Saturday, September 6, 2008

Evening vent-a-thon

My kids are banging on drums in the other room and I've had some vodka. I feel like spilling beans and this is my blog so hold on to your hats...

I'm feeling lately as if some of my closest and oldest relationships are a little one-sided. I'm not sure if its due to the exhaustion of being a single mom of two, the exhaustion of supporting a soldier overseas or a combination of both. Those relationships alone are understandably one-sided and drain me nonetheless. I feel as if I am always taking care of someone else.

It seems that many of my relationships are that way. Have I simply always been the nurturing listener who rarely needs anything from anyone else? Is that the "secret unwritten contract" I have in my oldest relationships? Now I am growing tired of it and wanting to pull away from these people who seemingly suck the life energy from me. I've noticed that even people that I've always been attracted to are now starting to turn me off. Are they pulling away or am I? Have they completed the roles they were meant to play in my life and now its time to move forward?

I wonder if I am in a transitional phase in my life. Perhaps I do need someone to help me after all.

I was one of those people who refused to ask for help and yes, I still tend to hide away when I am at my lowest points. But I still have low points!

I almost feel more support from my blogging friends than the people who are physically in my life! Even my soldier, in the middle of war(!), is surprisingly more supportive than some of the friends in my life. I'm also enjoying support from others in my life that I least expected, including new friends.

They love me, I do know this. And I love them as well. I also recall a feeling of restlessness when I was first falling in love with the ex. I guess it is to be expected that when you welcome something new in your life, other things may fall away.

So, since I won't speak up (and they don't expect me to), I thought I'd blog the things I would like to say to my friends. Maybe someday, I will. At this point, I feel as if I'm being overdramatic in the buzz of the vodka and I don't wish to deal with the fall out of emotions from either of us.

Ok. Here goes:

Please do not disregard me if I am in pain. I realize it is a helpless feeling to hear me say that I miss my soldier or that my children sometimes make me a little insane and I judge myself as too harsh of a mother. I understand that you don't understand. Can you be there for me anyway?

I realize that you want more from me physically but I have, quite simply, given my heart to someone else. I know that he seems like a fantasy in my head and someone who isn't here for me like you are. He is who I long for. He is who I am waiting for. Please respect that and my wishes to be here for him.

I realize that my future with my soldier is still to be determined. Please allow me this anyway. Let me see for myself what is going to happen. And let me feel what I need to feel without patronizing me.

Please listen to me if I want to cry. I listen to you. I have been here for you through your ups and downs. Its me you call to brag to or cry to. I am your biggest fan and shoulder to cry on. Why do I not feel the same support from you?

Please save all of the pathetic looks and mocking sad faces when I tell you how difficult this deployment is on me and my soldier. I am sorry that you don't understand. If I want to vent about it or tell you what sweet thing he said to me, please don't smile one of those "that's nice" kind of smiles and change the subject. Let me talk about something that looms LARGE in my heart. I want to share it with you because I thought you were my friend.

I am sorry that I have run out of patience with you as of late. I am tired of hearing you say how much you dislike your life. I do realize that the grass always appears greener elsewhere. I do wish to thank you for helping me to be more grateful for all that I see in my own life. I apologize for my selfishness. I know that it seems unlike me.

Yes, I will "get over" whatever I am feeling right now. Yes, I will move back into the Zen state (or mask) that you expect from me. Please allow me to feel however I feel at this moment.

I can't help that I am not the same person that you once knew. I have been through quite a bit in the past few years and I am still learning more about who I am. My mind is not even the same with the low level of irritation that this deployment causes. Please understand that my mind is always wondering about my soldier. Yes, he means THAT much to me. Do you hear me? THAT MUCH.

Forgive me for not being a positive person all the time. I need to forgive myself for the same reason. I am learning to accept myself in the state that I am in at the time. I am simply calling for love. We all do it but for some reason, you don't expect it of me.

Please:
  • Ask how I'm doing.
  • Ask how my soldier is doing.
  • Ask me if I need any help. Ask how you can help me.
  • Ask me how much longer before I will be in my soldier's arms again.
  • Let me, if I need to, gush about how much love I feel in my life. Be genuinely happy for me.
  • Know that I am not Wonder Woman, though I aspire to be. I still get weak, need to cry and could use some help every now and then.
  • Love me anyway.

Be my friend. Really.

16 comments:

  1. Excellent venting. And on the whole, I think it sounds reasonable and sane. And from where I stand, NONE of it sounds excessive or reactive. So I say, let 'er rip the next time you are around those energy suckers. Let them know what you need.

    And yes, your blogging family supports you too!

    By the way, how are things with your soldier? And when you get a minute, I would like to hear more about how you feel about him. The lucky bastard.

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  2. Gosh T!!!!

    I dont really know what to say! One of the hardest things I had to do when I left was cut ties with the people who were bringing negativity to my life and who couldnt support me. It was HARD cos these were people I had know for years and who I thought would support me no matter what!

    I am sorry your friends are letting you down. Its a VERY hard thing to deal with - I think more so when you are single cos you dont have a husband/partner to depend on - so your friends are IT.

    I can not begin to even understand how hard this deployment (or any deployment really) is for you (and him) - some days I read your posts and I miss him!!!! So I totally understand how you need support for that and I am sorry you arent getting it from those around you!

    Maybe it is time to re-evaluate?

