How it is.

Yesterday I had a text ‘discussion ‘ with someone I have known for maybe 10 years. I knew him and his family, and got invited to different stuff by them, and would have said that we were good friends, and there was genuine affection both ways. I was aware that he ‘ was impressed ‘ by various elements of my physical life, let’s say, but as he wasn’t at all athletic, the relationship wasn’t about sport at all.

I became aware quite quickly in this conversation that he wasn’t actually interested in anything I wrote, and that seemed odd, as he was never like that previously. It then eventually dawned on me that actually he had almost no interest in me at all, that being because now I’m not the person I was before, that is I can’t do endurance sport, can’t go out to bars easily without help, can’t do lots of stuff. To him therefore the me he ‘ liked’ doesn’t exist now, so he has no need to know me or talk to me ( at all ). And neither does his family. I’m sure if he saw a member of my family he’d ‘ ask after me’ and send me his best, but those are just ‘ the done things ‘ Beyond that there is actually nothing at all, he literally doesn’t care.

Because I’m just not wired that way, until now I actually haven’t realised that that is how is is for most people. The ones that actually care are very few. When something bad happens to you, and you are altered, the abilities you had before now being absent, you cease to be useful to many people, so they see no reason to continue contact with you.

It’s good for me to finally see it, as I genuinely have been confused for a long time. Over the years I’ve spent too much time wondering what I might have done to ‘ upset people ‘ who are no longer in touch. The reality is that I didn’t do anything at all, other than have an accident which left me different, so that I was no longer valid ( yes, the word invalid is no accident ) to them, so they disappeared. They probably don’t speak Ill of me, well why should they, and probably say ‘ it’s a shame what happened to him’ by way of expressing care, but that’s the sum total. But at the same time that this dawned on me, I realised that those same people immediately became far less important to me, and I no longer ‘ missed them’, as the memory of good times together was still there in the past ( and still valid ) but as irrelevant to now as are the things I did say in school many years ago ( that remain happy memories but are from a totally different time and impossible to revisit )

Yes, it’s going to happen to you too, as and when and if something changes you. Don’t fool yourself and expect anything else. Friends aren’t really friends ( and this applies to some family members also ) as you expect them to be, they let you down in their droves. The sooner you accept that, the better it is. I genuinely feel a sense of relief that it’s properly dawned on me, as ‘ awful ‘ as that appears at first to be!

4 thoughts on “How it is.

  1. It happens in other situations as well – divorce, loss of job, loss of wealth all ‘invalidate’ you to a certain group of people.
    I think, to be honest, that you’re better off without them. That doesn’t stop it hurting though.
    Hugs, mate.

  2. Hi Russ, on a lesser level but with similarities, it’s like retirement. When employed there’s interest. When unemployed there’s a distinct lack of interest. Same person. Different status.

  3. I also became disabled and, like you, came to realize gradually over time that many people I thought were friends were only interested in what I could (previously) do for them. Now that I could no longer do those things or be that person I once was, they were no longer my friends. It hurt quite a bit, because, like yoy, I am “not wired that way”.

    However, I would like to say that some friends stuck through it all. God bless them.

    Of course, you captured and explained this so much more eloquently than I. Thanks for sharing so candidly and clearly anout this. It’s nice to know I am not the only one to experience this. However, I am sorry that you have experienced it, too.

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