My friend Jenn recently posted this entry, and I relate to it a lot, about how much her friends are aware of what she needs to feel safe, and all the things they do to make sure she's okay. She also talks about how when she moved away from her core community for a while, there was no one offering that support ... and sometimes that pushed her to do things she wouldn't have tried, otherwise.
This is the last paragraph:
"So what i find myself pondering tonight is where the balance lies. How to allow myself to say “i can’t” when i truly can’t....but not hide behind it when it’s easy rather than necessary. I think at a minimum it requires challenging my own self-centeredness. Not sinking into safety and allowing myself to assume that the state of affairs i am in is a natural one. Remaining aware of the way(s) people accommodate me and holding myself to account for the ways in which my anxieties inconvenience them and working hard to ensure that they do so to the least extent possible"
Basically I'm where she is. Trying to figure out what I CAN'T do, versus what I just FEEL like I can't do but am being insulated against having to do because I have such lovely friends in my life. You know?
For example, I ask for a LOT of reassurance from people that they are not mad at me and that we are okay. All the time. To the point where robotropolis once said to me "I'm going to Montreal for the weekend and I will still like you when I get back!"
I have been this way as long as I can remember, probably because my mom was so unpredictable when I was a kid, veering wildly from loving to cruel without a second's warning. So now I am 36, and the question "How much reassurance do I need?" is still a bit like the question "How long is a piece of string?"
shannonmariah once had the great perspective "It's okay to ask your friends if they are mad at you, but you should try to believe you when they say that they are not." When my logic cylinders are firing okay, I can do that. But when I'm in superpanic mode, basically I'm just like "Okay but what about now? Or now? Or now?" It's something I am trying really hard to figure out.
Here are my two competing thoughts:
1. I don't want to burn anyone out
2. I don't want to assume my friends will be annoyed when I ask for things.
I ALSO want to be super mindful of not accidentally creating a crisis because then I will have "permission" to ask an unreasonable amount from someone! I have a pretty capable brain, and making a big disaster is not the best use of it.
So I dunno what to do about that, exactly! Suggestions welcome.