Feeling lonely and isolated - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-09-2008, 10:32 AM
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I honestly have 0 friends. I don't even know how to go about making any friends. I live in a small town, and all the girls that were in my 8th grade class are the reason I ended up homeschooling. Most of them have kids Ares' age, which is a real bummer because they are the only ones I know that do.



I can't really go anywhere because I can't drive. Even if I could drive, my husband takes our honda to work because his truck won't pass its inspection this year and we aren't going to shell out the money to bring it up to code. It's a 94, and it just isn't worth it to fix it.



How do I cope with being a new mother and having 0 friends around? I mean, my family lives right down the road, but I don't want to hang out with them constantly. I go grocery shopping with my mom weekly, and see my brother and sister a lot because of the baby.



Now that I'm not playing MMORPGs, I really feel like I want some friends that don't live inside my computer. I just have no idea how to go about making friends. I really want to meet other moms that have kids Ares' age so that he can also have some friends. He's been showing a desire lately to play with children that are his size, but I don't know anyone that has kids his age that I can be friends with. I can't bring myself to be friends with the girls I went to school with after what they put me through, so that is out of the question.



I guess I just really needed to whine someplace.
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#2 Old 02-09-2008, 10:39 AM
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Could you put up a "craigslist" ad or something like it in your area for an "Alternative" mommy and me group? That was my first thought. There have to be other cool veg*n and kid friendly people out there in to some of the same things as you!

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#3 Old 02-09-2008, 10:43 AM
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I was thinking the same thing AHIMSA said. Maybe start your own little playgroup or something. Is there a park where you can go to hang out and meet other moms and kids? I know its still too cold most places but it will be spring soon!

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#4 Old 02-09-2008, 10:52 AM
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Check your local paper ((if you subscribe to them))!



A lot of times they'll list local ((...free? sometimes!)) events that may be in walking distance and, like the others mentioned, Mom + Kid play groups.



And sometimes I feel isolated too! Not fun!

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#5 Old 02-09-2008, 10:56 AM
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I also want to mention http://www.meetup.com It's free to sign up and you get an email reminder of when events (that interest you) are happening. That might be something you could check out.
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#6 Old 02-09-2008, 01:28 PM
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I actually have no "real-life" friends either. There are a couple of women I use to work with that I guess are "friends", but we never hang out or anything. I rarely see them outside of their workplace. I do see my sister and we sometimes do stuff together, but the only person who is my "one true friend" is my husband. I have never really had a bunch of friends, usually one or two people was my "clique." When I married my first husband, he became my best friend. My current husband was my best friend before we "got together." I don't know what my point is, just you are not the only one with no friends, I guess.

"Women & cats will do as they please, & men & dogs should relax & get used to the idea." Robert Heinlein
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#7 Old 02-09-2008, 01:56 PM
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Count me among the friendless too. I'm sure it is hard for you being a stay at home mom (I have co-workers that feel like friends, even if they are just "work-friends"). My mom said that is what happened to her, and I have heard it repeatedly from mommas, being isolated after kids are born. I don't have any advice, but good luck!
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#8 Old 02-09-2008, 02:12 PM
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I had friends before I moved here in 1995. Even though I'm only 45 minutes away the friendships kind of fizzled over time. Plus it was different when my kids were in grammar school...once they hit high school, we moved here and it was hard to meet people. Every one works. Plus they already have established friendships with other people or they are busy with their own families. I have some really nice people that I work with (work friends like kazyeeqen says). Sometimes we get together after work and do stuff, but not often. When my girls were living at home it wasn't so bad because we did stuff together. Now I have an empty nest (Steven moved back home but he's not apt to 'hang out with me at the mall' ). So I don't have anyone to do stuff with on a regular basis. I imagine it would be a lot harder on me if my kids were still small and I didn't have friends. I think once Ares goes to school it will be easier to meet other moms. I know it's probably a ways off though, and it doesn't help you much now.
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#9 Old 02-09-2008, 02:15 PM
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I find it ironic that this thread is filled with my favorite VB people (I really like everyone in this thread for various reasons!)., saying they too have few/no friends in their day to day/face to face lives.

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#10 Old 02-09-2008, 02:17 PM
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That's why we are all so charming online, we save it up.
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#11 Old 02-09-2008, 02:19 PM
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OR "spend" it all here and have nuthin' left for the mundanes out there.

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#12 Old 02-09-2008, 02:20 PM
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Well then the question is who is worth it more?
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#13 Old 02-09-2008, 02:23 PM
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Sometimes I think it would be cool to have something like match.com for friends...

I need a friend who likes to shop (even it's just window shopping), is veggie and will go to veggie restaurants with me, and wants to go walking with me on the new trail.
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#14 Old 02-09-2008, 02:23 PM
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Well then the question is who is worth it more?





Both. Honestly, this may be OT, but I treat people online as if they were as "real" as the people I see. To me, they ARE real people. I know many people feel anyone can say anything online, but the same is true of those we see regularly in person. You get a "sense" of a person.

