These days I’m becoming more aware of and surprised by the self-protection I engage in.
There were probably tendencies in this direction previously, but I’m noticing my limitations. I’m almost like someone who broke his leg and recently had the cast removed. He steps gingerly, more aware of uneven places in the yard or the spot where the concrete of the sidewalk heaved up to create a booby-trap that could easily trip him and reinjure his leg. There are topics I gloss over or sidestep because they’re fraught with emotional peril. And if I’m maintaining a fragile equilibrium, any sudden movement could topple me.
That means that even if someone asks because they care, because they want to know how I’m doing or how my family is doing, and this is done out of genuine concern and love, I have to choose how much to engage the conversation. It’s fairly easy to give a canned answer to many questions, and that’s appropriate for the casual acquaintance. Those who are closer friends, however, pose a different challenge. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about how people can’t win with me; either they don’t ask and I can’t believe we’re going to pretend as if everything is just as it once was. Or they DO ask, and I am in a place when I desperately want to avoid talking or even thinking about it and they just brought this up and what do they really want from me??
See? Persnickety, that’s what that is. Pure persnicketiness. Here, let me try to make it up to you with a cute picture.
Did that work?
Well, it was worth a try.
So basically, what it comes down to is this: don’t ask me how I’m doing, because in that instant I might not be doing very well and not want to talk about it because if I do I might cry and I don’t much like crying, especially if we’re out in public. Be aware, however, that if you DON’T ask how I’m doing I’ll probably be frustrated with you because it will seem to me that you’re one with the rest of the world that has everything continue on its merry way as if there was no significant disruption.
How about this as a solution? When we see one another, just slip me a note or a card that says you care and you hope today is a good day, and if I want to talk about it more in depth I can. You know, if we make these cards together, we could market them, since I can’t be the ONLY person who wishes such a thing existed. Maybe that could make up for the inconvenience and hassle of being forced to use them. You’ll get the majority of the profits, deal?
This is one of those time periods when caring about me is going to be really, really irritating.
This was supposed to be a post with Five Minute Friday but it seems to have taken a sharp turn into the domain of rant and ridiculousness. You know what? That’s what happens when you’re supposed to write for five minutes and not edit things. !!! Thanks for indulging me today.