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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Somewhat OT: Girlfriends

I've been in kind of a strange place ever since we came back from our Vegas party. A lot of it was the typical post-party drop, the return to reality. But underlying that was something else. An observation about others, and mostly about myself. So please pardon me while I go on a long-ass ramble that doesn't really have a conclusion or a solution, just me being me.

This particular gathering was small, so I got to see people in a more intimate setting. And while I felt such a lovely kinship with my friends there, a peaceful sense of belonging, there was also that old familiar sense of otherness. Because as I watched people interact, I realize that there are some very deep friendships going on here, particularly between the women. No, I'm not talking sexual; I'm talking about that special affection and closeness that women share. Men have their special guy bonds, and women have their ways of bonding too. I saw a lot of this last weekend. And I realized I do not have this depth of girlfriend-ly bond. I love a lot of these women, and I believe they love me too. I believe they enjoy seeing me and it's definitely mutual. But I am no one's bestie. No one calls me one of their girls, or their sister. I am not even a third cousin once removed. Not really. 

It wasn't always like this. In fact, before I met John 16 1/2 years ago, all my dearest friends were women. My first adult best friend was Julie, whom I met when we were both art majors in college. We became fast friends, going through our junior and senior years in college, then getting our first job together in the same office. All through our 20s, we were the best of friends, sharing all our secrets, hours and hours of movies and dinners and laughter and tears. When I finally lost my virginity, she was the first person I told. (She'd lost hers several years before. That slut! :-) ) My mother was crazy about her. Her parents called me their third daughter.

I think we were in our mid-20s here. Look at my short hair!

When she got married in 1987, I was one of her bridesmaids. The only reason I wasn't the maid of honor was because that went to her sister. Her mother liked me so much, she bought my bridesmaid's dress for me.

Then Julie got pregnant and had her first child. And everything changed. Slowly, but surely. Our girly times were over. Whenever I saw her, she was half of a couple. She had other priorities now, a husband and a baby. My life seemed kind of frivolous next to hers, she lost interest in what was going on with me, and I could no longer relate to her. Eventually, we drifted apart.

She called me once, 15 years ago, when my father died and she read about it in the paper. Five years ago, when we both turned 50, I sent a birthday card to the address I had for her, but it was returned to me. I still think about her, still see bits of her in my apartment in the gifts she gave me over the years. I wonder how she is. Her boys would be grown now.

Then there was Sue, a woman I met at one of my jobs. She was bright, funny, educated, and a Beatlemaniac like me. She worked for the Hollywood Bowl Museum for a while, and we went to Bowl shows together, as well as a couple of Beatlefests and several movies. She also reviewed plays and used to invite me along. We, too, shared a lot, loved each other dearly.

Deja vu. She got married, had kids, faded out of my life. I know this is a common thing with friends in their 20s/early 30s, when one has kids and the other doesn't. Still sad, though, to have it happen twice in a row.

In my 30s, when I was involved in 12-step, I made two very close girlfriends, Pam and Beth. They had very different personalities -- Pam was more introverted like me, while Beth was extroverted. Sometimes I'd hang with one or other, and sometimes both. We were so close, so supportive of each other. I can still remember giving a talk at one of the conventions, and the two of them cheering me on in the audience, waving this goofy stuffed penguin at me. (Yes, the same one you've seen perching on my couch.) The three of us celebrated a lot of personal milestones together over the years. But then things changed. First, Beth got angry at me because I let her down one time; I wasn't there for her the way she'd wanted me to be. I apologized profusely, but she never quite forgave me and things faded with us, even more so after she and Pam had a falling out. Pam and I stayed friends longer, but after a long-term relationship ended for her, she then moved back in with her mother after her father passed away and became rather reclusive. I haven't spoken with either of them for years.

These days, I guess you could say John is my best friend, and the person with whom I spend the most time. He and I are both loners, he more so than even I. John is the only man I know who doesn't have "guy pals." I have some women whom I see now and then, and I have my online friends and party friends whom I love. But am I in touch with any women regularly, doing coffee, visiting, talking, texting, sharing? No.

