Recently, someone told me, “Wow, the person you were over the summer is a totally different person than the person you are now. You’re like two different kids.”
Well, thanks. That totally helps better my life and make me feel absolutely awesome about myself. It’s amazing how tactless people can be. And, in truth, I’m not much of a different person. In fact, I’m exactly the same. Just because my life isn’t awesome with a cherry on top doesn’t mean I’m not the same person. And saying that I’m not the same person is, to me, kind of implying that I’m a worse person than I was in July or August. I’m a project. I’m a box that needs to be checked off the to-do list. I’m the main focus of Operation Fix Abigail. So many people around me have been treating me like a disease. I just need to be cured. It seems like everywhere I go, I get the same treatment:
“Gosh, what happened to you?”
“Why are you in such a dark place?”
“You’re not okay. You need help.”
Oh. My. Gosh. Look, I understand that everyone wants July-Abigail back. So do I. I get it. But having it shoved in my face all the time is not going to make me suddenly appear with a smile and a sense of self-worth. Telling me over and over again that I’ve changed is not going to make me change back, okay? It just makes me feel guilty and bad about myself.
I’m going to use the cave analogy, because everyone’s talking about this “dark place” I’m in. Whatever. Fine. Say I am sitting in a cave. Then people show up with flashlights and blankets and provisions and start screaming, “IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY. WE WILL GET YOU OUT OF HERE.” Other people show up at the entrance of the cave and bellow, “Just make the cave go away. Make it disappear. Stop hating light.”
I understand that both are trying to help, but you know what I really want? You know what would really make me feel loved and understood? If someone could just come in the cave without flashlights and first aid kits and overwhelming concern, sit next to me, and say, “Hey. You’re in a cave. Been there. Wanna talk about pizza toppings?”
Smothering me in love makes me uncomfortable and drives me to distance myself. This is not the movies; pouncing on me will not make me feel appreciated. I want to be understood. I don’t always want to talk about my problems. Talk to me about food. Talk to me about my favorite songs. Hang out with me at the park so we can laugh about stupid things. Do it without any motive. Do it because you really want to, because you like spending time with me.
You ask what I really need right now? That’s what I need right now.