I am an oldest child, daughter of two oldest children, and independent minded and at the same time an obedient rule follower. I was the "big girl" who could dress myself and be trusted to look both ways crossing the street. I was a helper and got a lot of praise for my responsibility and dependability. I was a "good girl."
But, I always had a small group of close friends. Or sometimes several circles that I danced in and out of with several different groups of friends. I was never really popular, but no loner either. In my young adult life I had friends that I shared my hopes, joys and dreams with and laughed with, yes I laughed
Then alcohol and the ism that is associated with it became part of my life. Easier I think had I been the one who drank, but I became just as crazy, perhaps crazier in living a life that seemed like no one else's life was. I didn't have anyone to turn to. I had very specific friends and I tried to only let them know so much and no more about my life. Because I learned early on and was reminded over and over that if I shared my pain, people who weren't in my situation had all kinds of suggestions and advice and judgments, none of which really helped my situation. It was easier not to share any of the pain and just stuff it and smile and be real in the parts I could.
I gradually over the years learned to isolate. Other people could make plans or come in late or buy things without the terror and heartache I experienced. I became lonelier and lonelier and depressed. i didn't think I was likable or that anyone would want to have anything to do with me. But, through the help of a step program and counseling and medication and glorious lovely pen people, I am learning to trust again. I am learning to smile. I have found appropriate places to share my angst and I have stopped carrying it around.
I am still a "good girl" and I have once again started to find a circle of friends to laugh with and share my hopes and dreams and joy with. I have learned I am not good with setting boundaries and with not accepting unacceptable behavior, but I am working to change that. The opinion of another about me doesn't have to be my opinion of myself.