Winding Down

Sometimes I marvel at how this species has survived so long under the direction of men. Good grief.

I’m not sure I really know how to friendship. It’s been a recurring theme for quite some time now, I realize, and I’d apologize for it – but I’m not really sorry, so what would be the point?

Anyway, I just can’t find the balance at all. If I keep quiet and listen, I’m distant and disconnected…or – those aren’t quite the right words. I feel closed off because I am putting all of the focus on another person. If I babble on too much about myself, I feel selfish.

It just never feels balanced to me, this whole relating to other people thing.

And I’m strangely okay with that, actually. For the moment, at least!

Feeling Low

Today isn’t really going very well so far, I gotta say. I’ve barely slept, Brody didn’t poo before I left this morning, I’m supposed to be doing a radio play tonight after work, but at the moment have zero cast confirmed so will likely have to push it to next week.

And I’m upset.

I think maybe hurt and/or angry is what I’m feeling most, but I’ll file it all under the umbrella term of “upset”. That’ll work for now.

I have a friend, who has a friend, and sometimes I look at their connection and think it’s closer to what I’m looking for in a friend. Not all friends; just one good one who I feel like I can trust and count on, and talk to about pretty much anything, if I want to. The connection they share isn’t quite what I’m looking for, either, but it seems closer than anything I’ve got going on myself. From the outside, at least.

Anyway, my friend mentioned her friend’s name during the conversation, and I commented on how her friend was a good friend for her. She responded that I am, too…which is great, but we weren’t talking about me. Then she said that they have being single and straight in common, and to me that felt like a punch in the face. It’s not the first time I’ve been singled out for not being straight, but again – we were not talking about me.

I mentioned that a comment like that would seem to disregard the connection they have, as they have way more in common than that. What I didn’t add is that, to me, those two things are very surface and/or inconsequential factors upon which to base a friendship. I don’t really look for people who are single and not straight to be my friends. I choose people I like – as people. Not relationship status or sexual orientation. I get that it was just an off-handed comment meant in jest, but it bothered me a lot. Still bothers me now, obviously.

Once again, I feel set apart, and for something that has as little to do with my ability to be a friend as I have control over it. Sorry I’m not straight enough to fit in, I guess? Only I’m not really sorry. From what I can tell, in general, men connect with other men on a different level than they do with women, and likewise women connect more deeply with one another on an emotional level than they do with men. When they aren’t trying to compete with one another, of course. But the potential is always there, so that’s what I’m referring to.

So in that sense, I feel kind of sorry for straight people, as they won’t ever know or truly understand that level of intensity and complete intimacy that comes with same sex relationships. Theirs will always be a little off balance. Though on the flip side, they also won’t know how it feels to never really have your relationships be socially acceptable and “normal” (ie not stared at nor commented upon). Nor will they know the shame and humiliation that comes from having a homeless guy yell “shut up dyke” and then spit at you as you walk by with a friend, for example. You know – there’s a trade-off.

What has actually upset me about an innocent little comment? I’m not sure. When I was getting ready for work this morning I texted that being single probably felt much the same no matter what your orientation was. If love is love, then no love probably feels similar regardless of who’s not loving you. She responded that she hadn’t intended to make it sound different.

And that’s the thing. Obviously she didn’t intend to hurt or anger or umbrella upset me with it – and yet it did those things, anyway. I guess one thing, aside from setting me apart as different yet again, is that it seemed to not only diminish their connection, but to also suggest that ours is even less than that, because we don’t even have straightness in common. That sexual orientation came up as a factor even in jest…bothered me. Maybe because I don’t really think about it anymore. It kind of shocked me, I guess, that she apparently does; that she sees it as a difference between us even if I don’t. And worse, that she might even see it as a difference that makes me less-than when compared to her straight friends.

Now, don’t get me wrong – there is a lot of love coming at me from this person, and while I struggle to figure out where I stand and whether or not I’m pulling my weight in this particular friendship, this also isn’t the first time a comment has been made which sets me apart from the others due solely to my perceived sexual orientation. I think this is just the first time it’s really bothered me.

Maybe it’s just because I view their connection as stronger than ours already, or more valuable to her than ours, and that I wish she and I were closer than we are. So when it’s pointed out that they are both single and straight, and that’s two of the things they have in common (and the only two mentioned) – like, I’m single, too. For coming up on 8 years now. But I’m not as straight as they are, so it came across to me as one of the main differences between us – and one of the main reasons why my connection with her isn’t as strong, nor as valuable, and why we are not closer than we are.

And fortunately or unfortunately, it’s not really something I can fix.

So while I understand that the vast majority of the above is all in my head, it doesn’t make much difference in how low I feel today as a result. Reality is subjective, after all, so knowing none of it is intended to make me feel this way…doesn’t mean I don’t still feel it.

