Okay, so here is what I am learning: I give too much. I expect too much. And I am horribly bad at friendships because of it.

Something tonight just 'clicked' for me while I was talking to a 'friend' of mine. This person does not know me incredibly well, and that is actually a good thing in this case. The 'click' I heard was the maximum number of people saying something until I finally believed it. I have had so many people tell me that I expect too much from friends and that is why I always feel lonely or like people are not really my friends. Family has said this, friends have said this, my ex has said this. And now I am thinking it must be true. I admit that the amount I talk to someone indicates the level of friendship I feel with them (with offline friends). (Online friends are different and will not even be mentioned here. Expectations are different. I can somehow feel close to an online friend I do not talk to every day, perhaps because conversations are longer and more honest via e-mail or IM. For whatever reason, I do not take issue with online friends unless I truly feel the friendship dwindling.) If I talk to someone once a week, that is a decent friendship to me. If I talk to them more than once a week, that is a close friend. If I talk to them every few months, that is an acquaintance. I have been told this is wrong and that I should not expect to talk within certain timeframes. Unfortunately, this is always how I have been and I will likely never be able to talk myself into thinking differently.

I had this friend tonight tell me, as I have had other people tell me, that you can remain close while not talking often. I have no idea how to do this and I do not really want that in my life. If that person has the ability to call me and hang out with me, why are they not taking advantage of that? I am told that I have to accept this as being the way things are. I feel like if someone cannot make time for me, they are not really a friend. I know people get busy, of course, and that is fine. But should you not be talking to these people regularly in order to remain 'close'? How are you close with someone you only talk to every few months? Imagine being in a relationship where you only talked and saw each other every few months? That would be hell and eventually, one or both people would tire of it. (I say this based on experiences with long-distance relationships. They never work.) I just do not know how to equate 'closeness' with 'talking every few months.' To me, that is not a good friendship. That is more like an acquaintanceship. Time, unfortunately, matters when you do not have consistency with people in your life. Time does not matter to everyone, but it matters to me.

The second part to that is... yes, the type of conversations are also indicative of how close I consider myself to that person. If we discuss superficial things like work and movies, they can be a friend but not a close friend. If we discuss personal issues, self-esteem, relationships and things of this nature, I would consider that person a close friend. Typically, I do not have those discussions with people who drift in and out of my life (I term these as "acquaintances"). I have never felt like someone I discussed those superficial things with has been a close friend, even if we talked about those superficial things every day. Close friends open up to each other about their feelings and are able to have friendly debates or intellectual discussions. Close friends are able to be vulnerable with each other and discuss personal flaws they would not discuss with just anyone. There is some sort of line, I feel, between an acquaintance and a close friend in that respect. I do not discuss personal relationship issues (if I am in one) with an acquaintance, for example.

So yes, the way I define a good friendship is two-fold: intervals of communication and topics of discussion. Obviously, included in topics of discussion would be having that person care enough to listen when I am having problem or offering me help when I need it. This would include me being able to be there for them in times of need as well. In other words, the person is around often enough to know when you are going through a rough time and need some extra support. I would call this a third point, but it should be a given. A close friend should be there for you, and you should be there for a close friend... any time possible.

I am told, time and time again, this is all wrong. I have been told by friends and exes that I should not expect anything from anyone. I love how I am called a cynic by so many people, and yet I seem to have the most optimistic (and I am told stupid) outlook on friendship. I believe you can have a friend for life. I believe that you can connect with someone so strongly that you are able to overcome every bumpy road and every challenge the friendship faces. I do. I also believe, even if not from experience, that a couple in love can get through anything together and survive a lifetime (or close to a lifetime) together. I believe that type of love exists. In fact, I thought I found it once and it was the most earth-shattering thing to admit it was obviously not it. I just believe in these things. And people keep telling me I am so foolish and that I expect too much. Why? I think I see other people have these friendships. I feel I have them for certain periods of time. I feel I have been really, really close to people for a long time... and then it usually ends terribly with them completely betraying me in some way. I am never the one to let go first, and maybe that says something about my determination... or something about my foolish optimism.

This is just making me more and more depressed, all of these people telling me that what I want and what I (believe I) need does not exist. I am starting to believe them though. Tonight, as I said, I felt like, 'Okay, this is the x person to tell me this. This is obviously reality and I am the one who is wrong.' But I mean, really? I just want someone I can share everything with, someone I am not afraid or embarrassed to talk to about anything. I want someone I can talk to on the phone or hang out with and have it be equally as meaningful. I do not want someone who is dependent on me, but I want someone who feels like they need me or at least really want me in their life. Is this so weird? I think I see it all the time. I feel like so many people have those friendships. In fact, I feel like the majority of people have someone like this in their life. Am I wrong? Am I watching too much Sex and the City? I joke about that, but in all honestly, that is sort of what I am looking for in a friendship. I want people I talk to every day or every other day... or at least weekly. Is that honestly bizarre? Is there something wrong with me for wanting that?

Everyone has told me that I need to change my outlook. Everyone has said I expect too much. Am I? I want to know the answer. I want to know if there are friends out there who talk every day and are very close and share everything with each other. I want to know if this is some fantasy I have made up in my head or if I actually did witness people having these types of friendships in life. You read about them, at the very least, these people who have been friends for years and years and still do a weekly brunch... or still maintain some sort of ritual that they do every year or every month. Friends who know each other's families. Friends who will offer you honest advice. Friends who will be there when you really need support. I feel like this does exist. But everyone keeps telling me to get my head out of the clouds.

Has this caused a strain on current friendships? Absolutely. Has it caused a strain in new friendships I have built this year? Yes. I have had friends scream at me for complaining. I do not consider myself 'needy.' I would never describe myself that way. But when I go without hearing from someone I consider myself close to for weeks, I will ask them what gives. If it is someone I have known for a long time, I can be a little abrasive about it, which I know is wrong. But yes, I have confronted friends I feel I do not speak to enough or ones where I feel the conversations are getting into 'neutral' territory. For example, I recently had a friend I was very close to for almost a year. All of a sudden, he stopped telling about anything personal going on with his life or expressing any feelings that could make him vulnerable in any way. All we talked about, suddenly, were superficial things like movies or video games. When something was wrong, it was like pulling teeth trying to get it out of him. There was this drastic change and I confronted him about it, angry and upset, asking if I had done something wrong. I cannot stand people that I am close to cutting me off or the contact suddenly dwindling for no apparent reason. Let's say for example a close friend has a baby. Would I be understanding if that person suddenly talked to me less? Yes. It is when there is no real reason for a drop in contact or personal conversations that I get upset. Back to the friend above, I had no idea how to handle it. At that point, I just kind of felt the friendship was over. Or at least, the close friendship was over and we had moved into acquaintanceship territory, so certain things were off limits. Again, I was left devastated. This always happens to me. Once in a while, I will get what I need out of a friendship... but then I lose it for either no real reason or a bad reason, like the friend betraying me.

I seem to spend a lot of time trying to define my friendships with people, and this is likely because I do not know what is okay and what is not when people do not draw me a line in the sand. If I only talk to someone once every few months, do they even care about something that happened to me a month ago? When I have a "close friend," I do not have to worry about that. We catch up all the time, so of course I am going to be telling that friend what happened. I will likely talk to that "close friend" the same day or a few days later. It only makes sense to tell them. Not only do a spend a lot of time defining my friendships, but I spend a lot of time trying to turn them into what I want. I do not do this in a selfish way, but I just assume certain things will happen when things are going well. Like, if I am having great conversations on the phone with someone, I assume we will likely hang out somewhere in person. And this is where all the disappointment comes in. No one can ever tell me flat out that they do not want 'that' type of friendship with me. I suppose people think I will get really upset, or perhaps they are lying and trying to spare my feelings. Once I start trying to turn the friendship into this, things start going terribly wrong. 'What's wrong with not talking for a few days?' they will ask. At that time, it seems like "nothing" would be a good answer. But in reality, it bothers me. Why not? Why can we not that often? Is there something wrong with that? Do I bore them? Do they not want that type of friendship with me? I start feeling insecure. And I start feeling disappointed that the friendship is not going where I thought it was going. In this way, it is sort of like a relationship/lover. You expect it to evolve and grow, and when it does not, it just sort of fizzles and you go your separate ways.

