Friday, December 2, 2011

I Miss My Ward Family

Some days are tougher than others. This was just one of those days. We had our ward Christmas party tonight. It was at the Stake Center, which is only about 20 miles away from our house. I was rushing to get out and all of my kids were being unresponsive, uncooperative, and incessantly whiny.  By the time I got in the car, my blood pressure was really high, my heart was racing and I just had to inhale and exhale.

When we pulled up to the church, Eli had fallen asleep. He completely zonked out. I took the twins inside and Rinar held Eli.  They had a creche display in one of the rooms. Both Harry and Julia insisted on touching the displays. I kept telling them no, but to no avail. They would not listen. So I pretty much lost it. I grabbed them both and dragged them out of the room.  I pretty much threw Harry on the ground.  I just couldn't deal with it anymore.

Rinar took them away, and I ended up holding Eli on the couch in the lobby while he slumbered away. While I was sitting there, I started to watch the ward members walking by, talking, visiting.  I felt so isolated and utterly alone. Here are all of these people. I have been in the ward for over 8 months, and I know no one.  Then I laid Eli on the couch and stood at the door to keep my eye on him and to watch the festivities.  Lots of people chatting and talking and it is always the same people paired up with each other.  I can just tell you who will be sitting with who talking and visiting.  I started to get very depressed.  

Can I be honest here? I really miss my Sunset Ward family.  They were always so sensitive to new people. You always made sure to sit with the new people, talk to them, really get to know them.

This ward is "friendly". Lots of smiles, and "Hi, how are yous?"  That is pretty much it. No one knows me. Okay, I can't say no one, but the list is incredibly small. People in this ward are just very comfortable where they are and there is no effort to really reach out to new people in a heart-felt way.  It was just so different in my last ward.  It truly was a family. This is very hard for me.  It is almost unbearable.

But then I sit here and think to must be me. What kind of vibes am I sending out?  Why do people talk to me the way that they do?  It kind of reminds me of my high school experience all over again.  I mean that in the sense that I had lots and lots of acquaintances, even a few fairly good friends, but I was so lonely. I had no real friends, where someone knew who I really was. It was hard, very hard. I was so alone.  But I am guilty. I have not really made as much of an effort as I did in Las Vegas.  I think that after many interactions, I have just become discouraged. We did invite a slew of people over for dinner to try to find our place in this ward, but it just hasn't gone how I hoped it would. Some people reciprocated an invite, but it felt like an obligation.

These are my feelings. I am probably being overly dramatic here, but at this moment, it is where my head is. This feels like a burden even more so, because we live so far away, on the fringe of the ward boundary. It is a huge inconvenience for anyone to come here. Whenever I tell people where I live, they give an audible sigh or groan.  Let's just say, we have had very few visitors for our entire stay in Reno. I think that in the 6 months we have lived in this house, we have had the same amount of visitors as we did in a two week time span in Las Vegas.

I actually started to feel nauseous at the Christmas party, so we left early. I just couldn't keep my feelings in check without making a spectacle of myself.

1 comment:

Hoku said...

Your feelings are very real and TOTALLY relatable. In the first ward Jerry and I were in (when we were in college and newly married) no one, not even the relief society president came up to meet me for weeks. I'm not at ALL shy so I'd introduce myself and sit with new people but they actually had the audacity to get up and move. Crazy, huh?! And I'm so incredibly awesome; how could they miss that?!

I cried a lot but determined that I would never let that happen to anyone else. I KEPT attending everything (it'll be easier when you can go to an enrichment or "special interest group" without the kids and actually get to know sisters) and eventually I made lots of good friends.

Now, in my ward, I NEVER let a new person sit alone. I give my number, call them periodically, and invite them to things because I know how it felt.

Cheer up Kelly. I sure love you and can tell you it WILL get better. You're INCREDIBLY awesome too... and you're witty and intelligent and just FUN! - I can attest to that - and once people have time to get a glimpse of the real you, you'll be able to build lasting relationships like those in your old ward. Realizing I'm sounding like a cheezeball, it WILL get better. Virtual hugs and back-patting in the meantime.

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