I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU

Admit it, as soon as you read the title of this entry you started singing Friend’s song (I know, because I did the same and now I can’t stop it playing in my head. AAAHHHH!!!). Here is the link in case you feel the need to blast it out loud!

I have a very big issue with trust and relying on other people, developed in years and years of having to fend for myself, of being surrounded by irresponsible, unreliable, childish people, of being extremely disappointed at the answer of a simple “could you please do that for me?” and, generally, because I have always portrayed myself as the strong, can-do-everything-anytime woman who mothers everyone around her because “if I don’t do it then nobody will or they’ll fuck it up, so I might as well put up with this shit now”.

If there is one thing I’m extremely grateful to my parents is the way they drilled in my mind the importance of being independent, strong, fierce and ready to face anything in life. It took me years to discover that, like any other medal, even this one has two faces, and even if one is very positive, the opposite…. Not so much. My mother always said to me “whatever happens in your life, good or bad, make sure you can always walk with your legs only, should you need to: this is the essence of freedom. If you know that you can count on yourself (especially financially), you don’t have to worry about relationships ending, work not being there, illness striking etc”.
“Hope for the best but prepare for the worst” the famous quote says, and this has been my attitude in life so far. I worked my ass off to always be in a position where, whatever happened to me, I was able to handle it, whether it was an extra bill I wasn’t expecting, a problem suddenly exploding on my face, any issue whatsoever, you name it. I think that this is why, ultimately, I ended up being in relationships with reckless and irresponsible people, because not only I was trained to sort my life, I was also convinced I could handle their shit without breaking a sweat. Also, I was totally fascinated on how they managed to survive, living day by day if not hour by hour, without a care in the world whilst I was frantically thinking of ways to cope with life.

And here is the opposite side of the medal for you… and I soon discovered how nasty it is by marrying the Chief Reckless and Irresponsible Officer of the world.

I can tell you, hand on heart, that I rarely have been more frustrated than having to fuck my credit score up by getting extra cash from those short-term loan sharks to pay for mortgage and food, all because my ex-husband was a “misunderstood talent”, or “this job is not for me”, or “they are all cowboys and don’t get fine dining” in yet another restaurant, meaning that he was yet again jobless and with no income, our household was again one salary down and we were big time fucked up. I ended up maxing out credit card after credit card, I lived payday by payday, spending endless sleepless night thinking “ok what bill can I delay this month? What service can be suspended without being too much of a hassle? What credit can I put my hands on to drag my family till the next salary” and I’m telling you, fighting post-natal depression plus being in a permanent state of anxiety was not a piece of cake. In all of this, he has been totally, delightfully at peace because to him, a life of constant struggles was not an issue and, anyway, he knew I’d fix it eventually, so why worrying?
I sat down with him so, so many times telling him “for fuck sake, you are on the brink of being forty years old, you are not a teenager, you have a family, you need to be responsible, you need to get yourself in a position where, should anything happen to me (and I was suicidal when I said those words, mind you), you’d be able to provide for you and our son! You cannot rely on me, what if a car hits me and I cannot work for months because I’m bedridden in an hospital room?” and so on. The answer? “yeah, you are right, but it’s not me, it’s them, they don’t understand me, I’m doing my best, but, but, but…”. And just as he predicted, there I was, fighting to live another day, counting pennies in my pocket and praying to survive another month with food on the table and a roof above our heads, eventually managing to putting a patch on yet another issue, giving him freedom to fuck it up again and again until, eventually, I left him and he almost ended up in jail (and, as far as I’m aware, his problems are all still there and counting).

After all of this, I became wiser and savvier, right? Do you think, after my marriage finally broke up for good, that I have learned my lesson? Of course not.
So there I was, bailing out people from their issues just because I hoped that, by doing so, they’d love me and fill the void I had inside, and maybe, just maybe, return the favour once. Yeah right, if I had to get back all the money I’m owed, I’d could easily repay one of my credit cards and cut it for good. What a dumb ass I have been.

Eventually, I toughened up, and especially after being dumped and, consequently, starting therapy, if anything I became extra super duper closed up in my own world: there was me, my son and no one else. No fucks given, no taking care of anyone else’s shit, your issues are not my issues, go beg someone else, goodbye, good luck, fuck off. Just like any other day in my life, it was me against the world, fighting all these wars alone, scarred but undefeated: all these experiences taught me once again that, unless I was by myself for myself, I would only end up in more mess than what I already was in. There was no trust, no ability to rely on anyone but myself.

For the record, this applies (and still does, to a certain extent) at work as well: if I start a list of all the shit I decided to deal with because I couldn’t trust anyone to do it by themselves, with a “I rather work 73485728 hours a day and do it correctly once, than having to then put up with the aftermath of a mess caused by incompetent people” mindset, oh boy, I would be able to fill the biggest encyclopaedia of the world and more. If it wasn’t for my dear friend and colleague Marge, who I know she has my back just as much as I have hers, I’d still be doing meaningless stuff to this day, end up pissed off big time, then frustrated, then miserable because “I have so much to do and I’m underappreciated”. This is one of the first thing I managed to get rid of, because now I’m so “I don’t really care if you fuck it up, it’s your problem not mine” that I managed to finally keep the bullshit away from me: I don’t care if your corporate card gets blocked, it’s not my responsibility if you can’t dial a phone number on a phone, I’m not your event planner so you can go to the pub by yourself, I’m no Michelin restaurant guide so you can book a restaurant by yourself and so on. Leave me out of it, thank you.

