You cannot teach someone to love you.
Love is something that, I believe, we come into this world with. I see it in my nephew who, at two and one, exhibited great levels of emotional maturity. Then he started daycare. Then he started to be socialized and bit by bit he became a little more selfish. A little more abrasive. Mind you, he is the cutest three year old I have ever met. It’s a fact I’m acknowledging. I also acknowledge that I am 100% biased but this is my blog so I make the rules on what facts are.
It’s also heartbreaking to see this shift. Because until someone shows you that love, affection, respect, loyalty are not the only options, many children exhibit these traits. They’re still assholes much of the time but they are much more willing to engage in the acts associated with love than most adults.
Hate, unlike love, is taught. Lack of respect and loyalty are taught. I am no psychologist but again, this is my blog.
I’m saying this because it is what I believe to be true. I believe that everyone possesses the ability to love and be compassionate. Some struggle with how to be close to different people (guilty as charged) because of life experiences. However, I still believe that deep down, we all have the ability to love and empathize.
I’m having one of those nights where I wonder, is it my fault? Experiencing heartbreak (I know, that is my go to phrase but it works every time) over and over is exhausting.
I wonder, is it me?
I am incredibly prideful. My family has forced me to be. My life has forced me to be. I believe that it helps me self motivate to do and achieve greatness. I also believe (and I know) that it keeps people from getting close to me.
I wrote a note to a friend. Last summer. I was sad and I felt alone. I was upset that I felt that this friend was not aware of how much they hurt others by not being aware of their actions. But I loved this friend. And I wanted my relationship with this friend to grow. I thought, wrongly, that this would help us mend the invisible tension that had been chipping away the edges of our solid (or so I thought) bond. I did not want to give up on this friendship but I was confused as to how to continue.
New York changed my mind, body and soul. I’ve always been a prideful person. Always. I just said as much. As a result, I often find it hard to express when I am in pain. This is because, in the past, when I have done so, I’ve lost people — friends and family alike.
But you don’t just drop someone you love, right? You don’t just throw them away when they express displeasure, do you?
Am I wrong?
Then it begs the question: who are the people I fall in love with and why do I do it? I am a Captain Save a Ho. I want to save and nurture people who I think are lost. New York taught me how fucked up that is. You can’t make friends with the intent of “fixing” people. You cannot go into a friendship and expect that you will be a counselor. For if you do, you will (even if it takes four years) eventually break. You will break and it will be catastrophic. World War III would have nothing on your hurt. Unlike an atomic bomb that eviscerates everything in its sight in a matter of seconds, your hurt will continue to destroy.
“We expect the love we think we deserve.” — Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
When, suddenly, someone is in a new environment and they need more love than they had before, what are her friends to do? She thought (and it’s because she is a Cancer and feels things and is sensitive yada yada) that those who “loved” her would up the love.
Just for a little bit. Just for a little bit.
Do I regret exploding and letting said friend see my hurt? I wish I did. Because if I did, I would be doing everything in my power to fix it. I would have accepted the smoke screen apology as sincere and I would have moved on.
However, I can’t. I had left the toxic environment that was my school. I left behind hallways and walkways and paths where I was forced to smile in order to not seem a bitch. I left behind cafeterias where people (later on) told me I looked scary because by senior year I enjoyed — really enjoyed — most of my meals alone. I left behind the boy tricksters and the lady fakers. I didn’t have to be in a congested environment of unknown, destructive privilege. Knowing I didn’t have to go back meant that my mind was at peace.
Quickly, however, it was plagued with the depression I often have to hide about everything else. Like I said, I have a hard time expressing pain. And this was a different kind of pain. It was an exhaustion. An exhaustion with human interaction that I had never known before. New York for an introvert is like poison for a rat. Slowly kills you.
I needed my friend to see that. I needed my friend to know me enough to love me harder. To wrap me in their arms harder.
But you can’t teach love. Love is something that is within. If someone loves you, they might not always say the right thing. They might not always do the right thing. However, they will be there for you emotionally.
It’s not about the fact that I didn’t tell you I was in pain. It’s about the fact that I’m telling you now. Why are you focusing on the fact that I didn’t tell you something instead of the fact that I’m in pain? I can’t teach someone that. I don’t have a degree in psychology (as my very blanket statements about love and hate suggest).
What am I trying to say with this post? Children are great and they don’t need to be taught empathy. I think that rocks. I know why I attract people who “need to be saved” but I thought I had developed a good enough relationship with them that me LITERALLY SCREAMING FOR LOVE would maybe, I don’t know, prompt them to give me some *insert girl shrugging emoji*.
I’ll admit, like I said, I have many many issues. Many. I’m going to make my therapist a lot of money. I should just get up and make new friends. I have. But when you keep being disappointed by them (not in how they act — although sometimes that is a teeny tiny part) you start to lose faith in yourself.
Did I do this to myself?
“We’re trapped inside the matrix
Forced to play our hands
We’re filled with so much hatred
The kids don’t stand a chance…” — “The Kids”, B.o.B
“We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” — Robin Williams, The Dead Poet’s Society