Crystal Ball

“Drinking wine and thinking bliss, is on the other side of this. I just need a compass and a willing accomplice. All my doubts that fill my head are skidding up and down again. Up and down and round again, down and up and down again… But I’m not scared at all, hmm… I’m not scared at all. Bout the cracks in the crystal, the cracks in the crystal ball.”

The best way to describe what I’m going through right now is that I’m having a difficult time in my friendships. The typical pattern with me and a potential friend is that I meet people when they are in need—and because I recognize a gap, I go above and beyond to be what they lack: for the moment and ultimately adapting to continue to satisfy their ache.

I used to say to friends that I will spend our initial stages falling in love with them. I will etch your likes and dislikes in the creases of my skin, I’ll be your strongest supporter, your welcomed confidant, I will walk 500 miles only to walk 500 more—for you.

And that all-encompassing relationship used to make me happy because it allowed me to do what I do best—give of myself to others; and it also kept me from focusing on my own problems to the point of madness.

Since my brother died I’ve been reciting two mantras hourly:

Ohana means family, no one is left behind

You have to be a part of your own rescue

And with that my ability to give has changed drastically—only because there’s nothing left and no one pouring in to replenish what I give out. And while life moves on for you, I’m standing still.

I let very few people into my inner circle and my rawest feelings. Not counting my sisters and cousin, I suppose I trust a very tight handful of people. I could chalk this up to my abandonment issues or the fact that I’ve literally been taking care of myself since I was fourteen. Or how hard it is for me to start from scratch to tell my story and help others understand my quirks. I don’t do pity or accolades, just hard facts. So, I would say it’s easy in theory to be my friend, but I’m a hard person to get to know— if that makes sense.

Thus I have many surface level friendships—but I never let down my guard, and I’ll rarely let them see me at my darkest. I shine nothing but light unless I’m alone and can truly unmask.

The past year it’s been difficult for me to be at my lowest point, wallowing in a miry pit, and not have the support of the friendships I’ve cultivated for years. I feel like embedded in the time we’ve spent together was the training you needed to respond to me when I’m inconsolable, to reach past my defenses and find the heartache.

Instead I find myself alone a lot, living in my own mind—trying to discern truth from depression—no hand to hold, no tissue offered to dry a wall of tears.

And honestly I have no idea what to do. Even worse I’ve reached out to these people, my loves, asking for their right hand of fellowship; asking them to allow my moments of need to enter their busy lives. Blatant, earnest, desperate, urgent— untrue to form in all regards, needing a backbone while my spine undergoes surgery. Yet still I have nothing.

It makes me mad at first, but really the anger hides the gut-wrenching hurt that being there for every sob story and celebration, for willing sacrificing time and again without complaint leaves me yet again standing in place of afterthought.

I can’t even get a me-devoted phone call, let alone a visit. And spade for spade, I don’t ask for much—a moment of your undivided attention, let me take part in the normalcy of your life so I don’t feel so foreign, be there with open arms when my burden is too heavy, ply me with sympathetic platitudes as the world crumbles in the aftershock. Where is my hope that things will get better?

I want the possibility that this emptiness will ease. That the devastation of losing my brother— when you KNOW how important family has always been to me— that the gnawing throbs will dull. That I don’t always have to walk alone. Because I’ve always walked alone and secretly thought that by welcoming you in, I wouldn’t be so defined by solitude.

Yet you don’t even notice the little things— like how I don’t write anymore. You don’t initiate contact or care as my word spirals into abyss—you dont even extend a life vest.

It’s too hard for me to be your friend anymore. And I’m hard pressed not to resort to old habits and drastic changes. It’s too draining for me to care for you when I feel overlooked. And yet I don’t know how to breakaway. I greedily hoard your breadcrumbs and hope that each morsel is a beacon of your coming back—of the us I’ve always desired but didn’t know how to ask for.

You’re a vital part of your own rescue and yet I spend my time helping other. I don’t know how to help myself. And I thought you would be there. But you’re not.

So I vow to take the rest of the year and find people that equally put me first; to say goodbye to old friendships that stunt my growth; to justify focusing on me. Because right now I’m only onto memories and fantasies—the love around me have found its alteration when true love is an ever-fixed mark.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bptalks
    Jun 05, 2013 @ 12:01:54

    First, I want to say how much I love your writing. I initially saw this post yesterday and set a mental reminder to come back to read it.

    I have been exactly where you are. I have walked away from friendships that I believed were a part of the foundation that made me. However, I learned that when my “foundation” became scarce, unstable etc…I walked away. It was a hard decision being that I miss my god children but staying in their life meant being poisoned by the ill efforts of their mother. I prayed for the *true friends I have now…they are supportive, loving and my extended family. I wish you peace and strength as you rebuild the foundation of friendships in your life.

    *true friends =my 3 closest best friends.


    • justlissen
      Jun 07, 2013 @ 17:06:32

      Thank you for your kind words. It’s so hard for me to walk away because I’m not sure if I could replace them, or even find someone new. I just keep stewing and waiting for some direction.
      I’m glad you have people to rely on. Everyone needs that, even if they dont want to admit it.


  2. Darrk Gable
    Jun 05, 2013 @ 17:45:17

    Wow; this is deep. I’ve been where you are are. Sometimes I find myself back in that place. There’s not much that can be said that won’t sound like condescending bull and empty platitudes. However, what I can tell you is there are only two people who can alter the place you find yourself. That’s God and you.

    I’m not a holy-roller; far from it actually. I do know that He’s gotten me in a better mindset than I used to be in though. It was up to me to take the initial steps, but as I walked, He shed light on the path I had to go. Not a lot, by where I saw each horizon, but enough to know I’m headed the right way. I don’t purport to know you (aside from your blog), or anything, but think about it.


    • justlissen
      Jun 07, 2013 @ 17:09:39

      I guess words that I’m unwilling to write down– or expound upon– is this deep-seated anger at God. Things didn’t have to go the way they did, but here we are.
      And even though being angry with God shouldn’t prohibit me from still seeking his solace, I’m hesitant. This will pass, as most things do. It’s the ‘during’ that sucks.


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