I realize I have no one to blame but myself for this. Perhaps blame is too strong a word. It's just the way it is. I realize that the way one cultivates and keeps these special, close friendships is by constant contact. I read the blogs and party reports, I see how the tightly knit women are always traveling to visit one another, spending lots of time. When they're not together physically, they are bound by texts and Skype. And when they do get to see one another, they spend every possible moment together, savoring each other's company.

Me? I hate the phone. I rarely text, and I've never Skyped in my life. And while I love spending time with beloved spanko people, I burn out quickly. I need down time, quiet time, time without interacting. Last weekend, six of our friends had a suite together. It had two bedrooms, but still, that meant a lot of closeness and being around each other the entire time. I read the accounts with a pang, wishing I had that kind of camaraderie, then realized, who the hell am I kidding? That kind of situation would have driven me up the wall... I would have needed my own room, my own space, my time alone to refresh and decompress. Only then would I have been able to be civil and pleasant and fun to be around.

John and I don't entertain. Neither one of us has even given a party or a dinner. It's just not in us. I don't know why, but it's just the way we are. At our age, we're not likely to change. People can change aspects of their behavior when they really want to, but I don't think they can change their core behavior. I've been an introvert and a loner all my life. 

So, I get to have my solitude, my quiet time, my peace. But I sacrifice a degree of closeness along with that. I miss out on being fully treasured, as I would be if I were fully available. And that makes me sad sometimes.

I'm grateful for John, because he gets me. He knows it isn't that I don't like people; I just can't handle too much interaction without getting exhausted. He and I talk about this stuff after a party, after a gathering, when we're still feeling the afterglow of the unaccustomed camaraderie. We say let's go to more parties, let's meet some new people in L.A., let's think about maybe having a few people to John's house. But then time passes and it doesn't happen. We are who we are.

Just today, on my way home from John's, I stopped to get groceries. I was feeling tired; we'd been out late last night and lost an hour's sleep due to the time change. As I entered the market, I saw a woman I knew and hadn't seen for a while. A normal, social person would have gone up to her to say hello, give a hug, shoot the breeze for a few. Me? I ducked in the other direction. My first reaction was, "No, I'm tired, I don't want to talk to anyone."

I admire social people, and envy them sometimes. There are times when I wish I were a different type of person. But then I wouldn't be me. I've spent most of my life coming to terms with me, learning to accept Erica with all her quirks and foibles. People still care about me and seem to enjoy my presence. Having our friends last week say, "No, you can't leave, you're forbidden to leave," brought tears to my eyes. Some of the hugs I received were so warm and wonderful. Despite myself, I am loved, and I love. 

I guess it's up to me to, once again, accept my limitations, and work within them. There will always be things other have that I don't, and vice versa.

It's life.

If you're still reading, thanks for letting me ramble.


  1. Erica, I love introverts--I married one. They may not do well with crowds or constant companionship, but they love hard and deep. Additionally, many of our best thinkers and achievers are introverted. The world would be a duller, more shallow place without people like you.

    Most people call me an extrovert. While I function fine in a crowd, I can use my fingers to count the powerful friendships I have or had. They seem to come one at a time, and there have been some dry spells. And most of the time, I'm pretty lonely. I think most people are.

    People drift apart and I wish that were not so. We get older and take different paths, as you noted, so perhaps it cannot be helped.

    However, I think anyone who had you as a friend would feel mighty lucky, and they'd be right.

  2. Wow. You could have been describing Ron and me. We are exactly the same - loners and loving it. On the rare occasions when I go out for lunch with ex-coworkers, I start to feel tired and bored after an hour and really want to get away.

    I have also seen acquaintances from a distance and have gone the other way to avoid speaking, and I've been with Ron when he's done the same thing.

    Maybe that's why the online world is so comforting and fulfilling. You can have friends and still be alone.


