I’m always sharing posts about girl power and women supporting other women, but the truth is I don’t have a close girl group. I have lots of girl friends, but not a specific group of friends that all hang out together, are part of the same brunch club and babysit for each other’s kids. I didn’t grow up within a strong female friendship circle because most of my growing up was tarnished by bad decisions and mental health struggles. I also had a hormone imbalance that meant I developed physically at a different pace to my peers. When you’ve got tits at 10 and are buying sanitary towels with your lunch money, awhile your mates are still playing with barbies, it can be hard to fit in. Overwhelming at times, and I felt left out often, as a kid. I was a bit of spoilt brat too, but (and I’m not making excuses) I was genuinely finding growing up hard.
This isn’t a woe is me post though, on the contrary, I have a lot of friends dotted all over the place and that’s kind of nice really as it gives way to variety. I’m also a bit of a loner. For someone as insecure as me that probably comes as a shock to a lot of people, but it’s true. I actually love being alone now, crave the time to think in peace. It’s not very often as mums we get total alone time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not needed now and again. I love to write, as you know, and writers tend to be pretty solitary, as well as creatures of habit. In my professional life I’ve learned to embrace change but I’m still struggling in my personal one and again, I get overwhelmed when things are changing in my home life at a pace I can’t cope with.
Anxiety means I’m always thinking the worst case scenario and that can make making friends hard work. People get fed up of my insecurities. I have some great friends who have known me a long time that get it. They know me so they accept me in all my mentally muddled glory. They know when I’m being off it’s usually because I’m worried about something, and they appreciate my sensitivity when they need someone who’s good at listening, or someone who will always remember their birthday.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t like a closer knit circle of women around. Especially since becoming a mum. I definitely envy girls who have been friends through school or uni and have each other’s backs. Groups where there’s no jealousy or feeling left out because everyone’s always invited. I do sometimes feel left out in my adult life too, but I’m not naive enough now to believe I don’t contribute to it. I don’t immerse myself in groups very well. I avoid chat on the school run and when I do find myself in group situations I attach to the person who I think will judge me the least, then I might later find out they’re boring or they’re the gossipyest (I know that’s not a word) so I’ll back off rather than get to know everyone else.
Trust is a massive thing for me and if I feel I can’t trust people I tend to just give up. And so I know I’m responsible for a lot of the reasons I don’t have these strong cliques. But with this in mind I’m more than grateful for the friends I do have, the girls that get me, are the ones that will say nice things behind my back and let me cry and scream when my kid’s driving me insane or Shaun hasn’t put the bins out. (yes I’ve cried about that before, I have a hormone imbalance, remember… I cry!)
I also have some really close male friends who take the piss out of me for being such a diva, but also spur me on when I need to ‘man up’
I like to believe that life gives you the people you need but I’m not sure that’s always true. It’s certainly given me people to learn from, and people who have helped me grow. It hasn’t given me a really close girl group, and whilst I sometimes wish it had, instead it’s given me loads of strong women who I love and I’m creating my own girl gang one diva mum, sister, friend & daughter at a time.