    ((HUGS))

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  3. I love it! I'm *so* sorry that you're feeling (reasonably and understandably!) frustrated, but I think it's really great that you've begun letting it out. I think sometimes we, especially single moms trying to do it all, bottle it up and smile for too long.

    I don't know about you, but I have had to let go of some friendships over the last year or so. No fights or anything, I just stopped returning the phone calls and being physically/emotionally available all the time. It seems to me that life ebbs and flows - and some friendships are meant to do the same.

    And thank heavens for blog families - in whatever form they take. I know that you have certainly picked me up on days when I've needed it!

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  4. Hi Just found your post... I feel bad for you girl.. Hang in there... I hit that point in my life a couple of years ago, where I just couldn't deal with energy suckers.... let go... I made contact them again when I wasn't so worn out by them...
    I wish you the best with your soldier & hope he is home soon....

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  5. The more I read from you, I realize how alike we very much are. I hope your venting was therapeutic. Mine usually is when I do so, too.

    And yes, a shot or two of vodka is not going to hurt.

    Be well, T. I'm with you.

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  6. I have felt similar emotions. Sometimes I am not sure if it is that others expectations of me are the issue or that I have such high expectations of myself - and that they are actually reflecting that back. (Not sure this makes sense)

    There are days when I would just love to have a friend like me around - listening, cheering, providing a shoulder, taking care of the details, not asking anything of me but giving everything... I probably know that I need to learn to give that to myself but... honestly, I haven't figured out how! ;)

    You need anything, you let me know. I am not in that great state of yours, but I am willing to do whatever I can to help.

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  7. Yay for venting!

    A lot of my friendships suffered under the weight of deployment. It was basically that nobody understood what I was going through or why I was putting myself through it, and instead of just loving me when I broke down into tears (like the time that I found out Rob was going to be out for 10 more days with no phone after we had already gone 10 days without talking, or when he called to say he'd been shot) they tried to "fix" it or just got freaked the hell out and walked away.

    It's a tough situation and I definitely feel you. I hope you feel better.

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  8. I can definately relate to the friend situation. Last year, a situation came up with Shawn and the Navy, and I really needed my friends.
    Where were they? They thought I needed "space". My heart was breaking and I was going through so much pain. I DID NOT need space; I needed my friends!
    After that, I realized that I was constantly giving myself to them, but receiving nothing in return. So I cut my ties and moved on. I may have fewer friends now, but I am so much happier!

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  9. Yeah I'm starting to think I should start ignoring politics...it gets me all angry and fired up for nothing and hey, life's too short!

    Rob and I dealt with one deployment in his four years. We were in an interesting position because we didn't live near each other those four years... I was in Wisconsin and he was in Alaska. The deployment was rough because his MOS--airborne infantry--is one of the tougher ones in the Army. In the beginning we only talked every couple of weeks or so (longest incomunicado time was 20 days), but that was great compared to the other company in his battalion, who could only call home once a month.

    Few of my friends could understand how frustrating that was and how alone I felt most times. None of them were able to just sort of stop, give me a hug and show me unconditional support. Unfortunately the Army wives I talked to during that time were equally lame. I still apologize to my friend Lindsay, who was with me when I found out Rob had been shot...basically I broke down in the middle of a sidewalk in New Orleans, haha.

    Fun times:) What MOS is your soldier?

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  10. T - nothing wrong with a little vodka! I've totally felt what you're feeling right now. I've had good friends suck the life out of me.

    A married buddy kept using me as an excuse for him to go out and meet women behind his wife's back. I eventually cut off the friendship. I miss having him as a friend, but I don't miss the position he put me in to lie to his wife. All in all - I feel much happier now that I don't hang out with him! Removing toxic relationships is a good thing. (This is much easier to do in the blogosphere - people gravitate towards each other, and it's easy to stay away from negative energy sites)

    If you feel like you are taking care of people rather than giving love through compassion, and you really can't flip that around (hey, we're not all the Dalai Lama), then maybe it's time to move on to healthier and more supportive friendships.

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  11. Gosh you all are great. Its good to know that even a vodka vent doesn't scare you guys away! I love the whole "yeah, we've been there" attitude from all of you!

    *sigh* I'm blessed with such greatness in my life!

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  12. First off *huge internet hugs*!!

    Second, I agree with the previous posters about getting rid of toxic relationships. They just bascially suck the energy right out of us when we could use that energy in some other productive way.

    Anyways, I know I am just getting to know you but I wish you the best of luck in your future and I am looking forward to learning more about you.

    Take care and many blessings to you.

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  13. Totally feel you with this! I have to say I have friendships where I constantly feel like they are draining me and I have to babysit them. I also had friend "did not" get how much I love Adam and how mcuhit meant to me, and when was I going to be "normal" again. I agree that you just have to leave these people behind sometimes and I felt sad about it, but they were making the deployment harder.

    On another note, if I thought the deployment was hard, I can't even imagine being a single Mom on top of that. This is a time when even a little support from your friends can make a huge difference.

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  14. Thankfully, you're saying what I'm feeling and going through these days. Man I wish I had the same eloquence you do, though. This is exactly the blog I've been brewing in my head for a few weeks now.

    I'm so glad we've become friends, T. You are a breath of fresh air. Thank you! See you later this weekend for sure! KK

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  16. Now I feel guilty for leaning on you so much lately. ;-)

    But you should know, that you being who you are - and laying out your true thoughts / frustrations - is inspiring. Because of your suggestion, I've already started the 1st steps toward my own writing that perhaps will help others.

    Jorgen (D)

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