“Solitude vivifies; isolation kills.”—Joseph Roux
I am currently baffled by the process of making friends. I never had a ton of friends as a kid or a teenager, but I did have them. I don’t remember being stressed about the process of becoming friends. It was just something that happened organically.
I’d go to school or work. I’d go to coffee shops. I’d talk to people there. Smart phones didn’t exist then, so the next time I went back and saw the same people we’d talk again. Eventually we became friends.
Now, in my mid-30s, talking to someone new is one of the hardest things for me to do. Isolation has become a habit I can’t seem to break.
When I was still married, my whole world revolved around the narcissist. At first, I still worked outside the home and even had a hobby. I had work friends and hobby friends, but there was a boundary between those realms of my life and home. I never did anything with them outside of work functions or hobby functions. They didn’t know my husband. They didn’t come over to hang out or have dinner.
When my son was born I had to sell my horse and lost my hobby. Since I never moved those hobby friends into the rest of my existence, I lost them too. At the same time I took a job working from home. With one exception, I lost those friends as well.
I find that I have to be very conscious of my isolation. I do leave the house, but I avoid connecting with others. Even with my aerial classes, it took months my for me to comfortably talk with my instructor and a few regulars.
It’s frustrating to realize there is more detritus from him in my life.