My heart physically hurts today. And for good reason. Today I am looking at an ugly truth about myself and it doesn’t feel good.
The truth I’m digesting is that I am not a good friend. Once again, I let down friends who were counting on me. I said I would do something and I didn’t show up. The reasons don’t even matter. The legitimacy of the reasons doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m that person. I’m the person who can’t be counted on. I am an unreliable and unavailable person.
I’m a great friend when we do get together, and I’m a great friend from a distance. I listen to you. I laugh with you. I validate you. I love the shit out of you. All of that is genuine. That love I have for you is genuine. I really love my friends. A lot. I’m not saying I have nothing to offer. I’m just not a real, consistent, daily life friend. Which means I’m really not much of a friend at all except on the rare occasion that I fucking show up for something.
I don’t mean this to sound like self-pity. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I’m not a victim of anything. And I am NOT asking for friends to contact me saying, “But you ARE a good friend!” I appreciate the instinct, but please don’t do that. I don’t want people correcting my feelings today. I’m tired of that. I’m tired of people telling people like me that we’re wrong about how we feel and what we think. My friends: I know you love me. I love you too. If you want to send me a message saying that, I’m always receptive. Just don’t tell me I’m wrong.
I don’t feel sorry for myself. I feel deep sadness and disappointment, but also a certain numbness. I feel at a distance, like I’m removed from my body, or floating around in the Great Glass Elevator, peering down on my own life. I’m grappling with who I am versus who I want to be. I am so far from who I want to be but keep trying to see myself in that light and become that person, then failing and breaking trust with people I care about. The person I want to be is able to experience intimacy, and the comfort and confidence that comes with that, in her relationships. That was me once. But it changed. My heart needs protection now, and my mind has decided that that protection comes from staying away. My heart lives behind the shield of my mind, which says, no. Not too close. I don’t know why this has happened, but I have some theories. For one, I think being sent away for two years at age 16 was emotionally damaging in more ways than I have even begun to understand. I am also just older, more cynical, more guarded. I have more experience with hurt.
It makes sense that I’m not a good friend I guess. After all, I’ve been a barely functioning human being for a long time now. The depressed part of my brain threatens to overtake the rest of me. Every day. Today, for example, I spent a large chunk of the day in bed, trying to will my body to either move out of bed or sleep, neither of which happened. This is not unusual. I’m not working a regular job right now, but I did do a few productive things; I got my dog to the dog park, I went grocery shopping, I made the kitchen slightly less disgusting. I took my kids to school and picked them up. I fed them. Maybe that’s all I have to give. Maybe I’m just getting through my days alive. The energy and effort that takes, along with caring for my children and the world around me, is all the energy and effort I have.
I am trying to let go of the person I want to be and see myself as I am. It’s painful but necessary. I need to stop making commitments and plans, because no matter how resolved I am to keep them, I rarely do. Often because I just can’t. I know that doesn’t make sense to most people and it sounds like a lame fucking excuse and I can’t explain it to you. What I can say is that I am deeply sorry to those I’ve let down and I don’t want to let people down anymore. It weighs on the soul, not to mention the feelings it causes in others. I do not want to be the cause of hurt and anger and exasperation. So maybe it’s time to just be who I am. Accept who I am. Embrace the loneliness of that and hold onto the love I do have to give. Let go of the better version of me, the one I keep striving for, the one I am not.
I have continuously fucked up. I take responsibility for that. I may have some important things to offer the world–I am kind, passionate, funny, and socially conscious to a fucking fault–but I am not capable of having close friendships. My mind won’t allow me that kind of intimacy and I need to stop pretending it will.
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