I’m a sci-fi geek, so I conceptualize things that way. Relationships with other people are, for me, like a really complicated solar system. There are all these chunks of rock and ice and metal whizzing around, and if one of them varies even a little, the whole thing will fall apart spectacularly, with explosive planetary collisions. Even a small piece of space junk can have huge consequences.
In this metaphor, I am (of course) the space junk.
I always feel like I don’t belong, like a deviation. Everything’s all nice and systematic and functional, and then I come along and knock an asteroid off-course, and the asteroid crashes into a planet, and the planet careens into another planet, and the whole solar system just goes up in dust. Even if I don’t cause multi-planetary disaster, I’m lurking there in orbit, just waiting to tear a hole in a spacecraft and kill some astronauts with explosive decompression.
It’s not intentional, but there are times when intent just doesn’t matter. Like when planets (or people) start imploding.
And being space debris–that’s on a good day. On bad days, I’m the black hole at the center of the galaxy, swallowing everything but still feeling empty and in need of more, more, more. (Melodramatic much, Sara?) This is why you can’t have nice things–you’re a black hole of neediness, and no matter how much people give you of themselves, you swallow it and demand more.
I do a good job hiding it. My mother was a black hole, and I refuse to swallow people whole the way she does. I’m so committed to not needing things from other people and not “bothering” them that I come off seeming distant and aloof. I don’t call, I don’t write. I want to, but I’m convinced beyond reason that I’d just be annoying people because they’d all be much happier if I just left them alone.
The way it ends up, I basically take the stance that if someone really cares about me, they’ll initiate all the contact. When I write that out, it sounds manipulative–“PROVE you care!”–but I don’t think it’s that. I’m just so sure people really don’t want to deal with me, but I end up sacrificing a lot of potential relationships that way. It’s stupid, and it annoys the crap out of me.
For instance, the woman who was my 3rd nursing care coordinator at Riggs, through a lot of the worst time, works in Northampton now. She got in touch with me a while after the both of us had left Riggs, and we got together for coffee once around Thanksgiving. She works right around the corner from my apartment, and I have her e-mail and phone number. I e-mailed her a couple months ago when my phone number changed, but I never heard back from her. I know full well I’m reading too much into it, but now I’m convinced she didn’t respond because she doesn’t want to talk to me. For the last six weeks or so, I’ve been trying to get myself to e-mail her again, but something in my brain tells me that e-mailing her twice in 3 months is annoying, inappropriate, and bordering on stalkerish. My birthday’s Friday, and I’d love to see her and just go get coffee or something, but I’m too freaked out to e-mail her.
It’s stupid, and it frustrates the hell out of me. I am NOT important enough to cause interstellar devastation, so why can’t I convince myself of that?