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.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sa says:

    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.

  2. Let me tell you about my day… 😉

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