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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Friendship 101--who knew I could fail it so many times?

So, feeling all proud of myself, I posted a few days ago (don't look for it--I've removed the post) about how I had finally been able to do an assignment given me by Therapist--one year later. And truly, I did attempt it. I wrote an email to four friends asking them to answer some questions. But one friend responded with a comment I took to be making light of an email that was incredibly difficult for me to write, and that was the end of my bravado. Immediately I was certain that I had opened myself up to be ridiculed in an area where I was vulnerable and I started to shut down.

Two of the other friends responded, indicating their willingness to participate in the exercise, but I had already lost my momentum. The thought that perhaps they, too, would not understand how seriously I took this assignment--that they might make fun of me or hurt me in some other way, would not leave.

Before I lost my courage altogether, I asked the friend who had made the unfortunate comment if he was, indeed, making fun of me. He said no. I'm too lame to believe him.

So I rescinded my questions, and here I am--back where I began. I am a complete failure at this crap. I have no idea what their responses would have been--and the unknown is killing me, but I'm too cowardly to ask them to speak--I'm too afraid the reality will be worse than the unknown. And before you judge me, please remember that for much of my life, my reality truly was worse than anything I could imagine on my own. I'm simply working from my only frame of reference.

I know I'm never going to be able to change my deepest beliefs about myself and about people (which Therapist assures me are absolutely false), if I can't follow through on the simplest assignment.


I can run for miles at an altitude of 8000 feet. I can memorize hours of music and perform beautifully. I can prepare a complicated tax return and argue with the IRS indefinitely. I can turn cartwheels, dance, cook, talk, laugh...

Why can't I do this?!?!????

Why am I so stupid afraid??

A good thing, friend responded quickly and said beautiful things. And amazingly, I believe him. Okay, that makes me cry. There's something very unsettling about believing people. And also something beautiful.

And someday I will stop being confused about all this, and I'll stop hating Therapist--whom I really don't hate, he's just handy and I don't know who else to direct all my frustration at, and I know he'll forgive me.

1 comment:

  1. "There's something very unsettling about believing people."

    Perhaps I'm simply speaking from personal experience, but would that sentence be more accurate rendered as follows:
    There's something very unsettling about believing people when they have positive things to say about you. ?

    Just wondering ;)
    and regardless of which sentence is more accurate, you're absolutely right, it is beautiful.