I do not try to turn every friendship into a "close friendship," of course. I only start having expectations when things have been consistent for a long time. I just kind of expect it to continue (if nothing else, like a baby, gets in the way). When friendships in high school did not survive graduation, I did not take it badly. That was something I expected. It is when I do not see a real reason for communication to seize or become more spread out that it starts bothering me. So I do realize that I suddenly expect people to start living up to expectations we have not blatantly discussed. I just feel that if a friendship going in a certain direction I remain positive about it, feeling confident that we will grow closer and continue communicating regularly. This, yes, might be wrong. But how the hell do you know when you are both on the same page? The only way is to ask, and if they lie to spare your feelings, you will continue having those expectations and not have them met. I am not trying to point a finger at the other people, but I really do not feel like people are honest with me when they should be (which is always). I am then left very confused and sometimes hurt. I suppose I see potential a lot of others do not.

I have no idea what any of this means. I could be some intensely needy freak and not even know. I feel like people are trying to suggest this even though I am perfectly happy with a lot of alone time. I just also, in addition to being alone a lot, want some close friends whom I can depend on and call over for dinner and go out with on a fairly regular basis. I want my phone to ring sometimes. I want to text someone and receive a reply that same day. I want someone to go to when I am really upset, someone who does not feel it is a burden to comfort me (which acquaintances usually do). I just want everything I am giving or willing to give. But if what they say is right, then I am giving far too much to everyone I know. How do you just stop giving? I suppose in one respect they are right: I cannot expect what I give if I give excessively. In most ways, I honestly do not expect everything I give back. I know I give a lot and it would be hard to keep up. Sometimes I just do things because I am a nice person, and I do not expect anything in return. But with close friends, I sort of want them to want to spend the same amount of time with me that I want to spend with them. I do not always want to feel like I care more than they do. But I always, always do. And this is another reason I feel like these people, who are telling me this is a stupid way to live, are right. If I am always left disappointed or feeling sort of empty, perhaps the fault is mine.

I almost hate myself for being as giving as I am. At some point, no matter how selfless you try to be, you want something back. You want someone to care. You want someone to really like spending time with you. You want someone else to initiate contact for once. I do not expect much from most people. But when I really, really connect with someone and open up to them--and they open up to me--is it so wrong to want that to continue? Am I only allowed this in small doses? I just... thought other people had these types of friendships. Maybe I am wrong.

The worst part is not admitting these people are right in that I expect too much and those friendships do not exist. The worst part is that after I admit that, I am not sure I can live with it. I am not sure I can live with mediocre friendships or just a ton of acquaintanceships for the rest of my life. I like friendships that last years and years, and even better if it is for life even though I realize that is rare. I am, in a way, dependent on these to be happy. If I do not have at least one person I talk to consistently, I feel angry, resentful, depressed and lonely. Like right now, for example. I feel like there is a constant void within me, and that void is due to a lack of meaningful friendships... friendships that stay even when the love of your life does not.

I am not sure I can settle for what people are offering me. If that makes me a bad person, so be it. In my eyes, I do not feel it makes me terrible. I just want something really meaningful. I want some of what I give back. If this does not exist, I am going to be really unhappy in life. Friendship is important to me. No matter how much I tell myself that I am fine alone, I am not fine being completely alone or only with people who drift in and out of my life whenever they want. Eventually, those drifters stop talking to me all together, and I suppose that is why I need to know if it is that sort of friendship or not. I need to know how much to invest.

Even tonight, when I was talking to my friend, I realized I am probably going to get really hurt again. We have been really close over the past few months and I really want it to continue, but he drew the line in the sand. First of all, he said that I will likely never hang out in his social circle. This hurt. A lot. He said I would probably not like most of his friends (because they are superficial party animals) and that he is not the type to bring new people into the circle anyway. He also said that at some point, the communication might die down and he is perfectly fine with that. Already, I know I am too invested in it because I am not okay with that like he is. And it hurts because I feel like I really have something good with him. We have such amazing conversations and debates. We can talk for three hours on the phone and not run out of anything to say. We see each other every week, for the time being, and it is always great fun. But he seems terrified to make any sort of commitment to this friendship, suggesting that we may drift but that is okay and we would still be friends even if we barely talked. (And I do not mean in a relationship sense because we both agreed we do not want to date each other. I realize this entire situation has a stigma attached to it because he is male and I am female, but I assure you, it is not like that.) Like, why? Why is it that someone cannot ever say to me, 'Hey. You are worth having around for a long time. I hope we stay friends.' What is so wrong with that? I am starting to think it is wrong to feel this way and that I should never expect anyone to tell me those things. I am starting to feel that asking someone for commitment to a friendship--not a lover--is wrong. Is it?

I know, I know I am going to get terribly hurt with this friend. I absolutely know, after that conversation, I am far more invested in it than I should be (or than he is, whatever way you want to look at it). I thought things were going really well. He has assured me time and time again that he really likes what we have and that he really enjoys spending time with me. But on the flip side, he also says there is a good chance this will not last. Why? Why? Why? How does he know? Has he already decided this? Why even say that if you are not sure? It confuses me. He did say he wants to remain friends, but he also said even if we drift, oh well. I just do not take the "oh well" approach when it comes to people I really enjoy. And I suppose that is a huge flaw. I have to approach everything more casually. But I am incapable of doing this. I want everything to be lasting and meaningful, fun and inspiring. I hate the superficial. I despise it when it comes to friendship. I despise social networks like Facebook (admittedly, I do have a Facebook account but I bitch about it on a weekly basis) where people just write about meaningless garbage and where "liking" a post means you read it or even cared what it said. Bullshit. It is all such bullshit. I want more than that.

The truth is, even though I now have to prepare myself to lose yet another friend, I am glad we had that conversation. It will not stop me from investing in the friendship or prevent me from being there for him in any way I can. But the conversation felt like the beginning of a new chapter in my life, the chapter where I either have to get help for these feelings of loneliness I experience when I do not have a close friendship in my life or the chapter where I somehow accept a variety of mediocre friendships in the place of one or a few very meaningful ones. I have to decide what I can live with. And right now, I think I am going to opt for getting help because I do not feel like I can live happily without close bonds, especially now that I have lost the love of my life. I feel like the word to describe what I am feeling is "suffering." I feel terribly, terribly depressed about this on a daily basis, and I have for a very long time.

If anyone was crazy enough to read all of this, I would be very interested to hear your critiques on what you think my problem is or how you view friendships. Feel free to be as critical as you like. I am open to hearing anything on this subject.

I cannot do this anymore. Seriously. I have had enough. Everything is so messed up right now and it keeps getting worse. I feel like every time I try to catch my balance, the volcano erupts again. What will it take to catch a break?

i. Things are really messed up with one of the two people I have left. Our friendship is falling apart and I have no idea why. I feel physically ill every time I talk to him because we are not really talking. My stomach is just in knots over this, and I am walking around feeling like I am going to throw up any moment, all day long. Something changed overnight and he is distancing himself from me more as each day goes by. I am always, always the one to initiate contact now; he used to initiate equally and then it just stopped. We are barely talking. The communication we do have consists of useless online exchanges. I am not sure if he is just trying to let me off easy (ending the friendship) or if maybe he is just going through something right now that I cannot help him with. I have tried. I have tried to fix it but nothing is working. If there is one person I cannot lose, it is him. I knew this would happen. It always does. And yet my lack of preparation suggests I will never learn, no matter how many times they leave.

ii. My father might have cancer. We are waiting for the biopsy, but the doctor was concerned enough to request one. He said he saw something that could be the beginnings of cancer. Colon cancer runs in our family with two previous male family members having died from it already.

iii. The job hunt is still miserable. I have next to no motivation left. I am depressed, I am angry and I have no idea how you continue to job hunt feeling that way. I wonder how much longer I can press on with it. I am clinging to the last bits of motivation I have to keep applying for things, but I feel impending doom and I still cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. What will this take? What will it take to find a job? I am going insane. Literally. I think there is something warped with my mind. I feel like my brain is fried. This situation has made me question so many things I was sure about before. I keep thinking, this is all setting me back. I am a few years away from 30 and I do not even have a job! How long is it going to take now to get into an actual career? Am I going to be 40 before that happens? When will I ever move out of here and into my own place? I need to start saving for retirement. I need to get this student debt paid off. All because of this job issue, I am so worried about my future. I am terrified. My life is just wasting away.

iv. I am not even going to start with my relationship. That would take all day.

v. I quit my exercise routine. Again, this depression has a domino effect. I am not motivated to work-out anymore despite my appearance being one of the main things causing my depression. I have gained weight since I have been unemployed, and that is obviously not good. I need to be taking the weight off, not putting it on. I feel inspired watching others get their routines together, but I am still lacking the motivation to start my own. I was doing so well with it for a while. I am so mad at myself. I wish I could wake up tomorrow and start over, sticking with it no matter what.

vi. Talking no longer helps. Nothing and no one can pull me out of this. It feels like drowning. I am still open to advice or recommendations though.

