Not invited

I started playing pickleball at the invitation of my husband’s business partner. They have worked together for 12 years now, and she and I are on friendly terms. But my husband is definitely who she is closer to. He’s her work husband. There is nothing inappropriate and that’s not a concern to me. She and 3 other women needed a fourth person to play, and she invited me to take a group lesson and to play with them. The teacher is fabulous and all the women are nice. They are very patient and kind to me while I learn how to play and I’m having a lot of fun.

Before and after we play, they talk about plans they are making for lunch or dinners together, or talk about things they’ve done together in the previous week. There was talk about all of us going to dinner for two of their birthdays, but that time has passed and I wasn’t invited to anything if it happened. Today my feelings got the better of me, and I felt so left out and sad. I wish I could say something casual about not talking about plans they have no intention of including me in. I know I’m not in their tight friend group, but just wish they wouldn’t make plans in front of me. It would be so easy for them to do that!

It doesn’t help that I’m lonely now that my kids are out of the house and would love to have more friends to do things with. When I was little, my mom never let me eat something in front of guests without offering them something, too. I guess this situation kind of seems similar to me. Don’t discuss fun plans that you have no intention of including me in. I try to tell myself that it’s fine, I can just be a pickleball friend, but my feelings are hurt and I am trying not to cement over negative feelings any more. Today I was upset enough about it that I had a hard time wanting to keep playing. My arms felt heavy and I felt like there were bees buzzing around in my skull. I have a strong emotional response to being left out of things, going back to when I was a kid. I don’t want to respond like this, but don’t know how to go from feeling slighted to not having it hurt my feelings.

I tried to write a model, but am not sure of the last two lines.

C – Pickleball partners make plans for and discuss events I am not invited to in front of me
T- I’m invisible to them as a friend prospect
F – deflated
A – try to tell myself I don’t care, don’t concentrate well on playing, want to leave and just go home
R – feel like shit

I came home after and just took a big nap. Clearly buffering!