The last two months have been fantastically hard.
Mr. Quirky discovered that he had what he thought was a minor medical problem earlier this year. Well, it wasn’t minor and it required major abdominal surgery. He’s doing fine, recovering from that, but it’s been a hairy couple of weeks and we still have a couple weeks of healing to go.
As for me, I’ve been suffering from severe allergies and asthma since about April. It’s totally derailed the various projects I’d been doing, I haven’t been cooking, writing, doing projects around the house, etc. I haven’t been a very good friend (or maybe I have…more on that in a moment). I haven’t been a very good mom or wife. I’ve been completely wrapped up in my own wellness, or lack thereof. I’ve been sick and tired for so long I don’t remember what normal feels like anymore.
Then the roof started leaking.
Then the car died.
And so it’s been going…and going…and going…
At times like these, you really want to lean on the people who love and care for you. I’m so lucky to have had my mother helping me out (until she went on much-needed vacation…**waves at mom in Colorado**). One or two other people have stepped forward in both small and large ways as well, which has been much appreciated. (Also, I have received a ton of emotional support from friends and family all over the country through Facebook and it has meant the world to me.)
That said? There are people who I thought would be there for me when the chips were down who have just…checked out. If I’m not doing something for them, calling them, trying to remember to reach out to them in the midst of all this crap…well, I might as well not even exist. Very few people, in what I thought was a large and close circle of friends, have actually reached out to me and even then, it’s to ask how Mr. Quirky is doing, not how I’m coping. A few other completely clueless people have actually had the chutzpah to call me, when they usually ignore me, and ask me for favors in the midst of all this chaos.
So I’ve had the whole spectrum of responses, mostly appropriate considering the nature of the relationships, but some shockingly…not what I expected at all.
Maybe I didn’t communicate well enough that I almost died from an asthma attack? Or maybe I did and people thought I was exaggerating? Maybe I need so much emotional support on a day-to-day basis that people are burned out? Or maybe people think I’m strong enough to handle all this on my own. Maybe people are wrapped up in their own drama right now and have no time for mine? Maybe expectations really are future disappointments and my mistake was expecting anything from anyone at all?
Any one of those theories is better than thinking that the people I thought were my friends are actually only friendly acquaintances who are there only when it’s easy for them to be. As long as I don’t make them go out of their way, they’re there for me. I try not to think those thoughts. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Because you would think that as people stand by and witness the crap heap that is my life piling higher and higher and higher that they would step in and help. But really? All I’ve been left feeling is that I’m an annoying burden whom people tolerate because they can’t figure out a socially acceptable way not to have me around anymore.
And I *could* blame this on bipolar, social anxiety, insecurity, or what have you. But I’m hesitant to do that because I really don’t think this is completely my fault, except insofar as I may have misjudged the relationships to begin with. And that being said, unfortunately, I think what’s required here is a clear-eyed examination and re-evaluation of relationships I thought I understood, but apparently do not.
I don’t want to do it. I don’t have time for it. I don’t have patience for it. I needed…I really, really needed to feel like people had my back. Instead I feel completely alone, flying without a net, with no one to catch me if I screw up and fall. That’s an effing sobering realization.
But for my own peace of mind, I need to know who to trust and who to hold at arm’s length.
So, we’ll see what happens but I won’t be surprised if some major changes are afoot in the coming months.
p.s. Before you ask, yes, I did ask people for specific types of assistance. But I stopped asking because no one was responding. And you know what? That’s OK. Because now I know…