Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

Posts Tagged ‘Friendship

Facing How Others See You and Other Nonsense

Recently, I’ve been doing my best to support a friend going through a break-up.  At first, it was fairly straight forward.  Listen to the problems, try to give sound advice, attempt to maintain a friendship with both parties.

Somewhere in there, for a number of reasons, the “he” in that relationship decided I was a threat. Or something.  Even though I am very close to the “she” in this scenario, I’d like to think the feelings and advice I had about the relationship, subsequent make-ups and break-ups would have stayed basically the same.  Some people just become toxic together and the only way to deal with that, in my opinion, is to cauterize the wound.  Just cut the infection and burn the shit out of the traumatized area to seal it off from germs and further festering.

Easier said than done, right?

In any event, what was once a pretty basic friendly acquaintanceship with him has turned into something really ugly.

To be sure, I am not blameless…he irritates me and picks at me like a middle-school boy intentionally pulling hair and trying to bully a girl into crying.  A set of activities I generally feel should be met with sarcasm and “mouthiness” (which, quite honestly is some sexist bullshit, but whatever.)  

My point being, when drinking I have little ability to curb my comments.

Since this has turned sour for me as well, I’m being made aware of how this other person views me.  Vindictive, meddlesome, insincere, and rude.  

In general, I don’t think I’m any of those things.  However, if I put myself in his shoes, I can definitely see how he would think that.  I’ve given advice, advice that is in direct opposition to what he’d like to see happen, when asked by her.  I suppose that would be seen as meddlesome.  Maybe due to that advice and the closeness of my relationship to her the next logical step would be a need to get revenge on her behalf for wrongs I feel he has brought to bear on her entire mental well-being.  I’m not generally vengeful and I try very hard not to act on behalf of others unless they want me to…but maybe I do have ulterior motives.  I don’t think I do, but I’m willing to entertain the idea.

Insincerity is something I don’t have a lot of patience for, neither for rudeness.  Though, I will say, if I’m being outright rude, it’s generally because occasionally Southern charm takes a backseat to sincerity.

The problem is at this point, I’m completely incapable of objective opinion.  I can’t help her anymore without it being partially an attempt to help myself.  I can’t stand the idea of my name being in other people’s mouths, especially his.  At this moment, I can’t stand to talk about him anymore.

I’m not sure how I can continue to give anything but a sympathetic ear when I clearly have dog in this fight…as ridiculous and infuriating as that is. And to be honest, I’m not sure how sympathetic I even feel.  I feel slighted so I’m looking to project an expectation of loyalty on my friend…which really sucks.  I find the need to control others to be distasteful and usually fruitless.

In reality, all those things he rattled off about me are things I think about him and worse.  And since I can only view this situation through the lens of my own personal perception (which right now is colored with lots of trauma and anxiety and stress) he’s coming out looking quite like a pile of shit.  It’s real hard for me to take the opinions of those with no sense of personal responsibility seriously, except that in some way, he has the ear of someone I care for and now I feel threatened and that makes me feel weak.

Not sure how to move forward…guess I’ll take a note from my husband’s playbook and consider the possibilities of non-personhood for someone for whom I feel only contempt and loathing.

Now, doesn’t that paint a pretty picture of myself?

Written by thelittlepecan

August 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

I’m Allowed My Crazy, Too.

This entry is going to be intensely personal, probably not very profound and definitely clumsy. I apologize in advance.

Those of you who read my parenting blog (pecantheparent.com) know my family is really struggling. Those of you who read this blog know my issues with anxiety.

Anyway, I have a number of friends who are going through difficult patches; break-ups, make-ups, relationship working through-ups. Many of them also suffer from anxiety, some have PTSD and/or depression.

I have tried to be a good friend when my whole world feels like it is crashing down around me. I have invited friends to my home and tried to create a safe, but honest, space where issues could be discussed. I have a bad habit of taking on responsibility, pain, anxiety…that isn’t mine.

This week I knew, eventually, probably…certainly my own feelings were going to erupt. I tried to reach out and let my loved ones know that it was coming, it would be ugly and that I would be a hot mess.

My child is in a psychiatric facility and has been for a week. He assaulted me. He ran away for 24 hours. I haven’t run in 6 days.

Last night, at a party, it all came to a head…I was verbally abusive to my spouse when I became over stressed. I had a minor altercation with a new friend. Then, my attitude towards my husband became too much for him.

Needless to say, we left. On the way home, the badness ensued and I’ll spare the details…but the most painful thing of the entire night was being told I treated someone I care about like shit.

Not told. Berated.

Not my husband (who I had actually treated badly). But someone who has needed my friendship recently and I have provided that in all the ways I know how. If those have been inadequate, that moment was not the time…and anyway, I HAVEN’T been inadequate. I have been selfless. Yes, I’m going to give myself some props for that.

Because I’m ALLOWED that. It’s okay to say “I am a good person. I have done a good job.”

I’m not perfect, but I am a good friend and in my time of crisis I put my own mental health aside to be there for others. I’ve been yelled at (because I can “take it” apparently) at least three times by stressed out friends, I’ve been yelled at for not wanting to talk before I was ready, I’ve been told to calm down, to chill out, to “just breathe”.

Well, no. I told everyone my day would come and all my shit would surface and it would ugly and I would need that support. It came, it was ugly and instead…I got whatever last night was.

I am fortunate to have the spouse and many friends I do who have reached out today.

But, I will NOT apologize for something that not only did I not do, but even if I had done would be completely forgivable, given my current level of personal crisis and the number of times I’ve allowed others to work through their own crises with me.

Fuck. That.

I’m allowed a little bit of crazy, too.

Written by thelittlepecan

June 30, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Friendship. Ur doin it rong.

Well, it finally happened.

Not because I am atheist.

