Of the metaphorical bridge.
I am, straight up, hands in the air, a burner. If something has ended, for whatever reason, I don’t see the point in continuing with it, in less than it’s whole self.
It’s not because I’m heartless or cold, as much as people would like to say that I am, because I am, in a roundabout way, a people pleaser. I’m not a pushover, I won’t bend to your every whim, but if there’s something I’ve done that makes you dislike me enough to cut me out of your life, it will eat away at me, piece by piece until it comes out the other side like a poison, a battle I have to fight. And nobody wants to feel like that, do they?
I’m not an easy person to love, or to like even, I’m very aware of that, which makes my special few, even more special to me. I am 100% *not* one of those women who can see amazing things in themselves no matter what. I question everything about myself, from my dress size and hair colour down to the way I live my life and bring up my children. Am I good enough? Do I do enough? And the answer is almost always, no.
But, here’s the screwy part, here’s when I say (to myself) ‘fuck it’. If I can’t be good at something then let’s not bother at all. If I can’t give you (whoever or whatever you are) 100 percent of myself then you’re going to get nothing.
And hence the bridge is burnt.
I am, by nature, a cocky cow. And yet completely unconfident. We all know I like to be extra difficult.
To people that I feel have wronged me, I wave the match – to proudly show I have reason to light it – and watch the bridge crumble away. But, here’s the thing, other people don’t care as much as I do. They do, of course, care about my feelings, I have some amazing people in my life, but they don’t give a fuck like I give a fuck. I’ve lost count of the times people have said “don’t worry about it….” to me. But I do worry.
In fact, lightbulb moment here, I have created a life, where, every single one of my friends and family don’t care what other people think of them. And I’m the Where’s Wally in the photo, the one who quite obviously does.
Instead of being able to articulate what is upsetting or hurting me, I head inwards. Every little situation bubbles away inside of me, until, I explode. Then, rather than face the situation head on, I’ll burn the bridge and walk away from it. Which works. For a short amount of time anyway.
I’m not in the least bit proud of this. Of course I’m not, I’m not a sadomasochist. I have a few friendships I’ve lost, that, had I put my stubborn streak to one side and tried harder to pull it back, I probably could have saved. But here’s the crux, the thing that always stops me. Why should it be me?
Maybe it should be; why not me?
Have I put myself through a lot of shit, when I could have simply reworded the question?
It makes me happy to make people happy. If I love you, I love you hard. You will be all encompassed in my love. If I hate you, then ditto. There is no in between for me. I struggle with the areas between black and white. People are wrong or right. Good or bad. But, they’re not, of course. I’m 35 years old, I know this, I teach my children this. People can be anything and everything. And they are.
There have been moments this past year, where, despite having my own little family of four around me, I have felt lonely. So lonely that I’ve become harder, meaner, more closed off than ever. I’ve felt pushed out, rightly or wrongly, and it’s left me feeling a bit lost and confused in a way you really wouldn’t expect an adult, who appears to have her shit together, to feel.
I don’t often talk about it, not even to my husband. He and my best friends know a little of it, they can see in my eyes, or at least in my attitude (!) when it’s been an exceptionally shit day, but there’s nothing that they, or anyone else can do about it. It’s something that needs to come from within me, and from what I feel I’ve lost.
I’ve always felt if you speak out loud about things, they become real, keeping them to yourself, you almost have a level of control over it. Turns out, not speaking about things just feeds the negativity and the loneliness.
This year, things need to change. People, situations, events, however mind screwy they might be, I’m not quite “me” without them and I miss them being in my life.
So, if you were to ask me again, if I’m a burner or a builder, I think I’m going to say, I’m a bit of both.
See you on the other side, maybe?