I am struggling. There is someone in my life who really doesn’t seem to care about me at all. He surfaces when it works for him and has a very clear expectation that I will be there for him. Regardless of how he has treated me.
He tends to operate in this delusional world that the way he treats others, the way he flits in and out of other peoples lives, has no consequence. But it does.
I have tried to be friends with him but it is just a one way street. Me giving, him taking. And he demands the giving as if he is entitled to it, as if I owe him.
Everyone I know has told me to block him. But, so far anyway, I can’t do it. And I can’t even tell you why.
Part of it is fear, fear of being mean, fear of him thinking whatever he will think if I block him.
Part of it is control, I don’t not want to know what he is up to.
Part of it feels so immature, that at 54 I have to block someone like I am 16.
And part of it, I guess, is I like the drama his intermittent and self involved missives bring to my life. And I really wish this weren’t true. I guess when I really get down to it, even though everything in this person’s behavior shows that I am the last thing he cares about, there is this part of me that doesn’t stop the communication because each time he reaches out I think that it will be different. That I will finally matter...even though I know, because time has showed me repeatedly, that I don’t matter to him, at least not in the ways that would be important to me. He has lots of fancy words and manipulations but of true care and love I suspect he knows little.
So I am sitting in this very uncomfortable place where I am having to change myself. To stop responding and being available to help him just because he has asked. We do not have a relationship, we have a text message thread that proves everyone else’s point: he reaches out when it suits him and I have, until more recently, allowed this behavior to be the status quo.
All day yesterday I fought the urge to call him back. He called twice and texted twice, somewhat demanding assistance. And I could provide it and it would cost me nothing, except that is untrue. It would cost me a great deal because I would be allowing myself to be used. To be dismissed and cast aside with absolutely no care and concern for my own well being only to allow myself to be picked up again when it suits him.
And this is the behavior I am trying to change. Historically, I have picked not hurting him over not hurting me. Giving him what he wants and needs because that is the easier thing to do. But I see now how I have been participating in my own subjugation...his feelings are always more important than mine. And it is time that I stopped this and took care of myself.
I still feel like a dick. I still feel like I should rise above and be the bigger person, except that kind of thinking only kept me forever stuck in this place where people who care about me not at all continue to use me because I let them.
I want this to be about him. But it isn’t. It is about me. I do not want to admit how desperate I have been throughout my life to be included, needed and wanted. I have readily and happily accepted being invited into groups of people who do not give a shit about me at all, or their form of loving connection makes me feel like shit. Only to realize, way too late, that I didn’t really care for them or the group or what I was being invited into in the first place. This need of mine to be wanted and accepted greater than my ability to be honest with myself about the fact that not one these people really want me, they just want something I have or do or the way I show up for them.
I have to get beyond this. This idea that if I just provide others what they want that they will value me. And so far, this has only served to put me in long term relationships that do not value me at all and often, puts me in relationship with people who make me feel like shit about them and me.
So I have to change. But I hate this mean feeling that I walk around with...it sucks.
I am flipping the script and changing myself. I am being mean - TO ME! Allowing someone to flit in and out of your life with no consequence or import of your feelings, needs and desires is mean...to yourself. And I don't know why it has taken me all this time to realize that. Perhaps this pervasive feeling of being mean that I have allowed to trick me into believing something else was really my own inner voice desperately trying to get my attention, to alert me that I was, in fact being mean, to myself.
I am realizing that I can hold a good opinion of myself OR I can attempt to manage what you think or say. But I can't do both. And it is so much easier to behave in ways that support me and lead me to different roads, different vistas than the ones I have habitually traversed. If you want to see new sights, you have to travel new roads. It really isn't any more complicated than that...
So I am changing myself. It is hard, uncomfortable and generated this panicky feeling in my chest. But I am doing it anyway because I want a new experience of myself, with myself and to not continue to pick people like him who are only in it for themselves...and that isn't mean at all...in fact I am pretty sure this is what people call self care.