The Great Divide

DEUpuZ_VwAEgVvN

I have lost friends over this.  I have stopped talking to people.  My circle is tiny now.  There are maybe a handful of people I can call friends.

My worst fear is abandonment.  I feel like once someone gets to know me, they leave.  Either by moving away, by going silent, by ignoring me, etc.  I have been left to many times by people I care about.  I can’t just stop caring about those people, but either they leave me or I have to leave them to be healthy.  When I have to leave, it’s because they want to rely on me to help them out of their emotional hole.  Yet they are unable or unwilling to help themselves.  I can not be dragged down into their despair because I have my own to deal with.  I want to help those I care about, but if they are not willing to put in the effort, what is the point?  I can’t solve problems of others, I can only offer help.  When I see they are trying to pull me down with them, I have to leave.

I wonder if people feel the same way about me and leave me because of the same reasons.  I like to think that I do not try to pull people down with me.  I like to think that I try to fix my own issues and just need someone to listen and acknowledge me from time to time.  I just don’t know.  But I no longer have the friends I use to.  The ones I still have that I consider close are physically so far away.  The ones that are close by physically are new friends that don’t really know me.  That is not their fault though.  I don’t really open up like I use to anymore.  I don’t want to risk being hurt again.  It has happened too much.  I do not want to open up, just to be abandoned like others have done.

I feel stuck, I want close friends again, but either they are unable to or I am unable to open up.  It makes me feel alone a lot.  I know only I can change this, but it doesn’t make the feeling of despair go away.  There is a great divide that seems hard to cross.

Advertisements

Is it worth it?

Often I find myself asking the question “is it worth it” when deciding to say something.  When faced with the potential of backlash, bad reactions, misunderstandings and possible ridicule, I have to weigh in if it’s worth saying something.  I am unique in how I think and feel, so much that I find it hard to find others who agree with my opinions.  I also have little to no patience or sympathy for those unwilling to listen to what I have to say.

I tend to “ghost” when I feel that a person or a group becomes unsafe because of the things they say or share.  And I’m not talking about general disagreements.  Disagreements are to be expected between individuals.  Constructive criticism and disagreement can be helpful and healthy to a conversation.  But sometimes those disagreements turn into threats.  Even mentioning that it’s a perceived threat is, more often than not, met with negativity or completely ignored as if the feelings don’t matter.

Overtime I have grown to be very impatient with people who ignore this or jump down someone’s throat when someone else is offended.  Yes there are those who go completely out of control when offended.  But anymore when it is just a mere mention of it, it turns into a victim blame game where the offended is the offender.  Of course the person who offended originally will usually start this.  In some cases it becomes the entire group blaming the victim.

I constantly think about weather it’s worth it to bring up if something offends or threatens.  I’ve become silent when I needed to speak.  Missing when I needed to stand up for myself.  I have to measure my emotional state to see if it’s worth getting hurt just to be who I am and not let someone stomp on that.  I do not give up on all my fights.  I fight where it’s most important.  But I do not have the time or patience to fight where the ends to not justify the means.

Some people are just not worth wasting energy on proving that I am who I am and they are not going to step on me.  I will leave if I feel as if they are doing this.  It sucks because I miss out on conversations with others in that group.  But I have to think about my mental health and well being.  If it feels unsafe, I leave.  I get enough crap as it is fighting for who I am.  I will not deal with it where I do not feel it’s worth dealing with.

Obsession

Disclaimer: I do not have a degree in psychology or any sort of training relating to it.  These are my own experiences and opinions.  They should be treated as such.

It happens to us from time to time.  We get overly excited about one thing or another and can sometimes become overly enthusiastic about it.  Even to the point of obsession.  For a lot of people it’s an escape from their reality.  A focus on something that makes them happy, gives pleasure, etc.  at the cost of other things in their life.  Obsession, I believe, can be both good and bad depending on the severity.  The word and its context usually implies something negative, but when harnessed and kept in check, can lead to great things.

I was obsessed with gaming.  I loved the community that I built around me and still do.  I loved being in the know about things coming down the pipe, meeting new people just as obsessed as I was, and it helped me not think about all the other bad things going on in my life.  I was able to escape and feel purposeful in the things I did.  For every team victory, every level beaten, every game finished, I felt like I accomplished something.  For a while it satiated my need to feel I am moving forward.  In reality I was standing still with other important parts of my life.