  3. Erica, I love the way you write. Your words have such a gentle flow on your blog, that I am not ashamed to say this, brings tears to my eyes. Because what you say is from your heart. This is YOU, and will forever more be YOU. You state that in college you were an ART MAJOR, Did you draw, paint, or sculptor. And if so, are you still engaged in those occupations to this day. XXX Luv ya.

  4. Good writing Erica, a heartfelt and illuminating post. I'm an introvert too and much of what you say applies to me too.

  5. Another wonderful post. As you can see from the comments, you are a cherished member of a community of loners.

  6. Mick -- you're very kind; thank you. Sometimes I read or hear about people who have lifelong friends. My top, for example, is still friends with his college buddy, over 30 years later. How do they do it, I wonder?

    Hermione -- wow indeed. You're such an integral part of our online community, I absolutely did not see you as a loner in private. This revelation makes me smile.

    Six -- I studied drawing and commercial art. Unfortunately, everything I learned was soon completely rendered obsolete by computers!

    Malcolm -- thank you.

    Anonymous -- rather ironic, isn't it, that loners aren't alone? :-)

  7. A lovely post and one I can relate to. Thank you for sharing.


  8. You articulated my feelings EXACTLY in this post. Sometimes it's hard to watch the camaraderie and know it's just now how your meant to be. I enjoy being social with people I like, but then a wall hits, and I want to go to my space and have my time, and I just wish "my time" could be that girly cuddle time. I'm more of a small group - one or two others instead of many. I have to remind myself that I'm not being left out, that it's just not meant to be for me.

  9. Erica,

    A beautiful post. You couldn't have described a part of me any better if you had tried. I am an introvert as well. I can be with a large crowd for a while. I prefer a small group of no more than four to six for lunch or dinner. You can hear each other!

    While I have no trouble speaking/teaching in front of a large group (the bigger the better, LOL), I still need my down time.

    So, I relate big time. I have to withdraw to recharge my batteries.

  10. My wife Eve Howard and I host annual parties, but for the rest of the year, we're very much introverts. Having a mail order business is far easier for us to cope with than if we had a store with customers coming in every day. Erica, I totally get where you're coming from.

    And in social situations, you are every bit as friendly and sociable as anyone else, and I do get the impression you're having a genuine good time.

  11. Very recognizable, Erica... loosing friends of one's youth to life's courses... misunderstandings/errors right at that moment when repair is out of reach... being an authentic indivudal versus being that in who is always to 'social' ... being so engaged in social interaction that you have to keep your daily serving low...

    So recognizable, in fact, that I wonder whether 'being no girl's bestie' really is a proper summary of all that?!?

  12. Ronnie -- thank you. :-)

    Marie -- yes, I know it's my own choice and need, forgoing that extra closeness. I can't have it both ways, I guess... I need my quiet time too much.

    Bobbie Jo -- exactly. As it says in the Meyers-Briggs books, introverts enjoy people, but they drain their batteries. Solitude recharges them.

    Tony -- thanks for stopping by! :-) Good to know, how I appear at parties. I really AM having a wonderful time, being among kindred spirits.

  13. You and I are very alike Erica. I consider myself an introvert as well. There are days I want to be with everyone, and there are days that I love my solitude. This is one reason why I prefer my own room at parties. I can sleep alone with Paul, and not be bothered with many others. It's really nice that way.

    Sometimes I feel like I have to mentally prep myself to be around people, or I feel socially awkward. As it is, I've always had a harder time with women than men, because I can never really figure out where their heads are at. Drives me bonkers sometimes.

    Men are easy to figure out. Explains why I always have a bunch of male friends, but only a small handful of females. Women are general for me.


  14. MrJ -- probably not. It's just something I yearn to hear now and then, but I know it's not part and parcel with being an introverted soul.

    1. Well, at least I am happy you're there and that you are who you are. Really.

  15. otkdesire -- LOL! People keep commenting while I'm commenting; I can't keep up. Love it! I really am glad I met you last weekend. :-)

    I love women; always have. Men are wonderful and I love having them for friends as well, but women can be so nurturing. Granted, you can have jealousy and cattiness and so forth on the flip side, but I do my best to steer clear of that.

