August 11, 2004

my confession

Itís not a pride thing.

While I have no problem spilling my lifeís woes to my good friend The Internet, itís a different story when it comes to the living, breathing relationships. Iíll refrain from the melodrama of saying ĎI donít want to be a burden,í but to some extent, thatís true.

You see, I have a very real fear of becoming that friend. You know, the high maintenance one who always has some problem or another? Like the restored Chevy you drove in high school that broke down every time the wind blew from a certain direction. As much as you loved the old beast, there came a point where it just wasnít worth all the efforts and cost of repairs.

Yeah, yeah, people are not cars, I know. But still.

Iíd rather slip quietly out of bed to spend an entire night sick on your bathroom floor and have you none the wiser. You need your sleep. Iíd rather promise Iím fine, use too many exclamation points in our late night instant messages and avoid the conversation in which I admit Iím more than a bit overwhelmed. But why? Do I really think that at some point, youíre all going to throw up your hands and say, ďMan, being friends with her is a real pain in the ass. Do I know anyone who has more issues than she does?Ē

Yes, maybe I do.

Itís an unfounded fear. I know that. I am the luckiest girl alive when it comes to supportive friends. To date, not a single friend has run away, cut bait or abandoned ship when I selectively expose the most un-glamorous parts of me. No oneís treated me as broken or looked as though theyíre afraid itís contagious and that they might Ďcatch crazy.í And I have absolutely no reason to believe that they ever would.

But still.

Posted by This Fish at August 11, 2004 10:36 AM

This completly has nothing to do with your entry, but I just stumbled apon your site and I'm definatly adding it to my daily reads. *hugs*

Posted by: Shan at August 11, 2004 10:41 AM

peaches, we're all secretly crazy, and broken, and strange. anyone who balks when another reveals their particular brand of it --be it unglamorous or alarming or just plain odd (or normal!)-- is simply terrified of their own idiosyncracies and foibles. anyone who runs from a friend in need is, plainly put, a complete fuckwit and a coward.

to sum up, we ain't a-goin nowheres.

Posted by: shivery at August 11, 2004 10:55 AM

I do the same thing, though I'm the first to be that supportive friend to others. It's a weird little idiosyncracy, no?

Posted by: Bond Girl at August 11, 2004 11:06 AM

somehow all those foibles always seem "okay" on other people but somehow I expect that I should be perfect. Hang in there!

Posted by: akaellen at August 11, 2004 11:24 AM

dude, we've all been there... :)

Posted by: reality at August 11, 2004 11:26 AM

We're all afraid of being that friend, but as a friend we all have a right to claim our place in the Basket Case Hall Of Fame at least once or twice. Besides having adverse circumstances dumped on you and dealing with them the best you can does not count as crazy. Your situation with your dad is worthy of a mini-breakdown.

Posted by: Sheryl at August 11, 2004 11:42 AM

The crazy thing is that sometimes, it's when you let your guard down and let others in that you realize who the best of your friend are. Everyone needs someone to talk to. You can't do it alone, and from what I have read so far, it looks like you won't have to. Best of luck!

Posted by: Carrie at August 11, 2004 11:48 AM

[replace "you" with "one" in your mind when you read this] having friends who read your blog is hard sometimes. On the one hand, they already know you're crazy and love you anyway, so you can feel free to go "blah blah blah life sucks right now" to your heart's content (but it sucks to have to add "like I already wrote, I don't know if you read or not because it may or may not be new information"). I just say "you knew it when you married me, ha ha you have to listen to me, blah blah blah lifesucks." on the other, sometimes you just want to be distracted by them and not dwell. The good part is, WARNING BAD METAPHOR AHEAD, you are loved spots and all, whether you use cover-up for them or not.

Posted by: jen at August 11, 2004 12:01 PM

"but still" nothing. i've learned there are points/long over-drawn stages in everyones life that they need to be listener and where they'll feel like they are "that friend". life is a two sided coin so enjoy the loyalty and sweetness your friends give you now, one day it'll be there turn to need you. ps-love your writing. :)

Posted by: missie at August 11, 2004 12:14 PM

Recognizing the possibility of being "that friend" means that it's extremely unlikely that you'll become one. Most such people are oblivious to how others are affected by them.

Us humans are social animals: shared pain is lessened and shared joy is increased. Internet sharing is fine, but real life sharing is better. The immediate feedback of hugs, tissues, and fat/sugar/alcohol laden products can't be faked with text.