Sometimes I really have no idea what the point is. Excuse me for playing victim, but I feel like I spend most of my life not getting what I deserve or having my character and appearance assassinated. I feel like I am constantly defending myself or trying to explain myself. I feel like there are too many people who want to fill the position of tearing me down and insulting me. People I barely know feel entitled to fill it, especially lately. But you know, that position was filled a long time ago. It was filled by my father and I can barely take his constant criticism, forget everyone else's. Somehow, I have ended up in the exact place I was when I was thirteen: depressed, unmotivated, resentful and completely hating myself. This downward spiral looks and feels so familiar. I am back here for different reasons this time, but regardless--the feelings are almost identical. I am getting the nagging feeling that I need help.

You know what I hate most? Even when I am having a good day, someone or something has to ruin it. I can never just have a great day. I can never just feel good. At some point, before twenty-four hours is up, something ruins it. Always, no exaggeration. I am constantly asking people, "Why are you trying to spoil my mood?" Whenever I am happy, I have to be punished. I know that is not actually how life is, but that is what it feels like to me.

Somehow, after I lost my job (this time around), things fell apart. My relationship, my few friendships (which have dwindled down to one), my motivation, my self-esteem. Everything that could possibly go wrong has. Oh, sure, things could be worse. They can always be worse. But as for the things I had, say, last year... compared to what I have now... all of that has gone wrong. Everything has withered away into nothingness. I fooled myself into thinking the people in my life actually cared about me, and that was my biggest mistake. How on earth, after the life I have had, could I have let my guard down? It always amazes me how forgiving I am and how many chances I am willing to give people. I have no idea how I got to be this way. On the one hand, it is nice to possess such qualities. On the other hand, I put up with too much.

Sometimes I rant to an online friend I have who does not know me all that well, and he is always so confused when I tell him the things that other people say to me. "These people are your friends?" he will ask. And I step back and ask myself the same question. I am confused too. For example, if you are dating me, why are you calling me a 'fucking liar,' a child, chickenshit, an emotional blackmailer and a manipulator? Or if I am your daughter, what the hell are you doing telling me I am "lucky" there are men who will date me and that I make it hard to love me? Or if I am your niece, what are you doing saying I am not a strong person? If you are my friend, what are you doing ending the friendship without so much as a goodbye or explanation? If you are my friend, why do you never call and rely on pointless Facebook comments to communicate? If you are my friend, why do you cancel every single plan we make at the last minute? If you are my friend, why did you say 'let's get together' a month ago and never follow through? If you are my friend, why did you ignore me for months without explanation and then expect us to pick up where we left off when you came to your senses? What is going on?! And predominantly, what are these people doing claiming that they treat me well and that they will not apologize for any insults they have tossed out? WHY?

I am pretty much at my breaking point, to be honest. I am almost ready to wipe the slate clean. That would involve me cutting off contact with absolutely everyone in my (offline) life right now. None of them are supportive. None of them offer me any sort of motivation or positive reinforcement. Instead of being there for me through this job hunt, my boyfriend looks for ways that this could possibly be my fault. Picking apart my cover letters, saying that maybe I am doing poorly in interviews, saying I am not working fast enough, saying I am not doing enough, saying my approach is all wrong. It could not possibly be the economy, bad luck or employers just not giving me a chance. It has to be something I am doing. How about, "Keep going"? How about, "You are doing a good job under the circumstances"? How about, "What can I do to help?" How about, "Is there anything I can do to make it easier?" How about, "You will find something"? How about, "I know it is tough but just keep sticking it out, it will eventually pay off"? How about anything positive? All I hear about is what a fuck-up I am and how I must be doing everything wrong or poorly. Despite being such a hard worker and entirely capable, I have not been snatched up. No. So? Suddenly I am unworthy of a good job because of something I am/am not doing?

What in hell does it take to please people? No one is ever satisfied. I feel like I am always putting my own wants and needs on the backburner to try and please the few people left in my life. I am clinging to these people for dear life, making sure they know I love and care about them... and what do I get back? Nothing. These people constantly insult me and make me feel like garbage. And somehow, everything is turned around on me. No one wants to take responsibility for anything. No one would dare admit they might be wrong or that perhaps they were being verbally abusive. Hell, my father still says, to this day, that he feels I deserved to be assaulted by him a few years back. No apology was ever uttered and it never will be.

I feel like I had more self-esteem even just a few months ago. People have tried really hard to snatch the bit I had left these past few months. I claim to be a strong person, but if I am, what in hell am I doing allowing this to happen? Sometimes I rationalize it by saying people only turn their back on me after a long period of time. In terms of friends, this is very true. After ten years, someone will flip out on me and end it for no reason. This has happened several times in the past few months alone. It happened to me again just last week! I am not saying longevity is all that matters, but these are people I cared about and thought cared about me. They have not all been 'best friends,' but they have been close friends and people I talked to on a regular basis. And bam, it ends. There is no fight. It just ends. And almost every single person refuses to tell me why.

The person last week? Their response when I asked what the deal was? "Meh." And that was it. They will not speak to me anymore. I have no idea what I did or what went wrong with any of these people. Do I really want to keep living my life this way? No. But can I control it? No. The only thing I can do is get out of a friendship that I feel is doing more harm than good. And despite my good judgement, I almost never see it coming. I cannot predict people and their erratic and irrational behaviour. I cannot get out before it is too late because all of these endings come out of nowhere. Several years ago, I had a six-year friendship end and they told me it was because we were too different and that it was just a surface friendship. Hm. Here I was investing everything I had into that friendship, thinking it was fantastic, feeling like we had so much in common, having a blast sharing secrets and sharing laughs... but nope, I was told that was actually not the case and it was over. It must have all been my imagination.

Maybe I am actually crazy. Maybe these people were never even friends to begin with and I just made the friendships up in my head. That would explain a lot.

So, just like the "clinical depression" that hit when I was thirteen, my problem seems to be the same this time around: people. That is why medication never did a damn thing. Of course, the job situation sucks and the lack of motivation sucks... but things would probably be a lot easier if I had some sort of support system. It might help to have just a few people egging me on or telling me I am a capable person. We all need that. But unfortunately, I have never had that. Even when things are good or okay, I have never actually had any cheerleaders. My online friends have done a far better job with support than anyone I have ever known offline. (And I do not discredit that.) Unfortunately, I need people offline too. I need people to hang out with and I need people to support me. In turn, I will openly offer my support, my respect, my understanding and my open mind. No problem. It is not like I am asking for something I am not giving. But yeah, the problem is people. It is not some chemical imbalance. The problem is people being a) abusive, b) unsupportive, c) irrational, d) insulting, e) hurtful, f) disinterested and g) presumptuous. That is the problem. Not just one or two people but pretty much all of them.