  16. So glad I met you too! Hugs

  17. Hi Erica -- This post is BEAUTIFUL :-)I understand where you are coming from,I wish i lived closer to you, so i could visit you and we could go out and have some fun.You know i Love you and even though we never met in person,I call you my BESTIE :-)You understand me so well and you are a VERY caring and loving friend,I hope to meet you someday :-)Big hug's from naughty girl Jade

  18. Can one be an introverted extrovert?

    As parties I like to be out there, my ego wants pictures taken and I want to be noticed. Probably no different than you are in that regard I don't think, Erica. The thing is I want that on my own terms.

    Sharing with someone at parties is something that I only do 50% of the time, and when I do then the person has to have some meaning to me. Someone who says "Cool" when I say I want the room to myself for an hour of relaxation time. I'm very much a loner in that sense.

    When it comes to interpersonal relationships though, there is nothing that makes me happier than to see people connect, develop something meaningful or even partner up. It isn't really in my own makeup but I love seeing others do it.

    Personally I want to have my cake and eat it to. I want to share myself among many, have friends across a broad spectrum and try not to worry about everyone getting along. The bottom line though is that when people are with someone who makes them happy then it makes me happy as well.

    This is something that I know about myself, for right or wrong. In 1987 I packed a backpack and moved to America, leaving my friends and family behind. Quite glaring to spot as a loner.

    In regards to bonds I don't have any bad feelings towards them. They don't work as well for me which is why I try and have friends from all areas. It takes a bit of understanding to get me, but the people who do get me know that in my own way that I care for them. Sometimes it may be frustrating because I don't have that "You are my everything" mode, but I am also blessed with survival skills to adapt as necessary.

    Like yourself I see the bonds, but I have my own in my own unique way, they just aren't as noticeable.

  19. Rich -- I don't think anyone is 100% either way; I'm an introvert who has exhibitionistic tendencies and a need for attention, so that can be quite the baffling combo sometimes.

    From what I see of you at parties and online, you are well connected and have a healthy spread of friendships. And you stay true to yourself and your own wants and needs. It's been fun to see you so happy of late. :-)

  20. Erica- what a nice and insightful view into your normal life. It made me think back about the friendships I have lost and should have held onto. Sometimes I wish I could share as much, but I'm paranoid someone who'd seen me at the grocery store that day, then Id write about it, and they'd put two and two together and realize "Hey _____ is the kinky bastard that writes that blog!"

    From one slightly exhibitionistic introvert to another- thanks for sharing.

  21. SS -- yeah, but if they read your blog and figure it out, doesn't that make them kinky bastards too? :-)

  22. Hey, we have something else in common! I can relate to a lot of this. I think I stay pretty neutral in social situations so can get along with most everybody, but I don't have the "besties" either. I see the tight knit friends at parties and sometimes feel that pang of wishing I had that with people.

    Some of it is distance which I can't do much about when those I love seeing live on the other side of the country. I don't have a chance to hang out more frequently and in turn get a closer bond by more contact in that sense.

    Even when I'm at a party and surrounded by others having a good time, I sometimes feel like I'm removed from my body and watching as a bystander. I can feel lonely and sometimes left out of things. I don't know if that even makes any sense.

    In vanilla life, I have always gotten a long better with men. I've had a lot of male friends throughout my life. My sarcasm and twisted dark humor has always fit better with guys. They don't overthink things. They can be blunt enough to make me cringe at times, but don't hold stuff in or hang on to a grudge.

    Women are complex, confusing, and take a lot of effort much of the time. I've been the one to lean on at so many different times that it frustrates me when I don't have anyone to lean on in return when I need it. So I think I do withdraw a bit and don't put myself out there as much. I don't have the energy anymore for people who just take, take, take.

    I've seen a lot of friends come and go when someone gets married and is part of one of those couples who only does things with other couples (that's a whole different rant, lol) or has kids and so anyone without kids to blab about is left behind. It hurts to be left behind. I think avoiding that has made me subconsciously put up a wall which in turn keeps some people away from pursuing a friendship. It's quite a quandary.

