I seem to be some sort of glutton for moral punishment. I have a wretched habit of holding on to any thought or event which proves my worth or lack thereof.
lately, I’ve found myself telling and re-telling the story of my breakup last April. In a few ways, it was the most hellish event of my life, and it’s aftermath has been bad, too. I’ve chosen to believe, afterwards, that I’m worth nothing. That I spent everything I had to give anyone in one relationship, and that person took all I had, stomped on it, spit on it, and told me how worthless it was. Told me that it wasn’t enough. Told me that despite the fact that I apologized for being selfish, insecure, and petty, I was insufferable and not worth their time or their effort. Worse still is the fact that this person disqualified themselves and chose to withdraw their love from me on the grounds that they weren’t meeting my needs, even though I didn’t say that.
I resolved myself to save my relationship at whatever cost, and I did everything I knew to do that, and it failed.
That word – that damn word – has perpetuated itself in my life since that day. Forget dating relationships, I have a hard enough time trusting my friends. It’s easier to believe that I’m getting on someone’s nerves than that I’m a joy to be around.
So I create a vicious cycle of longing for a friend, savoring a little bit of time with them, and then disqualifying myself after that. After all, I’m insufferable, right? After all, some of the people I’ve told are my best friends in moments of extreme vulnerability and weakness have responded by saying, “you’re getting there.” After all, I have nothing to give, and everything I give isn’t enough for the people I love most.
Damn tired of thinking that way.
Here’s the thing: I never realized how much weight I give to the past.
I never realized how deeply April’s events cut me. I was pissed at the time, but now I see that the door was opened for a bunch of lies, and I’ve gobbled them up.
I’ve kept myself from expressing who my friends really are, for fear that they won’t reciprocate that. Today, I’ve decided I don’t have time for that. If someone means a lot to me, then by Jove, I need to tell them and let them know it, whether they feel that way towards me or not.
And, I have to learn to trust the people who call me a friend – that they really mean it and they’re not puffing me up for no good reason. I can’t afford to keep tiptoeing around emotions, trying to interpret everything at something other than face value. That’s exhausting and unsustainable.
I’m done with that. If I tell you I love you and I appreciate you, then I love and appreciate you. If you tell me that, I’m taking you at your word and it’s on you to live up to it.