It would have been my dad’s birthday today. This is the problem with having my birthday so near what was his. We didn’t have a good relationship. I would have got on better with him now, to be honest. I understand more. He was a social person, but alone most of the time. He was an alcoholic. But no one knew he was, even his own family, which is why I’m not close to them at all. I don’t even know them really. I don’t have children, and likely never will. As far as I’m concerned once my mum’s gone that’s it, I’m on my own. We also moved around a lot when I was younger, so I never made friends long enough to last. In fact, where I live now is the longest I’ve ever stayed in one place. This is why friendships have always been important to me, like I’d crave them, cultivate them, really try very hard to be as best a friend as I possibly could be, just to feel part of ‘something’. Unfortunately being so openly available can only end in being used by the other party for fulfilment of their own needs, their own ulterior motives; a one sided exchange. Especially when I’m not the type for talking to other people about my own stuff. I find it difficult to talk about myself.
Anyway, today’s significance has really made me assess how much I’ve changed over the past year. Finally concreted up the insides. I must thank those selfish idiots that made this possible, especially as they’re now appearing out of the woodwork again with their problems to be solved once more (The other problem with birthdays is people remember you exist thanks to social media). I don’t feel guilty for ignoring them. Well, I’m able to control the guilt I feel for ignoring them. Being burned too many times has finally sunk in. The balance of give and take skewed in their favour is no more. This last cycle of burning, into which I poured my soul (big fucking mistake) left me feeling like a source of entertainment, something to gossip about to deflect from shitty, unfulfilling lives for a short time while they sorted their own lives out, promptly forgotten about once they no longer require the distraction. Some would say I expect way too much of people. That’s the trouble with only being able to live in one brain, that is your only point of reference and so you think that, in general, people must feel the same as you (very much in general, I’m talking) or at least have similar reactions, feelings, empathy, will, compassion, etc. I suppose I found it hard to believe people could be so very different, the gap so very big. I feel the same about my family (or lack of) situation too. Numbed to it, I suppose. Can’t change it, can’t do anything about it. It’s shit, and I accept that. I can’t change how other people behave, but I can choose how I react to them. There’s other things in my life that I have way more control over that aren’t shit, so that’s what I’m concentrating on, and it’s working (world building is a great mind filler).
Because I work from home and don’t have any contact with other humans during the week, and having my other half’s son to deal with (usually a complete frustration hurricane of a nightmare) I felt I needed to get out and be around people at the weekend. It was almost like that perceived need (to be around other souls) overtook the real need for escape from a situation I could do nothing about. I felt I must make myself go out because otherwise I’d end up, as I did a few years back, with agoraphobia creeping in. Like if I didn’t practice leaving the house then I would forget how to do it. I was in a different place mentally at the time, with far more neuroses than I have now, much more paranoia about myself and being accepted by others. That’s what that was about, not about the actual act of leaving the house. Now, I feel I can leave the house if I want to or not. It doesn’t matter either way. I can deal with people; I am good at dealing with people should I need to. I’m finding more and more now that I just can’t be bothered dealing with anyone superficially. I choose my interactions more carefully now, the ones with more promise of fulfilment intellectually and socially as far as acceptance and belonging on MY terms goes. Even when I did leave the house I was still alone, out alone (something people seemed not to be able to deal with – a woman out on her own in a pub! No!!), so the problem wasn’t not having other beings around, the problem was having somewhere to go away from the house that was somewhere I felt safe, accepted, relaxed, calm, happy. This has been addressed, and my shed is well on its way to existence J.
There’s very few people I trust with my time and attention now, and those relationships still require work. They won’t just be presumed. They may change. It’s been surprising who turns out to be worth the effort. The list would have been very different this time last year. The same with The Mother, who no longer has such an emotional hold over me, and she seems to have accepted that, which is really odd. I’m proud of myself for not sinking back into that all-too-willing and weak person. It’s taken real effort to change the neural circuits constructed over a lifetime. Those pathways of compassion, wanting to help everyone, do still try to overtake the new roads sometimes, but there’s something there, some kind of road block built by hurt, utter disbelief, and real recognition of human behaviour and its many downfalls, that acts as a checkpoint and redirects to the safe path. I would have been very easy to become hate filled, bitter and twisted, and completely hermitised as a prelude to the what’s-the-point route in life (and we all know where that ends), but I’ve made a conscious decision to not be like that (again). It wouldn’t help me or make me happy. I may have less time and patience for people, but I still realise there’s the odd one or two who are pretty awesome. My concentration is on them, as a PART of my life. And other people don’t even know this is happening in my brain. No one’s noticed. No one’s asked anyway, so I must be covering it up okay, as usual (I’m well practiced at covering things up), or, more than likely, no one’s really arsed about knowing.
All this realisation/change is in no small part thanks to my other half sorting himself out with regards to his severely autistic son and the utterly stupid mother of said son, which has had a huge knock on effect to my own self-esteem and feeling of belonging. That security was very important to me, and I was trying to compensate elsewhere. It has provided me with clear perspective. I could be very much more alone than I am, and one day I probably will be, and that’s fine. It’ll be hard sometimes, but then so is everything, sometimes. Sometimes it will be good too. Basically, the pressure is off, and I feel calmer for it. In the meantime I have my writing, and that is a definite constant within an insecure world.
Having had the experience of really believing in humans for such a long time is great as I can draw on it from a writing point of view, but, honestly, I’m so glad I don’t get that sunken innards feeling as often as I used to after being used and let down again and again and again, etc. The human race is capable of working together, caring for each other, and becoming one big forward looking body of knowledge, creativity, compassion and community. However, it’s not evolved enough yet to realise this, and the systems in place that govern this planet certainly don’t facilitate the realisation of that capability. We are, therefore, a product of our time, and I think I’ve learned to live with that, fortunately for me (to survive), unfortunately in general. I will, however, continue to wear my heart on my sleeve for those who will passively listen, without expectation.