So, who knows... I have no idea what I am supposed to do. I have tried making new friends. I have let old friendships go. I am almost completely alone now. And soon, I will likely lose my relationship too. Then I will be even more alone. Depression aside, thinking rationally about things, maybe that is best. It seems kind of jaded to believe there are people who are just meant to be alone, but maybe that is the case for me and I should just accept it. Maybe I am just not meant to get married or have solid friendships. Maybe I am just supposed to drift through life not really knowing anyone. There are others out there like that. I am not saying I would choose that lifestyle, but maybe it was already chosen for me and that is why nothing is working with anyone.

I feel like this is all a series of head games. People string me along for so long. They say one thing and then do another. The odd time, they will apologize and say they want me in their life. Shortly after that, they are gone. What the hell? So many of these people continuously tell me they want to be in my life. And then they disappear. Why bother? Are they lying? If so, there is no need. Just get what you want and be on your merry way. Tell me you used me. Are they telling the truth? If so, how does someone's mind change that quickly? One minute we are great friends, the next things are ending. Or worse, for ten years we are friends and then it ends for no particular reason... or for a reason I am just not told. Head game after head game. It is like the only want to leave when they have genuinely made me believe they care about me.

I put in excessive amounts of effort. I am humorous. I am loyal to a fault. I am a good listener. But people just do not want to be around me. Or, rather, they want to be around me but only for a limited amount of time. And god forbid I want to know the reason it has to end--then I am really a pathetic loser. I have my faults too. I can be stubborn. I am very self-critical. I can complain too much. It sometimes takes me a while to come around with things. I have social anxiety issues. And I know, for a fact, that sometimes people just want to tell me to "shut the fuck up." But why do I find it so easy to accept flaws in others, and yet people are so opposed to accepting them in me? I guess I am just asking too much.

If people hate me, fine. At least tell me why. Maybe if they did, I would have more of this figured out instead of being dumbfounded and confused. Maybe I could actually address and work on things if people told me why they either treated me like absolute shit or ended things out of nowhere. It would be nice to be even slightly more informed. Despite my low self-esteem, I just find it hard to believe that I am so intolerable that just no one can stand me. Am I the greatest person on earth? No. Am I endlessly awesome? No. Am I someone who never makes mistakes? No. But I figured I was tolerable. Unfortunately, feeling tolerable has gone out the window. It is clear to me that I am not tolerable. No one sticks around. What other explanation is there? I am obviously not what anyone wants. (Hm, I was told that once too.)

And again, this goes back to whether or not I should just accept that and live my life alone. It is not something I want to do, but at this point, I may be forced to. I would rather go through life alone than continuously lose people for no (explained) reason. I realize there is constant loss in life, but there cannot be this much. It is just not acceptable. I would rather just have no one than have everyone just eventually leave. There is no room to feel this desperate all of the time. And there is certainly no room to feel this unloved and despised. I cannot keep accepting people defacing my character, tearing apart my personality or insulting the way I look. I really cannot do this anymore. It is just too much. Most people have no idea what it is like to walk around hating yourself this much. And more to the point of this entry, most people have no idea what it is like to be constantly disappointed in everyone else too. I really envy all of those people with solid friendships, family relationships or partners. Without those, life just does not seem worth living.

See, I kind of figured this would happen so I kept my mouth shut. But now I just need to write.

The friend in this post started talking to me again. After all that, he approached me and said he wanted to give the friendship another try. I was obviously very happy, but I made sure the decision was his and his alone. He assured me it was not out of guilt and he genuinely wanted to be part of my life again. I believed him. Everything was going really well. He was writing me every day, most times multiple times a day. We were wrapped up in conversations that had nothing to do with the past and everything to do with our lives now. I was assured a laugh at least once a day, and I was grateful. I got exactly what I wanted. He told me he was happy to be talking to me again, and he even made reference to the friendship being the best thing that had happened to him all year. I felt the same way. It all felt very special and I could see him becoming a close friend again. I was sure he felt the same way.

Nine days.

Yes, nine days. That is how long it took for everything to fall apart. I got kicked in the face. I received a melodramatic e-mail tonight with the subject line "Ending" and that was that. No explanation. He just said the friendship was causing "problems" and that it had to end. Monday he wants to play Scrabble with me, and by Thursday he is saying goodbye. "I wish you all the best," as if it were some fucking lame yearbook entry. All the best? All the best in what? All the best in getting screwed over time and time again by people like you for the rest of my natural born life? No well wishes required there. I am all set there, thanks.

I know he is the idiot, but I feel like an idiot. A foolish, optimistic, naive idiot. This is what happens when you go from being a cynic to a believer: you get screwed. It is really a shame life has to prove me wrong the minute I try to believe people can change or friendships can be renewed. I should have just never matured into this. I should have just stayed the cynical, jaded person I was years ago. I was better off. I got hurt just as often but at least nothing shocked me; at least I was expecting to be screwed over, whereas now I try to have faith in human beings to treat me well or do the right thing. How silly these notions are! Where is Oscar Wilde when you need him?

I am honestly dumbfounded even if I should not be. I was really at a crossroads with this whole issue. On the one hand, I knew if it 'ended' again, it would be bad and that would be the last time I ever hear from him. On the other hand, I had a lot of faith we could start over because we were such close friends before. He knows more about me than most people ever will. I feel I know him almost as well, though I am at a disadvantage because he is not as open with his feelings. Clearly. What propelled me to have so much faith in this, in him? I have no idea. It was a tricky situation, sure, but there were no red flags once we started talking. He did not say anything other than good things about us talking again.

Not only do I feel like an idiot, but people must think I am a real idiot too. He must think I am a total idiot. He knows I am completely vulnerable right now. He knows about my job situation and the fact that I just lost another friend. He knew I was taking a chance on him; he knew what an emotional risk it was for me to give him a second chance because I made that clear to him in the beginning. I told him I was willing to forgive him for the past and start anew. He knew damn well I was really putting my heart on the line here. And he dropped it.

The worst part is, he is not offering an explanation of any kind and he does not even seem to care. He is being so cold in his responses to my demands for explanation and closure. He really does not seem to give two shits that he has done this to me, and he does not seem to care that it is ending at all. He almost seems happy about it. His e-mails had a "good riddens" tone, contrary to all of our conversations. He was so nonchalant about it. He said, "There isn't an explanation that you'd find adequate." Cop out much? He just typed up a small paragraph and intended to just leave it at that, as if he were some heartless beast out to prove how fast he can break a girl's heart. (Good job, Jason! Only nine days!) Who does this? Who pretends everything is great and then ends it all in an instant? Oh, wait, I remember now: every single person I come in contact with.

I am not even going into the whole "What was I thinking?" because that is not how I feel. I do not think I made the wrong choice, even after this. At the time, and now, I did the right thing. I had to find out whether this would work and I guess I got my answer. It is unfortunate I had to get this bruised in the process, and it is also peculiar that I am the only one who got hurt. I feel just how I felt before: taken advantage of and used. Once again, he gets to walk away scot free, leaving me with the baggage and emotional torment. How thoughtful.

Oh, sure, this is my own fault. Of course. He is to blame but it is still my own fault for trusting him again. Do I regret it? No. At least I can see who he truly is now. I had him up a pedestal when really, he deserved to be buried in the ground along with any feelings I had for him. Had he ended things maturely, with an explanation and a proper apology, I would not be saying any of this. But it is the way he ended things (again) that makes me feel he is not a good person. My heart is burning with hatred right now. I am too angry to shed even one tear. I refuse to, actually. I will not give him the satisfaction.

I absolutely understand people who put walls up. I envy you. I have no walls. I am just an open book. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I do not try to hide who I am. I do not try to hide my feelings. I do not want to live with regrets. I live my life open to every opportunity, but every opportunity that comes my way is a bad one. It is just another chance to get hurt. I have been driven into the ground and I finally understand the lesson: trust no one. Do not count on anyone, do not trust people with your feelings, do not expect back what you give, do not believe people can change, do not open up to people, do not make yourself vulnerable, do not put your heart in someone else's hands... do not give anyone the chance to break you.

This has been the biggest, most drawn-out mindfuck. No one has ever messed with my head as much as he has now. Truly.

