So there is this woman I know who is ill. She’s actually in hospice care currently. My heart is sad for her and for her family. I’ve always thought of her kindly and I assumed the same was true of her as it related to me. We have never been very close friends, just distant friends really. We met through a group of acquaintances probably fifteen or sixteen years ago.
I have always been glad to see her on the few occasions that we have run into each other over the years because she is a nice lady. She has a good heart, a terrific sense of humor, a great smile and she sings like an angel. I guess in a way I considered us kindred spirits of a sort because we were both single parents.
Facebook however was the great equalizer. Well more to the point it hammered home something that I had never really considered before. She does not think as highly of me as I do of her. It has been told to me over and over again that it is none of my business what other people think of me. It’s just difficult for me to accept at face value. This woman does not like me. I don’t know why and although intellectually I know that it shouldn’t matter to me it does. It very very much does. I saw her about two years ago at a gathering of mutual friends and she simply refused to acknowledge my presence although I was sitting directly across from her and carried on quite a long conversation with her mother. It was painful.
I had already attempted to contact her a couple of times via social media and via email prior to this gathering and had already determined that she did not want to be part of my social network. I could have probably lived with that but to be outright ignored as though I were invisible when we were there together for at minimum an hour was actually kind of painful for me. I played it off and made some snarky comment to the friend I attended the gathering with but inside I was feeling the sting.
So now this woman is ill, well more than ill she is dying. Man that is a hard word to type. She is leaving her family and friends and going wherever she may be going and I want to be a comfort to her. The thing is though, she probably doesn’t want me to be and let’s face it this is not about me. It is beyond selfish for me to feel this way but I resent that I’m not welcome to be there for her and comfort her and help with the fundraising etc. It is embarrassing that all of our mutual acquaintances are posting and re-posting about the fund raiser weblinks, the fundraising event planned and I have nothing that I can contibute other than money anonymously on her weblink. I know it is not about me and I recognize how petty this sounds.
She must be weak and tired and feeling overwhelmed by it all. I would like to help somehow – cook for her, shop for her, clean for her or whatever else she or her family might need but I can’t because it would just be wrong for me to force myself upon her when she is down. I’m sad because someone that I know who is my age is dying. I’m sad because I want to be there for her with our fellow acquaintances to support her in her time of need but I would not be welcome.
I just have to keep reminding myself that this is about her and her needs and not mine.
Unfortunately my insecurities have come to the surface and even when her best friend put out a call for help when she was struggling with something I didn’t step up to offer assistance because I was afraid it would be rejected. Look I know I’m flawed but I am always stymied to find out that someone actively dislikes me. I guess I just don’t see myself as a person that someone would dislike. Yes I know how that sounds but I don’t really know how else to say it. I mean deep down in your most honest place of places can you actually say about yourself “Well I’m not very likeable because …”
So this starts me on my co-dependent roller coaster ride. Maybe I’m not nice enough, maybe I’m not smart enough, funny enough, good enough …. until I’m spiraling out of control and then the self doubt comes into play and I start second guessing myself and I wonder if maybe other people don’t like me too but they’re just not telling me? Let’s face it, we have all met people we didn’t like but we pretend like we do right? Oh no what if NO ONE likes me and I’m just deluding myself into thinking that they do? What if I’m an awful person and … well anyway you get the gist. Welcome to my mind, it ain’t a pretty place to be right now I’ll tell you.