per day with the twins, never alone.  And then we push it, and stay up too late, because it feels like we have had no time to ourselves, but we often watch TV or a movie for at least 2 of the 3 more hours we are awake. Then 7-9 hours of sleep, per night.  

I spend 105 hours a week, when I'm not teaching, isolated from human contact outside of my children.  I call my mom, hoping she will answer some days, when I can't stand how lonely I feel, but most of the time the phone rings and goes to voicemail.  If she does answer, I realize I sometimes am grasping at things to talk about that won't stress her out.  She has enough stress.  She doesn't get out of bed most days.  I can't tell her my problems, because that would just bring her down even more.

My dad and I like to talk, but he works day in and day out.  He is always working.  He doesn't have time to talk, especially when I have nothing much to say.
Jesus' Birthday Cake.  Christmas Eve at Nanny and Grampy's House.

I'm always aware my mom is depressed and my dad is busy.  That's the reality of my family.  I can't tell them, "I just want someone to come visit me.  I want someone to want to visit me."  I want someone to want to see my kids enough, that they can't stay away.  My grandmother is still like that.  She would see us every day if she could.  I'm the loser that doesn't get out of the house and down there to visit her.  It becomes disease-like, being alone.  I'm so used to it, I forget that I have some other options.  And it seems like I couldn't possibly make new friends, like the parents of M and S's friends. But God forbid they don't like me, or I'm too depressed to carry on interesting conversation that would make them want to be around me.

I put all my friend efforts into family, because that was what mattered most to me.  And that kind of backfired.  At this point in my life, the only person I can talk to, that I can fully let myself trust, is my husband.  I'm happy that my husband and I are in agreement that we think we are the best people ever and the best company to keep, but I'm also angry that I don't have my family, at this stage in my life, as confidants.

Grampy and Stella on Easter in 2009.

Neither of us have families, like I always imagined families should be.  Sam's family doesn't exist in our lives, for many good reasons.  I was spoiled, growing up in a super close extended family, with my grandparents at the heart of it...  Literally -- All of my cousins lived within walking distance of my grandparents' house.  That means my mother, and her two brothers and two sisters were all close, and all of the grandkids, 11 of us, who were close in age, were also great friends.  We were like siblings.  My mom tells me that was not normal.  Families aren't like that, usually.  And I say, "But that's what I want.  I want that!"  It's not fair.  It's not fair! 

 I feel so cheated that Mikhaila is gone. She left me the year the twins were born. 5 years without my best friend, and the worst part is she's holed up in a bedroom, in my parents' house, less than a mile from me. I feel cheated that Mikhaila is not in my life. It's not fair that I won't be her maid of honor, and I won't be an aunt to kids who could feel like my own.  I feel cheated that my brother went off and got married in Indiana without telling us, and that somehow he and his little family don't feel connected to us, really.  I feel cheated that my sister, Marguerite, who is a wonderful aunt to M and S, will never have children.  She and I will never, completely be friends, because she and I were never friends as children, if that makes sense.  She will always be close to Brent, (our biological father), which is creepy.  There's a reason my mom divorced him.
Easter Twins, at our favorite place in the world.

Gees. No wonder no one likes me! I'm so negative. I complain too much. Everything is about me.

My children will have one or two cousins, from my brother and his wife.  And they will see their cousins sometimes.  But it won't ever be what I wanted, and what they deserve.  Christmas Eve, will not be like I remember, as a child.  We would all sit in church together, buzzing with the excitement about Santa, when we knew we should be thinking about baby Jesus.  On that magical night, M and S will not be running around their grandparents' house, with 9 other kids, playing and eating and laughing and blowing out Jesus' birthday candles.  And they won't have big Thanksgiving dinners, and have to sit at the "kid table."  And they won't have epic Easter Egg hunts, with tons of cousins scrambling over each other.  And they won't ever know, what I know about family.  They won't ever know what it could have been like.  And so they won't miss it.  And they won't know to want it for their own children.

And they won't be lonely.

And that might be the saddest thing I could ever imagine.

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