Sometimes I still doubt my ability to be a good friend to people. I used to jump in with no qualms about saying, "Well, I care! I can be kind, and perhaps even helpful." I fell on my face a few times, or in some cases got forcibly knocked on my face. It made me wary and less likely to/ less interested in being close to people. Extra little voices in my head whispering, "Why try? This will just fuck itself up. You'll fuck it up. Fuck it..."
When people, including me, have conflicts, differences or breakups I'm always trying to See Both Sides, Understand and just deal with the fact that a Disconnect exists without placing too much Blame. And usually I'm pretty successful at getting my mynd around it that way.
But in a couple cases in my life - we're not talking anything recent btw - I can only conclude that I was Brutally Thrown Away, in some cases with zero explanation, and it messed with my head. I'm also a big fan of Not Letting Things Mess With My Head but I'm not made of stone. Sometimes, I feel pain. Sometimes, I crack.
Several incidents that happened to me around 2002-2003 left their marks on top of the scars that happened decades before. I'm afraid to open up to anybody again if I don't know them very well, if we don't share some context that preferably goes back to Before Some Shit Happened. New people are Not to be trusted... I have enuf on my plate dealing with some of the Old people. Who are not perfect, but they're the Devils I Know, as opposed to New Improved Devils I Don't, and if they've stayed in my life long enuf to become "Old people" then there's something there even if we bicker and fight every six months. They stayed in my life. Other ppl couldn't be bothered to. That says something, right there.
When ppl are kind sometimes I don't know what to do with that. When W texts me something like, "I love you and I'm glad you're in my life," I like it but it also scares me. I'd rather she just made a joke or maybe even yelled at me because I'm always waiting for the yelling and ignoring and ditching out to commence. The fact that I could even be part of something like Heedfest and get through 2 days of being open to largely strange ppl without anyone screaming at me or deciding they didn't want me around is in hindsight a bit mind boggling. I chalk that one up to the Power of Bob. (And beer ;)
Like my skittish cats, I want a pet but I hang back cuz I'm always expecting it will be a fist instead. If not this time, then the next time. You don't get the one without the other. Few people have proved otherwise.
Did you ever feel a connection to someone, an understanding? I'm not talking about sex or "a relationship" or "love", those are all kind of "ugh" words to me at this point based on the number of people whose idea of "connection" or "understanding" translates to "my organs are lonely let's hop in the sack." I'm talking about actually talking. About Being There for each other, about acknowledging someone's existence as something way more important and crewcial than a damn plug or socket. Did you ever have that with someone and then have it all vanish seemingly overnight with nothing left but ashes and abandonment and people screaming at you, terrible, unreasonable things happening to you and being done to you and you can't seem to stop the movie. If you have had that, then you know how I feel.