~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~it's all about the love~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Good friends come and go - real or not

The majority of my writing over the past couple of years has been m/m slash, or to be more exact bandslash, plus Alexander the Great slash, as well. And somehow over the past six months of hospitals and med changes, my interests in what I write changed so I pulled away from the band fandom I was so involved in. I made a new journal on LiveJournal that will just be for my Alexander fics and some personal stuff, and more than likely, some snippets of original fics I'm currently writing. I've considered putting some of my Alexander drabbles on here - the ones I do weekly - because I'm kind of proud of them and enjoy writing them but I'm not sure how well they'll be received. Something to ponder I guess.

Anyhow this post wasn't supposed to be about any of that, but rather the reality of losing friends who you really have nothing in common with anymore. I've heard people say that online friends are not true friends, that they don't count because they exist over the web and not in our "real life" but I beg to differ. Being someone that tends to shut herself off from real life friends, who prefers the sanctity of her house to the noisy outside world, online friends are very important to me. They are my support, my encouragement, my shoulder to cry on, my ear to listen when I'm excited or sad or just need to talk, and it hurts just as much when those friendships end, more so than some RL ones. I'm a sappy, mushy friend who cherishes the people in her life and may make them crazy due to all those things but at the same time, I'm loyal and supportive and non-judgmental and I listen really well.

Online friendships can be safe and playful, but they can also be emotional and life-changing, and when things change between friends, interests or what have you, it can be hard to adjust yourself to not having that person at the other end of the web to talk to. I understand why friendships end and why there is the necessity for closure but that doesn't mean I don't feel sad, fell like I've lost something special. I do and I have.

I want to end this post on a positive note by saying that even though I've loved and lost so to speak, I still have great friendships in my life, ones that I cherish and hope to grow and keep for a long time. Friends are gifts in our lives whether online or "real", gifts that even hermits like me appreciate and thrive on. So to all my friends reading this - thank you for being my gift.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sorry for the delete, :)
    I found your post through someone else and wanted to say I completely agree. I've lost some wonderful online friends and it hurts. A lot.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Like Shawn, I can only agree. Due to my current situation, I've shut myself completely off from the "real" world and if it weren't for my "online" friends, I really do not know what I would have done. Just to read about their daily successes and failures, helped me to cope with my own "real" life. I'm not a person who writes and comments a lot, but I always read the posts. I truly hope that I can also be a this support, this shoulder, this anchor like they were and still are for me.
    Like you say, to loose a friend, no matter “online” or “real”, it hurts as you share personal bits and more of your life with this person. I cherish the ones I still have in my life and hope to have them for a long long time.
    So my dear, as one friend to another, thank you and your welcome!!

  5. Thank you Shawn and welcome! I'm glad you found my post. I think sometimes online friendships are actually harder than real life, only because what you see written is all you really get - there's no body language, facial expression or voice fluctuation. Things can be taken the wrong way without the person doing the "talking" knowing it ever was.

    I'm sorry you lost a good friend - or more than one - and thank you for sharing. I guess a lot of us are in the same boat - becoming emotionally attached and then having it just *poof* gone. *hugs*

  6. I'm the same way, Arzu, as you already know. My situation was that when my depression hit hard, the real life friends I still had seemed like way too much work and stress, especially since a lot of them were friends from the past who I had nothing in common with anymore. You make a lot of friends when you have kids and they're small and you volunteer, etc, but then those kids grow up and commonalities change. I guess I don't find it necessary to try to make conversation with someone I don't have anything in common with anymore. Maybe I'm lazy, I don't know.

    You are one of those special online friends to me, Arzu. We've been through some stuff together - lots of sharing and empathetic emails. That's really important to me and so are you. Thanks, hon.

  7. I completely agree with you. It's hard for me to meet people offline, and I've always wanted to be more outgoing than I am. I've found it's easier to be more outgoing online and to find people with common interests. Two online friend to whom I was very close have just disappeared. I understand real life gets in the way, but after months and months of no response to my emails, I assume that they don't want to know me and their other online friends any more and/or something horrible has happened. I worry.

    Also, I have always known that it's easy to be untruthful when you hide behind a computer screen. I get that in some respects. I don't use my real name online. However, if I say something about myself, it's the truth. I had an experience where I found out that two online friends were actually the same person--a female author who created a gay male persona. I had conversations with "both" of "them." Heck, "they" had conversations with "each other."

