“Oh blog,” in the famous words of King Triton, “what have I done? What. Have. I. Done?”
I never should have moved. I never should have left the beach and my job and my simple island life. It was the best thing ever. Of course I missed familiarity and friends, and Hobby Lobby, Carrabba’s, Panera and Barnes and Noble, really any shopping at my finger tips. But here is the truth—I was just running away from the past. I wanted to start a new life by burying the old one…but it wasn’t dead to bury and I couldn’t build on that kind of a foundation. But I didn’t need to realize that now, I promise. I would have really been ok waiting a few years for a couple of cracks in the foundation to emerge…and I would fix those…why did I have to come back here and re-open all kinds of wounds that had probably already begun to heal?
I’m kind of at a place where I just want to do things quickly…not necessarily well… Which is NOT like me at all. If you are familiar at all with the Strengths Finder analysis, I am a Maximizer...I don't want to do things good, I want to do them the best. I would rather start from scratch, work harder and make something EXCELLENT than clean up someone else's mess and make it better or good. But here I am. Take my closet painting job. I didn’t repair the drywall, I just painted over it and hoped it didn’t dissolve the wall or anything. I guessed I could always go back and fix it later (which I realize makes me do double the work in the end, but that was a risk I was willing to take.) By the end I had several spots on the ceiling thanks to a careless roller, a good many areas needing a thorough second coat, and a bit of trim work to perfect…but I decided it was “good enough” because I was sick of doing it anymore—much like my life.
Another instance, say you cut yourself or bust your head open and have to get stitches. Once it starts healing the stitches have to be removed so it can heal properly and completely, for minimal scarring…well, I would be just fine with having some stitches stuck inside me for awhile rather than going through the pain of going back in and taking them out. I am even ok with the scars at this point…you have them either way, just depends on how big you can handle them and for me, I would rather deal with big scars later than big pain now.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it forever…though I didn’t realize this was what I was consenting to when I decided to move back here…and now here I am back in the hospital and the surgeon has to remove the stitches AND correct the other damages. But while he’s inside my heart he’s going to realize what I recently have: it is worse than we thought…I have a BIG problem. I make BAD choices and I actually suck at life. (Those are the main ones.) The real one however is that I have developed this coping mechanism that I would have NEVER said I employed before: avoidance/denial…and it is just causing me more and more pain.
Before, if I had a problem or conflict of interest, if I wasn’t comfortable or didn’t enjoy something, if I had a question, comment, even a thought that popped into my pretty little head…I made it known. I’ve been a “youngest child” in a sense in all of my post-high-school relationships, and one of my strengths is communication. I expressed what I thought, liked, disliked, wanted, and didn’t want. I generally didn’t have much of a preference when it comes to things, but was just along for the ride but when I did, I made my opinion known… And when I had an issue in my relationships, I was always in favor of talking about it and working it out. Always. I didn’t worry that confrontaion may cause a bigger problem like awkwardness or even the end of the relationship as long as the problem was solved and I didn’t have to deal with it anymore. (If it ruined the relationship, I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to make it for the long haul anyway, if a small confrontation couldn’t be resolved then we sure couldn’t weather a large storm.) These, I believe are healthy thoughts. People have to be able to handle some confrontation in their lives or they’re going to walk all over people or be walked all over.
But all of this has changed and I don’t know exactly what happened…I have a few guesses which I will try and explain…
I have finally been crushed by the feeling that whatever I think, want, feel, doesn’t matter anyway so why should I say anything. Nothing I say is going to change the facts so why say anything? I’m not going to bother telling you I don’t like something you are doing to me because you aren’t going to stop. AND I wouldn’t feel as if it what I say didn’t matter had people not given me that impression. For example, my mom. I am almost 30 years old and I have hated mayonnaise for, oh, ever. To this day she would still make me a sandwich with a nice glob of mayonnaise squishing out the sides. Do I say anything? No. Why? Because I have told her at least 3 times a week since I was 9 years old and took my lunch to school and she still does it. Have I tried extreme measures to get my point across? Well, multiple times I stormed in the house after school demanding food because I hadn’t eaten all day because SOMEONE put mayonnaise on my sandwich. I have also on occasion claimed the sibling favoritism card and cried, “No, HE’S the one who likes mayonnaise and you NEVER mess it up in HIS sandwich—you OBVIOUSLY love HIM more.” I think I’ve made my point. It doesn’t matter.
When I moved 4 or more hours away from everyone I knew…I [truly] didn’t have anyone that knew or cared about my opinions. I remember telling one of my best friends over the phone, “it just feels kind of like I’ve died inside.” When I did meet people and have company, I was “new” and just happy to be included and so I never spoke my opinion on matters and any inconveniences or annoyances I tried to ignore. You know, like you would tell people you are comfortable with if it is bothering you that they are popping their gum, or scraping their teeth on their fork…and they laugh and say they didn’t realize they were even doing it… OR roll their eyes and argue but you still love each other. Well, with new people, they might just hate you. So you endure the smacking.
This especially proves true when matters of the heart are involved (as opposed to my sandwich preferences…) When you get into things that hurt you, you have to be careful who you tell. You have to trust people with your heart…and when people are careless…you don’t.
If you tell me that it hurts your feelings when I don’t respond to your calls or text messages very often, and I don’t try to do better. You will stop calling.
When you spontaneously ask me to have dinner or go out and I continuously say no. You will stop asking. Most people get the hint.
If we talked regularly for years and then I don’t talk to you for 6 weeks and don’t see where the problem is with that, no excuses. You don’t want to be my friend anymore.
If you know there is something bothering me and when you ask what, I say, “nothing.” You will not ask me anymore.
Used to I would call you and annoy you to death, write you cards and letters asking you to please talk to me, text me back occasionally, I know you’re busy, be my friend…” I would still like a hopelessly-optimistic-person-I-am-not call you and ask if you wanted to walk, have lunch, dinner, see a movie, go to the mall, even if you always said no… I would always take your phone call and talk to you like it didn’t bother me in the slightest, even if it had been six weeks. (Or I would tell you it hurt my feelings but that it was ok and we would continue to talk for an hour.) Not now.
I don’t want to bother with any of that. If you don’t want to be my friend, that’s fine. I don’t want to be yours either. If I don’t want to eat sushi everytime we hang out, who cares, it doesn’t matter anyway. And if you ask me what is bothering me, I will absolutely say “nothing.” And that is in the case that any of you even care to ask.
I want to move back to the beach where I am 5 hours away and don’t even have to see your face. I don’t want to hang out with someone who is even rumored to be friends with you too and I don’t even really want to try and maintain friendships I still consider good friendships because no one even seems to care, nothing I want even matters.
In short, I have become an avoider of conflict. I will lie through my teeth right to your face and tell you what I think you want to hear just to get by. Small talk, bring it on, but try and dig a little deeper, fat chance. I am actually in favor of running away from your problems all together and moving to a literal island where you have to communicate only on a surface, congenial level with everyone. Where the people I run into are either much older than me and to be respected or much younger than me and not to be burdened with grown-up feelings, responsibilities or problems. See you back at the beach?