Who You gonna call?

Hundreds of numbers in my contacts. Only four that I feel comfortable reaching out to when I’m in need of a friend. Makes it real tough when none of them can answer and I’m going through some shit.

Its amusing I suppose. Many people have told me that they think I have a lot of friends. I put on a great face at work. I’m loud. Constantly talking. On many committees where I have to present in front of crowds. I do a lot for my school community, and I (mostly) do it with a friendly face and a smile. Truth of the matter is, I often feel very alone. I only have a small number of people I trust with my inner sadness and anxiety. It’s a vulnerable position, calling someone when you’re lost in the throws of an anxiety meltdown. You’re open.  Exposed. Raw. And although I know it’s not true, it makes me feel even more lost when I have to fight through it alone.

I think part of me thinks that the “others” will leave me. That once they see a glimpse of my bleak side that they’ll abandon our friendship. That they’ll realize how worthless and unlovable I am and leave. I understand that that’s a cognitive distortion. I know I am worthy and lovable. What I don’t know how to do, is get the cognitive distortion to shut up. I can quiet it often, and occasionally for longer periods of time, but the minute I am overtired or over stressed, out comes the doubt and anxiety. It lives inside the stretch marks across my lower abdomen. Inside my ‘Wagner waddle’. Inside my inability to remember how I forged such emotionally close/intimate relationships with my four close friends to begin with. Inside the constant bad messages on OKC and the constant lack of replies. Inside the, week of normal conversation turned to ‘so tell me how you want to be fucked.’  I’m so tired of hating myself but can’t seem to make, not doing so, stick around long enough.

Can you hear me now?

I was talking with my therapist today about my relationship with my parents. I used to talk to them once a week at least. Partly, I’m sure, in a desperate attempt to make sure I was still loved…it’s a mildly complicated relationship that stems from a lot of things I don’t feel like putting online. When I made a recent(ish) breakthrough in therapy, the phone calls stopped. I stopped needing to call them so much. That’s all well and fine…accept today, looking through my phone records, which only stem back to August on my cell, I’ve spoken to my parents 6 times, and every single time, I called them. My parents have not reached out to me on their own since August 2nd.

I know not everyone hears from their parents often. I have a good friend who essentially NEVER talks to his parents. Maybe once or twice in a blue moon and everyone is ok with that. That works for them. But it doesn’t work for me.

What parent doesn’t want to know how their kid is doing? I’m not saying call me every day, but not one incoming phone call in 3 months?  That bothers me a little.

A month into this endeavor, I received a letter…

I needed you last night and you weren’t there for me.  I texted to let you know what happened.  You sent a perfunctory response.  You know how hard it’s been for me.  You knew how hard I’d take the news.

I called a few hours later.  Maybe it was only a few minutes.  I called.  It sounded like you clicked decline after a few rings.  Maybe that’s my perception.  Maybe you just let it go to voicemail on it’s own.

You didn’t call me back.

You tagged me in a post on Facebook.  You made no other attempt to reach out and see how I was doing.

You spent the day at Disney.

I needed you.  I needed you to return my call.  I needed you to reach out in a personal way and check in on me.  I needed your reassurance that somehow, someway, we’d make it through.

You posted pictures about how scary the Rock-‘N-Rollercoaster was.  How scary the Tower of Terror was.

What about how scared I am?  How scary this decision is?

I am furious at you.  I am disappointed.  I am 8 different levels of upset.  I feel irrational.  Unvalidated.  Unloved.

I understand that you deserve, that we all deserve, to go out and have fun.  That you deserve to live the life you’ve worked incredibly hard to accomplish.  I understand that you won’t always be available the minute I call.  I understand that I can be a lot.  That I’ve shown a tendency to catastrophize or fall down a dark tunnel in terms of thinking about the future and what some of these decisions mean.  I know that I cry, loudly, and have a hard time incorporating other perspectives or reasoning.  But I also know that I’m not wrong.  At least not fully.

I know I’m a lot, but I needed you.  Tagging me in Facebook isn’t enough.  That’s not enough to show you care.  That’s not enough to show that you understand my concern, even if I’m approaching it incorrectly.

It wasn’t enough.

I needed you.  And it wasn’t enough.  Is it because I’m not enough?

I want a revelation. So listen to my declaration!

Get out of my way… Seriously though.  Move.

I’m finding I’m having a hard time the last couple of weeks with people who are oblivious (or more likely, don’t care) to where their bodies are in space and time.  For example, stopping in the middle of the subway stairs to check your phone one last time before you decent into the madness that is the MTA.  By all means, please do you.  But do you to the side of the entrance to the subway.  Don’t make me miss my train.  I got places to be.

To the person who has heard me say excuse me and still stands directly in front of me.  To the throngs of tourists who walk holding hands three across on a busy sidewalk.  To the people who stop in the middle of the sidewalk to chat, take a picture, check their phones, sneeze.  To the staff members who stand in the middle of the hall and let our students wander everywhere in front of my principal who has just finished saying, “please get out of the way”.


This even goes to extend to the point of being able to read an environment.  If the room feels weird, if you have a sense that the students are off, if you have hard evidence of the students being off (screaming, punching their bag, etc) – (also sidebar: if you teach in SPED long enough, you can feel a room out quickly and effectively) – maybe you shouldn’t been hollering or singing or talking loudly.  Maybe…

This is a silly little post but it’s been bothering me.  Perhaps it’s because I’m SO aware of where my body is at all times. I’m also a traveler so I know what it’s like to be engaged in my surroundings so entirely.  But (maybe because I’ve been a NYer for several years now) I also realize that people live wherever I am traveling and they have places to go and things to do.  I ALWAYS move over and out of the way to check my phone, take a picture, double check a map.  Maybe it’s because I’m so hyper aware that people who aren’t just drive me batty.

Anyways, it’s a silly little thing I just needed to put out there.