  23. What an thought provoking post.

    Strange as it may seem, I was going through some old papers and looked at my Myers Briggs from work. A few days after it was done we had a small work departmental awayday (10 of us) and evryone had to guess the profile of our colleagues. Only one person got me down as an introvert because I have no problem when public speaking. In fact there were only 3 of us who were introverts!

    One of the things that came out with this was that us introverts need space to regain our energy when being in a social/work related gathering with people we do not know intimately.

    I have a circle friends who understand me well and know that I will often be the one quietly observing the chaos at parties etc. Thus your comment about going up the wall if you were sharing a suite was extremely relevant.

    I am happiest being self contained, working (if I can find some) at home and only occasionally going out to social events. Summer days are sometimes spent quietly reading a book on a beach, while watching with amusement (or annoyance if too noisy) the goings on.

    The message from me is just keep being your sassy, opinionated and amusing self.

  24. Like many of those who already commented I can also relate to your thoughts, Erica. I once had a best friend at school, but we drifted apart as teenagers. Since then, I never had a best friend again until I met Ludwig.

    I have to admit that I often used to feel more comfortable with men than with women, anyway. That's less of an issue now, but I am still not so comfortable among women only and prefer mixed groups.

    With regard to the spanking community, I had to come to terms with the fact that (apart from a few exceptions) I won't be able to build relationships with fellow kinsters which are as close as I would like them to be. Not so much because I am an INTJ, but because Ludwig and I simply live too far away from most of our fellow kinksters to regularly meet them in person. Without personal contact it is very difficult to build a really close and intimate friendship. At times that makes me sad. But then, I have to acknowledge that it is already hard for me to find enough time for my vanilla friends and for my activities in the kinky online community, especially since I need times of solitude as well. So I think the best thing for me to do is to accept the limitations that I face in the kinky community and enjoy the online contacts and occasional real life meetings which are manageable.

  25. I've just read Lea's comment and realised how much we have in common regarding the issue of getting along with women and men! It's always good to see that one is not alone. :-)

  26. Lea -- another commonality! Wow. :-) Yeah, it does hurt to be left behind when a friend's life changes. But it's part of the cycle, I guess. I struggle with the push-pull all the time: I want the friends, and yet I resist the commitment. Fear, I guess. Or not wanting to give up my alone time. It sucks to be a needy introvert!

    beanpole -- thank you! I'm so amazed at how many introverts are chiming in. :-)

    Kaelah -- I am an ISFJ. I agree, the online community is not a replacement for in-person relationships, but it certainly keeps one in the loop somewhat, so I appreciate it greatly. Especially since I don't like talking on the phone!

  27. Not a ramble at all, was lovely and thanks for sharing

  28. Ron -- I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  29. Wow, Erica,
    What a post! And so many thoughtful and insightful replies. Sorry I didn't see this post until today (Tuesday), but I'm happy to chime in. :-)

    In am also an introvert (either INTJ or INFJ, depending on my mood). I love having friends who are low-key, but I have only once had a 'best friend.' Tony and I were friends from fifth grade on till high school, when he branched out socially (but I remained stuck in time warp). By the mid 1980's he had fallen ill with HIV, and he passed away without his parents contacting his friends. I still have dreams in which I talk to Tony as he is on his death bed. :-(

    Ever since then I have missed having such a close friend, with whom I could share everything. I do have a couple of friendships that go back a long way--most notably one woman that I went to nursery school with (I guess that's what they now call pre-school). She has been living in German for the past 15 years, and our contact is sparse, but still there. I visited with her last year in Frankfurt (where she and her family reside), and it was wonderful to catch up. In some ways it seemed as though no amount of time had interfered with our bond, but I know that there is so much more to learn about my dear friend.

