30 May, 2012

Bridges, figuratively.

I got this in a fortune cookie yesterday, and it got me thinking about bridges that I've 'burned', so to speak, and I've come to realize that I'm ok without most of them. The ones I do have are strong, and the people they lead to work with me to keep them maintained. (Is this making sense? It's all figurative, and relative to the saying.) But I also realized that more than burned bridges, the ones I've lost have simply collapsed, been ignored, or I've let crumble after people were too rough with them.

I like to think I'm a fairly giving person. I love to help people, friends especially, and I'm more than willing to do everything in my power to help someone out when they need it. But in the past this has led to me being walked all over by people who took advantage of my good nature. At first, I just let it go. I wouldn't say anything, or do anything, and I harbored resentments.

Then, one day, I realized it simply wasn't worth it. I started to stand up for myself, to say 'Enough is enough!' and to have a limit to my generosity. Not because want to be mean, but because I cannot be happy if I'm giving so much of myself that I'm going to resent the person. It hasn't affected the people closest to me, other than giving them a chance to see a much happier me, because they would never dream of taking advantage of me.

But others, people who expect too much and give too little, were surprised, angry, even. They had come to expect so much, that when I said 'no,' or didn't jump to answer their call, their true nature showed, as clear as day. The difference, though, is that I harbor no resentment, no ill nature towards them. I simply stopped putting effort towards 'repairing' the bridges that they had over-used, and without my efforts, there was no bridge.

Now, I may not have always been the best about letting people down gently, so to speak. I hate confrontation of any kind, and will avoid it at all costs. I believe, in some cases, people have been so oblivious to their own 'gimme-gimme-gimme' nature, that they honestly did not understand why I was no longer associating with them. I'm not worried about it though. Someday, maybe, they will grow up and realize the error of their ways, but it's really not my problem.


I do realize that I'm no saint. People have chosen to not be my friend for a number of reasons, and while I think some were a bit childish or silly, that's their prerogative, and I truly wish them nothing but happiness in life.

A few things, though, I know I'm really bad about, and I'd like to share just in case someone I know is reading this and thinking, 'Does Mandi not want to be friends with me?'

-I am not the best at calling people, or answering phone calls, and I rarely ever listen to voicemail. If I miss a call, I will most likely call you back within the next 48 hours, and if you left a voicemail, I probably won't have heard it. If in doubt, TEXT!

-I love having company, and am willing to let any of my friends come stay in our extra room, but I tend to get weird after more than 4 or 5 days with almost anyone. Don't be offended! I still love you, it's just a side effect of my anxiety.

-Sometimes, I just need some quiet 'me' time. So if I go off in my room, or just quit talking at all, don't assume I'm mad and start asking me "What's wrong?" Just give me a few minutes to collect myself, and I'll be alright.

-I can be picky about things being in the 'right' spot. If you're my guest, and trying to be helpful and I snap at you, please, please don't take it personally. It's more me being upset with myself that it matters so much.

-I can be overly sensitive at times.

-If I insist on driving, it's not because I don't trust your driving skills, it's because I have really bad anxiety attacks when anyone else drives. Please don't take offense, it's not something I can control. It's actually pretty awful, and I don't like it any more than you do. Promise.

So if it seems like I've done any of those things to you, I'm sorry. Really and truly sorry. These are not indications that I don't like you, they're either grotesque manifestations of my depression, anxiety, or just plain ol' bad habits.

Wow, this got really long and ramble-y. I do apologize.

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