Rant

 

Came to work this morning to find someone had taken the Coke I left in the fridge, so I had to drink the less-cold one I brought with me. I usually keep one in the fridge and swap it out with one I bring in, so I can always drink the colder one. But apparently I’m not deserving of enough respect for someone else to NOT take my stuff, so yeah.

Always good to know where I stand.

It has actually never occurred to me to take something from a common area that I didn’t put there. If it’s offered to me, that’s different. If I ask for it, also different. But otherwise, if I didn’t put it there, it’s obviously not mine, so I don’t take it. That’s the second time this week that’s happened – and keep in mind, today is Wednesday – but the first time there was a can of Coke in a different part of the fridge, so I figured whoever it was just got confused. Turns out there’s no confusion, just a complete lack of respect for other people’s things.

So now I have officially learned my lesson. I’ll just drink the less-cold Coke from now on. I guess I should have learned from last time, when the can even had my NAME on it and someone took it, but that person later replaced it for me, at least. This time my name wasn’t on it, so apparently that makes it fair game. Even though no one else puts their names on things, either. Apparently when it’s my stuff, it doesn’t matter if I label it as mine or not. I don’t get to be treated the same as the rest of them, regardless.

Anyway.

Seeing my therapist tonight. Which is good, though I am having trouble focusing on what I actually need to talk about. I’m distracted by an inclination towards complaining and whining and rage.

I’ve made a few notes to remind me and hopefully help me focus better once I’m in the room.

My goal is to become less needy so that I don’t feel like I have to talk to my friends at all, or at least not about anything important. Things I could and should be dealing with myself. If I can keep friendly conversation more surface level without getting frustrated and upset every time we hang out, I’ll be better able to listen when they talk, and therefore become a more valuable friend.

Right now, when I accidentally speak about myself and things that are on my mind, I feel like I am interrupting; like I’m an irritant. And if alcohol is involved, I can’t seem to stop myself once I get going.

Ironically, I don’t drink prior to therapy, even though it apparently makes it easier to get things off my chest. I think the value of doing so is greater when I can manage it sober, though, so there’s that.

So yeah. I have to learn to speak less and listen more, or I’ll continue to lose the ones who mean the most to me.

And I’m not sure just how much more of that I can take.

Now for a few more moon shots, this time from last night:

 

And, of course, Hudson the polar bear I love:

hudson-and-sticks

Dark Spaces

More quote talk from the book I’m reading:

They were the people you called with news: I met a guy. I’m engaged. I got a new job. To share the highs and the lows. But friends to call for the deep things, the things that live in the dark spaces of our hearts? Those people didn’t exist for me any longer. Not since I’d left Cooley Ridge.”

I think I’ve had the opposite experience. I’m not sure those people existed for me until more recently, and I think I’m still struggling with how to actually maintain those kinds of friendships, let alone allow them to exist at all. Yet, in all honesty, that’s all I’ve ever wanted, and definitely what I need now. Yet I fight them; push them back; keep them at a safe distance. Battle both for and against what I most want and need. And I do so in particular against the human beings I most want and need them with.

It’s no wonder that romantic relationships don’t progress past a certain point with me. I tend to keep those at an even safer distance. I’m not sure if it’s to protect others from me, or me from others, or some sad combination of both.

The things that live in the dark spaces of this heart don’t typically get shared. Sometimes not even really admitted to within any other spaces of my heart or mind. Or acknowledged. I think that’s more accurate than admitted.

I think speaking with my therapist helps. My first one, and my current one, anyway. There were others in between, but they were not the same at all. I don’t choose to whom I wish to reveal certain things, exactly. It’s more a matter of how safe and confident I feel with them. But I am definitely picky when it comes to who I actually open up those darker spaces to.

That was a terrible sentence, I realize. However…moving on.

It needs to be a perfect storm, pretty much. There are those I wish to be more open with, there are those who wish for me to be more open with them. But the rare combination of locating both qualities within the same individual is almost unheard of in my world. Even with therapists. I’ve been lucky, in that two of the four I’ve worked with so far have been those amazing rare people for me.

Now I just have to find one of those that don’t require me to pay them. The trick with those people, however, is that not only are they so difficult to find, but they’re also easier to lose.

Temporary

So now it’s November.

Nearly the end of the year. But – for me – so much closer to getting to see my polar bear love again!

You never really forget your first, right?

Things are just as crazy and overwhelming today as they have been lately. I’ve made a few tiny shifts in hopefully the right direction, but for the most part, I’m still struggling. I don’t even talk to my friends about most of it, let alone feel inclined to post anything on here. I’ll figure it out, though. Tiny shift by tiny shift. 🙂

I did write limericks for/about some of my coworkers today, too. That was fun!

I’ve been keeping more quotes from the book I’m currently reading, so I’ll continue to write a bit about them as I go along, too.

Like this one, which is kind of apropos for a day like this: “I stared at my phone, wondering whom to call to ground myself. The truth is, I’m not good at close friends. I’m great at casual, at meeting up after work and bringing lasagna to the potluck. I’m excellent at being friends with (her boyfriend’s) friends. But not at exchanging numbers and calling up just to talk.”