    There is no question that I am an introvert, but I do hold my own pretty well and easily take the lead in the classes I conduct, thank god! Meanwhile, time goes by and we get older--and with age come a variety of ailments.... I am very fortunate to have a loving husband! He is also my best friend, and yet when we first met, I could not envision any type of commonality. I am so happy that he responded to my ad--not for a boyfriend, but for a housemate. It took 4 years for intimacy to bloom. But I still miss having a special friend (female, preferably). I have never truly had a best friend, and it is something that I have always hankered for.

    Thank you for posting such a heartfelt narrative and reminding us of what can be missing from our lives. I wish we could someday meet in person, but although I live in California (SF Bay Area) it is unlikely to ever happen. I especially felt akin to your need for down time to re-compress and recharge. I love happy groups of people and aspire to joining a small group and being accepted, but I can't see that happening anytime in the near future.

    You have so much to offer personally, and I am very proud of you for taking the steps to put yourself out there--in cyber space, or wherever. Thank you, my friend,

    A, :-)

  30. I'm an introvert too and completely understand. Actually, it's been this way all of my life. I've generally had girlfriends who I adore and care for very much, but not on that other level that I see many girls share. It used to make me sadder than it does now, now I just realize it's the way it is. Alex is my first "sister" but even she and I don't stay in touch all that well. Sometimes I wish it could be like that with the girls I love, but I honestly don't have that much energy for relationships outside mine and Robert's. I do feel you are one of the most special women in my life though, if it helps. *hugs*

  31. I've had the same best friend for about 20 years with a handful of other close female friendships I've maintained both within and out of the spanking world for about 5 years. I am an extovert who LOVES solitude when I'm stressed or exhausted. Otherwise I enjoy being around people who mutally make each other laugh. I describe myself as a selectively social person. If I see a group of people hooting and hollering, I'm happy to join in. But I'm not good at drawing quiet people out of themselves. I assume that person isn't interested in me and it would be a waste of our time. And I NEVER host parties at my house, I always attend them elsewhere.

    At BBW I found you every bit as wonderful in person as online.

  32. Dana -- thank you. I appreciate how you relate. I'd say it's a very good thing when one's spouse is their best friend. ♥

    Lily -- you're so sweet! It's true; the deeper-level relationships take time, energy and nurturing. I focus a lot on John and on Mr. D, and maintaining those two relationships. If I weren't the way I am, I'd probably have more energy to devote to girlfriends, too. Because I do miss them.

    Kelly -- thank you, and it's mutual! :-) I'd rather have root canal than host a party. No lie. I will contribute, I will help, I will bring snacks, I'll wash dishes... but not host.

  33. I didn't get a chance to read through all of the comments but after reading your post and the majority of the comments, I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in saying that YOU'RE not alone. ;-)

    I'm by far and wide ANYthing but a 'hostess'. I'm extremely shy and the part you wrote about ducking the acquaintance at the store made me smile; I did this just yesterday!

    I'm still relatively young at 31 and have so much to learn. I change dramatically with every passing year. It's amazing to me who I am now compared to who I was just a decade ago - completely different girl.

    Having said that, I can also confirm with confidence that yes, this is absolutely something that goes on with women in their 20s-30s. I became pregnant at 18 while the rest of my best girlfriends went off to college and eventually were married. While I was carrying around a little toddler (baby having a baby, etc), they were out dating and having the times of their lives.

    I don't resent them for it at all. I suppose there was a time when I did, but I've come to terms with the fact that I made the decisions I've made and they've made me the person I am today. I'm not a perfect person by a lonnnng shot, but what I do know I am is a good person with a big heart. My son is my whole world and I'd surely not have made it this far without him. He'll be 12 next month and it never ceases to amaze me how fast time zips on by.

    (Pardon me while I continue this far from preconceived ramble! Yes, I must write it in two - maybe three different comments because apparently: "Your HTML cannot be accepted: Must be at most 4,096 characters" HA!)

