I’m trying to get into the habit of disappointing people.
I take pride on my reliability. I like to think that if someone needs something, then I can always be counted on to provide whatever it is. I lend my time, my space, my energy, my money. My ears, my lips, my hands. I’m detachable that way.
Lately, though, I’ve really been wanting to stop all that. It’s not that I specifically want to be unhelpful and useless — it’s just that I want to be less reliable. Maybe it’s spiteful of me? I think a part of it definitely is. I’ve been depended on so much that I no longer stand straight. I hunch and shuffle my feet with other people’s issues and concerns perched on my shoulders. My upper back can’t take all the pressure. My lower back creaks with responsibility.
I want to know what it’s like to be one of them, you know, one of these people who feel no ways about draining another person. I want to only call on someone when I need something, and see how I feel after. I bet my shoulders will feel lighter. I bet I’ll walk taller. I’ll take a deep breath, like, damn I’m so happy I told someone what was bothering me, and now I can go on with life and worry less but it’s no longer my problem — it’s ours.
No, even typing that sounds horrible. My problem is I don’t know how to be that way. My other problem is that that’s not who I am. Everyone is different, and this is not who I am. I am reliable and easy to depend on. I am soft, not rigid.
Of course the other side to this coin is this: I can’t depend on other people. I really don’t know how. I’ve tried — or, actually, I’m lying, I haven’t. I struggle with being open with others. I’m getting better but it’s still very difficult for me. I don’t tell unless asked, and even after I’ve told, I spend days thinking, “I really shouldn’t have said that”. Days. So it’s best to just keep quiet, then.
A part of me is envious of those who can just fucking talk. They just open their mouths and tell me their business, and nosy as I am, I listen and console because that’s my character. But wow, what’s that like? Just being able to talk like that? I was going through a tough depressive episode and I didn’t tell anyone. I was having anxiety-related tension in my face for months and I didn’t tell anyone. It’d go away, anyway, right? And besides, who would I tell? I don’t tell people things — they tell me.
A part of me, larger than anything else, wants to be able to speak up and lean on someone too. I don’t think I was made to be an iron wall. I am definitely not a wall nor am I iron. I’m made of water and processed sugars. I am sensitive and too empathetic to exist in the real world. I care so deeply about things and people, even if I don’t want to. This is why I listen, even when I’m not sure I should.
It can’t be like this forever, though. I really think one day things will change and I’ll get to really, really experience what it’s like to depend on someone 100%. Maybe then I’ll be able to relax a bit, feel what it’s like to say ‘no’ and mean it, and really, truly become a bit of a disappointment.
I’m so excited.