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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nobody's Cause

This is normally the time of the week where I would go through my list of requests and choose one to feature in what is known as the All-Request Wednesday.

But here's the problem for this week. I actually didn't get any requests for this week at all. It's okay though. I knew looking ahead into the future that I would have some weeks that would be slower than others when it came to asking for requests, so I had to come up with a back-up plan in case I had a week where I had no requests.

And, well...I figure that if I didn't have any requests to honour for today for other people, I would instead do a request for myself. So today's request comes from Matthew T. of Ontario, Canada!!!

(Yeah, that didn't sound lame or weird, did it?)

Oh well.

Truth be told, I've been trying to find the right words to use in regards to something that has been weighing on my mind for a while. I hemmed and hawwed about this particular topic because I was kind of worried that if I talked about this subject, I might end up alienating some people, or hurting other people's feelings.

It's only now that I realize that the only person whose feelings I was hurting was me. And, I think that if I talk about what it is that is on my mind, it will hopefully help clear a few things up, and it might give me a better perspective on my life, and how I handle the people who happen to pass through it. Maybe by talking about my own experiences, it might help other people who are afraid to share how they feel speak out.

So, I suppose that for this week, you're going to have back-to-back diary entries. I just hope that you all are game for it.

July 31, 2013

It isn't very often that I do a diary entry on Wednesday. Normally I would be doing this the day after. But when the request well dries up, you do what you have to do. That's not to say that I haven't given up on requests. I love hearing ideas from my readers because I really want this blog to be all about them, and I want them to have a voice in what they want to see in this space.

However, I do admit that I'm a little glad that the requests were a little slow this week because it's given me a bit of a rare opportunity.

It gives me the opportunity to be one hundred per cent brutally honest about something that has always bugged me throughout my lifetime, and I haven't had the courage or the chance to address it...

...until now.

Before I begin though, I do wish to state a little bit of a disclaimer. For any of you who are regular readers of this column, I want to stress that these thoughts likely don't apply to you. After all, I have so much love and admiration for all of you out there reading this now because it shows me that I have the possibility to truly make what I do an actual career goal one day. Your continued support and interest in this blog has made me very humble, and I really appreciate it every time you read even just one of these entries.

I just wish that in my experiences through life, I could have that same level of support, compassion, and the occasional bit of constructive criticism if needed surrounding me in my real day-to-day existence as I do here on this blog.

That's not to say that the majority of people I deal with on a day-to-day basis are evil, callous, spiteful, and cruel. That's just silly talk, and it couldn't be further from the truth. I get along with mostly everyone...well...on an level of acquaintanceship that is.

And I suppose it goes back to my feelings on friendship. You've probably heard me mention this before, but I probably take friendship more seriously than the average person does. But that's only because in my own experience, finding friends has not always come easy. I'm an expert in finding acquaintances and casual relationships, yes. But when it comes to finding people who I can share my deepest, darkest, most intimate secrets with...that's been the challenge.

And part of the reason why this has been a challenge for me is because in past experiences, I have gotten burned by people who took advantage of me, or used my friendship against me in some manner. Even now, I still find myself falling into the same traps. I would get close to someone, and they would be nice to me back long enough for me to do something for them, and then once I “outlived my usefulness”, they'd ditch me and move on to the next patsy. Mind you, this is most certainly a very frustrating experience to go through, and one that I really don't want to lather, rinse, or repeat any time soon. But, in my 32 years of living, I've gotten better with trusting people. I'm still a smidgen bit cautious, but it's a learning process that we fine tune throughout our entire lives.

But there's one type of person out there in this world that I really absolutely have no use for, and it's hard for me to admit this because not only have I had former friends who have been guilty of this, but teachers and admittedly some family members have unknowingly done this.

What am I talking about?

I'm talking about people who choose to see me as a cause, or a pet project, rather than a friend. And, forgive me for my “not quite salty enough” language here, but people like that really piss me off.

I guess my dislike of people who do this dates all the way back to first grade, where I had a teacher who basically tried to change everything about me from showing me how to hold a pencil the “right” way to making sure that I was walking on my flat feet (despite the fact that it physically caused me pain to do so at that time). And the thing is that she didn't exactly do it in a way that really helped me. She shamed me, and humiliated me in front of the whole class, and for me, that was inexcusable. A teacher should not do that with any child. I needed a teacher who would teach me what a fraction was, or what the capital of Canada was, or how to draw a picture of a porcupine. I didn't need a teacher who made me feel worthless and less of a person because she tried to shame me into doing everything that she wanted in an effort to make me seem “normal”.

