On being “needed”

I’m struggling. Physically, mentally, emotionally and financially.

When I tell people this, they tell me I’m the strongest person they know and that they are certain my resilience will break through all of it. Depending on the person, I sometimes just barely confess the truth I’m feeling at my core, that I’m not as certain.

The follow-up response always leaves me confused: “I need you”, they say.

I’m really not even sure what that means.

Perhaps the reason I don’t ask is because I’m afraid that it has more to do with them, than me. Maybe deep down, I can’t conceive that I’m irreplaceable when so many have walked away and lived their lives without bother.

What is the message and/or lesson?

“you’re stronger than me”

I’ve had this said to me so many times by a man, I’ve lost count.

At first, it sounds like a compliment. No, at first it is a compliment. They admire it. It’s intriguing. They even take pride in it when they talk about how strong I am to others.

But let me tell you what happens. They stop admiring it. It becomes a bar set too high when they would rather go numb. They “shh” me because they can’t find their own words. They call me “crazy” because to examine their own feelings looks a lot like work they can’t get credit for in a paycheck.

Then it turns to: “I’m just not strong enough for you. You deserve better” and they jump ship.

Here’s the thing: you get stronger when the only option you have is to be strong. If the opt out/greener grass option remains available to you, you’re never going to get strong enough. Unless, you WANT to do the work. Guys, a lot of you are still praying for things that you could have long since accomplished, had you not turned your nose up when the opportunity was given to you because it looked more like work, than a blessing bestowed upon you.

May it be of benefit to someone because it just hurts my heart a whole lot tonight.

Wish you were here

I wish you were here when she played the song that brings tears welling to her eyes. I wish you were here holding my hand as I realized there is nothing I can do to fix her hurt. I wish you were here sitting in the uncomfortable with me, with her.

I wish you were here when his eyes filled with wonder and excitement laced his voice. I wish you were here to share the pride in his reading aloud because you also recognize the significance of his journey from nonverbal.

I wish you were here to listen when I worried today. I wish you were here when he arrived safely from his first interstate road trip. I wish you were here sharing what may be the last summer vacation before he leaves the nest.

I just wish you here fully grasping the importance of the laughter from the kids in the next room. I wish we were reminiscing about days past together. I wish you were here to embrace in this contentment.

To be clear, I don’t even know who “YOU” are.

Then again, maybe you don’t deserve this. Maybe only I deserve this. I earned this. It is mine.

Yet, I long to share me with you.

Still, I wish you were here.

The problem with label makers

Recently it has occurred to me that the only person who ever really knows you, is you. We exist in people’s minds as their own perception and that perception is based on their own beliefs and life experiences. People always fear what they don’t know. I watch as so many try to make things fit into little, tidy boxes which they can fit into their lives, but rarely do they ever try to discover and understand. There’s a large piece of me that wonders if this lack of putting ourselves in others shoes, compassion, is because there are too many shoes now.

Our world view used to be compromised of our family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. We belonged to one another. We watched out for one another. As the internet superhighway revealed new landscapes, cultures, people and problems, it seemed as if we were evolving to a greater sense of stake in humanity, but somewhere, something happened. I don’t know if we have become desensitized from exposure, or lazy and label-reliant.

Why do we so often jump to a label and why the hell would we think that any label could be all-encompassing of every fiber of a human being’s existence?

Single. Divorced. Female. Male. White. Black. Mother. Father. Son. Daughter. Brother. Sister. Friend. Addict. Average. Beautiful. Smart. Disabled. Obese. Bipolar. Narcissist. Loyal. Kind. Christian. Jewish. Muslim. Buddhist. Gay. Neuro typical. On the spectrum.

All of these words have a different meaning because we all have different perspectives.

For example, seeing someone as a traitor is not an absolute truth, even if everyone believes it.

Another example, hearing something about someone you “know” and thinking, “That’s not the person I know.” This, on the other hand, is actually true.

This is why you should question everything you’re told, even if you heard it from me.

The most interesting take away from all of this has been discovering what people think of me and realizing that it almost always has nothing to do me. It’s their perception and if you pay attention you learn WAY more about the other person before they’d ever have a clue they’d given themselves away.

It’s slowly becoming the most frightening and exhilarating discovery of my life.

A higher calling

I’m not trying to catch feelings, I’m trying to build an empire.

That’s real talk.

I’m done with this low level, surface bullshit.

Yes, I’ve been broken, but it’s only taught me my capacity to love and I’ve grown and continue growing.

I’m learning to trust myself and others in ways that have been uncomfortable, but SO worth daring greatly.

I’m ready.

A side order of awkward

A girlfriend of mine asked if she could take me out.

I replied, “Hell yeh. Let’s do that! I’m so excited.”

This is someone I used to work with. It’s been awhile since we’ve had hangouts.

Then she says that she was glad she asked me. She said, “I was thinking to myself, ‘I’m feeling quite ballsy. I’m going to ask her out.'”

I swear to God, I am figuring out that this was a date I had just agreed to go on while she was simultaneously telling me about how depressed she had been, anxious and about intrusive self harm and suicidal thoughts.

(sidenote:this is not as alarming to me. this is something people often reach out to me about due to my volunteering as a crisis counselor and that i’m an open book when it comes to my personal experiences with mental health issues)

So, while I would have liked to have just explained the misunderstanding, timing was real bad.

I asked my teenage daughter what she would do in both situations. Tell her was the obvious go-to, but when she heard me talk about the depression, she look up at me, shook her head and said, “I guess cut your nails, Mom” *i am dead 😂*

Look, I’ve experimented, but mostly with a partner. It’s more for them than me. If I was in a relationship, I might even pitch the idea. Is that wrong?

Then, I started to review how many things I have done in my life that I was uncomfortable with, but didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings so, I just went along? The answer is a lot. THEN, I thought: exactly how far does consideration go? Jesus Christ! Is it possible to be too empathetic? Because I think I’m doomed ya’ll.

*clips nails*