Thursday, October 24, 2013

101 Walls

The earth stills for a minute. I gather my thoughts in the silence. I lose myself to music. I look around me, my ears their own personal club, my phone a perpetual disc jockey. And I notice that my friends have scattered, they’re around but I notice myself as a solo entity, gathering numbers and information, trying to see where it will take me. And I understand now that maybe you can learn and run from the things you see unfit or unhealthy for you, but they will find you again. And you can build 100 walls to keep the hurt out, but you will cry again.

This is the human condition. This is life after twenty nine. It doesn’t magically get easier, in fact, it may have just gotten a little more punch to the gut than I ever could have expected.

I know I write a lot about how good things are; looking at the positives – even though at times I’m dragging my feet and love through the mud.We have two choices when faced with adversity: Let it beat you and take you down, or fight it and learn from the tears. And sometimes, most times, we have to fight that fight more than once. And each time a little harder than the last because your mind screams at your heart: You should know better by now!

And I should. But we have hope in the things that we want; and faith in the things that we have. It’s a tangled web of order and chaos. This week presents to a bit of rejecting and unfavorable chaos. 

I thought I’d left the bad people behind when I walked away from the Pink Elephant and everything associated with him; anyone that played into his story and left me there to wallow in self-pity. Then, I turned 30; with the assumption that I would be leaving all the shit I’d gone through to learn lessons, to head into my 30s well-armed with said lessons and nothing was gonna stop me now. 

And then a Facebook message on Monday stopped everything.

I was told by someone who I thought was a friend – one that I had carefully chosen to keep within my circle – that I was mean, ungrateful, lacking self-control, entitled and angry because I thought the world owed me something and it hasn’t delivered, and, due to these things, was no longer welcome to his house (party). And that my response would determine what happened to our friendship from there: If it was anger, he wasn't interested. As if anger is my only emotion (which sort of tied my hands considering he also thought I fancied myself entitled).

Sucker. Punch. I make a point to be exactly none of these things. And from the last person I expected to be harboring such sentiments.

It seems like it's hard for people to understand that someone that seems really tough on the outside can be really soft; sensitive. Contrary to what this entry might suggest, I rarely cry. (Sure I get upset more often than rarely, but I always explain myself to friends that if I'm crying, something is terribly wrong.) This is sort of an issue because people of a tendency to treat a person as they see them on the outside, and not for what gooey center they might have. I curse a lot; sometimes I get loud; I will protect the people I love with an unflinching, loyal ferocity, but I am also a little M&M someone left in a car on a hot summer day. Crack the shell and the rest will smoosh onto your mom's hatchback's dashboard. 

Anger wasn't my emotion. Instead my heart raced and then tears silently fell from my face. (One of those silent pretty cries -> that then turned into a melting snowman.) And all of this stemming from my birthday.

Remember how I mentioned that a couple of friends made some drunken mistakes? And I tried to make light of those by showing me that into my thirties, when I fail, I won’t be the only one. But the night it happened I was so far from making light of anything; I cried for hours – they left without even saying goodbye. I was upset and crushed because I knew that people that had driven so far to see me had gotten the wrong impression of my life, my friends here, and worse yet, left feeling shocked and hurt from the improper actions of a few.

A birthday celebration that started out with me wanting to tweet: I don’t care what else happens; this is the best birthday ever - but didn’t because I didn’t want to jinx it – left me disparaged on a floor at 4am, 18 hours from 30.  I needed to be allowed to be upset, instead it was trying to be fixed and I, quite vocally (I was later informed, but not until after the FB message), communicated that I was upset.

YOU CANNOT FIX UPSET. You can’t tape back together a bit of crushed spirit or broken heart. It needs time to heal and find the light; the light to seal the cracks.

I chose not to hold what had happened against anyone and move on. But apparently, I was alone. While the (FB) messenger wasn't there - this all went down at his house and there was an additional roommate there that we were unaware was home, until she complained to him days later. And that’s where this all started again: Her complaint to a person who wasn't even present or aware of the situation. 

And so, my 30th birthday celebration, three weeks past, came back to slap me in my face with a cold, dry hand. A hand that never even bothered to say, “I heard some things, what happened”. I felt bullied. I cried for three hours. I talked with a friend involved with all of it and all she could muster out was, “It’s not fair”. It wasn’t. The next morning my mom called because, yes, I tweeted that I was crying. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I wanted someone to say: Are you okay? 

It was then that I realized that being incredibly sad is like being drunk: You do and say nearly anything with almost no inhibitions. This explains why people go a little slutty after a break-up. It also explains why, when the Time Warp messaged me later that night, I asked if he thought I was any of those things I'd been called. To which he said, "None of those words come to mine, no. I'd say you are rather selfless. [...] It's pretty black and white, you're a good person," And then I asked him to come over and spoon. He said he had to work. And then I bribed him with candy. Which he also declined.

Seriously. I did that. I’m just going to go put on my shame hat now and sit with my nose in a corner.

Although a friend brought up a good point in that there’s no shame in wanting to be comforted when you are sad. So I’ll just put my shame hat down for next time and chalk it up to hurt feelings. And appreciate the people that came around to check in and cheer me up in the light of pathetisad tweet. (Thanks, guys.)

Anyway, while talking to my mom she likened it – as I had – to the bullying in middle school. I'm not sure that the messenger meant to be so mean, but calling me all those things and clearly talking to others behind my back and coming to a conclusion without even speaking to me, came off as terribly hurtful ambush. I had no idea he thought so little of me - and so much of it based on hearsay and the bad decisions of others (that I chose to keep quiet) from my birthday, that he wasn't even at: FUCKING OUCH. (He responded to my retort alerting him of my hurt feelings, but I haven't had the heart to open up this wound again quite yet to read it.)

My mom was shocked by the seeming 30-something middle-school-esque bullying, but in response to bullies this time she didn't say “kids are mean” or “they’re just jealous”, it was “fuck them”. “You don’t have to be friends with everyone and you don’t have to fix everyone’s problems. If you have a toxic friend, leave them behind,” she said, adding it took her 20 years to learn that lesson.

Yes, it’s true, I tend to get in the middle of other people’s problems. I mediate – not intentionally; I’m usually just the lended ear of choice. She’s always suggesting I stop, but I can’t. It’s part of who I am. I will always stand up for the little guy; for the people that whisper in my ear about the mean girl but are too afraid to stand up to her themselves. I will always try to find a fair resolution and create peace; love. I am a Libra, afterall, but it seems to get me in some trouble. People tend to see the fights I can’t stop; the moments that build up to too much – not the disagreements I dissolve before they escalate or the moments I tuck away and hope get better in time. I always assumed people might notice; they don’t. Or love me for who I am and not the moments that are less than perfect; they don’t.

Everything isn't always fantastic. Sometimes people disappoint. Not everyone looks for the light in all things. Not everyone takes a moment to get every side to a story before seeking a resolution. Understanding that all people don't work the same way I do or thinks of fairness in the same manner as me, is something I continue to try to remember and accept. But sometimes, I suppose, we still get caught off-guard by those who we have figured we could trust with our heart, and instead break it a little. And then, no matter what the circumstance or relationship, you learn that maybe you needed 101 walls.