Over the last 24 hours I have discovered a new social media platform, Mastodon. I have connected with it in ways that remind of Twitter when it first go going. I am connecting with new people and beginning to build relationships. I am so excited that there may be a space where I can process, connect, and share without the worry of the trolls. It's exciting!
In light of this, I have begun thinking about friendship. I am trying to allow myself to enter into what it means to have friends and connect. I am realizing that I need people more than I ever realized.
I have been a person that stuffs his feelings and emotions. When I was younger, I used to joke that I didn't have feelings. If people were in my way, I ran over them (metaphorically speaking, I don't have any hit and runs on my record). I kept folks at an arm's length because, because why?
Because I feared losing them.
So many people in my life have left. My father wound is that he left. He wasn't evil, or mean, or bad, he just left. Sure, he showed up every other weekend to take us to his house and occasionally showed up for a game or event. But, by and large, he left.
I don't want people to leave. My fear is that when people get to know me, really get to know me, they will leave. You can imagine how hard this has made building a marriage. I'm still working through that. My default is always to hide. It works that way with my kids too.
To be sure, I have had many breakthroughs with my wife and we have a healthy marriage. I am more open with her than anyone else in my life.
I have a couple friends that I can be this brutally with too.
As I enter into new relationships this old fear crops up. Will they leave?
You see, the thing about friends is that they show you who you really are and that's what makes friendship so beautiful and scary.