Wednesday, June 24, 2009

a long whining session about everything

So I drove past the lady from yesterday, and while she gave me a look that would have stripped pant, she seemed otherwise OK! Admittedly the glare could have been a response to me wide smile at seeing her alive and not bleeding from the head...

I'm tired at the moment. Working during the week at the vet, followed by dashing to the lab to get some more work done has been taking its toll on me. I have a friend (who is really awesome) who has greeting me with some variation on "You look tired" every time I've seen her in the last month. I hate to respond with an explanation because it just comes out sounding whiny!

I spent some time with a friend last night. It's a weird friendship in that it literally went from acquaintance to one of the most honest and insanely-deep friendships overnight. I think a lot of it is that we have very similar issues to deal with and he picked up on it pretty quickly. To risk sounding incredibly cheesy, it's like he 'gets' me. And he's not afraid to tell me I'm full of crap if I need to hear it, and not in the "shut up and grow up and tough it out" kind of way that a lot of my other friends do. Instead he tried to make me figure out what's underneath all the crap that I show the world in general.

To tell the truth the first time we had a really long conversation (like 6 hours of it) I left feeling exhausted, incredibly vulnerable and a little bit angry that he could suggest certain things. A lot of it was me being defensive and holding on really tightly to my security-blanket behaviour that I think is definitely valuable but maybe not very nice.

Fortunately I followed that conversation with three weeks in the middle of nowhere (remember all those fun stories?). Well between facing off leopards and snakes, falling down cliffs and generally acting like a zoologist there is a lot of quiet which makes your brain kick in to introspection-mode. I over think a lot, and when I have no conversations to rehash in my head I start to think about issues a bit closer to home. By the time I came home I had kind of thought through a lot of what we'd talked about and realised that the reason that a lot of it made me angry was because it was true. And the clinging on to the security blankets in the way that I do is a bad thing - it keeps me safe from a lot of very real things (which I'm terrified of dealing with) but it turns me into a person that I don't really like very much.

Anyway the point is that I've been battling with things lately. I haven't been happy in a long time, and I haven't felt like there's anywhere I can go with what's happening in my head. And last night I was prepared for what was going to happen and so I forced myself to keep my mind slightly more open than otherwise and I left afterwards feeling OK about life.

Now there are a few things I have to sort through: I had Lara's voice in my head last night saying something she told me once: "there are two categories of behaviour, acceptable and unacceptable. If someone around you behaves in a manner that is not acceptable according to your standards, then don't let them anywhere near you. You have to have the strength to tell them that they're behaving badly and if they don't rectify the situation then cut them out of your life. They'll only damage you."

Does ignoring the 'deal-breakers' happening around me make me a bad person? I guess I've been sacrificing my self-respect a lot lately and that's not OK. And as much as I can pinpoit where thngs started to go wrong, I finally figured out that it's not about making sure that the person/people to blame get ther come-uppance. It's the fact that if other people let themselves be so easily manipulated, is it worth my sticking around?

My friendships have been dwindling lately. I spent a Saturday night in the gym for crying out loud! I'm kind of reaching a state of not knowing whether it's me or them - I am changing, introspection does that, but at the same time, my security-blanket behaviour works. Its given me friends, achievements, accolades, confidence, basically the life I wanted. To cast it off and be a real person rather than a robot means that the people I associate with might not like me anymore. And that scares me. A lot.

And maybe I shouldn't work to revive friendships that are floundering. if the other person doesn't seem to care, why should I? Is spending a Saturday night alone and lonely, but self-actualised all that scary?

Oh yes it is.


sarah said...

oh hels. i know what you mean about trying hard at friendships when the other person doesnt seem to care. it sucks. and its exhausting.

while on one hand i dont believe in giving up friendships, i do believe in letting them breathe. i think sometimes you need to step away. there is a friend here who doesnt seem to care. and i cared too much. and it was not a great feeling. so i`m `going on a break` for a bit. its working!

Kath Lockett said...

Frienships can ebb and flow and it doesn'nt hurt to 'spring clean' every now and then. I do it at Christmas time, when I look through the address book and think, "If I was in their home town now, would I bother to meet up with them or ring them?"

If the answer's no, then they're out. Sometimes just going to the gym can be hard work and friendship just shouldn't be.

Luke said...

Dude! This is a hectic post! We definitely must chat on Friday! I'm impressed though! It's very grown-up of you!

I agree with Sarah though. Some friendships do need to be allowed to breathe from time to time. And if someone is pulling you down, then they are not worth keeping in your life. You deserve better than that!

EEbEE said...

Dear Helen.

I think you worry too much about friends and the relationships you have with them.

My motto is>>>
Friends will come and go, just be yourself and be appreciated for who you are, your true friends will always remain with you. As for those other posers... ;)

This is why it was so easy for me to pick up and leave Jozi with no regrets. The real friends i made when i was over there still keep in touch and when i see them occasionally it doesn't even feel like i ever left.

friendships should not have to be an effort to maintain. If they are, something has gone wrong somewhere.

do you agree? (Or am i a strange, strange person with an odd outlook in life...?)