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Elephant in the room

WaterFront
Community Member

Hi All,

Is it just me or is there an elephant in the room? I think it must be just me. Surely not. I'm finding the whole Christmas situation is making me feel very anxious - absent friends - Well, one absent friend/FWB in particular. This will be for the second year now after 20 years spending Christmas day together. I have all of my family there for which I am very grateful (except my Dad who passed away 7 years ago). Last year not one person mentioned this absent friend for the entire day and I think they did that to protect me from my feelings. I'm dreading Christmas Day because even the mention of her name makes me feel a bit panicked. I keep telling myself that I need to be stronger and a 'grown up' about it. I want to enjoy the day and enjoy my family and I make a conscious effort to live in the now. I worry about what might be said or mentioned as this seems to break down my veneer very quickly. Any tips to avoid this? I think I'm maybe being too sensitive.

I know other people are going through much worse than this from reading the posts on BB and feel my problem is fairly insignificant in relation to what others are dealing with. But there it is. I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on the subject or some kind words/advice to offer that I can take on board. Just writing it down helps.

Thank you BB community.

WF

3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi WF

All problems are significant, some more than others but still so.

A couple of things. You might well be one in 15% of people that are HSP. Highly sensitive person. Read here

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/depression/highly-sensitive-people-(hsp)

I am and it isnt nice to be one.

The friendship thing (I dont know what FWB means), but I also dont have contact from a school friend that I've known for 50 years. I dont know why and I lost his phone number. I sent his wife a message on FB with my phone number, he still hasnt called and likely wont. I cant get closure on it till then. However another good friend told me that friendships are fluid in nature, they ebb and flow, they come into your life and they leave. Best to allow that fluidity to carry on naturally rather that force it or grieve too much. The theory should be, if a friend detaches from your life then the long term friendship wasnt meant to be. It is sad especially if you are HSP.

The following thread also deals with friends and protecting yourself. With HSP we have no filter from actions that hurt us from others.

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/relationship-and-family-issues/fortress-of-s...

So I'm sorry you are down about this. After this xmas set about changes that will encourage others to become close friends, choose wisely and give love, which is a better focus than craving for it.

TonyWK

Thank you TonyWK. That helped.

The_Bro
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi there Waterfront and Merry Christmas to you.

Please don't feel bad or weird about missing your FWB at all. Its perfectly normal to let your mind unintentionally move to someone you are missing, even more so in the midst of a happy family gathering.

Mine still does that from time to time about an ex, even though I am very happily married!

I assume its Covid that has created the separation on Christmas day? And that the absenteeism is only for that day?

Maybe you can give here a call at a quiet moment - maybe text beforehand to set up a time?

I believe its great to have someone in our life who we truly care about, with all the ups and downs that can bring.Think about the good times you have had together, and are most likely to have in the future.

Minds can play weird tricks on us. Another thing I have successfully tried is really focussing on one person at your gathering and having a decent chat with that person, truly listen, instead of moving around too often from person to person.

That may focus your mind and take your thoughts away from FWB.

All the very best to you for the New Year as well!

The Bro