At the bottom of my hole.
I realise that I have spent most of the last year in it, whichis possibly why it’s all warm and familiarly bleak and desolate.
I’ve always been a kind of put yourself out there person—holdingback is something I’ve tried and failed at on several occasions. The mostmemorable was one that ended in such depression that I scared the watchman bycrying all night and he called my mum, who came home early from a trip. Therapyand changes to my life later, I realised that there was no point fighting who Iam: an open-hearted person who can’t really say no and can’t demand certainbehaviour from people. No, I’m not a little martyr, but frankly, if you have toask a friend to respect your feelings, then they’re not really much of a friendto you after all.
I try to see the other person’s point of view; I try toaccept their choices and let them choose how they will be with me, and I hopeearnestly that they will do right by me. A sort of do-as-you-would-be-done-byphilosophy. I wonder if there’s any point to it sometimes, but I know I can’t adoptdo-as-you-were-done-by strand of thought. I guess, for me, the lodestone isthis: when I look back at how I behaved in ten years’ time, will I be ashamed ofwhat I did and/or said? I’m not saying I always succeed, but I like to thinkthat I have always done right by the people I care about. I don’t always agreewith them, but I support them and I play by the rules of our friendship.
Sometimes, people screw up. When I care about them, I can’thelp but give them second chances, third chances, forty-fourth chances. Like I didwith BBot. Like I did with OOF. Sometimes I wonder if that’s the wrong way tobe. Should I simply stand firm on the one strike and you’re out principle? Willit save me from hurt and anger and loneliness? But then, if everyone is out onone strike, won’t I be lonely anyway? So where to draw the line? I have neverknown where to draw the line.
Maybe I embrace people too easily. As the Glare puts it, Igotta hike up my standards! Even Appa agrees, as he told me when I was sobbing onthe phone with them last night. You’re a warm and welcoming person, he said.But sometimes maybe you’re too welcoming. Sometimes you should hold back.
Ah if I had a dollar for every time someone’s said that tome. I might be able to adopt kids tomorrow.
But it’s not who I am, I insist. I am a loving person;I can’t hold back. It’s worth it for all the wonderful people I have in mylife. I might have a bad score for percentage of bad boyfriends, but it’s adecent score on the relative scale of horrible boyfriends. And I might have hadfriends desert me several times in my life, but it’s a decent score when youlook at the percentage of people I have in my life.
And yet, I am alone, and my ex-boyfriend is more important to my belovedfriend of eight years than I am.
I must be doing something wrong, no?
No, says Appa. You are doing nothing wrong. There is nothingwrong with you. You are smart and strong, and you will find your way.
What would I do without my parents?
And then he made me laugh, because he said this when we weretalking about my inability to find love. “Sometimes it’s difficult in your lifebecause you can’t find enough people of the opposite sex, or, as the case maybe, the same sex. But it will come to you in time.”
Yes, my crusty father, with his bizarre flashes of extreme authoritarianconservatism, told me he’ll support me if I’m gay.