Over the years, I realize that I’ve spent an inordinate, no an extraordinary amount of time ‘chasing’ friendships. I’m still doing it.
Many years ago when I first left home and moved out, two of my friends went with me. We spent a short amount of time together before they ventured out on their own and I got married.
Once they struck out on their own, contact dwindled. I struggled to remain in touch, offering assistance to them whenever they needed it, with the hope that if they continued to have need of me they wouldn’t cut off communication or end the relationships.
I understood, while living at home, that my value was determined by how much I was needed, what I could do for others. I didn’t like it, but thought that as long as I could be of some sort of service to others, I would not be alone, I would not be discarded.
It didn’t take long for me to learn that if you’re willing to settle for ‘being on call’ as a friend, that’s how others will treat you. They will call you when they need something, but if they don’t need you or something from you you’re likely to not be a priority in their lives and should you need them, they will likely not be there for you in your time of need.
I really have no one to blame but myself. I ‘settled’ for this kind of treatment from people I loved and cared about, starting with my mother whom I couldn’t really stand up to, being a child under her care. I greatly enjoyed being part of a ‘group’, belonging. I guess I wanted that for myself so badly that I was willing to take less than I deserved in the way of respect. It was a kind of ‘trade off’ that I was willing to make.
I’m 48 years old, I’ve spent my life being a care giver, helping others and I’ve spent most of my solitary time crying as a result of feeling taken for granted, taken advantage of, or just feeling abused.
I try to treat others as I’d like to be treated. I treat others with respect, dignity and try to behave with integrity. I would never want to cause anyone to feel discarded or of no importance. Everyone deserves to feel cared for, appreciated.
I’ve written about my Godson and other friends in the past, the way they need me or want me, but often when I need or want them they are unavailable to me.
I’ve been talking to my husband about my Godson. Every day I ask him if he’s said anything on the way to or home from work. If he has expressed any plans to come over and talk about the misunderstanding that’s happened between us. Always my husband says, “No, we haven’t talked about it and I don’t think he’s going to bring it up either.”
I spoke to my Godson’s mother the other day and she informed me that my suspicions are right, in her opinion, that my Godson has no need for me in his life right now, I serve no purpose for him and therefore he’s not going to worry about recovering our relationship. She revealed that she’s convinced if it weren’t for the fact that he needs to live with her he’d have no use for her either and she probably wouldn’t hear from him at all. They live together and hardly speak as it is.
It would seem I’m the only one who cares about my relationship with my Godson, I’m the only one fretting over the length of time and degree of distance between us. I’m looking for some sort of offer from him to talk, a possible reconciliation, even though, at this point, I’m not completely certain I’m really interested in that. I’m confused, wrestling with the idea of what’s morally right and what I should open myself up to once again, if I should continue the cycle of giving and being abused for my trouble. Sounds a bit crazy, I know.
I’ve spent a good bit of time recently, thinking about this.
With the establishing of this support group I realize I can’t continue this practice. I can’t keep chasing after people or I’m going to cause myself a devastating level of stress that’s going to jeopardize my health and subsequently, the group, my family, the people I love.
It would be too easy for me to do this with the support group, checking in with and seeking out individual parents, chasing after attendees, begging people to participate. That’s my habit, part of the ‘old tapes’ that wind through my head. I’ve learned not to depend on anyone but myself, but even I am unable to take on all the tasks that can be necessary.
Where does that leave me? Not being able to depend on anyone? anything?
I always believed that if you treated others with respect, love and consideration, they would reciprocate. I have heard throughout my life that whatever you put out into the world, that is what you get back, but I can honestly and with some conviction say, that is simply not true.
No more chasing! That’s a new personal boundary for myself that I must enforce if I’m going to maintain what little sanity I have left. No more chasing!