Wednesday, April 9, 2008


This is who I seem to expect my friends to be. Not just my friends....everyone, really. I expect no one to ever let me down. I want them to read my mind, get it right on the first try. Always be available when I need them and to know how to meet my needs without my spelling it out. As I think more about my posts from the past few days, I think I hoard all these bad memories and keep a mental list of times I've been "let down" as evidence that I can't depend on anyone. I think this is my brain trying to maintain the status quo? Trying to stop me from letting the wall down? And then, when I need someone, I dredge up those memories as a reminder of what can happen and how bad it can feel when I allow myself to be vulnerable.

I feel so horribly worthless when I want to talk to someone and they don't have time for me. When in reality, I know that everyone has times that they are busy. I have a real tough time with my male "J" friend. As a man, he likes his "space" when he has something going on. So there have been times I've wanted his ear and he's nowhere to be found for days on end. And, on the one hand, I think "good for him" for putting his own needs first. But, on the other, I feel unimportant because in my backwards & codependent life, I've been groomed to ignore my own needs. So I sit here remembering times I've put others first and that they don't do the same for me. When in fact, I have it quite backwards and mixed up in my head. Actually, clarify....I have it backwards and mixed up in my HEART. My head gets it. My head realizes that these expectations I seem to hold out are totally unrealistic. They are designed to keep me isolated and not to allow me to grow. My head is ready to make a conscious change. It's my heart that is desperately clinging to the old patterns. I keep saying "I feel isolated" and, in fact, I am isolating myself. It's no ones fault but my own.

I think I said in my "V Word" post that XBF was the first person I'd made myself vulnerable to. Not true, in retrospect. He is the first romantic relationship in which I'd made myself emotionally vulnerable in the correct way. But I realize I've made myself vulnerable to many people in my past.

My mother. When I sent her the letter detailing what had happened in my past, I made myself vulnerable to her. And she disappointed me BIG time.

My father. When I reached out to him in effort to heal our relationship and to open communication about the abuse, that was vulnerable. And he denied it all and told me to let it go.

Those are 2 biggies, of course. But as I look back at big and small relationships through my life, I see a pattern of being disappointed. In fact, pretty much every guy I dated or had sex with...I made myself vulnerable to them. I was looking to them to "fix" me; to fulfill me. When in fact my interaction with them took another piece away from me. I make frequent bad decisions about who to open up to. And I take it way too personally when I don't get the reaction I want. But I've also made no effort to speak up and make my needs known. That's a key point. No risk, no reward. So I think my challenge now is to speak up for myself with a select group of people who have "earned" the right for me to put my faith in them. And I have to remember this does not mean they have not, or will not, ever let me down. What it does mean is that I know they love me and want to do what they can to help me. I know they are people who have my best interest at heart and will never purposely hurt me.

I had a great talk with my friend "J" last night and I opened up to her about all that had been on my mind. I found this in my email this morning:

I'm just getting ready to go to sleep and I wanted to write you a quick note. I love you very, very much. You are one of the most important people in my life. Don't forget I am saying this - I want you to call me or email me whenever you need to talk or to vent. I will do my best to always be there for you. I know it is hard for you. I nor anyone else in this world is perfect; I cannot say that I will never again in my life disappoint you or have an argument with you. But you are my sister and I honestly and truly love you with all my heart. You have always, always - even in detriment to yourself - been there for me in all my craziness and wrong decisions in my life. I will be there for you in whatever way you need me - even if it is in ways that I might not understand. I know it is hard for you to trust people - I see (but do not understand necessarily) how much you have been hurt in your life. Like I said before; I am not perfect, but you need to know that I do and will always love you.

Well a girl can't really ask for a better "superfriend" than that, can she??


Enola said...

That's the sign of a really great friend. I'm glad you opened up to her and that she responded in love.

One of my closest confidants tells me often that she is human and not perfect. When I "called her out" on hurting me, she responded openly, honestly, and genuinely. She apologized sincerely. I think that is the key - the key is not finding someone that will never hurt us. That's impossible. The key is finding someone that can respond lovingly when they know they have hurt us.


Angel said...

Great post.