I am tired. I am tired of asking for help. It’s not the vulnerability that’s difficult for me – my nature gives me no choice but to be embarrassingly and shamefully vulnerable almost all the time. It’s the astounding lack of follow through on the part of others. I’ve been thinking over and over how to follow the advice to writers out there – how to create good content that people actually want and need, how to find an agent, how to land a book deal, etc. – and I just can’t do it. None of it feels right. I can’t get any of it to work. So, I guess this blog is just for me, then. I guess, after all, even though one of my deepest desires is to write for others (I mean, I write “for myself,” too, but that’s called journaling, and not at all the same as what I think every Writer actually wants), maybe all this is just for me.
Which frees me to say things like: I am baffled and angered by the rampant and apparently totally acceptable lack of follow through on the part of people who claim to want to help others. I am angry that so many people who are terrible at their jobs still have jobs when I have been struggling my entire adult life to find something that doesn’t make me want to slit my wrists (no, I’m not kidding and I despise it when people through around phrases like that). I have asked for help so many times in so many ways and have received either no response, a single response or the same advice over and over again, which I’ve either tried and can’t get it to work for me or can’t try for various reasons, the main one being they are ridiculously expensive (how nice would it be to be good enough at something not to feel any hesitation at all charging, say, $4,000 a month for your services. That must be real damn nice). I’ve emailed and called counselors, therapists, job coaches, state services for which I qualify, people who claim to be experts in ways I am seeking and very, very much needing help. Either no response, boiler plate response or an initial response that gets my hopes up and then no response after that.
Why is the lack of follow through okay? Why am I the one that gets blamed or told I have too high of expectations when I expect people to mean what they say?
More importantly, I’m tired of feeling like shit still, after trying so hard for so long, and just expected to keep going even after nothing changes year after plodding year. And I’m tired of trying to paint positivity into my pictures when none feels authentic. I’m tired of not knowing what feels authentic. I’m tired of not fitting or belonging anywhere. I’m tired of slashing myself apart trying to heal. I’m tired of trying everything and nothing. I’m tired of nothing working. I’m tired of being lost. I’m tired of watching others succeed while their strategies and advice that works for them does not work for me (and being blamed for it). I’m tired of stupidly getting my hopes up every damn time, tired of not learning from my childish mistakes, of taking the advice of striving to see the best in people when it just gets me really hurt over and over. I’m tired of putting lots of work and thought into stuff and getting ZERO responses. It hurts. It sucks. I’m tired of pretending to be okay. I’m tired of being blamed for getting upset when people make commitments to me, then forget and act like it’s not a big deal. I’m tired of my reminding people about commitments THEY freely made being called “nagging.” I’m tired of being treated like I don’t matter and being grateful for scraps and crumbs and apologizing for wanting more, like actual, whole relationships.
I’m tired of fighting for others and caring about helping others so much and having very little of that returned to me or of not being allowed in, “not being a good fit,” not producing work that apparently fits anyone needs. I’m tired of exhausting myself being supportive of friends and getting brushed off by these same friends after they’ve taken what I’ve given them. I’m tired of keeping my word and being damn impeccable about it, honestly, and getting pretty much zero of that coming back at me. I don’t give to get, but I’m a human being who needs consistency, support and for people who keep their word to me, too. I’m disgusted by our stupid culture’s advice to “just get new friends,” too. As if, a) that’s the easiest freaking thing in the world (I have NEVER found it easy, and have struggled more than most, so it’s flippant and offensive to say that instead of holding people accountable to being good friends) and b) I actually WANT to.
I’m tired of being told I have gifts, that I’m needed, that my voice is wanted, the my story matters, that *I* matter when nearly every door I knock on either doesn’t open or actually CLOSES and locks when I knock on it. And I’m sick of having these thoughts and feelings and having so few loving and safe places to share them and find actual, concrete help with them that I am writing into a void that, if any other human comes across, they’ll probably just see it it as a pity party or tell me shit I’ve been told a million times as if I’m stupid or say “I’m sorry” as if I’m supposed to feel not alone anymore. But probably, what I’ll get is the same thing I usually get: nothing. No response, forget an adequate one.
Is there anything for me? Is there any meaningful work possible for someone like me, any way I don’t have to contort all of who I am just to be able to eat and live inside?
I’m tired of worrying about how expressing my true feelings will ruin whatever reputation I might have in the future. I’m tired of thinking about myself as a marketable package, prostituting myself to employers who could care less how I’m wired or what I need in exchange for the ability to keep staying alive on this planet. And I’m tired of being called “extreme,” “intense,” “emotional,” “dramatic” (lots of people have told me I’d make a good actress; awesome, so the thing everyone wants from me is more not-who-I-truly-am, more hiding, more pretending). Especially when my understanding or perspective or opinion ends up being RIGHT, but someone else gets credit for it because other people’s stories are always somehow more important or interesting or for whatever reason chosen than mine.
I’m tired of asking for help and not getting it. I’m tired of trying everything and getting just more tired. I’m tired of following advice that works for so many others but leaves me embarrassed or depleted. I’m tired of pretending but being rejected when I stop. I’m tired of being told that my deepest hopes and dreams – romantically, socially, vocationally – are too much and that *I’m* the problem. I’m tired of being told my standards are too high when I still get hurt that people don’t mean what they say (like “let’s hang out!” – which took me ten years of living in this city to learn NEVER means “let’s hang out!” – or when they say they can do X, Y or Z to help me). I’m tired of accumulating evidence that one of my deepest held beliefs (that I’m apparently supposed to just magically be able to think is false), that I can either be who I am or have what I want, is true. And I’m tired of thinking that writing about any of this will make any damn difference at all.