I kind of had a breakthrough today - we went out as a family for once, we have not been out as a family for a few months really as we've always had someone else 'tag' along with us! It was really nice and I really enjoyed myself, being part of a family again and being able to relax and have gentle conversation without feeling stressed out or have the need to impress. In the group was my younger sister, her (long-term) boyfriend, my mum and my Dad.
It has been quite a time since my friendship with my sister has been this good, partly because we have had a common friend, which produced quite a lot of competition between my sister and I because we were both trying to impress her and spend more time with her than each other. But now since I have gently hinted to what was originally my friend, I sat with her everyday in tutor group and hung around with her most lunchtimes and breaks, finally I've kind of had quite a break through.
Part of my success actually trying to get my friend to back off a bit was trying to recover her social skills a bit to make new friends and not rely on trusted 'friends of friends' all the time for friendship. She has joined walking groups and now has a mutual friend of ours from our old school now as one of her main friends, instead of my sister which has taken the pressure off me to literally watch everything I say to both of them incase they told the other one and I got some kind of gossip going between them. Although the confidentiality side between my younger sister and my old school friend has never been a problem, I have felt very hurt and cheated when they became very good friends and my school friend would come round my house, hang around with my sister and completely leave me out. That was not on I don't think!
The point I wanted to make about 'friends of friends can influence your life as much as friends can' was - I didn't realise but friends of friends might be considering you just as much a friend as your mutual friend. For example, my younger sister's boyfriend today spoke to me and my parents quite a bit, but particularly spent a lot of time carefully answering my questions I asked him about their holiday to Greece. Now he's never been so open and friendly and behaved like this before, he's also been quiet and not talked much and I thought this was a bit snobbish, since him and my sister both went to and met at Durham Uni. I thought it was almost a personal thing they had against me because I went to a less classy uni to do a better subject (law) instead of choosing say a less top subject at a better uni (Durham) which I also got offered a place at. Entirely my choice, I also went for the type of student there much more laid back at Hull than Durham and I wanted somewhere cheap to live too.
I didn't realise just how much friends of friends are important in your life too as my sister's boyfriend opening up to us really made me feel like there wasn't an element of snobbishness happening and I felt important too, like my opinion was important. Since I have schizophrenia, a lot of my confidence has been lost, especially since I was sectioned about 10 years ago now, I feel like it's been a long battle to gradually work up a confidence to speak to people again like I used to, before the schizophrenia set in.
I'm just hoping that the mutual friend that my old school friend is friends with now, kind of instead of with my sister now, actually does the same as my sister's boyfriend and opens up to susie and I if we meet in a group. Because that would also increase my confidence, but moreover, it would also, I believe, increase my school friend's confidence to confide in me again and maybe try and reignitiate the friendship we had before my younger sister decided to be friends and depend on my friend for support when she went to uni, which really maybe was the basis of their friendship. Because my sister could tell I was going to get into a good uni whatever the weather and she needed the support and boost from my school friend, because she could see how well I was doing acedemically by being friends with this lass at school.
So all I can do is wait now and hope a magic fairly comes along and takes away all my troubles.. oh well there was people worse off than I am!