My smile is the mask I wear every day

Everyday I get up and I wash my face and I turn that frown upside down, for my smile is the mask I wear every day.

MuminMadhouse

I am a pretty quiet and private person in real life (I know you would never have guessed from this blog), I do not share my feelings or troubles freely.  I find it hard to connect with real people, hard to give myself freely to friendships   Partly this is down to having MadDad in my life, he was my best friend before he was my husband and I love him dearly, but also part of it is down to being let down and disappointed by someone in the past.

When we moved back to the North East six years ago, I hoped that by immersing myself in to toddler groups etc that I would meet people and make friends.  But we moved to a small village and people here grew up with each other and a lot of those childhood friendships continue to this day.  I chat to people in the playground, I try to make an effort, but feel pretty excluded.   I know I have to put myself out there to be accepted, but gosh it is really hard.

In the past I have struggled with depression and I still have numerous health issues, but I do not want these to define me.  I worked hard to overcome my depression and it is not something that I often dwell on.  Most of the time I am a pretty positive person.

Recently I made an error and I fear that I have lost one of the people that I used to call a good friend.  This fills me with deep sadness and I do not know how to make things better, in fact I do not think there is anything I can do to make it better.  Hopefully time will heal things , either that or I will just have to let go and mourn the loss of a good friend from my own stupidity.

I am at my happiest when I am with my family.  When I am surrounded with MadDad and the boys on a weekend.  I love having them around and I love doing things together with them.  I am putting myself out a little bit more and have been enjoying my weekly sewing class, even if I am the youngest by two generations!

I am currently trying to pluck up the courage to go to the local WI group tonight, but worry that I will be the only one under 50!  I have left four messages for them, but they have not got back to me, so wondering if I should just go.

Sometimes I just wonder if it is me that feels this way or if I am just feeling a little down in the dumps?

 

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22 Responses

My whole life is dictated to by my own low self esteem and confidence, I know exactly how you feel. Painting a fake smile is all I know and I find it so hard to be among other people, especially those I don’t know well. It means I cant attend blogging events, I find it difficult enough walking to the local supermarket alone.

Im OK when I am with the husband or the kids, it gives me a sense of safety I guess.

I think you should go. I know your sat there thinking that because they have not phoned this is a bad sign, its not just means nobody was there to answer your messages x

If the friend was a real friend then they wont hold it against you, yes they maybe annoyed for a while but let the dust settle, sorry is a hard word to say but goes a long way x

Chin up and keep painting that smile on x

allotmentmum | 05.09.13

Jen, you’re doing an amazing job, especially considering your health history (I wouldn’t be nearly so resilient.) I think everyone perhaps feels excluded at times, and I really identify with being in a place where you feel like the only one who doesn’t have family and lifelong friendships around. Yes, just go to the WI – you’ll be a great addition to the group with all your ideas and creativity – and if they don’t make you feel that way, go elsewhere! Perhaps send this post to the friend you think you’ve lost? xx

Hugs Jen.

Knowing you (not as well as I’d like lol) I guess that you didn’t intend to make this error and I guess that they will understand that when they have stopped being angry/hurting.

Until then keep that mask plastered on and one day it’ll no longer be a mask but the real you.

Karen Jones | 05.09.13

Big hugs lovely lady. I don’t get around to reading blogs much these days but catch up with what most people are doing through snippits on facebook. The title of your post caught my eye.

You do an amazing job with your family and how you conduct your life. I’ll never forget the first time I met you at the ToysRus tea party and YOU came up to me all bubbly and chatty and made me feel so welcome and relaxed amongst a group of established bloggers who obviously all knew each other.

I feel for certain that you would not intentionally hurt someone and if they are a true friend who really knows you they will realise this.

We all go through these feelings. You are not alone.

Come visit us again soon with the madfamily xxxx

Rachael | 05.09.13

I’m with Pip. I’m sure time will sort things out for you. Meanwhile, much love to you and yes, I agree with allotmentmum too – maybe send this to the friend?

And go to the WI! You’d be a great addition! I want to join ours. xxx

Jo Middleton | 05.09.13

Just go!!

I am always joining silly groups where everyone else is 30 years older than me but it doesn’t matter at all, it doesn’t make them any less interesting. Plus you get to be the young one then that everyone looks after :-)

jo | 05.09.13

Your Comments

Be easy on yourself and things will soon pass. Thinking of you. x

Ali | 05.09.13

I think a lot of us feel excluded in lots of different situation if we are all to be honest. Times when we feel a bit down just makes us feel it even more so.

The playground is not always the most friendly place or the easiest place to make friends though now my two are older I actually miss playground chats. I rely on dog walking chats instead or cause queues in shops while I get out my social side chatting!!!

I am sure your friend will see the light and probably already knows deep down it was a mistake. Give it time, WI sounds good and so does your sewing classes.

