Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Bad Friend

One of my biggest fears since I started exploring my kink is that I am neglecting my “vanilla” friends. As time has gone on and I have become more immersed in my kink life, it is a fear that has become something of a reality, and one that I'm not particularly happy with.
So when someone said to me today that they thought I was not spending as much time with other friends as I used to, it touched a very raw nerve indeed. So raw, in fact that I spent most of the afternoon in the office fighting tears, mostly unsuccessfully.

You see, the thing is, it's true.

I have neglected friends over the past 18 months. Some friends who I may have naturally grown less close to anyway, some who don't deserve my neglect. It's inevitable that friendships change over the years. I'm of an age where a lot of my friends are (as I so delicately put it) sprogging up. I have never been particularly interested in having children, though I think the majority of my friends' kids are wonderful, so that was something that was without doubt going to change the nature of some of my friendships. When you have children, no matter how much people warn you beforehand, your life changes irrevocably. That's not to say that I love those friends any less, but the amount of time we are able to spend together now is of course less than before.

So some changes in these relationships were always going to happen. The more unforgivable thing, though, is those friends where our bond would have had less reason for changing and it's me that has changed it. Friendships that I have let die a little over the past few months. Phone calls not returned as quickly as they should be. Letters and emails prioritised below kinky letters and emails. Weekends where I might have seen them given over to kinky activities. Being in their neighbourhood on trips and selfishly not wanting to give up an hour of fun to go visiting... All with the excuse that we were growing apart anyway. But were we? Or have I just forced us apart?

I was talking to Emma Jane about this earlier today. She wisely said that it's a problem that a lot of us coming into Kinky World have, and that all we can do is share ourselves out as much as we can. We can't be perfect. She talks a lot of sense, that girl. The trouble is, while I know I can't be perfect, it doesn't stop me trying and it sure as hell doesn't stop me from beating myself up when I inevitably fail. I mean, who the hell am I to treat people who are supposed to mean something to me in such a manner? What did they ever do to deserve me ignoring them, neglecting them, taking weeks to respond to them, never making time for them. Nothing, of course.

So I know it's silly of me to dwell on this, and it's indulgent and crass to have a pity party about it, but I'm afraid that's the lie of the land right now. I need a little pity party, I need to berate myself, and I need to figure out what the hell to do about it. Somewhere out there, there's an ideal balance. If anyone finds it, for goodness sake, let me know.


Abel1234 said...

Thought-provoking post, and a challenge I feel too.

We went for the easier option - just don't have *any* vanilla friends. Well, we have a few, but given the choice of spending time with them vs. time with kinky friends (when there isn't enough time to see as much of *them* as we'd like) than kinky friends will always win out. The connections are deeper, the people are lovelier, and one can be open and honest in conversation with them.

(There is a third option in terms of splitting free time between vanilla and kink, which is to do less work and hence have more free time. Which is what I'm doing commenting on your blog at 10.47 in the morning)!

Taking a glass half-full perspective, mind, I guess I'd rather struggle with too many people I'd like to see than too few, though.

Paul said...

Eliane, this is a hard one, I think that you need to prioritize.
You need to look at your friends, both vanilla and kinky, if necessary, assign them an emotional/fun value, if possible, and apportion your time accordingly.
Easy to write, hellishly difficult to do.
Otherwise do what comes naturally, friends do grow apart, it hurts, but it happens.
Warm hugs,

EmmaJane said...

I have already given my 20 cents and then some. But you know I empathise completly, I see it happening in my group too. The thing is he friends that really care will fight for you and the ones who don't there's a reason we slip away.

Being able to tell my closest friends about kink has been the biggest reassurance for me that I won't lose the vanillas. They know enough now to understand why and to be happy for me, but to also pull me back in line when I disappear for too long. Lollipop in particular is really great at this!

Rebecca said...

It's a tricky one, and certainly something I struggle with too. I want to see vanilla friends and keep up vanilla interests but the feeling that you're missing out on things with the kinky group is hard, especially when you feel that friends are starting to prefer others who don't have to balance their time quite so carefully. I think the balance is
important though - for me personally losing the vanilla side would be unhealthy and I think ultimately make me unhappy. I think working out which line to tread is a challenge for all of us though and a pretty individual thing xx

Serenity Everton said...

I've thought quite a bit about this since you've posted it, and I won't say that I'm innocent of it, either.


I suppose what I do want to say is that what you're feeling isn't just you. It's one we all have, and not all because of 'kinky fun'. Balance is hard and it's dynamic.

Think of kink, as it's still 'newish', as a new toy. Eventually you'll fall into some good habits with it and yet drift back toward playing with your childhood favorites.


Eliane said...

Guys, thank you all for the supportive comments. I'm sure I'll find a way through this maze eventually, and it's nice to know that I'm not alone in having to navigate it.

Public Spanking said...

Excelent work... But, thjis is not a goog friend? ;)