    Unfortunately for this person, she forgot to login to her male account when she commented on a blog as the guy one day. I had already commented and subscribed to comments, so I saw the comment she quickly deleted. I felt like such a fool, and I have a feeling there are some other folks, especially at Goodreads, who have done the same thing this person did. I didn't reveal the author's name and other name to anyone, but I did let this person know I figured it out. I've always wondered if the blog owner called her on it, or if the person knew about the deception before the accidental post.

    That fake persona soon disappeared. The author is still out there, though.

  8. You and I have discussed this so you know how I feel. It hurts and it hurts also to be the cause of pain for someone else.

  9. Eyre - It's hard when people just disappear and you have no way of finding them or even knowing if something happened. That's one of the bad things about online friendships I guess, the other being your other dilemma with the "faked" personage. That's an awful thing to discover and have to deal with. Why some people go to such extents to be something, someone, they're not is truly beyond me.

    Hiding behind a computer screen in order to expand your social network is one thing but faking everything you are is completely another. I may hide and prefer online relationships but what I say is me and only me, not some fake persona that I've thought up so people will like me more or think I'm something that I'm not.

    Sorry I'm rambling now. :P Anyways, it means the world to me that you stopped by and shared your thoughts. Thanks, hon.

  10. Iv-sweetheart
    I know you're struggling and feeling a lot of pain still and I also know you have so many people supporting and loving you so I have faith you'll get through this and come out an even stronger person than you already are.
    PS Thanks for commenting - it means a lot.

  11. Completely agree. Most of the friendships I've been through ended because both of us realised that, for various reasons, we simply had nothing more to say to each other, and drifted apart. In some rather painful cases, I got too attached to people, thinking of them more as siblings or parental figures than friends (perhaps because my own family has never cared that much about me, only warehousing me out of a sense of duty, and after I move out, we will likely never speak again, despite their words to the contrary), and peeling back the layers to their real personalities, only to discover that they are awful people to be around. In one case, I wished to pursue a friendship with someone because we had many commonalities between us, main among them being our love of reading and writing, as well as our lack of sexual attraction. Indeed, for the first few days, it worked out well, especially when she became more comfortable talking with me because I don't talk about sex that often, unless it is for humourous purposes. Then I began to notice that during our conversations didn't really go anywhere, and were filled with long silences. This was mostly because she spoke about three or four things consistently, and on those few things, she had an encyclopedic knowledge, and I spoke about many more things, with the amount of my knowledge being varied depending on the topic. Eventually, I had to come to terms with the painful realisation that this was not going to work out. It was made worse by my having mentally elevated her to something more than "casual acquaintance" or "friendly stranger", which is what we will end up being soon enough, assuming we haven't already. I thought we would end up being practically the best of friends, and now we hardly talk at all. My problem in these situations is that I expect too much of people, which leads to disappointment when everything goes wrong. And I never learn from my experiences, not really. On an intellectual level, I retain the memory of each experience and vow that I will be wiser, yet on an emotional one, I toss any experience away when someone else comes along who seems like a great person to talk to, convincign myself that it will be better this time, that they will not abandon me. No, really...

  12. Thank you for the comment, Ali. It's really nice to see you here. I'm sorry you've been hurt by the callousness of indifferent people - including your family, and I wish there was something I could say to minimize your pain or make you think the world will just be a rosy, sunshiny place from now on. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

    I've been hurt by friends also, both online and real life, mainly I think because I'm too open about my issues and the eventuality in some cases was that they used that information to purposely hurt me. It hasn't changed the way I confide in people except maybe I'm a little more choosy now, but the deception did hurt like hell.

    I've made some wonderful friends online and I've shared as much as they want to hear, more than most people in RL know or care to know and that's fine with me. In RL I have a few special friends and it's not uncomfortable to sit in silence with them sometimes or just hang out with really no purpose, but I've been in "small talk" relationships and those are the ones I gladly rid myself of. No offence meant and no feelings hurt, just need to move on sometimes.

    Learning from your bad experiences is hard when you're an emotional person - which you seem to be Ali, emotional and astute to other's needs. But the bottom line for me is I have to be who I am - emotional, over-protective of my friends, appreciative of respect and equality between friends. Maybe not learning from your experiences is just who you are, hon. Maybe you just need to embrace the fact that you may have more to give than people are willing to accept - I don't think that's a bad thing at all. I'm not saying you should ignore the fact that you may get hurt again - you will, we all do - but don't ruminate on the fact when you're meeting people. I like your attitude of "maybe it'll be better this time" but keep that "maybe" in your mind as well, it might help you remember that shit happens and that's something that doesn't change.

    I know I've babbled too much but I just want to say if you ever need to talk you know where to find me.