Well, I think I am just about done now. No more (offline) friendships. If I change my mind down the road, fine. But right now, no more. I have had enough. I have no desire to make any new friends and I am certainly not starting up any old ones again. I have had it. I am through being the doormat and I am through having faith in people. That is done now.

Just... fuck you. Fuck you.

Okay, what the fuck is going on?! Another ten-year friendship of mine just ended.

How can anyone expect me to keep pushing forward and staying positive? Seriously. How? This is so far beyond ridiculous. Have I not suffered enough this week? I mean, really. And now this. And this... no, this was not an ending like the below friendship. This ending involved me being so verbally abused that my eyes are completely bloodshot from crying. This was not a mutual agreement; this was him practically throwing me out of his life, kicking me out the door on to my ass. Once again, it was him making the decision. Just randomly. After ten years. Nothing had been going wrong, there was no fight, there was no tension. He has never really insulted me before. I have an idea of where the anger came from but it had nothing to do with me. Yet, I know he will not regret his decision. Even though this was irrational and stupid, he will just pretend it was actually the right thing to do and he will never apologize or call me again. I know he will keep his word. That is just who he is. He used this as an easy way out, a way to just not deal with anyone or any emotions. He saw an opportunity to hurt himself and he took it. You think I am an emotional masochist? Well, you have not met this guy. At least I am never the one doing the hurting.

I believe lies always hurt more than the truth, especially when you know someone is lying at the time they are lying to you. If he had just been honest, this might be easier to deal with. But he chose to purposely hurt me so bad so I would never want to hear from him again. What a cop out! Why do people do this? I know it happens all the time. I know it has probably happened to almost everyone reading this. I know people purposely hurt others to force them away. But why? Why are people just not up front and honest about their feelings? Why is that such a foreign concept to people, especially men?

He told me I meant nothing to him. At first, he did not want to say it. After about an hour, he did say those words. After ten years of friendship, he had no problem blurting this out. He said he has no idea why he stuck around so long (again, another lie). He did not tell me he hated me or that he could not stand my life like others have. He just said he did not care about me and that it was best he walk away now. I asked why now, and he said because he is just an angry person now and it is not good for me to talk to him. Out of the blue, he becomes and angry person. He was never angry before this conversation today. He was completely different today. Even before this decision was made, near the end of the conversation, I kept asking what his problem was. Something was off. I asked if he had been drinking but I know what he sounds like when he is drunk, and this was not it. I asked if he was on any medication (because he had been in a car accident last month), and he said no, no medication. I had no idea why he was acting that way. He was not himself.

He claims he never planned this and that he did not have it in the back of his mind he going to end things today. Right. This sounded pretty planned out to me. He kept muttering the same things over and over, that he did not want to talk to me anymore and that he never cared about me. He said he had done this long enough. Despite the fact that he seemed irrational, he still seemed to have planned this. It did not sound like he made the decision while we were talking. Our conversation was perfectly normal. And he was so calm about it! No yelling, no swearing, no trying to talk over me. He was speaking in a very calm tone and even when I was crying, no reaction, no remorse. He was a fucking robot. That is the perfect way to describe it.

Why do all of these friendship endings sound like break-ups? I have no idea. Maybe that is just what happens in the male-female dynamic. I only have male friends. Well, I have one female friend but 95% of my friends, throughout my offline life, have been male. Is this how they will all end? Will every single male friend of mine eventually cut me out of his life? Is this what men do? No long term friendships for them? That is what is happening so far.

What did I do to deserve all of this? Is there something I did? Is there a murder I committed while sleepwalking that I am forgetting? Was I a terrible person in my last life and I am paying for it now? I actually asked him, "Why are you doing this to a good person?" He admitted I was a "good person," a "nice girl," he said. He did not say I did anything wrong. He just kept saying he did not care about me and he never has. But you know, I guess everyone has hours and hours of good, exciting, thought-provoking conversations with people they do not care about... right? I guess the past ten years were all a lie if that is how he truly feels. I am torn whether to believe him or not. Could I seriously have been duped for ten years? I highly doubt that. I am not that stupid. I know he enjoyed spending time with me. Why would you pretend to have a good time with someone or pretend to be someone's friend for ten years?! My head is swirling. And pounding.

I have no idea what to make of this. It is obviously over and I am obviously better off. But why did this happen? I was already still over-analyzing my other friendship ending and the fact that this is my first day of unemployment. You know what he said to that? "Yeah, sorry about the bad timing." Sorry about the bad timing? What the fuck?

I am so angry right now. You know I am angry when nothing I am writing makes sense or when I jump from one topic to the next like I am right now. I am even more angry that I allowed him to hear me cry. That was just stupid. The fact that I have cried at all over this is stupid but the fact that I did not control myself while he was still on the line was even more stupid. He said, "I did not expect you to cry." Yeah, because ten-year friendships just end every day for me. Oh, wait, they do! This is the second one this week. I forgot.

What is wrong with human beings? The only human thing for me to do is to turn this around on myself and keep asking what is wrong with me. That is the natural thing to do. Because I do not have any answers, the human thing to do is wonder what the hell is wrong with me and what I am doing wrong since this keeps happening. I am torn because on the one hand, I do not believe it is anything I am doing at all. On the other hand, bad things happen so often to me that I get suspicious. How is everyone else to blame? It must have something to do with me too. This incident, however, does not feel like it has to do with me at all. This feels like someone who is very unhappy with themselves and their life and needed someone to take it out on. I was there, conveniently, and he saw a quick, easy way to get rid of someone who cared about him. People in that state of mind just want to feel as sorry for themselves as they possibly can and then play victim to everyone else, pretending they were the one who got hurt. The thing that gets me is that he openly admitted being a complete hypocrite and that there are double standards (e.g. it is okay for him but not for anyone else). Psychotic.

None of this would matter if it was in character. If this had been someone he had pulled before or that I had heard him doing before, fine. It would be my own fault and I should have seen it coming. But this was not him. It was like I was talking to a completely different person. It was the first time I had ever yelled at him, in fact. We have never even had a real fight before. It is certainly clear I had a lot more invested into the friendship than he did (if he did at all)... but what else is new?

Should I just stop trying to make or keep friends? It does not seem to matter what I do or do not do. I always have so much more invested in it all, in the friendship and in the person. This goes for relationships too. Any boyfriends I have had did not love me as much as I loved them. I can think of maybe one or two cases. Am I just excessively needy and completely unaware of that fact? Or maybe I am just completely insane and have no idea. Even if the people in my life do not leave, the threat of them leaving is always there. I have no idea how you are supposed to live this way, with that possibility looming over you. The worst part is, the very few people I never, ever thought would leave have too.

You cannot rely on anyone. You cannot trust anyone fully. You know that game where you have your back to someone and you are supposed to let yourself fall backward, the person behind catching you? I would never do that. I just do not trust people to that degree anymore. That is it now. I have really had it.

Someone who once hurt me to a severe degree made me cry happy tears today.

It was kind of beautiful.

He said I made him cry too. I keep wondering how. There have been so few people I have made cry for any reason. This was kind of beautiful to me too. I wish I had been there to see it and truly experience it. I know that sounds odd but that is how I feel.

There is nothing worse than the pain of letting go. In any form, letting go is excruciating for human beings of any age, race, gender or creed. Today, I had to let go of a very close friend. I cannot explain the circumstances, but it is just the way it had to be. I have accepted it to an extent but not in a way where it feels like the right thing to do. Unfortunately, I still feel like we are doing the wrong thing. But it was his choice, and I suppose I can understand why. At first I thought he was just trying to hurt me, but I now understand he is only doing what he thinks will save us from future pain. I hope that some day I am able to think it was 'for the best.' I just really do not feel that way right now. I feel like we are throwing away a perfectly good thing, something we both need. Or maybe it is not something we need but it feels like something we could both benefit from, positively. I have no idea how I am going to do this. As I said, I have only accepted the fact that I cannot do anything about his decision, but I have not accepted that this is the best thing to do. I have no idea how I am going to convince myself this is best thing for both of us. I see his point, but my heart's feeling is stronger. There is just something inside of me telling me this is not the right thing, and I do not know why.

