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Admitting Defeat...Again.

I have been struggling.  This is not necessarily a new thing, it is just a new variation on an old issue.  An issue that I have been given new insight about and a new willingness to do something about it.  I never really considered taking action in this way before...I am not sure why.  But I know that I need help.  And for a long time, I have been so embarrassed by this fact, all I could do was deny that it was really a problem.

I am not a good "ask for help" kind of person.  I would much rather do it myself.  This has been a self reinforcing thing in my life.  I have a tendency to not believe that people will actually show up for me, and so I would much rather just handle whatever it is than to ask you for something and have you let me down.  And unfortunately, I feel let down way more often then I feel lifted up or assisted.  And I am sure that expectation of failure on my part contributes to your failure to show up, but it is also the people I choose to be engaged with, not all of you, certainly, but I have to own that I have picked poorly over the years.

I was friends with a group of women for 7 years.  They were a part of my everyday.  We were intimately connected.  Now, I was not happy in that relationship for a long time, most specifically with a couple of the women.  I felt and had good evidence that I wasn’t a fan favorite for a couple of them.  And they treated me poorly, frequently.  But I held my tongue for the most part and stayed quiet about their shitty behavior and treatment and their drug and alcohol use/abuse.  In the seven years we were “friends” not one single time did they think about how their behavior in this area might impact me.  They just decided that because I didn’t say anything, it didn’t bother me.  Then I wrote a blog about how much it bothered me...and they were furious!  Absolutely pissed, they saw my blog as this act of complete betrayal.  And that was the end of the all the friendships.  One demanded to know why I wrote what I wrote...and because I didn’t answer her within the hour, they all ghosted me.  Gone from the text thread...poof!

It was hard to accept.  I think I always knew if I ever really said how I felt, that it would all be over, so I didn’t say anything about how I felt, or how their drinking and using affected me because I knew that if I ever did, they would choose drinking and using over my friendship and comfort.  And I was right.  I didn’t write the blog to end the friendships, I was just doing what I do.  This is the place where I sort it all out.  This is the place that is mine to work through my stuff.  I didn’t mention names.  And it isn’t like all of the world is reading this...but I knew why they were upset.  But the fact that they got so upset about it and didn’t even really stop to ever ask themselves why I might choose to write about it, instead of have a conversation about it, underscored just how non-essential I was to the ongoing relationship.  I am sure my “betrayal” made them all even closer.  And the fact that they had betrayed me repeatedly for years, never noticing me enough to even think about my comfort or safety, was completely lost on them.

For the most part, I only miss one of them.  And I have thought, many times, about attempting to make right the relationship.  But, despite the depth of feeling I believed she and I had, her commitment to continuing completely dysfunctional relations with the others and booze made any kind of continued contact or effort, moot.  And also the fact that not once in all the intervening time, did it ever occur to her why I might write what I wrote, and about how unsafe I felt in that “friendship” dynamic.  And so I haven’t, I have just walked away because, in the end, there was nothing left for me to do. And I will own that I choose this path almost always.

I know I have problems with intimacy.  I know that being real and honest and intimate is something that is terribly hard for me. I know the idea that my thoughts, feeling, needs and desires are something that I tend to keep secret in my relationships is a bar to any kind of genuine connection.  I KNOW this but I also have not had the power to change it.  I have tried with limited success.  And I continue to try but this paradigm where I speak my truth and you leave is so great and has been reinforced so many times, I still feel like I have a choice:  speak my mind and heart and have you leave, or just keep it to myself and be able to engage in “relationships” whatever that might mean.

And I believe the last two years has been about changing this behavior.  I have walked away from a great number of dysfunctional relationships.  Relationships where I have absolutely had a part in the dysfunction and I have done my best to own it.  And it appears that I am now going to have to do something differently...and I will tell you there is a tidal wave of fear that is currently just lapping at my feet.  I know that I need to take action on MY issues.  But I will always tell you that I REALLY, REALLY don’t want to.

And as easy as it would be to dismiss my prior relational failures to selecting poorly, it would be a failed inventory because it would fail to address the thing that has undermined all my relationships eventually:  the fact that I would sooner live without you forever than tell you how I really feel.  I would honestly rather just walk away than tell you that you hurt me, let me down, disappointed me.  Because if I had to tell you any of that, then you would see that I have needs and wants and desires and it is so much easier to walk through life just accepting what I get and having my own personal experience with my disappointment and sadness. Why involve you at all?

Truth be told, I had felt immensely sad in that woman friendship for a very long time.  Every once in awhile I would get sad mad and threaten to leave.  But they would convince me that I was being dramatic or was making a big deal out of nothing and my fear of losing would allow me to capitulate once more and so I remained long after was really good for me.  Their comfort and peace was always more important than mine.  And because they seemed to require this deal, they only got a avatar of me, the real person, absent and vacant in the relationship because there was no way for me to be present AND safe...vulnerability really requires an ability to do both those things at the same time...and I did not have either.

So I am admitting defeat again...still.  Fuck.

I can’t do anything about any the others in my life and their behavior.  I can only do something about mine.  And I have been unwilling to do anything, not because I didn’t want change, but because I really didn’t know what to do...but now I do, at least, I think I do.  And I will tell you that new and different is terrifying.  I am equally afraid of the change that will come and the possibility that no change will occur at all.  I don’t like things the way they are, but I don’t want things to really be different.  And that is just another way of me saying that I want to just do things the way I always have and I want to also have a different experience...and that is just not possible.  

To get different, you have to do different.  And it is hard.  And scary and gut wrenching and fucking difficult.  So here I more fucking time, on the precipice of change, and unsure if I have the strength and courage to take that next step.  I think I do, I mean to some degree my back is against the wall...I am not happy in my current existence, so I have to change.  Not you, although I have to own that I would really prefer that you and the world change to accommodate me...that would be so much better, so if you could all do that, that would be great. I would really appreciate it.

I know, I know, that isn’t going to happen. If I want a new experience with myself and eventually with you, I have to do the work.  And I will own that I am tired and feel like I have been asked to do way too much over the years.  But I also see that this isn’t really anyone else’s work to do.  It is mine.  And I have to be honest, open minded and willing...again, still, fuck.

So I will own today that I have hit another bottom.  One that I likely have been skimming for decades but this is the first time that I have been able to see it uniquely defined as a ME problem and not a YOU problem.  So I sit in that tenuous place where I have to find the courage to move forward once more in a way and manner that grants me passage to an evolution of myself that I am not sure I can handle or really want...but I know, oh my fucking God how I know, that the work, to be done or not, is always mine.




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