Soft Shell

Earlier this week I read that someone I considered a friend, had a baby.  People have babies every day- it’s always exciting and amazing, but not out of the ordinary.  Somehow, this seemed so different.  Last year this mom lost a son after having a placental abruption.  It was terribly sad and everyone in the group grieved with her.  (I don’t expect to be notified of every pregnancy ever- just for the record. But I have talked to this person multiple times over the last 9 months, it seems like it might have been brought up.)

I went to the funeral, I shed unknown amounts of tears- for her, for her son, for mothers everywhere that have lost babies.  I just can’t imagine it, I don’t know how to process such a loss.  Later that year I left the group but we were still friends on Facebook.  We messaged every now an again but not often.

I didn’t even know she was pregnant until a photo of her new son crossed my screen.  I cried tears.  Happy tears for her family.  Sad tears for a friendship that obviously never ever was.  Tears that I was so silly to believe it might have been.

It was just one more reminder that the people I’ve met online aren’t really friends, they are merely acquaintances, and I am forgettable.  That in the grand scheme of things, I am just another screen name- even if I’ve meet someone in person, even if we have years of kvetching about pregnancy and motherhood together under our belts.

I feel the need to build  a shell around me.  To not put myself out there.  To not participate.  To not make friends.

Because the sadness that accompanies knowing that I mean much less to people than they mean to me

is devastating.

I think about what life is like with no real friends.  (At least none who live nearby.) I’ve lived it for so long now it doesn’t bother me unless I am smacked in the face with a realization like this.  Can you really live your life with no one else?  Should I have to live knowing that I am always more “in” than the other parties?

Isn’t it just easier after awhile to go it on your own?


  • Beth

    I am in the same situation. We’ve lived here for almost two years, and I know two families, and that is because they are Jake’s friends. I just…don’t know how to make and keep friends. How do you do that with little kids? There are one or two people out there who I feel like we can pick up where we left off, but we don’t keep in regular contact. Honestly? I could just…disappear. No one would notice. Very rarely, it bothers me. Most of the time, I’m totally fine with it. I am such an introvert that my little household is plenty of socialization for me.

    • MNMomBlog

      Thank you Beth. I know I am not alone in feeling this way. I always wonder why it has to be like this? I am only fine with it when I am too busy to notice. But those moments when I want to share something really amazing or really difficult and I realize I have no one outside of my husband who actually cares about why those things matter, that is a tough pill to swallow. I don’t want to stop putting myself out there, I don’t want to stop being there for other people, but I really need someone to be there for me. And considering that so far I have proved to be a disposable friend to many people, that seems to be a lot to ask.

      • julie

        Erin,

        I know I’m just your Mom, but I have been there for you., i want to hear all of those things, good or bad. I know how you feel, it’s very difficult to live this way. I understand. totally.

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