I ignored my mental problems, I ignored the fact that I didn’t feel right in my own skin.  I ignored that I was miserable when not gaming.  I ignored relationship problems, my health, my career goals.  All I wanted to do was play games for hours.  The plus side was I never felt alone.  I had lots of friends to talk to online.  Lots of people to spend time with, game, or just have social interaction in general.   Deep down though, I was unhappy and had emotional issues.  The obsession helped me not have to think about or deal with these problems.

But eventually those problems become to big to ignore.

Most people who read my blog know what happened when I started to listen to myself and start caring about myself.  So I will not go into that here.  Obsession lead to making me blind to the issues I really needed to deal with.  But, without that obsession, I would not have the friends I have now.  I would not have had the experiences with those friends.  I will never forget the fun I had playing Smite and having victories, playing Mega Man Death Match with my podcast friends.  I would not have made the connections that I continue to have with them.

I regret the negatives of my obsession, but I can not discount the positives I gained from it.  I am happy I realized that my obsession was an issue.  I still game, I still stream, but life is much fuller and balanced.  I will always have some obsession, something I strive for.  Where would we be without some kind of goal?  But I feel this time I am more aware of myself and my need to do things I love.  Obsession can lead to great things, but must not takeover and make us blind to the other things in our lives.

Social Digging

Yes, I said I may not write for a while.  Sometimes things change and you just have to get something out.

Social situations are often an awkward affair.  Usually why I tend to sit back and be an observer instead of a participant.  Eventually, if you listen and observe long enough, you see issues between people for what they are.  Sometimes it hits you like a ton of bricks.  Sometimes you have an idea of how to start fixing it, sometimes you do not.

Lack of sleep tends to bring about emotional clarity.  At least, that’s how I feel it works for me.  The situation I am referring to above will be explained in an analogy.  Bare with me if you will.

You start getting interested in what some of your friends are doing.  You see them shoveling a shiny pile of stuff from one pile to another.  You wonder “how can I have my own pile of shiny stuff to shovel?”.  You ask your friend, they explain what they are doing and give you some pointers to how you can start this yourself.  You find out this thing they are doing is called Shiny Shovelin.  It’s a practice well known and something that really interests you.  So you start collecting your shiny pile to shovel and start shovelin!  You keep talking to this person and other people, asking questions about shovelin.  You start to learn a lot.  Eventually your friend wants to share in a common interest you both have, invites you to watch them shovel.  Eventually they would like you to shovel with them.  How exciting!  You go along and watch them.  You go to more shovelin meetings, your starting to understand things, the motivations for who, what and why.  You like the closeness the team seems to have.  But there are cracks.  They don’t always agree on how to do the shovelin.  Person in charge says “Can we please start shovelin?”.  Others hear it, but it seems like an option instead of a request.  You see and hear the mis-communication.  You want to say something, but can’t because the pile is not yours.  You can not say how, when or where they should shovel.  But you see the problems with mis-communication, mis-interpretation, insecurities of other shovel-ers, and lack of trust.  You wonder why you would want to shovel with them.

Any group with a goal in mind needs good leadership, but also needs good inner communication.  Trust is a hard thing to gain, but in a social group setting, is essential.  Compassion for when things don’t go your way or others way is a key factor as well.  Sometimes we don’t have time to shovel that pile.  We have other piles we have to shovel that no one is helping us with.  Those piles are our responsibility.  The group pile, the one you have a passion for, should not turn into a chore.  But it takes some sacrifice from everyone.  Everyone has to trust one another, everyone needs to be clear on their intent, everyone needs to clearly communicate what they want, and finally everyone needs to be compassionate for each other.  All groups have a certain level of intimacy that they build depending on the dynamic, needs of the group, and the bonds that are formed.  The things mentioned before are so important to have and build for the group to grow.  Otherwise, the pile never gets any lower, someone feels like they do all the work, people feel left out, etc.

I hope that this helps someone, as silly as it may sound.  Analogies are funny like that.  But I think this can be applied to most, if not all groups of friends, people, or work environments.  Now lets dig that pile!