Lean on me, but I won’t lean on you

I finally remembered what slipped my mind last week, and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Luckily, one topic kind of bleeds into the next.

The job that I interviewed for was set up through a friend. (For those that care, the first interview went well, they passed on all of my info to the higher ups with their recommendation to hire, so it’s all in their hands now. That was two weeks ago. I haven’t heard a peep other than the ones I interviewed with telling me to sit tight, they’re hoping for a decision soon. I’m not getting my hopes up.) She had I have been friends since first semester of our freshman year, so 13 years now. Her and another girl and I have been close ever since. Even though we’ve been out of school for almost a decade we still get together whenever our schedules match up, and we’ve had a running group text that we’re all active in at least once a week since we graduated. This chat log would literally go back years if someone wanted to pull it from one of our carriers. These two are some of my closest friends.

That being said, I hold a lot back. I don’t talk about what’s really going on in my life. Everything I share is fairly superficial. But I support them, chime in with advice when it’s asked for, am there for them. But I’m a bad friend. I don’t share myself with them. I keep my problems to myself as much as I can. There are reasons for this.

I don’t feel like I deserve them. I feel like one of these days they’re going to realize that I’m not worth being friends with. I don’t want to be a burden, burden them with my problems. I would miss them so dearly if they decided that, but I’d let them go without a fight because I believe that they had finally come to their senses.

I feel like that with all of my friends. Hell, even Mike I keep somewhat at arms length, although he knows I’m doing it and generally doesn’t stand for it. I keep a lot of barriers up to keep people from getting close. Part of it is for self preservation – when, as I said, they realize that I’m not worth it, it hurts less when they walk away. Part of it is to protect them, to make them care about me less.

There’s a lot of history behind this, but I think until I met Mike I only had one or two true friends. The rest were people that I thought were friends, but they all left me broken when they walked away after they had taken all they could. I’ve a giver by nature, and this was exploited by more people than I care to admit. Bit by bit those barriers went up to the point where now they’re almost impenetrable. As such, with most people I have very flimsy friendships with most people. The two women I mentioned earlier are probably the only two other than Mike that I can’t say that about.

I had an appointment with my shrink last week and we talked about this. He finally got me to admit that my self-confidence is in the gutter. I feel like I’m unworthy of love, friendship, or success. I don’t see value in myself as a person. That realization is a hard pill to swallow. I think on some level I knew this, but to have to admit this – to say the words reduced me to tears. I haven’t cried like that in years. Hell, I’m tearing up just writing this.

So yeah, back to therapy I go. We’ve got a lot to unpack. I can’t imagine feeling another way. I don’t see how I can change my mindset. This is just who I am. I’ve never seen the world as a light and delightful place. My world has always been a dark place where my worth is negligible at best. I feel like any time I’m confident that it’s really just a gross display of ego. Despite being propped up as a child and told that I could achieve great things, that good old Catholic upbrining shoving you back down into your rightful place as an unworthy sinner might have taken more hold than I or anyone realized. Or maybe it’s the mental illnesses that have warped my brain. Who knows.

I hate feeling this way, but I think I hate more the fact that it’s been blatantly pointed out as wrong hurts more. It’s the final “your brain is a dysfunction” nail in the coffin.

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