If you push people away and struggle to be vulnerable. I know you, I’m just like you. I’ll tell people enough information that I am comfortable with for them to consider me their friends, without them knowing anything deep.
I have topics that I am comfortable talking about for hours. Which is helpful in detracting enquiries about other topics I don’t want to dwell on. I’m good at small talk, silly banter and really putting the focus on the other person. Which does help you make friends, as people usually love talking about themselves. But it is hard sometimes as I actually do really want to talk about more important stuff. Like omg you had a pizza? Cool. And by cool I mean I don’t fucking care. Sorry…also not sorry tho.
Is this…a sensitive savage?
Obviously all of us that have this problem have different levels that they’re comfortable with. I have struggled with this lately and it’s felt a lot worse and it’s been the reason I haven’t blogged at all. It’s also the reason my Instagram story has resorted to a meme account. Because over time it became apparent that someone had used everything I write on here and everything I post on social media to become close to me. But the problem again is, that’s only a small percentage of me that I am ok with sharing.
Faced with the real me they just couldn’t deal at all. And through their actions over time I realised they weren’t the person they put themselves across as. They were someone who wasn’t good for me.
Now this isn’t to say that I regularly ghost people or that I don’t speak to anyone. Neither do I overthink what people say to me. Sometimes quite the oppsite, to be honest. I am often totally clueless if someone likes me in any way at all. But what I mean is that I am very happy in my own company. I wouldn’t assume if a friend didn’t speak to me for a while that there was a problem and I genuinely don’t really ever think anyone cares about what I do or how I am.
I don’t let myself get close enough to someone to care about them so I presume they don’t care about me either. Obviously I do this so then I can’t get hurt. I think this does mean I’m often coming across as quite blunt or matter of fact with people I don’t know that well. But then I do nice things for people and 90% of the time they’re ungrateful. So I seriously get confused. What I mean, I guess, is that with me, it’s really never that deep. Because if I let it get that deep. It’s just KO for me.
If I say trust, you say issues!
I don’t trust many people. It sounds sad but it’s a learnt behaviour. And because every time I let my guard down I’ve been hurt. From small things to massive betrayal. What gets me most is, not one person who has hurt me has ever given me a genuine apology. None have aknowledged the way they treated me was wrong or made any amends. All of them have tried to deflect or deny any wrongdoing or avoid me entirely. It took my therapist telling me that I had a right to be hurt to believe it.
The cause of the recent meh
Around last October, my therapist encouraged me to open up to a few more people and try and let my walls down. And I’ll be the first to admit it’s not gone very well. Actually I’ll be honest, it’s been an absolute freaking shit show. A show that I have currently cancelled as not one person I opened up to turned out to give a shit.
That’s not to say I’m not proud of myself for trying, because of course I am. But it’s so hard! She’s encouraging and teaches me skills to try and have more boundaries with people. And then they don’t respect them. Or they go literally crazy. FML.
My therapist is lovely, she taught me to look out for red flags and question behaviour that made me feel uncomfortable. She said this would weed out people I shouldn’t trust. Ok so a situation happened and I did exactly that in a calm and kind way. But then other person had a massive tantrum and didn’t talk to me for weeks. I felt crushed as I had genuinely started to care that we were friends.
I spoke to her about it at our next session and she suggested I give them time and another chance. A few months later something similar happened again. This time she said I should talk to them in person about it. But I never got the chance to have a one on one chat with them before it happened again. And honestly. I just gave up. I actually felt a weight lifted off my shoulders after I did as well, which isn’t a good sign.
See there is a person I know, and I don’t want to give much detail in case anyone we mutually know would know who I mean. But I had thought she was freaking mental since the day I met her. Her behaviour was….very strange. And I felt quite worried about her as she was so so unemotional and cold it reminded me of my crazy ‘I’m not going to say dad but ykwim’.
Then after a long time she divulged she had what I am not sure is really called a mental health issue or a disability or what. But I felt for her and was glad she told me. I read up about it and tried to be accommodating and be there for her in ways I thought helpful whilst keeping my distance due to my ptsd. I think we get along much better these days.
