August 11, 2018

Defining Moments

I woke up at 3am and never went back to sleep. I couldn’t stop thinking about the past. The shit in life that made me who I am. The things that formed me. The WHY’s of the why that I do the shit I do and feel the way I feel.

My mom was unemotional. She still is. We haven’t talked since May. I should feel sad or bad or guilty but I don’t. I feel relieved. It’s a break from feeling bad and small. We once went five years without speaking. I’m her only child.

I write. I’ve written reams and reams over the years and then I burn them. I call it purging. A purging of my emotions. Then I can throw them all in the fire and move on. But that’s not working anymore. I write and then I think. I think about bad decisions I’ve made. Mistakes. Bad life choices that have brought me to today. Sitting in my bed, writing and posting to strangers. Hoping someone says yes, I know. I’m there with you.

Sitting here now, I know that my entire life I’ve looked for love and acceptance and any kind of emotional connection. But when I find it, I push it away. Why? That’s what I think about.

Also, you know those moments in life that never leave you? Small moments that the others that are also in that moment would never remember but it had such an impact on you that you will never forget? I think about those and why those are the moments that stick with me.

I remember being in 8th grade. I was on my period and I felt so bad. My back and my stomach hurt and I just wanted to sleep. I had my head down on my desk trying not to cry. I couldn’t call my mom because I couldn’t tell her I wanted to go home because of my period. We didn’t talk about personal stuff and she would have thought I was being a baby. So I just stuck it out. My teacher was talking up front but I wasn’t paying attention. All of a sudden he was at my desk. He ran his hand over my head, on my brow, and asked me if I was OK. I looked up at him and he was so concerned. Worried. I looked past him and Robbie was sitting there looking at me, also concerned. I said I was ok and put my head back down. My eyes filled with tears. Not because I felt bad, but because these two people, who were not even related to me, showed me genuine emotion. Genuine emotion makes me cry. I tear up. I rarely go to church because as soon as I walk in I cry and I don’t stop until I leave. It embarrasses me.

I know my family loved me without a doubt but no one showed love. We didn’t hug or kiss or say I love you. We laughed and had each other’s back but saying I love you would have been awkward. I don’t think I’ve ever told my mom I loved her. She’s told me twice. Once when she thought I was sleeping when I was little. The other time I was in my 20’s. I was about to go to a concert and she called me and told me she loved me. She had been drinking.

I’ve been told that I’m an enabler. I don’t know exactly what that means but I know what I do. I collect damaged people. People that are more damaged than me, emotionally. I remember sitting in a room full of my girlfriends and realizing that I was the only one there that hadn’t been molested. I need to be the more emotionally ok one. The least damaged. If an emotionally normal person, one that has their shit together, tries to make friends with me, I just can’t. I feel less than. Not good enough.

I take on everyone’s problems and try and fix them. When they are OK, they move on. They don’t need me anymore. I have served my purpose. People I love have always left me. They come back when they need me and then leave again when they feel whole.

Now that I’m older and I am reflecting more, I wonder. Maybe it wasn’t them? Maybe it’s me? I have always been a private person. I’ve been told I’m closed off. I know I don’t open up to anyone. When people ask how I am, I say I’m good. I was raised to not air your dirty laundry. So maybe, when everyone’s problems go away, there just isn’t anything to talk to me about any more.

I don’t think I know how to be a good friend. After Luke died I told Charlotte and Emily almost everything. I purged to actual humans. It all just poured out. It was nice to be able to purge and then get feed back. But with feed back comes opinions and judgements. I’ve been on my own for so long I don’t want feed back unless I ask, which is rare. And who wants judgement? So I shut down on them. They are still my friends, Charlotte, more so than Emily. Probably because Charlotte is also single. But I’m closed off again. They don’t ask about Robbie because they know better. I’ll give a quick yes or no. Or I just change the subject if its too personal.

My therapist says I’m closed off to people because I take all their problems onto my shoulders and carry them with me until they are resolved. That’s why I avoid new people. They seek me out, like they know I’m good for free therapy sessions. I help them, I don’t open up, they leave, I’m hurt. And the cycle begins again.

I have always been able to compartmentalize my feelings. Like objects, I’m removed from them. I can examine them. I then put them in my box of feelings and shove them into the back of my emotional closet. I’ve done it with my friends, my family, my mom and even Luke. Everyone but God and Robbie.

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