  34. Now all of those friends (who married and had their fun during my mother-of-a-toddler days) are working on growing their families. So I can't help it - I'll admit it makes me smile to see them struggling with their babies! lol! ... Terrible girl, I know, I know. ;-) But hey, we're all just human, right? :-)

    But back to the point of your post - besties. This one hits me to the core because I'm going through a pretty yucky 'break up' for lack of a better work with my best friend from childhood. She and I met in the 2nd grade at the age of just 7. We're both 31 - you do the math. I have no idea how we managed to stay so close for so many years. We lived three hours apart from each other when my parents moved our family to East Texas (from N. TX) when I was just entering the 9th grade (about 14 years old). This makes our story even more difficult to believe as we maintained a close friendship in spite of the miles. These were the days when hand written letters and postal services were still considered 'normal' and long distance calls (three hours away! ha!) were extremely expensive and didn't happen too often.

    I do remember the first time Kristin discovered 'chat rooms'. I think I was probably 17 or so at the time and didn't have a clue what she was talking about! I didn't even have a computer at home. We eventually figured it out (kind of) but most of our correspondence remained either via letters through the US postal service (gasp!) and/or begging our parents to let us go and see each other.

    Then college happened. I signed up for all of my classes and had all of my books and schedules and everything all ready to start classes at Dallas Baptist University - the same college she went on to attend. We were going to be dorm-mates! It was like a dream come true for us both. We'd spent the past four years dreaming of how we'd raise our babies together and all that jazz. But then life began happening. I got pregnant. The college wouldn't accept me because it was a Christian school and I was a teenage unwed pregnant girl (I've come to terms since then that I don't base my faith on people, thankfully!).

    (Part 2 of 3 of my rant! Yes, I'm blushing!)

    But time went on. She was at my front door first when I heard the news I was pregnant and dumped like a bad habit by the daddy-wannabe. I was at her front door first when her mother passed away tragically when we were just 21 years old. We've been through it all together - the hard times and good times. I didn't think we'd ever drift apart.

  35. My lord - it's gonna have to be four posts. I'm so sorry! Ack!

    I guess when she finally got her husband through medical school and her whole life changed (for the better I assume, as she was raised in the 'country' as we call it here, in a double-wide trailer house. I loved that house. We used to pick blueberries from the 14 acres of land owned by her grandparents. But don't get me started on that tangent!) Regardless, things for her now aren't so simple. I suppose that proves money isn't everything. It's, in fact, something I care so little about. We must all deal with the fact that money makes the world go 'round, so I do what I must.
    I've learned so much from Jack, my Top, and one amazing thing he's taught me over the years is that time is so precious and fleeting and is more valuable than all the riches in all the world. He's right, too. Ironically, he's had an extremely successful career and money isn't a problem for him. He's so wise and I just can't explain how dear he is to me. I'd do anything for him in this world.
    Oy. Where was I? Right, Kristin. I'm still hurting from the loss I've felt from her recent distancing of herself from me - so forgive my immaturity on the subject (I'm sure I'll learn from this eventually!) ... but in a nutshell, she decided I guess about a year ago that she wasn't going to talk to me anymore. I never received an answer as to why. All I ever got was "I'm distancing myself for many reasons." Now she won't respond to phone calls, texts, facebook messages, emails - nothing. Just silence.
    I torture myself on facebook still, dropping subtle hints now and then when I see her comment on posts of my nephews and son that my sister in law posts quite often. I'll just hit 'like' or generically respond to her post - trying not to be too intrusive, but also letting her know I still love her and miss her deeply. I wrote her a message on facebook when it was her mother's birthday, telling her I was thinking about her/praying for her and that I missed her and wished I could be there for her more. Still no reply. I think I'm a glutton for punishment. :-)
    I'm constantly running scenarios through my mind about what it might possibly be that caused it all. Did she finally get tired of my relapses? Did she get sick of my lack of returning phone calls and my constant 'change of plans' at the last minute? Probably, that's got to be some of it. I was very, very sick for several years with my alcoholism and while I don't by any stretch use this as an excuse, I always thought she'd be there for me no matter what. Then of course the thought, "She's found me on the internet!" is one which stays firmly planted in the back of my mind. She's a very devout Christian and I respect that about her. I suppose I could understand her hesitance to further contact me if she found out I had videos out there of - well, you know what they are!