With losing him, I will lose a small part of myself. And for him, he will lose a small part of himself too because I am taking it with me, locking it away in my heart for all eternity. You always lose part of yourself when you let someone go. So many memories have been shared, so much intimacy, so many life experiences. This one person knows more about you than ninety-nine percent of people on the planet ever will. That is amazing. And it is terribly soul-crushing when you have to give that up.

Have you ever thought about simply never being able to speak to someone--a friend, a family member, a lover--ever again, as long as you live? Just ponder the concept for a moment. It is so horrid to think of that bigger picture. Never speaking to someone again. Ever. It is so final. It is so terrible that it cannot possibly be the only choice. But for me, under these circumstances, it is. I have no other choice. The choice was never mine to make. My powers of persuasion are finally of no use. My words finally cannot win this battle. No amount of pleading or crying will change it. It just is what it is. I am useless here, and so are my emotions.

This feels a bit like a death. Despite the pain we sometimes caused each other, I can only think about the good times now. At first, I was trying to think of all the bad times to try and 'trick' myself into believing he is a horrible person and I am better off without him. The truth is, he is not a horrible person. He is a really good person in spite of his character flaws, in spite of this decision, in spite of how he has hurt me. He is one of the most unique creatures I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

He just 'got' me. He found humour in my quirks. He did everything he could to get me to see myself the way he did, still a good person even with my personal flaws and insecurities. Somehow, he never made me feel stupid. He is a really knowledgeable person, and I looked up to him in many ways, but he always made me feel like an equal. So few people can accomplish this with me. I always feel like people are looking down their noses at me. He had the strangest habits and hobbies. Even when I had no interest in something he enjoyed, I loved to listen to him talk about it. He got so excited, like a kid at Christmas. And then there were the phone calls... he called me all the time, almost every day for years. In my last entry, I talked about the way more recent friends never contact me first. Well, he did. He called me from home, he called me from work. He made me feel like he enjoyed talking to me and like he wanted to be around me. Again, very hard to do. Looking back, I should have appreciated it as much then as I do now. It was so easy with him. I was never worried he would not call or that he would suddenly disappear. One day he did (in 2005), but before that, I felt safe being so vulnerable. I know I annoyed him. I know I pestered him. He always over-analyzed everything and he could never make a decision. We just accepted those things about each other. Still, he has no idea just how well he knows me. That makes me smile.

I even remember silly things like the way his hair smelled or the way he tightened his grin to form two hooks at the sides of his mouth, making me fairly certain he was a geek at heart. He only showed his teeth when he laughed. He liked cargo pants. He could paint the tiniest details. He once created a new username just to please me (manwithabigyam). He can sing opera but he never did sing for me. I remember the way he asked, "Really?" when you complimented him, in this shy, kid-like voice. He did not like to have his emotions on display, but every once in a while, he will open up and give you a glimpse of heart. There was a chink in his armor, and I think he purposely allowed me to see it sometimes, including today.

I take comfort in knowing that the intimacy we shared will never be the same as the intimacy he shares with anyone else. Our friendship was just too unique for that to ever happen. I wish that thought healed everything though. This is so unbelievably painful. Even as I write this, I feel him slipping further away. Somehow, tears cannot dictate what I feel inside, which is like my chest is caving in.

It will never truly feel like he is gone. There are remnants of him, tangible or tight within my memory. He once gave me this card, this magic card. I have had it for over ten years now. It is probably the only tangible thing I have left of him and our friendship. He probably had no idea at the time how much it meant to me, nor does he know how much it will forever mean to me now. So few men know what it means to be sentimental and nostalgic, but he did. And he will still be floating around in this big city somewhere. I wonder if we will ever cross paths... and if we do, what will we say? Will we even say anything at all, or will it be a silent encounter? It is silly even thinking about this now.

I hope that sometime soon I stop thinking about him and what I have had to give up... because really, I have had to do this twice. Giving up someone once is bad enough. I will have to learn not to think about what we could have done together, the talks we could have had, the experiences we could have shared. I need to stop thinking about the ways I could have rescued him or the ways he could have rescued me.

I told him that I hope he finds some way to contact me down the line, at random, just to let me know he is still alive. It may open the memory flood gates, but at the same time, I just want to know he has not forgotten about me completely.

This will never feel right. I know I said it may one day, but who am I kidding? It will never feel like I am supposed to lose him forever.

I wish I could see him or speak to him just one last time. It has been so long.

Reading this, I think I can give myself credit for one thing (he would be proud I am finally giving myself credit for something): it must feel great to be in my good books. You just may get a eulogy like this one.

I love you.

Sometimes, when one part of your life is a mess, the other parts do not seem to even matter. Happiness is never consistent. We always need sadness to counterbalance; we need the bad to truly appreciate the good. But in order to feel content, there has to be one or more parts of our lives going well at the same time. Unfortunately for me, this is not the case. And usually, when one part of my life goes to hell, so do the others. "When it rains, it pours." Right now, I feel I am in a very bad place. For months my depression has been slowly increasing and not just because of my job situation. The thoughts inside my head are anything but positive or empowering. I feel vulnerable. I feel like giving up. In the end, I usually find some way to pull myself out of these slumps so I try not to worry too much. But this time it feels a bit different. It feels a bit... worse.

Last week, I went for an interview. It was a really amazing job, even if only a contract. It was a great opportunity and involved business writing, something related to my future to finally put on my resumé. It was my last chance at employment before this coming Wednesday. It went really well, and I came out feeling good. Three days later, I was told I was very nice, very polite, very professional... but they decided to go with someone else who had more experience. Ah, "experience." What I love is that I actually have this now, and yet here we are back at square one with employers telling me I do not have enough. Even after three consecutive years of being at the bottom and gaining that much-needed experience (along with all of my summer jobs before that), I still do not have experience to these people. Interesting. My sadness quickly turned to anger, and I began questioning what the point of this even is anymore. If I cannot even get into an entry-level position, where am I going to end up? Is it even worth it to stick around and find out? How much longer do I have to do this? How much longer do I have to do things completely unrelated to my career before someone will let me into my industry to start gaining experience in my industry? How long? I cannot keep waiting and wasting my life.

I am sick of my non-existent social life. I go out several times a month, but I mean in terms of deep friendships. I am sick of people saying they do not have time for me. Up until now, I have had next to no time myself but I always found a way to offer it to the people who mean the most to me. Here is the worst part about every friend I have right now: they make me believe they want me around, but when it comes down to it, they just do not put in the effort. They say "I miss you," or "We need to talk more," or "Let's not go without talking this long again." And then nothing. Why dangle a piece of meat in front of a hungry dog? I hate to call these people terrible but maybe some of them are and I just need to realize it. These people somehow find a way to convince me they will try harder or they will be there for me, and then they are just not. They cancel at the last minute, they do not return my calls, they are conveniently busy when I am not. Or sometimes I get so excited about the prospect of a new friendship, and it disappears faster than it came. There is always some damn excuse. An excuse not to hang out, an excuse not to open up, and excuse not to start something. It is one thing or another, always. Do not even get me started on the number of people who promised they would never leave me and did. I realize saying you will never leave someone is crazy because you do not know how things will play out, but in a few instances, I actually believed them. I am not even putting all of my eggs in one basket; I have several people doing this to me, new and old. I am not even a needy person. I like my space, all the time. So it is not like I am making unfair demands from these people. But it seems most people cannot even deal with or want to provide someone else with the most basic needs of human friendship. Is it laziness? Arrogance? Pride? A power trip?

As much as I hate to admit this because it makes me appear weak and stupid, I have been really used in my lifetime. I have people to remind me of just how much all the time. Most of the time, it was not my fault. Sometimes it was. And the thing is, I will not change. I will not stop opening up to people, even strangers. I want to live my life open to everything, all people and all opportunities. I do not want to write off friendships simply because they did not work the first time. People do change, right? That is what everyone tells me. I do not want to overlook anything, even the smallest of things. The little things matter. I rescue lady bugs from my bathroom every morning and I feel good for the rest of the day knowing I have saved a life, even if it is a small, insignificant (except to me) life. I take a lot of emotional risks, and I honestly have no regrets even when I get hurt. I think sometimes I could handle things better or that I should not have done something, but I do not regret it. Ever. Everything has made me who I am. It all matters.