If you are like me you feel better already for typing out how you are feeling x x x

I feel like this all too often, I don’t have many real friends which is why I like blogging so much, I’d love to join something like the WI but at 23 I think I might be the youngest by far!! x

Julie | 05.09.13

Oh, it can all be so tricky can’t it. I think the WI would be worth a try, some of the women, whatever their age, may be lovely and just right for you. I hope the friend who is upset will come round at some point – it is hard to feel you have lost someone who you were close to.
I find making new friends too and my worst trait is not keeping in touch with old ones. I haven’t kept in touch with very many university friends or from where we lived when the boys were wee and I really regret that.
Take care and go and tackle the WI. Juliex

Purplemum | 05.09.13

Absolutely just go, you have nothing to lose if it’s terrible then leave. Making and keeping friends isn’t easy and I know internet friends aren’t the same as real life ones but you know you have loads of friends in cyber land. Keep smiling.

Snafflesmummy | 05.09.13

hope you build up the courage to go. I am loving the WI and its taken me massively out of my comfort zone with a role that initially filled me with fear but the people are all so amazing and so much to share.

Hope things with your friend work themselves out,p. whatever happened I am sure you didn’t mean to hurt/upset them.

Goriami | 05.09.13

Oh dear me, I could have written this! I have been so miserable today as it was abundantly clear that however hard I try I will always be an “outsider” in the village. GO! to the meeting, I joined a club a few years ago and while I was the youngest and I’m not in touch with any of the people who I met there, most still acknowledge me and wave or whatever which sometimes is as welcomed by me as a someone to sit and drink tea with. You’re not alone xxx

Oh lady I can completely relate to this. We moved to Dublin 10 years ago for Mr TOPP’s work. My job was as a childminder so I found it very difficult to meet other people with similar interests. Going to your sewing class and the WI is a brilliant idea. Age doesn’t matter in friendships, just who you are.
xxx

Jo | 05.09.13

Jen, you are lovely. Go and experience the WI, unless you go you’ll never know and if you don’t you will always wonder about it. If you don’t like it, don’t go back. Well done for beating depression, don’t let your mind take over. It might even be that the person hasn’t given it a second thought. You are a wonderful person and you should continue to do things that make you happy. Positive people attract positive situations so keep your positive mental attitude and don’t build up a wall that could let depression creep in again. Here for you anytime Jen. Love Jo x

I can really identify with this, and I’m sorry you’re feeling so lonely. I hope you went to the WI, and at least spoke to some new people. I really do know how hard it is, if you ever want to chat let me know xx

Susan Mann | 05.09.13

Hugs lovely. I know you & have met you & your wonderful family. Albeit not as much as I’d like but I’m proud to call you my friend. You’re a beautiful person inside and out x

Natasha | 05.09.13

Aww bless you I’m sure its not an error that can’t been undone. I could have written much of this myself, it’s a tough place to be. xx

Sandy Calico | 05.09.13

I can relate to ALL of this. I felt so lonely when we moved to Lancs and all the other mums (including my SIL’s) already had enough friends. Maybe you could move to MK, it’s so much friendlier. I’m glad you got on well at the WI. The one in our village meets 2-4pm – school run time – so I can’t go, but I’d like to. You know where I am if you fancy a chat. Take care and know you have friends online.

Gillian | 05.09.13

Jen I want to give you a hug!

Is this friendship that you fear you’ve lost beyond hope? Maybe try talking to this person again and overcome whatever it was that happened. It would be such a shame to lose a friend you’ve had for a while.

I’ve been toying with the idea of joining the WI but never pluck up the courage to go…let us know how you get on. x

Surprised Zoe | 05.09.13

Honey I have just moved home and am realising what great friendships I have left behind in the town I had my daughter. In fact I’m crying typing this it makes me so sad.

I have my school best friend and family where we a re now,but they all ave busy lives.

I had forgotten how hard making friends can be without time for daily chats on the train or at work.

You are a lovely who is, although shy, a naturally approachable person, who is easily loved. Do the things you enjoy, relish your family, if she’s the right friend you’ll get it back. Meanwhile we love you xx

amy | 05.09.13

Ran across your site and I’m so sorry to hear that u too struggle with depression. I have had it for years. I know what it feels like to wear a mask. I got really good at it. Even my beloved husband did not know the depths of my pain. I felt like a failure. My new teaching job wasn’t working I didn’t know what to do. Everyone at my work was out to get me. It was a terrible situation. Teachiing is hard enough, I didn’t need anymore pressures from the admin. Anyway, things are much better. I live in the US so I’m not sure about this group that you have mentioned, but I do know that socializing, making friends, and just being out is a antidote for depression. I’m on meds and I joined a local Scottish dance group in my area. I’ve made new friends and they are a great source of support. My husband was right there (what would I have done) and w/o him I would have gone mad. However, looking back year and half later, I’m more confident, more secure, closer with my family and I know the mistakes I made. I wish you the best. My prayers are with you to heal the hurt. –aps

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