Posts Tagged ‘friends’

I have been meaning to write you and say you’re not crazy. I am really sorry for how I must have treated you last summer. I just re-read the email you sent me last fall and a lot of the things you said rang true. Even my response to that was cold and unfeeling. Since we parted, I met someone last September who basically reaffirmed all of your complaints. He’s used the phrase “hot and cold” to describe how I behave towards him. The hard thing is, I don’t do it on purpose and I’m not even aware when and how I’m doing it. I have begun to conclude that I must be an incredibly selfish person. Essentially, I am incredibly attached to an idea of independence and freedom, and the moment I sense any infringement on that I go haywire. I tend to demonize the thing or person that seems to be impinging and this results in me treating them like an enemy and/or making them feel like they are an inconvenience to me. Making them feel like their needs are wrong or unimportant if they conflict with mine. In sum, my attitudes and false attachments to some arbitrary and probably unattainable notion of independence results in me making people who are close to me feel like shit if their own defenses aren’t strong enough. Even worse, my nature disarms people from their senses first, because I am open and nurturing with the effect that people trust me in response to my seemingly loving, blatant honesty.

It’s a huge contradiction. On the one hand, I crave real human connection, honesty, openness, support, and love. On the other hand, I shut down when people take me up on the offer. I run away. I close off. I make them insecure. Even Shannon has told me the reason she remains my friend is because she “admires my independence” and had to come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to pick up when she called and I’d get in touch with her when I wanted to.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t want to be a person of empty promises. I have an inkling that my notion of independence is entirely false and I need to eradicate my destructive relationship with that notion. None of us are independent, after all. We are all products of the universe, inherently brothers and sisters with everything from the grass on the ground to the hair on our neighbor’s toes. I must realize that gaining the responsibility of establishing truly loving relationships is not a limitation in any sense. Quite the contrary, it should work to set everyone involved free.

I’m just having trouble with this, though. I feel like I can begin to conceptualize it, but that isn’t enough. How to internalize it. How to live it.

What I’m saying is this: I realize that I hurt you. In doing so, I also imprisoned myself. That explains why I began to feel that I didn’t like who I was around you. I haven’t fully analyzed any of the particularities so unfortunately I can’t articulate them for you. But you are right; I’m liable to end up very lonely if I don’t solve the barriers I face internally which prevent me from letting people love me and vice-versa. Hopefully my life’s nowhere close to ending because I’ve got a long way to go and lots of learning to endure.

Love from a friend who gets down,
who clowns,
who trips and falls,
who’s trying to do some kind of best. And failing a lot. But making some progress, I like to think.

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