Despite my lack of regrets, it still feels like my entire life is made up of getting my hopes up and then being disappointed. Just this constant up-down, this bipolar way of living. The fact that I always get my hopes up proves I am obviously not overly jaded or negative. I always have faith before I am let down. I believe in that. I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt; I never just write people off as bad or not good for me. But in the end, there is always that disappointment. This runs through all aspects of my life. Friends, family, career, self. Is this really what life is? Getting kicked down and getting back up again? Is that all there is? It feels like that is all there is. I cannot remember the last time I was sublimely happy, content, feeling great, loving being alive, wanting to get up in the morning. When will this happen for me? Does it happen for others? What are the hidden, subconscious obstacles we need to overcome to achieve this?

I just want to be happy. I just want to get my career off the ground. I just want a few really close friends. I just want one person to love me unconditionally. I just want some spec of a relationship with my father before it is too late like it was for one with my mother. Is this seriously too much to ask? I thought these were things everyone deserved. Why do I always feel so undeserving of these things? I feel initially that I deserve these things, but then I have to wonder why I have none of them.

Dedicated

Sep. 3rd, 2009 08:36 pm

I love when someone is dedicated enough to sit outside of a subway station just so they do not have to stop texting me. ♥

Feel free to ignore this boring, long-winded entry. It is really just me releasing a lot of feelings I have not written about lately.

As much as I have tried denying it, I am spiraling into a deep depression. Oh, how utterly cliché. I thought these feelings were long gone, looking back to my high school years. But there is a sense of familiarity surrounding me, one I have been trying to suppress. Every time I have started typing journal entries, I have refrained from putting these words down. I backspace. I type something less negative. Not only did I not want to believe my current state--because putting them down on paper always makes them more real for a writer (if you can still call much such)--but I did not want anyone else to know either. I am ashamed to be back here.

Most recently, I have lost my best friend of six years. Not only was it the most important friendship in my life, but it was the only close friendship I had left. I did not have much of a say in the matter. Apparently the friendship was slowly coming to an end over the past few months, unbeknownst to me. Apparently I am 'no fun to be around.' Too jaded and unworthy. I am out of words. I have tried. I have rationalized and suggested. No response. There are things that happened that lead me to believe it will not blow over this time. Friends are allowed to disagree. Why do so many people think you must sever all ties once an argument happens? No friendship is smooth sailing. You debate, you see it headed nowhere, so you just agree to disagree and move on. That should be the way of it. You need to focus on all the good and treasure that with all your might because it rarely comes around. You rarely ever connect so intimately with one person. What I think happened, though, is transference. I do not think the end of the friendship had anything to do with me but rather, it was sparked by something else unrelated and I just happened to get the short end of the stick. I feel sick over this. It consumes me even though I am so hurt by what she did, without any explanation. I should be obscenely angry and just think 'Good riddens, I obviously meant nothing to her,' but that is so far from reality. How someone can throw away such a long and intimate friendship over nothing, I have no idea. There were no warning signs, there was no time for preparation. I am confused but I am still offered no explanation. I have somehow managed to make someone else believe cutting me out of their life is the best thing. How? Unspeakable things were said to me, hurtful things that I do not know if I can forgive. But while I mull over that, there is still silence. And I hate silence when there should be words. I hate time because She never tells.

My family is, in one word, a disaster. Everyone is fighting, various people are not speaking to other people, gossiping is taking place behind everyone's backs. We have become the epitome of the dysfunctional family, something unfathomable even just five years ago. We are all very close. We used to have monthly family dinners. We used to celebrate every birthday, all of us together. Then my two aunts declared war on each other, loosely connected to childhood battles and a lack of forgiveness. I somehow got involved and was given the silent treatment by the both of them. Then it was just one not speaking to me, then it was the other. This troubles me greatly, having the only female figures in my life only sometimes speaking to me and others giving me the cold shoulder or just ignoring me all together. My poor grandmother, still recovering from breast cancer, has to see her two daughters fighting like this. Neither one will go to a family dinner if they know the other will be there. Then, after some negative incidents at the cottage this summer, one aunt decided to give my father the silent treatment. She never showed up to dinners if my father was there. And, as always, my alcoholic uncle is either causing pain or chaos. We were not on speaking terms over the summer thanks to a drunken night during which he tore me and my life to shreds, swearing and screaming at me in the car all the way home from a dinner. He was getting so crude and so out of line that even my father threatened to throw him out of the car. Unfortunately, that was nothing new for me. Despite the fact that my father is usually the one around him most, I always bore the brunt of my uncle's alcoholism and always receive the most abuse.

Basically, the whole family has not been together, in the same room, for almost a year. I feel horrible for my grandmother, and I cannot seem to just let everyone else battle it out while I sit by the sidelines. They are my family. It is my business. It is affecting me. No one knows what to do. My one aunt has gotten so bad that my grandmother has told her to just not come over anymore. She is overly negative, sensitive and uptight. She never has anything good to say about anyone or anything. I feel this is because she is completely unhappy with her life, but that is no excuse to abandon or insult your family. Everyone in the family needs therapy. That is what my grandmother said to me. I agree. We are all walking on egg shells now, and I hate this feeling. At any given time, someone is upset with someone else. Sure, this is how all families are, but it is tearing mine apart because it is more than just anger. There is deep-seeded resentment, and there are repetitive problems with the same people. Everyone has just had it, and right now, everyone has just given up. I ache thinking about how to fix it all.

My relationship is one of the biggest problems. Too much fighting, too much negativity. Get out, you say? No. It is one of those situations where things are a lot more complicated than just getting out. When two people have been through so much, it is never a matter of just getting out. When two people have worked so hard and have dedicated so much to each other, there is no easy way. We continue to work on things, but we continue to have problems. We both want to be together, but we are at a loss for what is going to solve at least some of the issues we have. Distance is a very big problem. We live too far and we only see each other once a week. If it goes any longer, the fighting gets worse. Now that he is working and in school part time, and now that I am back in school full time, our time on the phone is less and less. I have no idea what to do. I do not even have any more words to describe the confusion and heartache over it all. He is not there for me like he should be. I do not feel I can confide in him. I hate feeling this way. When I am feeling down, talking to him should make me feel better, not worse. I have no idea what I deserve anymore. I have no idea if I am asking too much or too little.

School, obviously, is always a problem for me. Between my SAD and the obscene amount of homework, I have very little time for myself or anything else. I feel like all I do is read, read, read. I am getting lazy. I do not want to be in school anymore. I worked hard in elementary, I worked hard in middle school, I worked hard in high school. I worked so hard even when working that hard was not required or respected, and now I am burned out. I have had enough. I feel I have earned my degrees, and I just want out. School used to be fun and interesting for me, but now it feels more like a prison. I dread going. I am exhausted coming home and can barely stay awake to do tomorrow's readings. I cannot drop any classes. I need to just do everything I can to finish up and graduate. I feel like I will have a nervous breakdown if I do not just get out of there.

Which brings me to my father... the ongoing negative in my life. Despite the fact that I still live here, I am pretty much independent from him. And yet, this issue bothers me more than most of the others in my life. Since he started dating his current girlfriend, I have barely seen him. He is never home. He stays away for days or weeks at a time. He rarely tells me where he is going, when he will be back, or leaves a number where I can reach him. When I do see him, it is nothing but fighting and nagging. I keep this house clean, I vacuum, I wash the dishes, I change the kitty litter, I water his hundreds of plants... but I miss some crumbs on the counter and he flies off the handle at me. I feel like I live here alone, and it is too much work. I would want a smaller place if I were living alone. I do not have the time. He is becoming more and more ignorant of both me and the whole family. When he has a woman in his life, that is all he has. He is neglecting his friends. They leave annoyed messages on the machine talking about other messages they left three weeks ago without a response. He keeps changing family dinner dates in order to go to her place instead, and stupidly, my family says okay to it all. He cut short one of my uncle's birthdays just so he had more time to spend with her; he turned it into a birthday brunch instead of our normal birthday dinners. He left early on Mother's Day, even though my grandmother was upset that one of her daughters went to her husband's mother's instead, to go to her place right after dinner. If we are watching a movie in the living room and she calls, he will pause the movie without asking and proceed to talk on the phone for hours. He says I have no right to the phone anymore; we cannot share it or create phone times, but rather, he gets first dibs and I just have to deal with it, even if that means not talking to Sean. He is quite willing to go out of his way for her, no matter what for, but not even do small favours for anyone else. He promises to do something and then says he forgot, so too bad. He uses up all of the food I have made for my lunches when she comes over for lunch; I get home, it is gone, and he just says, "Yeah, we ate it." He barges into the bathroom in the morning without knocking, telling me to get out because he has to get ready for work, as if me being ready for school is unimportant. Oh, sure, little things. Little things add up.

