I have a lot of thoughts rolling around my head today so bear with me.
This time of year is hard for a lot of people, myself included. Some of the worst moments of my life, moments of consequence, happened around this time of year. Hate is a strong word (and feeling) and I wouldn’t say I hate it, but I come close.
January can not come soon enough.
I try to express gratitude when and where I can, and as soon as it occurs to me. I am genuinely grateful for so many things.
I also try to do as much as I can for people, from being there, to sending mail, etc.
I’m going to say something here and I realize it’s probably going to come out as sh*tty and all I can do is apologize but qualify that it is for frame of reference.
I send people things. I do this a lot. This is anywhere from the 350+ pieces of mail I sent out last year (and even more than that this year), to sending people stickers, books, games, whatever, all in an effort to let them know they are thought of and cared for.
And it seems to backfire every time.
I don’t want to be a person who blames their upbringing for, well, anything really, but here is more frame of reference.
Growing up (and well into adulthood), I was always the one (of us three kids) who tried the hardest. I tried to bring everyone together and smooth things over and tried to please everyone. It never worked and I wound up being the ostracized one. I was always trying to do things for my parents, but it never seemed to matter. When I was disowned in 2006, I learned that the hard way.
But I didn’t change my ways. I kept trying way too hard. I kept thinking that maybe if I perfected the art of thanking people for being themselves and for being present in my life, I just might be able to hold on to the butterfly.
But that’s not how things work.
This morning, one of the closest people to me told me they were feeling more and more worthless as my friend. I was shocked and devastated. Truly. I just sat there on my bed and cried as I read the message. I have no doubt I’ve made them feel worthless and I’ve somehow blown it as a friend, blown it as a person, yet again. No matter how many times I’ve thanked this person for their friendship or let them know I’m thinking of them, I somehow managed to f*ck it all up.
I’m terrible at being friends. At retaining friends. My relationship with my partner is a miracle and I truly believe only he (of infinite patience and kindness) could tolerate (and even enjoy!) being with me for so long.
I think about all those times I tried and tried with my family, and I still wound up listening to a voicemail while standing at my bathroom sink hearing my mother’s voice telling me if I needed a place to stay to call the homeless shelter and if I needed anything to visit the Salvation Army. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. If someone else hadn’t heard that voicemail, I wouldn’t believe it happened. I remember that no matter how hard I tried and how much I did, it ultimately wasn’t of consequence. I should have learned my lesson.
I’ve always tried to express gratitude for everything because I’m grateful for everything; every kindness, every moment of someone’s time. But I’ve failed again. I made someone feel a way I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
If you’re here and reading this, I’m grateful to you.
My mom used to say everything was fine when things were clearly not fine. I’d sometimes have to ask a dozen times for her to actually tell me and that set a precedent in my life. My father was regularly disengaged and showed me time and again, unless I was doing something of public recognition, I wasn’t worth remembering. Those things stayed with me. There was always something wrong, something hidden, and those reasons are why, to this day, I try to keep everything in the open. But they are also the reasons why I try to make sure to check in with everyone, for better or worse.
I have anxiety. I have depression. I struggle so badly. I try to stay positive. Things still fall apart.
I try so hard to be there for people and to try to do things for them when and where I can, but I am clearly terrible at it. I have overestimated my ability to create and foster lasting and meaningful friendships. It is time to retreat.
If I have been friends with you and ever made you feel anything less than good, you have my sincerest and deepest apologies.
I have no idea how to end this piece other than to say, I tried. I’ve always tried. I’m the satellite floating around out there, and I’ll keep to myself.
If you’ve ever tried to be friends with me, thank you. If I have ever failed you, I’m sorry.