Can’t Always Be the Rock

At times I realize this simple statement – the one in the title there.
But there are sometimes I feel it more than others.  And that is when I don’t have the emotional capacity to take on the problems of others.  What is difficult is getting people to see that I’m not in a place for it – but maybe I am the one looking for an anchor in my own emotional sea of uncertainty.  
Last Saturday was a great example.  G and I had a huge blow out.  Something that had been building for a while.  Something that as we have talked about it more, we realize is based in fear and worry – and not in malice.  It will seem odd to read it, but it was actually a good thing in the end – and has been a good thing.
But here I am – an emotional wreck – and when asked how I was after, I would say “I’m having a shitty night”.  General response seemed to be “oh, I’m sorry – anyway, this is how my night is going – so let’s talk about that.”
Emotionally when people do that, I disengage. If I can’t pull myself physically away – I stop listening and responding – letting them vent until they just shut up.  Until they realize they are going to get nothing from me other than a person to vent at.  
Other times, when I am able to call them out, I get apologizes and explanations geared at making themselves feel better – like the apology and my “it’s ok” will make them feel less guilty.  In the end, it is still about them – how they are feeling – and about me making them feel better – still leaving me adrift in my own emotional sea.
I was thinking about this the other day. And realized there was a time when I just pulled back from everyone.  It was in high school.  I got to a point where I was simply done.  I really had no one I could talk to – so I kept it inside.  I eliminated all the people in my life that were emotional vampires – taking but not giving – and was left alone with maybe a single exception.
But it was a lonely existence.  Do I feel it is a binary thing? I must either be the rock or be alone? No. But finding the balance between the two is nearly impossible at times, or so it feels.
I am very lucky that I have a few people in my life who provide balance. It’s hard though because when they are gone, I am left adrift again.  And I’m realizing I don’t do well adrift.  But I can’t be the rock for everyone, so adrift is better, I guess, than hiding behind my feelings and trying to be something I can’t be.


  1. So many people just want to talk about themselves. We often only notice when we are at the end of our tether….I’m glad you’re feeling better.

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