A Friend in Need

Prompt: Finish this sentence: “My closest friend is…”

My closest friend is someone I’m no longer comfortable relying on, which sucks, but I like to think I’m progressing.

Yackety-Yak: Exhaustion

The other night my partner said I was exhausting.

Oh…was their any context or was it more of a general statement?

Um- I’d be lying if I said this past year I haven’t been teetering, and since we relocated I’ve definitely been leaning on them for support and it eventually came out I’ve been exhausting them the last…couple of months…

Did things come to a head for this to come out?

In a way it was more so the opposite, actually. I’ve started seeing a therapist- albeit sporadically, and my appetite is returning, so my partner felt I was making enough progress to where they could tell me.

So they didn’t want to burden you-

-Even though I was burdening them.

They said they didn’t want to, “kick me while I was down”, so to speak.

And how did you take it?

At first I just shut down to keep my emotional reaction in check and just sort of process it all. I was upset that I’d been so wrapped up in my own day to day I hadn’t noticed how I was wearing on them. Then it shifted to being upset they felt they couldn’t tell me sooner and suffered in silence for weeks all because of my behavior.

Right. I get that.

They regretted telling me initially, but I’m glad they did. Now I’m paying more attention and taking the steps to make sure I respect their boundaries.

You seem to be taking this pretty well– all things considered.

Yeah, well- I’ve been on the other side, right? When they were explaining their feelings so much of it was spot on with things I’d said in past. It was…

It’s why it hit you so hard. To be on the other side.

Oh, for sure. I explained how I wanted us to be comfortable bringing these things up going forward so resentment and other things don’t seep their way in.

And they always do.

Exactly.

Yackety-Yak: Supporting Role

Sometimes I think I’m an asshole.

I mean, if you’re asking then the answer is yes. Everyone is an asshole sometimes.

Maybe, but this situation is different.

Oh? Do tell.

…Do you ever feel like you aren’t the main character in your story?

Um…I might need you to explain that a little more.

Okay, so it’s like this this: I feel like I’m a supporting character in my own story. My stuff tends to sit on the back burner for someone else’s to take the forefront.

And is this for everyone…?

Mainly one person, I guess.

Okay…So you’re prioritizing another person above yourself? Because that’s normal in variations.

Um- yes and no. It’s like I consider their events more important…than mine? And I feel compelled to do what I can to help because I care for them, but then after the fact it’s like I’m just the remainder.

Ah. You’re consumed, basically.

I guess so? I just feel like I can cover my base stuff usually pretty easily and I want to be there for them.

Sounds to me like you know you can cover your base responsibilities with a certain level of effort and then you’re putting the rest into this other person-

But those base responsibilities don’t really require a lot in my opinion.

It doesn’t matter. If you’re letting all of your excess effort go into another person then you are a supporting character in your own life. It’s one thing to care for someone, but it’s an entirely different thing if it’s to your detriment. I mean, is this even being returned?

I’d say sporadically…?

There’s a good chance it’s because they’re treating themselves like the main character in their lives OR are at least prioritizing themselves above you- neither of which are bad things. Everyone has to prioritize themselves at varying rates for their situation and that includes you as well as me.

But-

Listen, I’m not saying to cut them out of your lives or something drastic here. All I’m saying is to maybe be less consumed with this person and focus more on yourself. Imagine what you could do if you took even forty percent of that effort and applied it to you or even other people?

Yeah, but whenever I start to go down that general line of thinking I start to feel like an asshole; as if it implies I’m keeping score or not doing things genuinely.

…Do you think this has anything to do with your friend’s death three years ago?

Perpetual Bridesmaid

I have a problem where I get overly invested in people (particularly men), then I end up coming on too strong or just messing up in general which leaves me right where I started: a perpetual bridesmaid.

Now ‘Perpetual Bridesmaid’ is a title I’ve sort of given myself lately. When I first started using it, it was a way to make light of my mounting insecurities in the dating realm. My attempt at self-deprecating humor, ladies and gents. I know I already tapped into physical insecurities in a prior post, so I’m going to bypass straight into personality flaws (hooray).

I don’t know if it’s just me, but sometimes I catch myself trying to be ‘perfect’ when I’m with someone. Should I be doing that? Of course, not. It just screams Bad News Bears. Still, I catch myself falling into the habit. I guess the truth is:

I don’t think I can attract a man on anything besides looks and with that in mind it’s easier to just try and mold myself a bit to their preferences… 

YES, I KNOW IT’S BAD. I’M GETTING TO THE BETTER PART. RELAX. 

Anyway, instead of using this title to playfully hide my fears, now it’s not even something I say anymore. It’s simply just a thought. A thought that peps me up and it made the jump in the blink of an eye.

I was commuting home from work and passed at least five adorable couples who looked like they’d been ripped right off the silver screen. I immediately had two lines of thought: 

“Awe, I wish I had something like that…Too bad I’m doomed to be perpetually single…” & “I wonder how many bridesmaids dresses I can collect? 27 is the number to beat.” 

Just like that it felt as if the dark cloud so casually perched above me faded away.

Side note: I’d been starting to feel down because I felt the guy I was beginning to have feelings for had decided I wasn’t worth it anymore.  