I haven’t brought lasagna to the potluck as of yet…though I could. Usually I just go for something quick and easy and pre-made, though. I mean, that’s how my everyday life is, at least when it comes to food. Why would a potluck be any different, really?

I remember when I was in school I felt like my friendships were temporary. They could be so intense and present and fulfilling for a time, but as soon as we weren’t in the same class anymore, and didn’t see one another every day, it became more difficult to sustain; to nurture. Nothing had happened to push us apart, yet the connection was weakened, and we’d each move on to the next thing.

I think I came to view all friendships – and thus relationships – as temporary things. I’d still try to hold onto them, but the further apart we’d drift, the more difficult it was to maintain any sort of grip. Physically, emotionally, mentally – the distance between us would grow no matter what I did to prevent it. The friendship wouldn’t be over, of course. Just different.

Outside of school, the majority of my friends have come through the workplace, which makes them just as temporary in their intensity as the others. People move on. It’s what we do.

And I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with that, or that I wish it was any different.

Most of the time I don’t even notice. Just those moments when I want to talk to someone who can help me ground myself, and I don’t know who that person is at that point in life. It’d be nice to have one who was constant.

On the other hand, though, maybe that’s the too easy solution – to just have the answer without having to keep growing and changing and adapting and meeting new people and forging new things.

Maybe constants make us lazy!

Treading Water

I think I need to start focusing on other things a bit more, at least for now. Even some that are more for me than for others.

Still treading water, but closer to drowning than I’d like lately!

Past time I do something about it. Will be interesting to see if I actually do, though! Haha

A bystander to the story, watching other lives play out.”

A line which caught my attention in the book I’m currently reading. It’s pretty much how I feel most of the time, but that’s not always a bad thing. I’ve always been an observer more than anything else. A passenger. I feel like I sometimes see more than most people realize, which is helpful. But it’s also isolating; distancing. Watching instead of doing doesn’t get anyone very far. So there’s that.

Everett had never been a teenage girl – maybe there was some equivalent in the adolescent male, something that simmers under the surface of a friendship like that. But the simple truth was that when a girl like Corinne loves you, you don’t ask why. You just hope it doesn’t change.”

There’s a ton that could be discussed about this, and I love how even these few simple sentences dips below the surface to touch on the something a little extra special that happens between girl friends. It’s kind of surprising that it hasn’t been talked about nor portrayed very often in film/TV and books and the like. Well, not really surprising, I guess, given our penchant for largely ignoring the female experience in this journey through life (even I don’t talk or think about it except in terms of judging others), and even when it is highlighted, it’s often in a way that makes the girls look crazy, rebellious, lesbian, or just plain psychotic/vengeful/angry. It’s rarely just in terms of exploring the myriad of connections that female friends can make with one another, which is different from the ones they make with men, and often valued less as a result. But having mostly just observed, rather than experienced, such a thing, I feel ill-equipped to put in my two cents. Or…another two cents, as the case may be.

Plus, we don’t have pennies in Canada anymore, so I’d have to put in at least five cents, anyway.

I do know the feeling of not understanding why, nor asking why, and just hoping it doesn’t change, though. A handful of people have made me feel lucky; made me feel loved even though I’m just flawed old me. Not in a romantic way; that’s not what this is about at all. It’s a certain kind of friendship thing, one I always long for and watch for and occasionally think I’ve finally found…until it inevitably does change, and is gone. The friendship itself usually remains, in some form or other, but that something extra that made it special – that made me feel special – is lost.

Breaks my heart every time.

Resenting Reality

I have these notions in my head of what home is to me, and friendship, and good relationships. Among other things. Just ideas as to what I look for in my journey through life.

I keep getting glimpses of them – enough to make me think my sense of things could be possible for me, rather than something I just got from television while growing up – but my inability to manifest any of them in reality is frustrating, and causes me to doubt those possibilities, after all.

I’m torn now between wondering if I should settle for something more viable in my real life, rather than struggling for the notion, and ultimately being disappointed when it’s not how I think it should be. How I want it to be.

Do I strive to create the home I desire? Or the friendship I long for? Or the relationship I envision? Or do I accept each for whatever it already is, and if I fit into it at all, be grateful for that much. But if not, move on until I fit somewhere else better?

I’m so angry at myself for so many things, but I’m not sure how many of them I can change – how much -I- can change, since none of us has control over anything but ourselves at most, anyway. There’s nothing wrong with striving to be better, to be constantly learning and growing and evolving. There’s nothing wrong with not fitting anywhere. It can be lonely sometimes, of course, but not as much as being surrounded by vague or non-connections entirely. Lonely in a crowd. My inability to open up, or my disinterest in doing so minus with a few select people?

I don’t know.

I need to learn to speak better, especially in front of a camera.

Can a private vlog be far behind?