And she, his girlfriend, is completely blind. She has heard him snap at me on the phone and has probably noticed his ill temper, but she is blind and worships the ground he walks on. I feel sorry for her. "He seems like the type to hit women." I agree, and he has thrown things at me and he has wacked me in the back of the head with rolled up magazines. I want to call her up and tell her she is dating a monster, but I suppose she may eventually find out for herself. Things with my father have just gotten so much worse over the past year, even though I thought they were already at their worst in high school. So now not only do I never see him, but when I do, it is non-stop negativity. I cannot deal with this anymore. I would move out in 24 hours if I had the money. I really would. It must be getting pretty bad, too, because a few of my family members are becoming less ignorant about the issue and finally acknowledging that he treats me like complete and utter shit.

The ongoing issues with my SAD and self-esteem. I will not even bother rambling on about my SAD since I just wrote a long entry about it. As for my self-esteem, well, it has definitely declined over the past couple of years. There are things I am not even brave enough to share that have caused its decline. But all of the issues above, in addition, have caused wear and tear on my ability to love myself. I wish I could put myself in a protected bubble so it would not get worse than it already is, but alas, that is impossible. It is especially impossible for me who sees everyone else's problems as my own problems. I help everyone but myself, and I do not know why. Every time I go to work on myself, I take one look at the stack of problems and just push them aside. There are too many things to deal with, and I have no idea where to start. There are things I have tried that have not worked, so I get discouraged. My support network is non-existent, and this is yet another reason motivation is too hard to come by. Self-love may come from within, but it is still fostered by your friends and family. I need people who will, at least, be there for me when I need to rant or release some of these emotions. Looking at how long this entry is already, you can tell there has been a lot bottled up. I need more people in my life. There is no question about that.

Sadly, the one thing that used to keep me sane throughout all of this is something I am no longer capable of: writing. Not journal entries but creatively. Prose, poetry, stories. My writing, for two years, has been non-existent. I am completely lost because of it, and I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life now because it was always writing. Writing was always my passion, the only thing I ever wanted to do. It was in my past, my present, my future. It was everything. It was my saving grace, my single 'talent,' my therapy. Lost, lost, lost. It is like someone has taken away my flashlight and I am left to find my way in complete darkness. I miss it. I think about it every day. I ache to have it back. I feel so useless without it. It almost acted as a protection from everything too. I could retreat to my room, take out a pen and feel safe again. Now I feel overly exposed, and not fully whole at all. It was so much a part of who I was that I honestly feel like pieces of me are missing or empty. It is a horrible, horrible feeling to have. What scares me most is thinking it may never come back to me. I can say over and over again that it will, but once again... time leaves me guessing and unsure.

In my life... when it rains, it pours. That is quite clear looking at the past ten years. How I am going to get through it all, I do not know. But right now, I feel so broken. I have things coming at me from all directions and I cannot control them all. There are things I have absolutely no control over, things that will continue to poke and probe me. I am obviously in a rut. I have no idea how to get out of it. Every time I feel some willpower to find solutions, something else happens and makes me question why I am even here to begin with. Over the past few months, especially, such hurtful things have been said to me, things that are making me question my personality, my character, my goodness. These things are inhumane but are they true? I no longer feel capable of thinking I am a good person. Too many people are leaving. Crying comes too easily now. I feel weakened. I am not a weak person but I feel like I am being worn down to a small twig. My branches are weighing down too heavily for me to hold up. At night, I lay awake for hours before falling asleep. I barely get any sleep at all these days. My mind races and the emotional exhaustion is what usually puts me to sleep. All of the negativity in my life keeps my mind off of school, so I take longer and longer to do what needs to be done. I just feel very trapped. I feel very unloved. Very, very unloved. (However, I do acknowledge those of you here who have always reminded me that I am never alone. You know how you are... J & M especially ♥.)

I am physically and emotionally exhausted.

It is never a good thing when I start listening to Jann Arden this often.

From afar

Dec. 3rd, 2005 01:16 am

Me: Maybe we're just not meant to be friends.
Him: I think we can. It's just that every time we talk, I don't always want to spill every thought and secret.

I believe a lot of people think you can just go though life having surface friendships, friendships where you never really share anything deep or personal. Friendship where you always answer "good" to "How are you?" even though that is not always the truth. Friendships where you are hesitant to get into anything deep, that requires thinking, for one reason or another. These people, to me, feel like acquaintances. I admit that I have my own walls and my own cautions when it comes to how much I share and with whom, but I do learn to be very open and honest once I get to know someone. And it does not scare me. In fact, I should probably not be as open and honest as I am with people. I know not everyone is like this; I know there are people who have intimacy issues for good reasons. But I find it so hard to maintain a friendship with someone who cannot talk to me about anything personal and just refuses any serious conversation. I need to feel like a person trusts me enough to share certain information with me. Otherwise, it is fairly useless attempting a friendship at all.

Perhaps it seems uptight of me to want only intimate friendships, but I have been that way most of my life. Don't get me wrong... I can enjoy a light, easy conversation with a stranger or even someone I know very well. But sometimes, I do like to have serious, personal conversations. I need that to verify the friendship is worth it. If there is no trust, what do you have? Online or off, past or present, there are friendships that I have felt lacked any type of intimacy and because of that, I never let it progress. I prevent myself from allowing it to progress if I do not see the same openness coming from their end as from mine.

I honestly do not ask for a long list of things in a friend. There are a few main things I need to have, but I am very non-discriminating when it comes to people and I will befriend anyone who is willing to acknowledge friendship is a two-way street. I am also not the easiest person to like, for a long period of time, so I really have no right to be picky. But this intimacy issue... I have problems with people who cannot provide me with this. It seems that if I have a past with someone, we are not allowed to talk about it. And there are certain issues that are closed off to me. And we cannot talk about anything unless there are jokes involved. What is that? Why would you place so many restrictions? That can only get wearing and tedious.

If the friendship cannot progress, I feel there is no point being in it. I do not need a bunch of people to make small talk with out of boredom. I want more than that. That is fine sometimes, but it is definitely not fine if that is all there is. Of course, you cannot push these people to open up. You cannot coax them out of their cocoon. And yet, I feel horrible just giving up.

This person, quoted above, I have known for almost six years. And yet I know virtually nothing about him. I know the basics, the things you learn when you first start getting to know someone: their family situation, where they work, favourite music or movies. Christ, I dated him. And I still know nothing about him. I have no idea if he has ever had any pain in his life, I have no idea if anyone close to him has died in the past six years, I have no idea what time he gets up for work or if he drinks coffee. Believe me, I have questioned him many times about these types of things. But one of two things happen: an obvious subject change or lashing out on his end (example: "Did you ever stop to think that maybe it's something I don't want to go into?"). I am never overly pushy about it, but he just will not budge.

I keep coming to this same block every time I try to make friends. I do not need anymore acquaintances. I need friends. I feel that having friends will help pull me out of this rut I am in.

It appears some people need to be informed this is not about my relationship. This is about a friendship with someone else. I thought that would be clear.

Also, today's horoscope: "Keeping secrets has never been something you're fond of. You'd much rather let the truth be told, and once it's out, deal with it for better or worse. It's a good plan. Don't stray from it now." Spooky.

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