I've always felt honoured rather than burdened when a friend was comfortable enough with me to share their burdens. I don't know your friends except through their blogs, but it seems to me they'd feel the same.

Posted by: Coelecanth at August 11, 2004 12:44 PM

Firstly, I can't "catch" what I've already got.

Secondly, I can't believe you have an unglamorous side. I simply won't believe that of the Fish. This is plain and simple self-slander. No friggin' way.

Posted by: Esther at August 11, 2004 12:44 PM

And I like that Shiv called you "Peaches."

Posted by: Esther at August 11, 2004 12:47 PM

I'm really lucky to have amazing wonderful friends, too, but I still worry about burdening them with my problems. I keep more of my own problems to myself than I like, and generally end up dealing with other people's problems. This isn't anyone's fault but my own, but it can be difficult at times.

Posted by: DeAnn at August 11, 2004 01:27 PM

Never in a million luv... never :)

{* esp. since I fully intend to drop all sorts of wacky on you one day and want to build up some reserve*}

kiss kiss

Posted by: Ari at August 11, 2004 01:27 PM

This one time I had just left my husband , slept with my meathead roommate- thought I was pregnant with meathead roommate's baby, and in general was freaking the fuck out. And my friend looks at me and says very simply "it's okay." And that was the single most poignant advice I've ever gotten.

Posted by: Ms Koolaid at August 11, 2004 01:41 PM

....everybody already said what I would have if I'd read this post before them, but: You are not a burden. Really. You are a delightful young woman who has approached her actually very normal life with grace and spirit. Don't think for one minute that any of your friends would think of you as any type of burden. Or, if you do think that anyway once in a while, don't listen to you.

Hang on a little longer.... You only have to hold it together for a little bit at a time, you know.....

Posted by: lawyerchik1 at August 11, 2004 02:32 PM

I hardly know you, dainty & witty fish, but I surely couldn't imagine anyone who does running away from being your friend. You're one of the cool chicks. ;)

Posted by: whirlygurly at August 11, 2004 04:39 PM

Just a fan, feeling your pain of late, with one small thing to say. If you were the friend on the other side of your current coin, I get the sense you would be the first in line to offer an ear, or support, or a hug, or spare car parts. Why would you deny those obviously wonderful souls who surround you the same privilege on your behalf. 'Tis what friends do.

Posted by: Jennifer at August 11, 2004 05:16 PM

i often feel like that sort of friend myself. they're always saying the same sort of things, too, to make me feel better, and i think i've begun to be immune to hearing them. the internet is such an interesting outlet, although, in my attempts to confess about the true nature of my feelings i seem to have aliented everyone! i don't think i have a point here. but i'm grateful to you for continually sharing your experiences in such a heartfelt manner. and i offer no advice, just continuing eyes to read, and the ears to hear in person, when i'm lucky. take care h. i think of you and your happiness all the time!

Posted by: sassylittlepunkin at August 11, 2004 06:27 PM

I've never met you, I've never talked to you, I only know of you what you chose to post here, and I've commented only once before.

*squishy hug*

Posted by: Tess at August 11, 2004 10:33 PM

Hi, just got home tonight & caught up on your blog. So sorry. Let's chat soon.

Posted by: C at August 12, 2004 05:54 AM

thats why we have friends, so we can have someone to lean on, and you my dear have a lot of them. ;)

Posted by: Chigirl at August 12, 2004 09:13 AM

I hate to be the contrarian... but it's happened to me. No, my friends didn't cut bait or run away or anything... but I think it got to be annoying to be around me because there was always something. I'm now trying to show some of them that there IS another side to me, and I'm actually enjoyable to be around...

...I really wish I'd kept it all to myself.

Posted by: Kim at August 12, 2004 12:09 PM

My cousin stated once:

"Good times are for aquaintences, bad times are for friends. You can figure out the people you love by the ones you know all the dirt on and still love you. You can figure out your friends by the ones who know how truly you are messed up and still love you."

He then turned to me and said, "A lot of people won't trust or really like you till you share some of your problems with them. It makes them know you trust them and then they trust you."

I have not forgotten that moment in 17 years and that is when he became my friend.

Posted by: Jonathan at August 12, 2004 01:17 PM

Coffee I can do without, but NOT my diet pepsi.

Posted by: Shawn at August 13, 2004 11:58 AM

Wow...exactly. Too bad those same feelings carry over to my relationship as well.

Posted by: hijinks at August 13, 2004 02:51 PM