The Death & Absence of Friendships.

The Death and Absence of Friendships

It’s long over due I express my feelings.
Whether I share this with the www – I have yet to decide.

One of the biggest things that seems to perpetually keep me in an on and off
funk, is that I have, or feel like, I have no one. I’ll explain what I mean.

My whole life, I’ve never had more than a small circle of friends, and I was
content with that. Prior to joining the Army in March of 2006, It was the same thing,
A small circle of friends that I would hang out with and could talk to; some from church, some not.
(I won’t name any names in this entire entry). When I joined the Army, and shipped off to basic
training I received letter from primarily my family, and people at church – almost all of them were
old adults just trying to encourage me etc (which I greatly appreciated); however I rarely received
letter from my close friends.

I eventually graduated basic training, and was a free-er man. I was stationed in Georgia, and my
cell phone back, email.. the works. Yet things didn’t change. I had to pull teeth to get my close
friends to keep in contact with me. It was very discourging and heart breaking. I couldn’t
seem to grasp, or understand, why these people, I desperately wanted to stay in touch, wouldn’t.
A quick call! A short email! A TEXT! I didn’t see how that was too much to ask. I completely
understand that people have their own lives to live, and may have moved on to some extent after I
shipped off, but It astonished me, I couldn’t get even a short peep out of my (now) old friends.

So I ship off to Iraq, not before making a new friend back in VA shortly before I leave. Get to Iraq
Nothing new with my (old) close friends.. the only people I’m getting emails and letters from are
family and people I’m not so close with at church (which STILL was GREATLY appreciate).
But I felt like I couldn’t open up to those people… I didn’t really KNOW them, like that.
So yet again, I was pulling teeth to get my old pals to send me emails, pick up the phone when I called.
I even got a cell phone at one point and had a number I could get and send calls.. and still had
no luck. So I resorted to finding “internet friends”, finding people on Facebook I went to highschool
with, some I knew some-what well, others I didn’t. Tried to just make conversation with those folks.
EVEN Made international contact, Those people I’m speaking about, surprising or not, helped me.
I greatly appreciate(d) those people who took the time to chat with me on facebook, or reply to
my messages. Iraq was a crap-hole. For a quarter or more of half or more of my deployment I was
dealing with absolutely horrible leadership, I felt alone. I felt incarcerated. It absolutely sucked.
Yet I’m fortunate I didn’t see anything devastating or any combat. And I’m EXTREMELY fortunate,
I woke up for my political apathy, thanks to RON PAUL.

So I started networking and making contacts within meet-up groups & so eventually Campaign for LIberty.
Didn’t really make any major progress in actually getting to really know people, but I suppose that was
difficult, maybe even odd to do. But I made contacts and met people as I came home, finally.
So that new friend I made, that I spent alot of time with on my R&R.. yeah that person ditched me soon
after I got back to Iraq too. Completely lost contact. I think I hung out with my “old friends” a
handful of times while on R&R, but honestly, I can’t remember.

So I get back to the States, and nothing *really* changes, I did manage to get a couple of my old friends
on the phone, it seemed like a little more than usual, but at that point my End of Time in Service date was
around the corner, and I was hoping to revive those “old friendships”.

Well, I move back home, and may have seen my friends initially a handful of times… but the hype shortly
died, and I soon realized I was coming home to no-one. No-one I could hang with on a semi-consistent
(or more) basis. No-one I could talk to, about, anything. I had my family, well sorta. My brother
was now a new Marine, stationed in D.C, My sister moved out of the County, and just about all my church
friends either got married and or, moved…. and everyone knows how that goes – no time for friends.

So I’ve been home a couple months over a year now, I’ve made more friends, and lost more friends.
It’s a vicious cycle. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. Is it really me? Is it simply
my luck? I feel like I can’t talk to some of my married friends, because I don’t feel like I can trust
them, to not discuss whatever I decide to confide in them, with their spouse. I’m still pulling teeth
hang out and talk to “old friends”. I’ve stayed pretty busy since I’ve moved back, consciously, or
subconsciously, because I know if/ when I get down time, I’ll get heavily burdened about not having
people I can chill with and talk to. I’m always juggling a hundred different things it seems,
I suppose it’s for a reason.

But it still astonishes me, that people I meet, and friendship I make, I still have people just walk away
from great, or potentially great friendships. I’m not speaking about anyone in particular, it’s happened since
I moved back last year! I’ve met MANY amazing people within the Liberty movement, which I’ve gotten
deeply involved with, and care about deeply. The only issue with that is, none of them really live
in my area! They’re scattered around the freakin’ U.S! It’s like a freakin’ nightmare!
Thank God for Facebook, but it often just reminds me of the predicament I perpetually find myself in.

I’ve got people, AMAZING people I care about all over the U.S, I’ve got AMAZING friends all over the U.S,
but yet I have little to no-one In my area I can chill with, consistently, for one reason, or another.
My rant is coming to a close, they’re not much else to say. It’s a depressing cycle, that seems to
never end. I don’t want sympathy, I don’t want fake friends. And I really don’t want friends that generate
just from this. I just needed to vent. Maybe this will wake people up, I have no idea.
But It’s been on my mind and I felt compelled to write about it. It breaks my heart, from time to time
the situation I seem to always find myself in. Maybe one day, things will change. I’m not too hopeful though.

Let me finish, by reiterating. I greatly respect, admire, appreciate and am grateful for those who
did send me letters, boxes, emails, FB Messages, chats, etc etc et.. My 3 1/2 years in the Army.
ESPECIALLY while I was in Iraq. To those of you who *may* read this, Thank you, so very much. I owe
you.

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2 Responses to The Death & Absence of Friendships.

  1. Carolyn says:

    Nathan, there is NOTHING wrong with *you* – we live in a ‘throwaway’ culture: products that are intentionally landfill-bound, buildings that are constructed to have a lifetime of no more than 60 years, and people have become just as disposable.

    As life has moved faster and faster, everything has become flashier (thank you MTV) and attention spans have shortened, with the Internet and the world becoming smaller, it is a fact that this generation of people don’t know how to have lasting friendships anymore!!

    You and I are different. You are one of the most wonderful people I know with qualities coming out of your ears (how’s that for a visual!): loyal, kind, intelligent, good sense of humor, caring and understanding. What more could someone want in a friend? I can’t think of much.

    The fact that those unnamed individuals did not maintain their friendship with you is a reflection upon both parties. You outgrew them; they, in one sense moved on, and in another remained stagnant whereas you grew.

    The path of the seeker is difficult on many levels, besides just the shock of having paradigms destroyed, it inherently engenders a certain distance due to the differential in knowledge, understanding and vision that others lack. It is lonely, sometimes painfully so, and the seeker must ask repeatedly, “Is this worth it?” I do this as well, and have a similar experience. But deep down we both know the answer and will never go ‘back to sleep.’

    Never forget that you have me – I may not be much but I pack a lot in this tiny frame. And it’s not a hop-skip-and-jump down the street, but it may be closer than others!!

    I’mma get that LC and swing by hopefully this week if that is ok?

    • Shaun says:

      I know what you mean bro, but for different reasons. Going through an almost 2 yr divorce now has made me lose many friends. I have very close ones, but they all moved and are now married, have kids, etc… so i feel like I’m just starting over. If you’re like me at all, you always feel like you’re trying really hard to make other people happy, but in the end screw crap up somehow. I suppose we know the answer to this….true friends are true friends, seasons change, people change, but you can only be as good as you choose to be and hope others like you for it. Hopefully we can catch some bball games again. Adios

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