Growing up as an Army brat (child of career military personnel) meant moving often which resulted in leaving friends when we moved to a new location. Wherever we were, there was not much time to form a true bond with our friends. Seems that trend has stayed with me throughout life because it is difficult for me to be close to others, in part due to feeling that friends would be gone and in part due to not knowing how to form relationships.
From my childhood, there are a handful of friends of who we have re-connected and we share a unique bond. Our bond is in large part due to the unspoken bond of Army brats as we all know what live is like being a military dependent. My life as a military dependent changed when I was fifteen when dad retired from the Army. No longer living the life of as an Army brat (but forever in my heart), I was now living a civilian life which I knew little to nothing about and proved to be a difficult transition for me. I longed for what I knew while trying to adjust to what life could now be for me.
Making friends was now difficult. It wasn’t like in the Army when within a day or so of moving somewhere, I had a handful of kids around who were there as friends. They knew what the life was like; they knew the code of an Army brat.
At age fifteen, classmates already had their core friends, most of who were lifeline friends. Where would I fit in with this? Could I work my way thru the bond others have with their friends? They were used to being around people they knew and didn’t necessarily know to how interact with “outsiders” such as me.
I tried getting into the different cliques – the good, the not so good, and the bad but didn’t fit in anywhere. It was like the song “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places” (with replacing “love” with “friends” although also looked for love in all the wrong places, too). It was then I realized I had to define myself so I could be myself.
Defining myself was (and still is) the hard part. Transitioning from the kind of life I knew to a life I didn’t know was challenging. It brought confusion and a sense of feeling lost. With time, I met many people who became acquaintances along with a few I would call friends.
I was not a girlfriend-dy kind of gal who shared my desires, my secrets and such with other girls. Not having closeness with other girls my age prevented me from having someone to turn to especially in times of trouble. When I did share, it was usually non-productive due to my own inabilities to be productive. Through my parents’ alcoholism, there was no one I felt I could turn to in order to seek compassion and understanding which could have given me some comfort. It took many years, but found what I needed within myself. Perhaps leaning more on myself isolated me from others.
End result is for whatever reason many never got to know me due to not taking the opportunity to do so. And the same is true in that I didn’t have an opportunity to know them. This did however give me an opportunity to get to know one person – me. If have been given a chance others would have found me loving, caring, quirky, dedicated, a little adventurous, fun, hot head, troubled and confused while being a good, well-meaning person. There is no anger or resentment on my part. It is a coming of terms and understanding with my life. Looking to hopefully soon moving back to where I call home where I can hopefully build true friendships with people I know.