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#15 Old 02-09-2008, 02:59 PM
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I treat people online as if they were as "real" as the people I see. To me, they ARE real people.



I feel the same way, which is why I try and choose my words carefully...sticks and stones may not break bones, but they can still hurt like h*ll!!
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#16 Old 02-09-2008, 03:58 PM
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...

I need a friend who likes to shop (even it's just window shopping), is veggie and will go to veggie restaurants with me, and wants to go walking with me on the new trail.



Tee hee that sounds like me and my roomie. Though she's ditched free exercise for paying for a ridiculously overpriced gym membership..thats another story though.

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#17 Old 02-09-2008, 05:56 PM
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You could give here a try in the locals forum.

I'd be your possible friend if you were in one hour drive radius of here ( southern VT), though I am child-free.
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#18 Old 02-09-2008, 06:16 PM
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Learn to drive. It's a necessary skill for most people. Then you could drop your husband at work and use the car whilst he's there.
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#19 Old 02-09-2008, 06:24 PM
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Honestly I have too few friends in real life, so I know how it feels. I have moved far away from my friends and family to live with my partner. Although I don't regret it, I often do miss having friends besides her to hang with.



Maybe try to pick up a hobby and see if there are other people in your city that share the hobby. It is a great way to reach out.
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#20 Old 02-09-2008, 06:32 PM
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Bigduffstuff, I half expected to open this thread and find you to be posting in argument with Bof over his suggesting she learn to drive.

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#21 Old 02-09-2008, 06:39 PM
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Bigduffstuff, I half expected to open this thread and find you to be posting in argument with Bof over his suggesting she learn to drive.



Believe me, it was tempting, but I decided it wasn't appropriate.
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#22 Old 02-09-2008, 07:09 PM
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Learn to drive. It's a necessary skill for most people. Then you could drop your husband at work and use the car whilst he's there.



The reason I don't drive is quite complicated. I have anxiety issues when I get behind the wheel. My husband has tried to teach me to drive several times. I ended up freaking out and pulling over to the side of the road every time. He also works 20+ minutes away, so dropping him off and picking him back up isn't really an option. He also wouldn't be able to go eat lunch any where if I took the car.



I wish they made some sort of classified ad I could post like other people were suggesting. The local paper here is sort of a joke. I live in a very rural area. My town has 300 people and the two towns next to it have about 2000ish people.



My mom offered to drop me off at the mall twice a week if I wanted. They have a large play area for toddlers and parents have to watch them. I'm hoping I could meet someone that way. Most people are kind of turned off by the way I dress though when it comes to social situations. A lot of the moms in our homeschool co-op were a little stand offish before they got to know me because of my appearance. I had hot pink hair at the time too, what isn't friendly about hot pink?
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#23 Old 02-09-2008, 07:48 PM
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I still think learning to drive would be good in the overall scheme of things. What if your child needed medical help or there was some other emergency? What about when your child is older and going to Dr, dentist, school and other appointments? What if you needed to picthem up from school because he was sick or whatever? Are you going to depend on family all your life?



It might take a long time to get over the anxiety about driving but it IS doable. Just take it slow. In small doses. Without your child in the car. There are even driving schools and community driving awareness classes. (Usually for senior citizens, but hey!)

Many people aren't crazy about driving and getting behind the wheel is a daunting responsibility. But so is raising a child, and you're doing that just fine.



Your husband could live without a vehicle one day a week. 20 minutes is NOT that far to drive him (many people live an hour or more from their workplace) and if you ran errands on the way back, wouldn't be that bad. He could pack a lunch too. Many people do that. It isn't fair to you to use those excuses, even if you AREN'T currently driving.



As for meeting people, (not telling you to change who you are, believe me!!) , but do you really think your appearance prevents people from approaching you/feeling comfortable with you? Do you genuinely WANT to hang out with this type of person? It may be that you have to meet people part way. Like, don't wear your most far-out outfit or hairdo the day you're headed to the Mommy group at the mall? Doesn't mean you have to change your life permanently, or all the time you're in public, just adjust things for certain social events and circumstances.



I don't wear a swimsuit (or even my Greatful Dead Tie-dye shirt) to church because I know I would terrify some of the people, even if it's just the little old ladies - heh. Yes, people SHOULD accept us as we are, but it just ain't always true and you just gotta help them out.



So, even though I'm not as crazy about slacks and a nice blouse, I enjoy going to church and meeting people there, so I wear that because it makes me more approachable in "their" territory.



So the town newspaper is small. Maybe they need fillers, like an "ad" for a friend to share playdates. Contact the paper and see if they would post something for you.



Though, again, driving is going to help here as I can't see someone befriending you and then always doing the driving for your playdates too.



Is there a local library? (If the town has a mall, it should have a library) They usually have children's story hours and sometimes even craft times. And they always have bullitin boards. Make a cute colorful poster maybe?