Not because I am liberal.

Not because I am loud, provocative and offensive.

I lost a friend because I am poor.

It didn’t start out that way.  It started out as a typical Facebook debate over liberal and conservative ideals.  Welfare was brought up, as usually happens no matter what the original topic is, and I reminded my friend that I am a government assistance recipient.

It isn’t much.  My son receives Medicaid and SNAP (the new name for the federal food stamp program.)  We recently voluntarily gave up his WIC benefits because I felt we did not need them.

I take a lot of pride in the contents of my friends list.  I did one of those “who’s on your list” things about a year or so ago.  Most of my list is composed of people who are opposite of me in almost every respect.  Religion, politics, education, financial situation, sexual orientation, marital status, you name a demographic variable and my friends are different than me.

I think that’s awesome.

Back to the story.

This friend became upset because I did not choose to take him up on a job offer he presented to me several months ago.  If I remember correctly, this offer was presented as I was choosing to return to school to begin my graduate degree.  The decision had already been made, I had come to an agreement with my family about the support they would give to help me achieve this goal and I had already accepted a job on campus.  If I remember correctly…it’s entirely possible that I have the timeline wrong.  If I do, it means the offer came as I was graduating last summer (pretty sure that isn’t it) or it came after I had already begun classes, taken a job and would be unable to do something different.  Quitting in the middle of the semester is grossly irresponsible financially for a number of reasons.  Not the least of which is that any financial aid received gets all messed up and withdrawing with F’s or I’s doesn’t work the same way at the graduate level as it does as an undergraduate.

Not that any of this even matters.

There is a pervasive idea in this country that if you are poor, you are undeserving.  You must work your fingers to their bloody bone, never have anything nice, always be miserable until you climb up bruised and beaten to the next tiny rung on the social mobility ladder and you’ll be grateful about it whether or not you actually reach the next level.

Because I am poor, I must try and get a job any place I can, shun any chance at happiness or goal fulfillment, never buy anything new, hide my face away inside my home so that no one gets the wrong idea that my life might actually be good and never draw out of a system I have paid into consistently.

I should not use my talents to get the education I need to have the career I want if I am poor because it might mean 1/10000000 of 1% of the aid I receive might come from someone who does not think I should have it.

(Wonder how well that will work when I start demanding the money I pay in taxes only go to those in need and NOT fund war or farm subsidies or corporate welfare.)

I have a great life.  I have a wonderful family.  I am happy and fulfilled.  I work a job I love that provides me with a small salary, great experience and allows me to go to school at a significant discount.  It adds to my employment capital, AKA the “thud factor” on the curriculum vitae that I will provide to the school where I earn my PhD.

I’m angry that I feel like I need to explain myself.  I’m not doing anything wrong.  I’m sad that someone would choose to judge me and refuse my friendship over $300 per month that buys food and only food for my family.

When I was strung out, I hid away.  I never applied or received any assistance from the gov’t.  Thank Bob my family thought I deserved to survive or I’d probably be homeless and still strung out right now.  It wasn’t until I decided to go get those things I want for my life and had a family to support that I applied for assistance in the first place.  It wasn’t until I decided to make something of myself that I asked for help.

And this is why I know it isn’t about welfare fraud or welfare drug users or welfare queens, whatever the hell that even is.

Because I’m not any of those things, but I am still undeserving, I am still a leech on the system; I am still filthy liberal scum.

Guess what?

Friendship. Ur doin it rong.

Written by thelittlepecan

August 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

A Belated Valentine

Last weekend, the weekend before Valentine’s Day, Jim and I took the kids to the park.

Last weekend, my patience, of which I seem to have very little lately, ran out.

And so, last weekend, on Sunday, I lost control of my temper and effectively ruined a day that may have been salvaged-if only in my head-had I been able to keep my cool.

I am not a patient person and when it comes to children, I often wonder why I was allowed to have one.  I care for little people very, very much, but being the primary care-giver to more than one is a daunting task and sometimes, even when I am not the primary care-giver I freak out in a way that is abhorrent to my uber-liberal wanna be crunch factory sensibilities.  I don’t spank my kid, but I yell a lot and well, when kids whine, it’s like nails on a chalkboard play Beethoven because that’s what I’d rather listen to than their squeaky unappreciative little bitch fests.

In my life, I have dated guys that wished they could figure me out.  The smart ones called my mother to beg for advice when my anxiety reached it’s boiling point and they couldn’t do anything but avoid the explosion.  The dumb ones exploded too,  or left.  Mostly they left.

And so, I have multiple reasons to fear abandonment (thank you Freud, Bob I hate psychoanalysis) and when the shit hits the fan I tend to freak out more, like, maybe, when I’m asked to leave because I have flipped out, I dip into the Seventh Circle of hell and make things infinitely worse.  And I have to leave anyway.

Sunday was bad.  Monday was worse.  I hate the feeling of eggshell walking around my best friend.

On Tuesday, my best friend was deciding on a Valentine’s Day gift that generally represents a different type of relationship than we have.  He chose a medium that represents the kind of relationship we do have and by doing so reminded me that my friend, who happens to also be my Valentine, is committed to our relationship just how it works for us.

During that day, on Tuesday, while he was doing this, I was worrying about the fate of our relationship and wondering if I had done the irreparable.

On Saturday, I got reassurance.  Like the best kind of sparkly reassurance evar.

I hope this doesn’t like, embarrass him or anything.  I just want it to be known that I get it when I’m wrong and I get it when I’m wrong not to trust the right thing and wind up listening to my inner Golem instead.

Those of you who hate teh squish, get over it for this one.

ETA: For those asking, no it was not a ring, which is sort of the point.  It looks like this and goes on my Pandora bracelet.



Written by thelittlepecan

February 15, 2011 at 9:49 pm