I’d like just once to not think it’s my fault when someone acts strangely. I’d like to learn to think, “They’re having a bad day.” Or, “They’re too busy to answer my email.” Or – well, whatever would be a reasonable explanation instead of, “Oh no, what did I do wrong? I’m a bad person/I did a bad thing.”
Think I’ll ever learn that lesson? Or do I just need to grow a thicker skin and learn not to let other people affect me as they do? Because I find myself walking on eggshells, hoping I haven’t pissed someone off or hurt their feelings or neglected them or a multitude of sins that I blame myself for when someone acts abnormally.
I spend a lot of energy going over what I said or didn’t say, what I did or didn’t do, trying to figure out if their behavior is my fault. I usually assume it is. It takes a great deal of effort to remind myself that I do NOT carry the responsibility of the world on my shoulders. That relationships are a two-way street, and it takes effort on both sides. And sometimes friendships just change, or fade, and it’s no one’s fault – it just is.
Anyway, I think it’s partly because of my transient existence right now, feeling homeless and rootless, that I’m less confident and stable than normal. That I’m constantly examining every situation to make sure I’ve done it right – or at least not done it wrong. It makes me want to crawl back in my cave and never come out, so I can’t hurt anyone – or so they can’t hurt me. Maybe that’s more what it is, now I think about it.
I’m reminded of the Simon and Garfunkle lyrics: Hiding in my room / Safe within my womb / I touch no one and no one touches me / I am a rock / I am an island / And a rock feels no pain / And an island never cries.
Funny that after yesterday’s post about accepting who and what I am, now I’m feeling fragile, fighting to convince myself that I’m okay, that I haven’t done anything hurtful intentionally, and that whatever other people are thinking and feeling about me, I can’t change or control.
(The psychologist in me whispers that believing that everything is your fault is egocentric and to lighten up, because you’re just not that important.)
I need to give myself a break, and stop thinking so much. Watch a funny movie like Overboard (with a nod to Deb). Or get on the road and drive a few thousand miles, and escape from the responsibilities of the world for a while. Where all I’m responsible for is keeping the car between the lines, filling it with gas, and occasionally stopping to eat and sleep…
Today’s my last day in Idaho. I’m sad, and not ready to leave. But looking forward to the next chapter in my life – whatever the heck it is. Anyway, I’ll write more about this later. I’m going to enjoy every last second today, and try not to piss anyone off…