mardi, mars 27, 2012

I am me, and we are we: are we? That jealousy thang

Recently a friend and I were chatting about cliques.

As in grade school cliques.

They form pretty quickly in grade school, and then get even more exacerbated in middle school, where often preteens and young teenagers seem to spend many hours making each other miserable.

We didn't do cliques in middle school -- we didn't have enough kids to pull it off.

My high school class was so tiny that perhaps the only large difference in social status between us was that between those who inhaled at our parties and those who didn't.

Is that where jealousy is born? When you try to fit in, and are excluded? Can the insecurity that grasps on to a friendship or a love birthed earlier, when a parent rejects a child in ways covert or less covert?

I have lots of insecurities, but they don't focus on being part of a group -- or hanging on to a relationship for dear life.

I don't get fusion --( I never was much of a physics student).

Possession is something I leave to exorcists.

Same with friendships -- sometimes even more complicated turf than romance, because there are social groups involved.

When a friendship falls apart, it seems as though, often, friends feel that they have to choose one buddy or the other.

Inevitably, that seems to involve judgment. Suddenly one party seems to be less hot, less desirable.

Sometimes I wish I was better at the game -- I have a feeling that I could learn something, when it comes to friendships I treasure , about compromise.

Maybe, if I knew more about why people feel so insecure in romantic relationships, I'd have more empathy for the way that they behave.

Maybe, if I had more investment in being part of a social circle, I'd be more outgoing.

That is, of course, if I really want to affiliate as a single mother of teens who live in the exurbs, or a mother of a baseball-playing middle school boy, or a middle-aged student at West Chester University -- or, goodness, as an ordained minister/journalist/counselor/intern.

I do tend to allow complexity to circumscribe me.

While I find people fascinating individually, I think I must be phobic about groups. Not that it's totally my responsibility.

Some married folks don't make the biggest effort to include their single friends in social activities.

But I've been looking in from the periphery for so long that I don't even know how to join a clique.

That's leaving aside, of course, the question of whether they'd have me.

And yet, as I look around, the question of affiliation, of belonging, appears almost as urgent now as it did in grade school. I have made choices (not that they were bad ones) that have made the challenge of creating relationships more difficult.

As have, I'm sure, some of you.

Can one be a friend, or a romantic partner, and NOT lose oneself in the other person?

Oh you wise men and women, are able to create spaces in which you prosper in true community and communion with others, please give me some pointers.

For I have so much to learn.

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