What about a Senior Center. Sometimes they need volunteers, and seniors often (not always) LOVE well behaved small children.



I hear ya though. Ares is getting to an age where it's nice to start having peers to interact with and learn about sharing and communicating with. Keep looking and asking around. Something will turn up!
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#24 Old 02-09-2008, 09:03 PM
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Hugs Frightmare. I feel you with the lonliness, the difficulty in making friends, the anxiety with driving, the appearance factor...



I'd definitely take your mom up on the mall playground thing. I also second checking in your paper and online for a young mom's playgroup. There are always tons of those kind of ads here where I live (in the newspapers and on craigslist) for all kinds of different mom groups (young moms/Christian moms/working moms/etc). Are there any of those gymnastics/tumbling type classes in your town? Also, they always have those city/county-run activity classes/seasonal events here and most of those are geared towards kids and families. You might want to check your town/county's website for that.



As for making friends for yourself, my only suggestion is to find gatherings/etc for people who are interested in the things that you are interested in. Even going to interest-specific websites and finding local people to chat with would be better than nothing, right? I've met (in real life) a few local people that way.



Does your husband have many friends or co-workers that he is friendly with? Maybe you could invite some of his friends/co-workers and their spouses over for dinner one night and get to know them better.
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#25 Old 02-09-2008, 09:43 PM
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So you seem to suffer from a driving phobia.

I have heard these can be bad enough that a person cannot learn to drive or it is very difficult for them. Maybe you are one of them?...I think I've spoken with two people who claimed they could not learn to drive.

If you really cannot learn to drive, if and when possible maybe it would be desirable to relocate to an area in which one is not as dependent on car transportation.



Under the current circumstances, going to the mall seems like a good idea.
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#26 Old 02-09-2008, 10:19 PM
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The reason I don't drive is quite complicated. I have anxiety issues when I get behind the wheel. My husband has tried to teach me to drive several times.

Getting your husband to teach you to drive is not a good idea, especially if you are anxious. I'm a qualified driving instructor and found it difficult to teach my daughter. Much better to have someone you're not emotionally involved with. Also, when you learn from an unqualified person, you're liable to pick up (dangerous) bad habits.
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#27 Old 02-09-2008, 10:31 PM
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Getting your husband to teach you to drive is not a good idea, especially if you are anxious. I'm a qualified driving instructor and found it difficult to teach my daughter. Much better to have someone you're not emotionally involved with. Also, when you learn from an unqualified person, you're liable to pick up (dangerous) bad habits.



But don't take lessons from an Australian - they drive on the wrong side of the road!
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#28 Old 02-10-2008, 03:41 AM
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I'm isolated, very much so. But I don't feel lonely, because I'm used to it.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#29 Old 02-10-2008, 05:00 AM
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Count me as friendless too, even online.



Just last night, I went to a large birthday party (I sit with the birthday girl at lunch at my school, and while I have talked to her a few times, we aren't really friends. Our relationship goes nothing beyond "how are you" really.). I had a very hard time stopping myself from crying... I'm just a shy person so it's hard for me to dance in front of people or be myself...



I've lived here for a year or so, but it's a small town and most people have lived here all their life. Everybody knows everybody and there are really close-knit relationships. I just don't fit anywhere. Before I moved here, I went through a depression and I lost my best friend of five years... I was friendless for a while there too.



Most of the time when people talk to me at this school is to say something like how did you get so smart or to ask for help with homework. That's all people see me as, that quiet, smart girl who does not smile that much. But that really isn't me.



I agree with Tofu-N-Sprouts, you should learn to drive. I know it's hard, but sometimes, the more you do something, the easier it gets. Maybe take it slow up and down the street (or even in your yard if it is large enough). Because you live in a rural area, it should be easy to find dirt roads where no one is around so you can practice. And if you need to drive under ten mph, so what, at least you're moving.
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#30 Old 02-10-2008, 06:51 AM
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I had friends before I moved here in 1995. Even though I'm only 45 minutes away the friendships kind of fizzled over time.



Oh my god that happens to me all the time! It's like I move to the other side of town and slowly the invitations get fewer and fewer and people are more busy when I call. I didn't drop off the earth dammit I'm just a few blocks thataway!



I am also terminally shy. I find it's really damned hard to make friends at like, friend making events. Too much pressure. Nothing is worse to me than going to like a dinner and being expected to make conversation with people I don't know. Aaah! Also I've been to a few of those in my younger days and found it a waste of time anyhow because I never had anything in common with people there, or if I did I've never been able to stick around long enough to find out.



I think classes are nicer because you are there with your own interest and most importantly doing something instead of standing shyly in the corner hoping someone will talk to you. It's a lot more fun and much easier to go back. I find it takes me a few exposures to people before I'm comfortable actually starting up a conversation beyond "Hello". So I need a different reason to go back than "making friends".
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