Lemme get one thing straight. One, you can't put a definition of the word “normal” on one specific person. Everyone has their own idea of what normal is. And when I was in the first grade, my normal was walking on my tiptoes. So, I didn't really appreciate the fact that a TEACHER was going out of her way to change my idea of normal as if she was competing on a game show. With the way she went about it, it was like she was going to win a quarter of a million dollars for making me “normal”. It was just absolutely petty and tacky on her part.

And, it set the tone for my relationships with people to come.

Truth be told, there's always a little sliver of doubt that lingers in my mind whenever I have the chance to meet and befriend new people. I'm the first to admit that I have great difficulty finding people that I can trust because I have had so many people come into my life who have mistaken my friendship for neediness. To some people, it almost appears that I'm one of those people featured in those “Feed the Children” commercials that you might see on television. They see me as a cause, rather than a person. They see me as someone who needs saving when a lot of the times, I'm not even aware that I had anything that needed to be saved.

It's very frustrating to deal with people like that, and honestly, I'm over it.

By now, most of you know that I am single. And, admittedly, a lot of the reason why I am still single is largely due to the trust issues that I have with people. This is something that I have readily admitted to in the past, and happily, I'm finding a way to open up my heart to people once more. But that being said, I don't really like the fact that I have had to deal with people who claim that the reason why I am single is due to the fact that I have some sort of personality disorder, or some sort of brain disorder, and sending me links to various support groups for people who have autism (and yes, there have been people who have done this to me). That's not cool. Friends don't do that to people. Friends may offer constructive criticism on how to dress to impress, or friends may set you up on a blind date, or friends might have some suggestions on how to up your game in the romance department. Friends should never suggest that your lack of romance is due to a chemical imbalance, or something similar. That's just uncalled for.

Oh, and to the former friend who kept talking down to me as if I were still a child and suggesting that I had some unresolved “growing pains” holding me down....what the hell were you thinking with a comment like that? Seriously, F-you. You telling me that is incredibly rude and thoughtless, and I thought that I would have expected better from you in that regard. You're supposed to build people up, not tear them down. Oh well...lesson learned, I suppose. The hard way, mind you, but lesson learned. You tried to change me by shaming me, and making me feel worse about myself...and had I been a little bit more weaker, you might have succeeded in changing me for all the wrong reasons. Fortunately, that didn't happen.

I guess somewhere along the way, I grew tired of people who were trying to bring me down to their level. And, I grew sick of keeping friends who weren't really “friends”.

Again, I have nothing against constructive criticism. It's when people try to change me as a way to make themselves feel better that I get really upset and angry. And, that's why I wanted to write about this today. I get the impression that I have some people in my life who see me as nothing more than a cause. I feel that there are some people in this world who want to do their best to change me and sculpt me and mould me into someone else just because. The unfortunate thing (and I am sure that some of you can relate to this) is that once they succeed in their changes, they don't often stick around very long after that. And, that can be damaging to anybody's psyche.  

I hate to use the television show "Saved By The Bell" as an example, but there's one episode that I can think of that demonstrates my point.  In one episode, the gang start up a teen line where Zack tries to help a girl named Melissa.  Against the teen line rules, Zack sets up a date with Melissa only to discover that she is paraplegic and needs a wheelchair to get around.  Despite Melissa's insistence that she is getting through life just fine, Zack sees it differently.  Things come to an end at the charity wheelchair basketball game where Zack kind of embarrasses Melissa for being the only one of the group to have to be in a wheelchair.  When Melissa refuses to speak to him after that, one of Zack's friends tells him that maybe she wanted to be his friend, and not his cause.  Even Melissa told Zack that even though she couldn't do some things, she could still do more than he thought, and that he shouldn't treat her as if she were broken.  I think Zack soon learned his lesson, and things were cool between them again.

So, I guess the lesson that I have to share in this blog entry is that nobody wants to be seen as a cause. However, everyone needs a friend who will treat them as such.  I hate it when people treat me as if I am broken because I haven't had the same experiences that everyone else had, or because I have something about myself that I can't change.

Okay, rant over for today.

1 comment:

  1. I was never a fan of "Saved by the Bell" but I remember seeing that episode. Besides that, I can relate to those friends who want to change you...hell, nearly every woman I've dated was like the type of people you've described.