With the cloud gone; however, I suddenly didn’t have any negative thoughts weighing on me about my status. Would he decide I’m not worth it? Maybe. Will I never get married? Maybe. Do bridesmaids always have the funniest tag lines in the movies? Yep. 

O.P 22 July 2017

Quarantine Revelations:Toxicity

With the way things are right now I don’t really see a point in talking about my personal day to day. I mean, plenty of us are experiencing variations of the same thing, so what more can I possibly add. Right?

For instance, in my case there are only three important (if we can even call them that) points: I was put on a ‘work from home’ order two week ago after returning from Washington state; with budget cuts I’m now working part time; everyone will be moving out of my home in a few weeks.

See my point? None of that is very worth noting aside from my privilege/luck of having a boss who fought and succeeded in keeping me employed (thank you *****!).


With all that out of the way I wanted to talk about something I’ve come to realize in these times of deep “self reflection” or what I like to call: I now have no distraction from self reflection and over thinking. So, what is this thing I’ve discovered about myself? Well, I’m pretty sure I’m a toxic friend and it’s put me in a position where I think maybe all this social distancing would do me good in kind of stepping away from things and out of tropes…if that makes sense?

I guess given all the added stress on everyone right now I’d rather not add unnecessary fuel to the fire.

If you’re wondering how I know I’m a toxic friend; such as if I was told in some way or snooped or something… I suppose the answer is no. It’s more: I was having a conversation with a friend about an issue we had and certain verbiage they used kind of struck a cord in me. Think of a light bulb moment, but instead of discovering Shirokuma Cafe you get hit with a wave of ‘I really must be trash‘ & ‘I’m surprised they haven’t chucked me‘.


On a completely unrelated note I was told I may or may not be adjusting well to quarantine and lack of human contact. Do I agree with this? No idea. I’ve been viewing it as a lesser issue in the grand scheme of everything happening right now. Is this the best stance to take? Who knows.

Anyway, this was my attempt at articulating my current thoughts and feelings in a way which hopefully made sense. I went back and forth on how to possibly close out the post for a while, but I think I’m going to have to just end it here.

Why the Sexualization?

It’s an unfortunate thing to have simple actions sexualized: especially when it’s those close to you who are doing it.

Now I understand teasing among friends, but there comes a point when it’s a little…much. In my instance, it started when I made a comment how one of my bros wanted me to teach him to swim.

The fact that we agreed to this in December was just poor planning on both of our parts.

Well this somehow became ‘interesting’ since I was going to be in a bathing suit, it was going to be cold; and there was even a comment on how he was probably looking for a way to stay warm.

At first I was thrown off, but then just said there was nothing ‘interesting’ going on. I met the guy this semester and we formed a study group to get through a challenging class. He’d asked if I’d teach him to swim earlier in the semester when he found out I had a pool and I’d said, “Sure”. He’d even planned for another member to join, but they had to take their grandparents to the airport, so they couldn’t come.

Now after the comment was made about ‘staying warm’, I said I was going to go since they were making it awkward and I really wasn’t going for that angle with this guy. They tried to keep the conversation going a bit, but after they said I’d ‘spoiled their fun’ I just changed the topic entirely. And things were fine.

It wasn’t until later that it really began to sink in for me. I’d been straightforward about nothing going on in the beginning and yet they’d kept at it. In the past I don’t think this would’ve bothered me as much, but after everything I’ve been through in the past two years…I think I’m just over it.

It’s like I can’t even have male friends without there being some sort of ‘angle’ where I’m either trying to get with them or they’re trying to get with me. And honestly, it’s mainly my girl friends who do it. My guy friends are pretty lax and get we’re just bros. What probably hit me the hardest was how she’s a victim of assault just like I am, so I guess I thought given the knowledge of my second attack over the summer…she wouldn’t have continued down that route after I’d made it clear the first time?

I used to have a complex when I was younger about how I was constantly praised for my body and therefore must not be the ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’ type- just the ‘sexy’ type. After my first assault it seemed the prophecy was right and I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole. I thought I’d found my way back again and then had another incident- this time far worse than the first. It’s been about six months since and I’m happy to say I’ve made some pretty good headway. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t view myself as a sexual object anymore, I’m opening up to friendships, and I’ve put work into myself. This progress has led me to a point where I guess I’m just not about getting typecast into old tropes anymore.  

Learning to let go of old standards we hold for a person can be a hard thing to do; I know I’m guilty of it for sure, but I’m definitely going to reevaluate how I view people as opposed to the person they’re becoming. We all change as we age- no one stays the same forever and it’s something we have to accept just like we accept it in ourselves.  This is especially true for the people we care about because if we really care then we’d  try to help them become their best self.

This has gone beyond off topic, so I’m going to end it here. If you made it this far though, then congrats because you did it! You made it!

For follow up I’ll just add I did not end up teaching him to swim today because it’s DECEMBER and the water is unacceptable. So, we decided to reschedule for when it’s warm again.

And while the conversation I had may not of had anything to do with old standards…that’s what it ultimately reminded me of and where this cluster of a post went.

I’ll try to keep it more together next time, guys.

O.P 14 December 2017