Fear

Getting back on Facebook has been both good and bad.  I AM glad to be interacting with people again, even if it is only online. And today another friend posted something that was really helpful and it got me thinking and wanted to share it here.  So that’s one of the good things.  The “bad” things are complicated and confusing.

I only sent one friend request to one of the many people I unfriended back in August because I don’t want to send friend requests to people that might not accept them.  I don’t want anyone to feel like they HAVE to refriend me just because someone they love did.  I can’t stand feeling like I’m simply tolerated in a “love me, love my dog” kind of way.  If people want to add me, great.  That tells me that they want me in their lives and accept me for ME and not because someone else told them to be nice to me.  Out of the many I did unfriend months ago, only two have sent requests.  I’m trying like hell to be okay with that.

Last night they asked me if I wanted to come over for dinner via Facebook messaging.  I don’t know how to explain my thoughts and feelings about trying to be their friend again but I’ll try.  For weeks, I tried to suppress any hope that they’d ever contact me and EVERY SINGLE TIME I got a new email or text notification, my heart would jump in my chest and I’d eagerly look to see what it was.  I would say I get about thirty emails a day, most of which are ads, and I honestly have no idea how I’d estimate the number of texts I get.  It depends on a lot of various factors.  Try to imagine that: getting thirty emails a day, every day, for weeks, and every time hoping against hope it would be them.  Seeing that it wasn’t them broke my heart all over again every time.  Eventually, I got to a point where I would see a notification and I wouldn’t immediately look at it.  I was trying to retrain myself so I didn’t die a little more inside whenever I opened email or texts.  When it suddenly WAS them contacting me, that completely disoriented me.  Still, I won’t immediately look at emails or texts because no matter what ends up happening over time, I have to stop expecting anything from anyone.  It goes back to the whole “fear of abandonment” thing.  I’m working on it, but I’m still fucking terrified that they’ll stop talking to me again.

When I saw I had a Facebook message, I was on Facebook at the time but I was typing and didn’t immediately read it.  When I was done typing, I kept scrolling through posts until I “caught up” and only then did I go back to read it.  For some reason, I’ve felt particularly ignored by them this week and I’ve been dreading having four days off from work because at least work is a distraction.  The entire time I was scrolling, I was telling myself that it couldn’t possibly be them messaging me, to stop expecting anything, and to just get on with things because it’s Christmas, damn it, and I have presents to wrap!  As soon as I saw it actually WAS from one of them this time, I completely broke down sobbing.  Happy and sad tears.  I was stunned that they actually wanted me to come over.  I really wanted to go.  But I didn’t.

I might be talking to some of them again but not all of them.  I don’t want to be around people that don’t want me around.  One of the biggest things that’s bothering me is that only one of them has been willing to talk things out to try to heal from this.  She’s said that she doubts the others will ever want to talk about it.  Basically, they’d prefer to pretend it never happened.  I can understand that.  I just can’t do it.  Ignoring something doesn’t make anything better and, sometimes, makes it worse.  I can’t go back to acting like nothing has changed and they can’t talk about any of it so the only course of action I see is to remain distant from them.  She and I talked it out.  We’re trying to rebuild.  But she’s the only one that has been willing to talk and I’m afraid that everyone else is totally fine without me and they couldn’t care less if I’m around or not.  Whether or not that’s the case is kind of irrelevant because everything has changed.  We can’t go back to the way things were before.  I wouldn’t want a discussion with a full rehashing of it all because that’s just insane.  I’d settle for apologies and forgiveness as far as the adults go (some of their kids are technically adults but I’m old so I call them kids) and just some reassurance that the kids don’t hate me and won’t be hurt further if I’m around them.  It’s been a fucked up year for everyone and the last thing I wanted to do was possibly make it worse by going over there.  Sure, when I asked, he said everyone was okay with it, but what the hell else are they going to tell him?  I was friends on Facebook with every single one of them until August and while it’s tempting to message those that haven’t added me again to apologize or something that just feels like I’m forcing myself on them.  I did message the one kid that added me but ONLY after she’d added me.  I’m sure everyone knows that I’m active on Facebook again and that I’ve been refriended by some of them but no one else has contacted me.  Knowing that, there was no way I was going to go over and intrude.  And other than a couple of messages, he hasn’t interacted with me on Facebook at all.

I want to believe that eventually everything will be okay.  Right now, though, I’m scared.  I’m scared that they’ll cut me off again if I let them back in, I’m scared that they’ll cut me off because I didn’t feel ready to go over there, I’m scared that it’s way too late to rebuild anything, and I’m scared that I’ll hurt them again somehow because there’s a world of difference between how I cope with my fucked up brain when I isolate myself and how I cope when I’m trying to be a friend.  It was so much easier not interacting with anyone.  It still hurt and I still cried nearly every day over what’s lost but it was definitely easier.  Not better, necessarily, just easier.  It hurts either way.  Letting them back in is so hard because instead of just learning to live without them, I’m having to RElearn how to live with them while knowing that I’ve broken their trust and (whether they see it this way or not), they broke mine.  Even just writing that, I’m afraid they’ll cut me off if they read it.  I’m afraid that if I don’t appear to be miserable and contrite ALL THE TIME they’ll cut me off because they’ll think I’m just pretending to be sorry or trying to manipulate them.  But I know that if I just withdraw and shut everyone out again, I would do more damage to them and to me.  That would be hiding and I won’t learn to cope with anything if I just hide.

I really wanted to go over there.  It hurt so much to say no.

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