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A feeling... [Apr. 7th, 2004|11:49 am]
I read a protected post from someone, and inspiration struck, and I realized I wanted to give a voice to a feeling.

Not to "a person's feelings", and not to "my feelings", but just to a feeling... a feeling that I know exists.

It's not any one person's story, and it's not any one person's feelings. It's more of an image, that warps a bit as you keep reading, and (fictional)time passes.

There might be some 'answers' here, but my goal is more to make sure that there are questions... the right kinds of questions.

You see, when you don't understand a topic, you don't know what questions to ask, so you don't know what answers will satisfy your quest for knowledge. But, once you know more about a topic (or, in this case, "a feeling"), you might get a better feel for what questions need answering.

It's behind a cut tag for those who don't want to read it, and it's a peek inside the feelings and thoughts of a painful, lonely person who seems to be driving everyone away.

You're going to leave.

I hate that. I know that you're going to leave, and hate me, and I hate that, and so I hate you for the hurt you're going to give me.

It's not that I have anything against you personally. It's just, you're like an enemy soldier; it's part of your job to hurt me or even kill me, and so I have to keep up this hate so I have the strength to fight you when you do that. I mean, it's not your job like you've been ordered to do it, but it's what you're going to do.

I spent my life figuring out how to defend against this. I knew that I couldn't keep being hurt like this, becausee it would crush me, so I fought back and learned to defend myself, and then I realized... the best defense is a good offense, right? I already know you're going to hurt me. And, the sooner you do, the less it's going to hurt. If you just say "hi" and give me a flash of hope, and then leave, that hurts, but it's not like you treating me like I'm another human being, rather than a random piece of shit. It's definitely not like you treating me like a worthwhile person, with some kind of innate value, and deserving of respect. And it's sure as all goddamned-to-hell different from you pretending that you care about me or maybe even... no. I won't say the "L" word, because it's a lie. I know you don't, and won't ever, love me.

Because you don't. You can't. I know you can't.

I know... because no one loves me, ever. They pretend sometimes, and then they stop, and then they start with the anger and the hate and... and the indifference.

And if no one loves you, and no one *can* love you, that's okay, you see? Because they can't. It's not their fault. And, not only is it not their fault, it's not *my* fault, either... I can't be loved, but it's because of what I am.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking some kind of crap about how I have to keep trying, how I shouldn't decide everyone is going to hate me just because everyone *does*. You're saying "No, no, keep trying", because you want your fucking self-righteous glory from making me feel better, but you're telling a person with legs crushed under a concrete block to keep trying to beat the world record in the broad jump, and if you realized how cruel you were being, maybe it would wipe that smug look off your face. Oh, don't give me that "but I wasn't looking smug!" because if you weren't, you were hiding it, okay? So, here, let me sign your fucking slip and you can go back and get your "good person" merit badge and think you're really hot shit, just so long as you do it far away from me.

Listen, if you haven't heard me already, this is your cue to go away... to go away before you hurt me. It's not like I want to drive you away, it's too much effort, too much pain, and too much like I'm feeding this terrible black hole inside me. But I will, because I have to, because you couldn't really love me. Not enough to put up with me when I'm really hurting. Not enough to stick around, even when I hurt you.

And every time you stay, when I try to make you leave, it makes it scarier, because that means it'll hurt more when you finally do leave, which means I have to work harder and faster, and I have to stop thinking more and more because I don't dare think that you'll stay. Remember? You don't love me, because you can't, so you won't, and I've accepted that. That's my set of crushed legs, and my acceptance of that is nothing more than the acknowledgement of the huge concrete block crushing them.

Don't you see? If someone could love me, then all of the things people have done to me would be real. They weren't just hating the thing that everyone hates, they weren't just not-loving the unlovable. It would be real. I'd be an ordinary person that they've hurt, and rejected, and, and... if it's not their fault, if it's just the way things are, then it's just the way things are.

I'm still alive, so I've learned to live with it, and if I try to change things, I don't know if I could. So I'm fighting for my life, and holding back enough dammed up pain that I can already see the dam ready to burst, but it's okay, I don't want your help, because it won't fix anything, because it can't, because if it did, it'd be like blowing that dam all at once.

So go away. Don't come back.

Don't tell me you love me, still, and come back again and again. Don't let my attacks drain away, because you know they're like a person thrashing around in pain, swinging wildly at anything and everything. Don't make me think you might care, because I've done that before and I can't bear it. I said *go away*! I said *don't* keep coming back!


Because I don't deserve it. I don't deserve your time, or your energy, or your... your caring. Remember? I'm not lovable,so you can't love me. Someone else needs you more, because I'm okay, I am, I have to be.

Just go, please, because this is scaring me, and I'm finding I have less and less energy to fight you, because I've hurt you, over and over, and you've kept coming back. Let's just let this one last time be the last straw, where you pick up and leave, and never come back, because I don't know if I'll have the strength to do it tomorrow.

Tomorrow you might tell me the lie that you love me, again, and I might realize I have to accept it, but that would mean I'm lovable, that it's possible for someone to love me, and I can't. Don't you remember? I can't say it, it's a lie, it has to be a lie.

And I'm still not ready to learn that sometimes you have to believe a lie, just a little bit, in order to turn it into the truth.

[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2004-04-07 10:01 pm (UTC)

One wants to give this hypothetical individual one more reason to believe.

But, dear god, isn't there a point at which any reasonable human being, to which this hypothetical individual is addressing his/her remarks, can say "sorry, fella, it's your turn to exert your psyche on your own behalf"? And say it without guilt, no matter what self-destructive action this individual may engage in next, without feeling responsible?

Having been there, done that, and got the t-shirt as the "you" to which this hypothetical individual has addressed his/her remarks, I'm disinclined to go there again. "Maybe if I'd tried one more time...." is the hook they hang you out to dry on.

Spoken as one who decided, at the end, not to try one more time. Because this hypothetical individual can suck the life out of you, and then you're destroyed and s/he's no better off. But you're destroyed.

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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2004-04-07 10:36 pm (UTC)
Yes, there's a point where you can walk away, and not feel guilt... or, at least, without feeling "justifiable guilt over having done something wrong".

The best thing you can do, for *both* of you, is to stay detached enough, and stay anchored enough, that they can't hurt you... at least, not more than you're willing to be hurt.

If you let them hurt you more than you can handle, and they drive you away, well, now you're both hurt.

If you don't let them hurt you, you don't have nearly as much reason to be driven away. You're not as close as you might wish you could be, but now you can help, because you're still *there*, and not driven away.

(Alternately, if you can't help at all, and don't ever get close enough that they can feel you "left", you've saved them from one abandonment, and given yourself a chance to rest, to build up energy for the next one.)

It's important that you don't let them (or more appropriately, their inner demons) define what it means to be a friend. You help when you can, to the extent that you're able... that's what it means to be a friend, and if they demand more, well, they simply don't understand that you don't *have* more.

The less they can hurt you (past what you're able to deal with), the more you can care... so the more help you can give them, long term.

It's crazy, but the best thing you can do for them is to take care of yourself, first, and help them only if, and when, you're able to. If you go in and let them hurt you too badly, it only hurts both of you.
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[User Picture]From: eleccham
2004-04-09 04:31 am (UTC)
Thank you; this made this mindset easier to grasp.
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