Things have changed in my personal life quite dramatically when my boyfriend came back in my life, moths ago, as a brand-new person, and being a brand-new person myself as well, we started to get to know each other again and, once we re-discovered how strong we are together (this time, in a positive way), we started to lay down the foundation of our relationship step by step. Amongst the things I’m having to learn now there’s trusting him to not only be there for me, but to also take care of me and my son. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I don’t have to fight anymore, that there are no enemies of my physical, mental or financial wellbeing out there, just few clouds passing by, annoying me a bit; we are walking together in this journey, side by side, strolling through this journey of life. I have never experienced such thing (aside from Marge and few other people in my life). Old me and new me are having a war of words against each other, with the old me trying to take me back to perceive the world as a threat, and the new me thinking how it’s so blissful to be able to shut down the noise of “did you think about that? What about that issue? How about that bill? How can you pay this or that? The nanny? The school? The house? Etc…” because I know, deep inside, that I can rely on him whenever I can’t do it by myself; it feels like my brain can, at times, be on a little vacation, stretch a bit and relax.

This week it’s going to be a challenging one and my boss already came round, asking me to be a good girl and not bite the head off anyone… I couldn’t promise him that, but whatever will happens, I know now there is help at hand.  

9 thoughts on “I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU”

  1. I didn’t hear the Friends song. My first thought to the title was, I’ll be there for you, these five words I swear to you. Bon Jovi.

    Life does suck at times and mean people makes it easy to want to crawl into your shell and hide. Been there suffered through it and don’t wish it on anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it’s horrible but eventually you either learn to get rid of the leeches or you succumb to them. I’ve been dragged down for way too long and I would like to get the message out there that another way it’s possible. Sending you a big big hug

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      1. Sometimes it’s hard to get away from the leeches when that is all you know especially if you were raised up in it. If your family ripped you off and took advantage of you then it feels like there isn’t a safe place in the world for you. It makes it extremely hard to trust anyone because if your family will do you dirty then how can anyone hope that a stranger will be better? I have lived through some horrible stuff and even though the leeches are gone I don’t know how to trust others. I would karate chop anyone who gets too close because I’m tired of being done dirty and that is a miserable feeling. It feels like some people get love and happiness because they came from a loving home and the rest of us have to be mistrested and get lessons because we didn’t win the parents lottery.

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      2. I know exactly what you mean and how you feel. I am really struggling to trust, it is something I’m learning from scratch with the help of a therapist and believe me, it is not easy. You feel like you always have to check your back for the next person who’s going to stab you, and when you try to open up, you live in fear and axiety of being hurt again. It is soul draining. It seriously is. I cut relatives, “friends”, you name it, and I’m re-building my life step by step, re-learning (or trying to) like a newborn baby. It is not easy at all. However, I know change is possible, and love is possible even if you don’t come from a loving, caring family – my dad has been abandoned by his father when he was a kid, lived with a nasty, horrid mother all his life and yet he became the most loving and caring man (still to this day). I firmly believe family is not just the blood one, and blood is not necessarily thicker than water: family is what you decide it is, not what sociaty imposes us, and you can chose who’s in it and who’s not at any time in your life. If people don’t add positivity, then they are out. I’m here for you, if you want to talk and get things out of your chest. Sending you love

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      3. Thank you. What comes to mind when I think about this kind of stuff it’s like if every time I walked into a room someone hit me or cussed me out then it gets to a point where I automatically flinch even if no one else is in the room. It becomes the norm and anything that isn’t absolute hatred feels wrong. I have tried so hard to believe that there is after abuse but every time I let myself hope for better I end up in tears. I will let my guard down and feel happy and hopeful then something happens and I end up worse off than before which destroys any trust that I had. It takes a lot for me to trust someone because I have been done dirty. Even my closest friend doesn’t know my truth. I know I can’t share it with her so it takes a lot for me to trust. I was extremely happy on Friday and Saturday came and the person who made me feel special one day made me feel less than the next. It couldn’t even last 24 hours and it was gone again. The sad thing is I’m so used to being done dirty that it didn’t even surprise me when it went South. It just feels like I can’t have happy or I don’t get to have what I want so it’s best not to want anything.

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      4. I was the same as you, believe it not. Tired of being treated for granted, tired to be used and abused, wanted just for money or things, not being able to trust someone to make me happy for more than a day without ending up crying my eyes out the next. Oh, I have been insulted multiple times, and I still am, but now I just don’t care: these insults say more about the person who shouts it at me than about me. The thing is, and I discovered it after much much heartbreak and painful psychotherapy sessions, that happiness (or lack of it) solely depends on you. Once you work on yourself, once you stop focusing on other people’s behaviour to focus solely on you, your wellbeing and your self-esteem, you’ll be less and less susceptible to external behaviours because you will be happy as you are,by yourself. It’s not easy at all, I’m still working on it almost a year later, but it does help. There are plenty of amazing books that I can suggest you to read that have massively helped me in my journey. Having said that, for people like us, trusting won’t come easy, especially after being repeatedly hurt. But then again, why letting pain rule our lives and give who hurt us the power of ruling our wellbeing?

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      5. Yeah I hear ya. I have done a great deal of work trying to heal so things don’t bother me anymore but it’s disappointing at times to know that even after all my hard work it isn’t enough to make my life normal.

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      6. Unfortunately there is no antidote for stupid, hurtful and spiteful leeches or else the world would be an amazing place! Hurt will always happen, it’s how you’ll manage it that will make the difference. I wish I could manage it with a baseball bat on whoever hurts me’s teeth, but hey…. violence it never the answer. I send you a very big big hug and anytime you need to vent, you know where I am 😘

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