Sunday, September 20, 2009

Scared of the truth

It's been a funny couple of weeks for me.  I have been reminded that so many people go through life scared.  Scared to do something.  Scared of not doing something.  Scared of living.  But worst of all, scared to face the truth.  

What do we see when we look in the mirror?  The person we want to see?  The real us, or do we see the reflection of the person we wish we were?  It's a difficult thing to take a long hard look at yourself.  But you know what?  One thing this year has taught me is that it's actually quite a beneficial thing - to look and try to see the real person.  I had spent years hoping, when I looked in the mirror or at photos, that I would see the person I wanted to be.  But I seemed to be getting further and further away as time went on.  Then one day I took a look inside myself and faced the difficult truths, and as scary as facing this was, it has been amazing.  Making changes, and facing the scariness was the path to my real happiness.  Now I know that sounds corny or flakey, but it is the truth.  I just wish more people could do it.

I know it's hard to face the truth when you're scared.  And I've been trying to help a friend over the last couple of weeks, work through something uncomfortable, confronting and scary.  But how do you deal with someone who wants to talk, but doesn't understanding that an important part of talking is listening!  How can you help when excuses come thick and fast?  We've all spent time in our lives where fear has ruled decisions we've made, even if we can't recognize it at the time.  Facing difficult things about ourselves, is well....difficult.  But at what point do you give up trying to help someone who for many complex reasons, doesn't want to or can't be helped?  

Do we need someone to hold the mirror up for us?  To make us stop and look.  Really look at ourselves and face the scariness that we might not like what we see.  It can be confronting, and sometimes the truth hurts.  But by coming face to face with this truth, it may be the only way some people are inspired to change.  I have been wrestling with thoughts in the last few days about telling my friend what I feel.  That she needs to change things in her life and face some hard truths.  Can I be the one to hold the mirror up to her life?  I'm unsure.  Unsure it would make a difference.  Unsure that she could cope.  Unsure that she can look inside and process and reflect on her life.

In the meantime I'm not sure where that leaves me.  Forever in a cycle with this friend where drama on a grand scale is an annual event, and we must all rally around to help pick up the pieces.  Sometimes I want to take her and shake her by the shoulders and hope that I can get through to her.  Make her listen rather than talk.  Many friends have rallied around me this year, and some of them have talked to me about difficult subjects and concerns they had about the change in my life.  It's awkward, confronting and sometimes upsetting, but if it makes me think, then maybe at the end of the day it's what had to be done. But what do you do when someone else's drama weighs you down?  Can I make my friend realise that her drama exhausts me.  

I'm still debating what to do.  Talk to her now, or wait until the next time and set boundaries and try to make her realise that I can't offer the intense sustained level of support she requires.  Especially if things don't change and the cycle continues.  The hard truth is that it's makes me wonder what the point is.  To console and comfort, talk her off the ledge until the next drama cripples her, then me by association?  Perhaps the truth I'm currently scared of is that unless things change, this friendship can at times be too much for me.  And maybe the time to be honest has come.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Guilt Vs Happiness

Here I am people.  Blogging from the other side.  Yep - I moved and survived.  I am now in a place where I can be calm and content and I have the space to process and deal with everything that has happened this year.  I posted last time that I was waiting for everything to hit me.  The grief, the exhaustion, the 'moment' that I stopped trying to outrun my feelings.  

This has been the interesting so far it hasn't happened.  I think many people around me were prepared for the great crumbling moment.  And as I sit here, I have come to realise that it might come sometime a little later. Perhaps when other things are sorted out, like what the Ex and I are going to do with the house we bought together.  In the meantime I've decided to stop waiting for it, and just try to live each day looking forward.

There have been strange moments, naturally.  I had one on friday.  I was so happy as the tired fog I was looking at the world through was lifting, and Peter was coming back home after being away at work all week.  I was looking out the tram window, listening to Amy's mix music cd that she'd made for me, the sun was shining, I would be seeing Peter that night, and suddenly I felt guilty.  Guilty for being happy.  So VERY happy.  

As I've said previously, I don't do 'the bad guy' thing.  Causing someone grief and pain has been awful.  It doesn't sit very well with me.  And even though I know I could no longer live my life in that old relationship, breaking up is not natural for me.  I've missed out on that type of life  experience.  I know some people are short relationship experts, and break up with people months or a couple of years into the relationship.  Nope, not me.  My first boyfriend - over 9 years together.  And we actually reached a point where we both knew we wanted different things, and looked at each other and in a second knew it was over.  This last relationship however, after 13 years, was ended because of my decision.

My dear friend Nej reminded me recently that I will actually drive myself crazy if I worry about what everyone else thinks about my decision.  She is right, and it is true.  But I suppose what the feeling of guilt shows is that perhaps I am concerned with how I think about myself.  I can only align it to other feelings I have blogged about previously.  About perhaps not feeling worthy of such happiness and complete joy.  Maybe the old habit of the previous relationship/s still lingers in some form, as I find it hard to focus on my own happiness, and am concerned about others' feeling first.  I don't like feeling selfish, however I know over time I will sort out in my head, that making myself happy and putting myself first, doesn't automatically mean I'm selfish.  There can be a balance.  And maybe that's too hard to see from this point where putting myself first has hurt someone.

Peter threw me a curve ball today, as we were reminiscing about how we met and ended up together.  He said I had confused him, as when we were meeting up as friends for coffee, I had said that my relationship was 'fantastic'.  When he told me this today, I had no recollection of saying it.  And it seemed weird as it would have only been a earlier this year.  It was hard for me to reconcile saying that, with how I had been feeling.  I've had to remind myself, that yes I may have been happy in the day-to-dayness of the relationship, but there were things that made me feel like I was treading water, with my head dangerously close to going under some days.

And again this shows that sometimes I can focus on the positive (such as the good elements of that relationship) and as the feelings of guilt show, sometimes I can focus on the negative.  I guess at the end of the day I have to understand that this is me learning.  Processing what I've done, from all angles.  Letting go and learning to live with the choices that I've made throughout my life.  Good and bad, they have all played their part in getting me to this point in time.  Creating this person, who is trying to change and strive for REAL happiness.  To realise that something I wholeheartedly believe in actually applies to me too....that we are each responsible for our own happiness.  I have felt like it's time to stop playing at life, and grow up, be an adult and take responsibility.  And perhaps my own happiness is a good place to start.

I hope that the guilt subsides, and that I learn that wonderful mix and balance of my own happiness with the happiness of the person I'm in a relationship with.  So far it seems to be working and it's a feeling quite unlike anything I'm used to.  And here I am smiling again.