Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Plea for Understanding

I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face.
I am so tempted to ask myself, "What is wrong with me?"
But I am trying to look at myself differently . . .

So let's try a different question: "What happened?"
What happened is that I have been drained to the point of crashing.
I don't understand why I have such a low emotional capacity.
I am crying for no other reason than I have been engaged emotionally for too long today.
And this is such a predicament because interacting with people demands emotion.
There is no way around it.
I have tried being numb so that I can protect myself,
but people have emoti-meters . . . they pick up my numbness quickly.
Maybe I just numb myself too deeply that it becomes too apparent.
But if I don't numb myself I become drained.
Like today.
I don't want to see or talk to anyone else.
I feel like I have to go lay down and recuperate.
This is when I wish I had a couch.
All I have to retreat to is my bed.
Hide away--
from people.

I really don't hate people.
I promise.
I would be lonely without them.
But I can only handle being around people with large emotional vacuoles for so long.
And it is not just physical presence either.
In today's technology-inflated world,
I would need to take a sledge hammer to my phone and my laptop.
(Please envision Office Space printer scene here--or at least pause to look it up on YouTube.)

There has to be another way.
There are truly people out there that understand me.
People that are not offended when I say that I don't have enough energy to hang out with them tonight.
Or people who don't flip out when I say I want to end our conversation quickly.
But those people are few and far between.
Once again, I am tempted to say that there must be something wrong with me--some mutation that me and a couple other people have in our genes.
But I am going to resist.
Instead I will simply say: I am different.
(And that's okay.)

But now to deal with the tears running down my cheeks;
and the fact that I don't want to deal with another single person for 12 or so hours.
(Which is not going to work out well because my mother is on her way over to my apartment.)
I think a huge part is making sure that people--people that I want to keep in my life and avoid hurtting--understand me: who I am, how I operate, what makes me tick, what makes me colapse in a puddle of tears, pull down all the blinds, and hide under my covers.
But I so rarely open my mouth to explain.
Because I am worried that the other person is going to misunderstand me and get hurt by me.
And this fear has proven true!
I have tried to explain myself--
and hurt the other person in the process.
It happened today, in fact!
So I try to keep my mouth shut.
But then I end up with tears running down my face.

What do I do?
I suppose I keep trying--
trying to be respectfully myself.
Keep trying to explain who I am,
and what I need.
Is this a version of boundary formation?
I suppose it is.
But it is exhausting.
Especially because it involves the very real risk of letting others down.
And what about those who continue to misunderstand me?
Those who refuse to accept who I am?
And push me to the limit--
until I have crashed and no more relating is even physically possible?
I suppose . . .
I suppose I keep trying. . . .
But eventually I have to protect myself.
Because to allow myself to continually be drained is to deny the way that I was made.
I was not made with a large emotional capacity.
I don't care how much the world--
the people around me--
want me to change.
Only so much change is possible.
Clay is very moldable--
and I am clay in my Maker's hands--
but I am only moldable in His hands.
If someone other than the Potter tries to--
pull clay to its limit,
after it has begun to set,
eventually the pieces will break apart.
I don't want break.

please try to understand.
I don't hate people.
I don't hate you.
I am just a fragile person
with a small sized emotional lung.
Please don't try to hyper-inflate me;
it hurts,
and eventually my elasticity will run out.

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