  36. This is the finale! It's just gotta be! lol!

    It's all irrelevant, though. The point is, it hurts. Regardless of fault or blame or explanations, it hurts to lose a friend with whom you've spent 2/3 of your life or more with a person I thought I shared unconditional sisterly love with.

    Maybe it'll eventually resolve itself. I can only hope and pray that she's OK and that she'll eventually reach out. I decided about two months ago to simply leave her alone for awhile. Maybe she just needs space. Hell, I know I certainly do at times!

    I have no idea where I'm even going with this response, but it felt good to get it all out of my system. Hoarding my feelings, I've learned the hard way (over & over & over…) does nothing but create an emotional ticking time bomb resulting in an inevitable catastrophic emotional melt down.

    So… Thanks for your post. It got some of that melt-down potential to lessen.

    I'll say it again - you're not alone. Nor am I alone, even though we're both loners (as are many of the above posters as well). Kind of a cool irony, I must admit.

    I do know that from what I've seen from your writing, your blogging, and the few brief times we've met in person - that were we closer geographically, you'd absolutely be someone I'd reach out to and would adore starting a close friendship with. You're such an inspiration to me in many, many ways that I couldn't even write down all in one place. You've had a profound effect on so many people's lives through your different avenues of the writing and for that I truly am grateful.

    You're loved and that's a fact. I know I am, too. Regardless of the past, we are who we are today. We ain't perfect but we're pretty damn awesome if I do say so myself!

    You're a beautiful person, Erica, and I, for one, think very, very highly of you. <3

  37. Debs -- next time, try decaf! LOL -- I'm kidding; you know I love you. I can certainly understand how something like this would eat at you and make you nuts. It's one thing if someone disappears and you know why (still sucks, but you have an answer), but when you don't get the courtesy of an explanation, your mind is free to run wild (and we have those free-roaming minds, you and I). Yes, the alcoholic behavior could be part of it, but I'd say she owes you an explanation, at least. (sigh) I'm sorry.

    You're as sweet as the day is long, honey. Thank you for all your kind words and you know I wish you all the best! ♥

  38. Decaf is for the birds. ;-) LOL... Thanks for taking the time to read my tangent! Jeeez!

    I wish you even more of the best, dahlink. :-)

  39. I have forgotten who said this to me but it is something I have found to be true, especially as I get older.
    "People come in and out of your life, seldom when you think you want them, but always when you need them!"
    I have lost touch with people who will always have a place in my heart, I may miss them at times but I am so much richer for having known them!

    Poppa Mark

  40. Erica,

    Although I find all of your posts reaching me in some way, this one really hits the bullseye. I always say that I'm a 'person-person, not a people-person'. I can handle regular, close interaction with my honey, and occasional social settings with a friend or two, but I've never been a social butterfly. I've often envied those who seem to make and keep a whole ton of friends around - doing potluck dinners, group outings, and girls' nights out - but have found that, like you, the whole thing usually ends up being anxiety provoking and generally exhausting.
    In the last few years, I've decided to go with my antisocial tendencies - my comfort level. Things like the upcoming BBW party make me feel a little hinky, so I'm spending the upcoming weeks steeling my social reserves for the (in my mind) enormous group of folks I'll be interacting with. I know it'll be loads of fun, but also that I'll reach a point where I need decompression time.
    Isn't is strange that we can choose a less-than-social lifestyle but still somehow feel as though we're missing something?

    Yours in seclusion.


  41. Dana -- once again, I'm reminded of how sorry I am that you guys moved away. I really do think I'd have had a blast hanging out with you now and again.

    BBW will be absolutely wonderful, but yes, it will overwhelm you. Decompression time will be a must. At least we know ourselves and what we need, yes? xoxo

  42. Erica, you are more social than you think. When we met last year at BBW you came right over with a big hello and hug. I can't tell you how that made me feel because I didn't know anyone there except the person I came with and I only met her once before.

  43. Kaki -- I'm glad. I really do try to be friendly at these parties, especially when first meeting people. I know how nerve-wracking it can be! :-)