Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Skittle bath is full.

I’ve been sitting here for 5 minutes trying to think of a huge, earth-shattering reason as to why I haven’t been here in this spot for 3 weeks.  And?
I got nothin’.

I never meant to take a break.  It’s the longest I’ve gone not blogging since the day I began this page.  When I started this blog I swore to myself that I would never ever write unless I “wanted” to.  I would never do it because I felt I had to because frankly – I don’t want another “job”.  I have enough of those. 
This space is about release and joy and an out.  For everything and anything.

So I’ve just been busy.  And happy.  And nothing exciting has happened and even though I enjoy reading about the smallest things in everyone else’s lives, I just can’t convince myself that anyone would ever want to read about “my” smallest things in “my” everyday life.
I had a bit of a writer’s block too, I suppose.  For me, I don’t write a post and think of it as a diary or an account of my moment by moment so it doesn’t flow easily out of me in a tracking sort of way.  I’m more of a “tell a story” kind of writer than a chronological writer I guess.  I have always written from my soul and tried to learn something from every post so I guess you could say that I haven’t been learning much lately – because I haven’t written.

I’m not making any sense am I?  Let’s just say I missed this space and you guys.  I have been faithfully reading but barely commenting. 
I go through periods in my life where I shut down.  I’m not unhappy or sad or stressed or anything negative.  I am, however, pensive.  I do a lot of thinking and a lot of backing off.  I cling to Rambo and only Rambo.  I spend every moment possible with him and my girls and I almost pretend that no other world exists outside of them.  Wrong or right, good or bad….it’s the truth.

Rambo has been on vacation for 3+ weeks…so there are no bed times or schedules or routines.  If we want to swim at 10pm at night – we do.  If we want to sleep in – we do.  If we want to stay up late – we do.  If we want to eat M&M ice cream for supper – we do. 
It’s summer and all I want for my kids during summer is for them to have the time of their lives and be free.  Once they grow up, they may never know that kind of freedom ever again….and each day I try to steal a little of that freedom with them.

We do family things like I never knew as a kid.  Or I watch Rambo do belly flops into the pool as the girls giggle for hours.  I try not to let myself think about how different I’d be had I had such a treasure as a present father.
I go to work and come home and that’s about it.  I work my 3 jobs and am content and at peace with my little life. 

But I’ve disconnected myself from anyone on the outside of that perfect shell.  I’ll hang out with you or talk to you – but my entire heart will never be yours.  I will probably always wish I was home instead.  I will probably always feel uncomfortable or nervous and exhausted at having to try so hard.
I’m not a good friend.  Truly.  I am not.  I used to be…but I am no longer.  I used to be one of the best at it.  I used to want to be.  I used to have the energy to be. Not anymore though. 

I have changed.  I am different.  I have become self-centered and my-family-only-centered.  Outside of those people – I can’t give like I used to.  I don’t have it in me anymore.  I have spent my life building walls around myself and breaking them down and repeating that pattern…trying again and believing and hurting and learning and rinsing and repeating.  Because I wanted to.  I believed in hope and trying again and that the end result would be worth it.
But not anymore.  I don’t even have walls up anymore…but still no one can get through.  You can have full access to me but I’ll always be holding back.  I don’t even need walls anymore because I have no fear that you’ll get through to me.  I just know you won’t. 

I’m available for you and I’ll be there for you – but I won’t be giving any of myself back to you.  And the truth is most people want it that way.  Most people want help and advice and a shoulder to cry on but they don’t want that to be mutual or they don’t want to give that back in return and that used to bother me.  Now – I love it. 
I’ll give you what I can and walk away.  No expectations or feelings or lingering thoughts.  Just live life and call me if you need me and I’ll never let you down.

My young neighbor friend came over to talk to me again about her husband and baby and their relationship and stuff and the terrible week she’d had.  Before she started talking I outright told her – “Listen – I’m sorry I can’t be a better friend to you.  I just don’t know how to need you or be needed or be there for you on a consistent daily basis.  I used to know how and I used to want that but my heart just won’t let me go there.  I don’t know why or what changed or if it’s permanent but I’m sorry.  I can’t be a good friend to you – but I can listen and advise and care right now.  Beyond that – I’m just too scarred right now to give you anything else.”
She didn’t care.  She said, “It’s fine – you’re here right now and that’s what I need.”