And the above is why I gave up with the other person. I don’t even particularly know the girl mentioned above but I tried to ensure I was doing or being there for her or at the very least not causing her any problems. This is a person I barely know and I cared enough to do that for out of common decency. And a person who called themselves my friend couldn’t be bothered to put in any effort at all for me. That’s when I realised I needed to call bullshit. I’m not a 50/50 either all romantic or all roadman. But you can’t just go round calling yourself someone’s mate if you do nothing to understand them. Or they tell you something that someone did to hurt them, then do it yourself then pretend you had no idea.
Another time I let someone else get a little closer, took more notice of them and their life and what they were up to, sometimes told them what I was up to. And then it turned out that they were interested in something more and took my being nice to them as me fancying them. Despite us never speaking about liking each other in that way at all.
They took my attempt at being closer and showing some interest in their life as romantic interest. So as soon as they realised I wasn’t into them. They stopped speaking to me and I haven’t heard from them since. Which made me sad, and made me think that I’d wasted all that effort on someone who didn’t want to be a friend, they just wanted to sleep with me. What I found odd was, why start a friendship with someone you just want to sleep with? Had they mentioned having that interest and were wanting to be in an actual relationship I probably would have considered it. But just to sleep with me? Just look on tinder like everyone else who wants that you know what I mean?
So not a disaster on the level of ones in my past, granted. But the disappointment of wrenching yourself open and telling someone something deep and meaningful is exhausting. For them to know things about you that hurt you and do the exact same. What is the point? I genuinely don’t think the first person has the emotional intelligence to even know what a dick they have been in hindsight. But each person who treated me badly I felt so hurt on one side and stupid for trying on the other.
An example of why it’s hard to try
Something small I don’t mind sharing is that I told a few people about my PTSD. One small trigger is if people startle me, and this happens a lot at work. My desk faces away from the route you walk to get to my desk. I explained that it really makes me jump, that there is a reason, what the reason is and asked a couple of people politely if they would take this into account. To date, most of the time they forget and some find it hilarious every single time I jump out of my skin when I turn around and there is someone 6 inches from my face, whilst inside I am having a terrifying flashback of being beaten. So thanks huns.
Another headfuck was when my therapist decided to tell me about myself. She said I pick friends with issues and problems, such as being slightly cold or busy and unavailable. I do this so they don’t rely on me and I don’t get too attached. Or I pick people who have a lot of drama and problems in their life that I can fix. So they don’t dwell too much on me. Again, thanks Sharon, way to make me question if I actually like anyone at all.
A small step for … well me
I realised yesterday, which triggered me writing a post in so long, that there is some hope. A friend I don’t know too well asked how I was/ if I wanted to talk about things. In fact they actually told me they were worried about me. Cared about me. AND asked if I wanted to talk…
Not sure what juju witchcraft is going on. Has someone niced a voodoo doll of me? Imagine feeling like someone genuinely cared! Imagine me actually deciding someone could be a friend that wasn’t cold, unavailable, living far away so I never see them or frankly just someone who isn’t a complete fruitcake.
Admittedly I still said no. Let’s get real, Rome wasn’t built in a day and my life is definitely not likely to have a happy romcom storyline plot twist. But I felt like it was a ‘not today’ more than a ‘maybe at some point’ when I said no. And the most important thing? When I explained I couldn’t really right now. They just let me say no! They didn’t try and convince me or nag me. That’s what normally happens as people want information for themselves not to help me.
Well that’s a whole lot of…
Basically I think we’re all fucked up in different ways. And if you’re trying, you’re doing more than a lot of people bother to do. A colleague said to me this week “most people in therapy are there dealing with problems caused by the people that aren’t in therapy and should be”. Now that is something I definitely agree with!
So if you ever feel how I described above. Know you’re not alone. And if you’ve got some other shit going on, just remember, if you’re working on yourself you’re going in the right direction. x