Can you be blamed for not being helpful? I blamed myself for a long time. I still, unjustly, do. It is written all over my hurt that “If you need help. I am not the one for you.” I have instilled in myself that I am incapable of being that thing that someone needs to feel happy, loved, cared for. It is the first thing I will tell you about myself. If you are looking for emotions… I do not have them for you. If you are looking for someone to keep you happy, engaged, entertained, I cannot be that person.
So… why am I bringing it back up, if it is closed? Why do I continue to not believe this thing that I have told myself. That research through trial and error indicates and has confirmed. That past relationships have told me to be true? It is because I still try. For some reason, I try to be what they need. I try to help in my way… because it is demanded from me. But I recognize, the more times I fail, that it may be the situation that is not my best environment for success… not my inability to help, especially not through my want of trying.
Let me tell you a story. One that has happened too many times. Like that book with the broken spine. A favorite of mine it seems… about how I have come to tell myself that I am indeed not a helpful person, not emotional, not genuine in my empathy.
It begins where it ends. At the end of a relationship, when the cards are on the table and the one that stares me in the face is the “Careless” card. Maybe it is because it is the one that hurts me the most. Maybe that is why it is used, maybe it is genuine from the players of the game. But nevertheless, it is held in a hand until the very end. Where it then surfaces. I do not have the ability to care, to help, to make better an emotional situation. I do not know that piece you need, when you need it. Through the entire game, I did not give you the card you needed to allow you to discard that one, to consider it matched. It cuts deep. Like the elongated tooth of the basilisk, to the center of my cover, and the black bile that oozes forth from the wound. The victory. The slaughter of the demon I am in this relationship, the freedom you have now won at my expense.
Okay… maybe that is a little over exaggeratively. I am for sure taking literary liberties with my story telling today. But can you see how I feel? See she who shall not be named.
What I don’t accept... I have not been able to accept; and thus, I am unable to set this in stone; This piece of who I am. This unemotional, careless, tyrant of a being, as more than just a horror story; is “Then why?” The rebuttal... I am always with that person who has been so invested in me. Who has cared so deeply. How we always fix my problems, address my concerns. Where as, when they are suffering… I am not available. I am careless. And yet still…
I analyze… How could I? How could I be so insincere to someone’s suffering? So callous in my avoidance that I dismiss their feelings outright and they never get their closure… Right. There. That is the piece that prevents me from final admonition on this thing that I hang over my own head. That I embrace and has become a part of me. Because it does not make sense… by all accounts, I am these things. I offer all of these things.
We fix me… because I accept being helped. I open my book and present my problems. I don’t fear the horrors you might see, I don’t fear you running... even though you might... even after you have.
Wow… what a moment I had when I realized this. Brought me to tears. So many years of thinking I couldn’t care the way people wanted me to… when this, in all its glory, told me what I needed to know. People like helping me, because I accept being helped. They… do not. Not once had these accusers brought something to the table about themselves, they needed help with. Should that mean I go digging? This is what I see to be the difference between a healthy complex and a savior complex: I should not have to beg for you to let me in. That is what they want… but no, I do not think I will, forcing these things is met with the same outcome; the same backlash. Where as me… I am transparent, I am giving and vulnerable and always willing to humble myself and be the first to the table with questions and concerns and my own flaws. That is only half of the battle. Where as some have handled me poorly, and some expertly when I present them with my most vulnerable issues… but when the tables are turned… spoiler… they never are. I am not oblivious to the fact that I might not be the best at creating a safe space, where someone feels comfortable being vulnerable. That is a growth for me. But I will hold steadfast that I HAVE NEVER shamed someone for their flaws when they have put them at my feet. I have honored them.
I am the most eager person to open my book to you, and let you write on the pages of my life. That is why MY problems seem like the most valuable. MY problems seem like they get all the attention; and MY problems are so easily “Fixed” by you… because I let you. I offer it up to you. I let you have that satisfaction of ‘fixing’ me. I should write a blog about when someone is obsessed with “fixing” and how that means they are not actually “supporting” or “helping” you… but I won’t go into it here. There is a difference, is all I will say: One is greedy, one is true caring. So when I say fix, I hope you read it as superficially as it is offered to me. How it isn’t actually meant for me, it is for self-satisfaction... the wrong reasons you give that homeless person on the street a dollar. So you can go home thinking you made a difference. Being used so someone can fix you and they can feel accomplished… well… it hurts… every time.
I am careless, because I never get the chance to care. Your problems are never put on the table… unless it is already volatile and you are attacking me with them. That is not a request for help or support… it is manipulation. And when I do not feel guilty, then you bottle them back up again and divert tactics to ones you know will cut me. That I am careless. Tell me where you are failing, tell me how to care for you, and you will see how all-in I can be. Otherwise, do not accuse me of being the one who doesn’t care.
I don’t know what I will do with this new revelation… I want to think that I can care. I am a very supportive person. I have never once, even in an argument condescended, insulted, attacked someone’s vulnerabilities. It is something I am proud of. But I don’t need to be proud, it is who I am. I can have the same argument in and out of emotions. I do not resort to underhanded tactics and I can point out inconsistencies without having to resort to name calling and superficial attacks. Does that mean I am not insulting? Far from it. I will look you in the eye when I tell you, you have these flaws; I will respect you enough to say their name, out loud. But being able to say I do care? It has been a long time of accepting this about myself… that I don’t even know where I would start to weave that back into my vocabulary, my presence, my being.