No problem.  I’m all in for that.  I helped her.  She never asked one question about me or my life or my family and she left.
I didn’t worry about her all night.  I didn’t think of fixes all night.  I didn’t call her.  I didn’t send her a card.  I didn’t text her to ask how she was.  I did nothing.  She never expected me to.  We both got what we needed. 

In the past I would have done all those things and more.  I would have invested a shitload of time and energy and feeling (at my own family’s expense) and the end result would have been the same.
I think that’s how it is with most.  Help me now.  Hear me now.  That’s what they need and then it’s over.  Until next time.  People don’t have time or energy for much more than that.  I was always the one my entire life who made it more than the here and now and I think I’ve finally realized that I’m done with that.

I know some of this sounds pretty negative but it’s actually not.  For the first time, I’m living for just me and my immediate family.  I am focusing on making those relationships thrive and I’m making lasting memories. 
I am not dying for people to love me or acknowledge me or need me.  Finally.

I am enough on my own.  Most of my life I’ve felt too much, remembered too much, needed and loved too much and I was always shocked and disappointed when the hurt would come over and over.  It’s that doing the same thing expecting different results thing I guess.
I can’t do that anymore.  The only person I need to love and need too much is myself.  I have to do the best I can every single day and hope it was enough and help when I can.  If my marriage is strong and happy and my children are healthy and happy…I’m just not sure a lot else matters.  I gave too many things and too many people too much power to affect my mood and my life and my feelings in the past and that was silly.  I see that now.

I can’t be everything to everyone and the truth is that I never was.  I have lots of friends and family that I love and treasure but for once in my life – I’m giving back equal amounts of what is given to me.  If someone wants a surface relationship I’m not trying to make it more.  I’ll gladly stay on the surface with them and never go deeper.  I can so do that.  I was never willing before.  Or I couldn’t see that was all they required.  Or “I” couldn’t see past what “I” needed or wanted from them.  Cousins, neighbors, extended family….that’s exactly all they are.  Every single one of them can’t be a piece of my soul…and they don’t want to be.
It’s a good realization.  It’s reality.  It’s the truth.  It’s me getting older and realizing that most things in life aren’t fairies riding on unicorns farting gumdrops.  Just a few things can be described as that – which is why they are so special and rare. 

I mean – come on – not everyone wants to take baths in Skittles with me.  Forcing them to won’t make it so.  Meanwhile, Rambo will never turn down a Skittle bath….and there’s only really room in the tub for two anyway, you know?
Everyone else can wait outside the bathroom door if they need me and I’ll be there in a jiffy.  The fact of the matter is that everyone else is more comfortable waiting outside the door anyway.  They don’t need or want to be IN the tub with me.  Most of them were hoping I wouldn’t invite them in so they wouldn’t have to refuse.  I refused to acknowledge they had their own damn bathroom at home.  DUH

I’ll be the lotion or the comfy pajamas after your bath but I don’t want anyone else IN my bath and I don’t want to be in YOUR bath anymore.  It’s just not necessary.  And it’s uncomfortable and it never works out.
One of us always ends up coming out still dirty.  And no one wants that, you know?


Cat said...

Wow...I really need to get to this point. I still strive to get all up in the other person's bath. Somehow it has always seemed to me that if I care the most then I can eventually be loved the most. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.

Kristen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristen said...

This is an amazing post and again all I can say is how much I respect you and your family and your life.

Angelwithatwist said...

I totally relate and understand this post. Moreso today than any other. My oldest sister, who cannot acknowledge me unless she needs something from me, called today. I work 3rd and was just getting in bed. crying, sobbing, drama melodramatic crap. Cold hearted of me. Maybe. But I have learned that I cannot make her treat me decent and I am NOT about to turn into a man so she will like me because I am one. Why is it okay for us who tend to throw ourselves out there for everyone to be the ones who get hurt over and over..

Blog Wobble said...

I am slowly but surely working my way to that point. This was an amazing post!

Dinnerland said...

Seems like a lot of bloggers of our 'generation' (I mean who were blogging very actively a year or 2 ago) have been quieter lately.
I am gearing up again-- but I hope you'll do whatever makes you most happy.
It's all good!!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I have shit to write about, I just don't have the motivation right now! And I think I'm the worse friend ever!

Kelly said...

Yup - all of this. :-)

Robyn's Nest said...

I got every word that you wrote. Kisses