cracks appear in the well worn veneer.

I’m very very used to being able to go about daily life and not have anyone notice when something isn’t fine. So when I find that to not be the case, it raises questions for me.  Does this mean that the mask is wearing thin? Is it getting too much for me to be able to disguise? Or is it actually that I mostly get away with it because people don’t look that closely.

At the moment, I think it’s probably a little of everything… but the biggest truth is is that I’m getting tired of fighting. With myself, with others and with the world at large. Everyone has demands of me, up to and including just to be myself. That’s the one I probably find hardest I think. People think I am all these things, and I probably appear that way, and in some cases it might even be true. But there are things I am not. Or maybe just that I’m realising that I don’t *have* to be those things.  But then if I don’t have to be then what does that leave??

I know I’m talking vagueries again but I’m trying to actually express something that isn’t verbal in my head… so maybe it’s better to start at the beginning and see if that helps..

Last week I came to the realisation (with some help I should add) that I have friends who are not really friends. They are happy enough when they want something, or I can do/give/be something for them, but at other times they really don’t want to know.  This was proven and cemented when I had an encounter with them for the first time in a pretty long time and within an hour, I’d been asked for a favour. I wasn’t even asked how I was or why I’d not been about in the previous time.  Me being me, I did it, and it took having to hint majorly to get even a thank you.  In the past, this one sided “friendship” was acceptable for me, and I would quite happily be the doormat, because it was better than the alternative.  And it meant at least I had ‘friends’.

The changes over the last year though have made me wonder if maybe I am actually capable of better, and there have been better people come into my life who are showing me this is possible too.

So after this last week, and very clearly deciding that actually being treated like that isn’t acceptable, if only because I wouldn’t allow my friends to be treated like that, and I would never treat them like that, came last night.  Another person tried to assert their…will…I guess over me, and I fought back. I know that I did the right thing in denying them, especially when the daggers started to fly, and yet I ended up feeling completely guilty over doing it. This person I’ve known for a very long time. around 10 years in fact. They’ve been exceptionally important at times in the past, especially when I fell apart and no-one noticed.  It was actually this person who stopped me from bottoming out irretrievably. Thinking about that now though, it was purely because they happened to turn up and catch me completely defenseless. But, to their credit, they dropped everything and to some extent saved me from the abyss. Which may actually be why I feel so guilty. I feel like I owe them something I can’t actually repay.  I’d never thought of it like that until just now. But I think they may also know how I feel, because they know me well enough to know. And know it’s something they can use to keep me at their whim. Except they tried last night and it didn’t work.

I don’t know. But I know that I ended up feeling close to breaking point last night.  This is where it sounds odd. I could feel the pain, physically, but knowing that it wasn’t physical pain, but could feel the knots and wounds twisting and pulling and generally trying to tear me apart on the inside.  Something that however I try, I fail to explain. I do wish that the ability to transfer feelings existed (I think it’s star trek that has something like it.) Just so when someone who does notice and asks ‘what’s wrong’ instead of failing utterly to try and explain I could instead just take a hand and press it into that and let them feel. Because I don’t have a way to explain it.

That pain scares me though, because I know it’s trying to get out, and even though I know it would be easier to not fight and let it go and ride it out, I’m not sure I can. I’m pretty sure that I will fight and fight until I *can’t* because I don’t want to feel like I failed. I already feel that way to an extent, because it’s *that* which I try to keep hidden. From myself as much as anyone else. Myself because I’m afraid of it, and from others because I don’t want to be a burden on them, or to make them run or push them away. And I’m finding it harder and harder to keep it hidden. Even I can see it in my eyes from time to time without having to look hard to see it.

I think the hardest thing though is coming to the realisation that maybe it’s OK to let someone else see, and that actually, it might not terrify them, make them run, or just decide they can’t be bothered. That’s been my hope for some time now, but the idea that it might actually be realised is in itself unsettling. I am however grateful beyond words to the people who have been teaching me that friendship – real friendship, is *not* what I have mostly seen so far. Although that brings it’s own challenges, because I don’t want to fail or disappoint people who have been there for no discernable reason, and want nothing in return.

Even trying to explain this and write this, I can feel the ‘thing’ making itself known. It’s more like snakes writhing as opposed to knotted tummy and simple anxiety. Maybe because while I’m shielding it, it retains a hold. I forget too often, that a wall can be built to keep things out, but it also keeps things in. Maybe it’s time to take the wall down…  I just know that I’m tired. And I’m not sure I want to fight anymore. And I’m not sure I want to make the effort to hide.  Whatever that means…. whatever that may bring.

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