Saturday, July 7, 2012

"Are you Ok?"

Are you ok?

I kind of hate these words.  Not when they are said to me.  I really appreciate when someone reaches out to me, even if I am unwilling to open up to them.  No, I hate these words because of how many times I've wanted to say them, but haven't.  

Now, I really care about the people close to me.  I can't even describe how much I want to be a person that others can turn to.  But as much as I hate to admit it, a lot of the time, I am just not that person.  I don't want to even admit that this part of me that is so selfish exists, but I can't lie, it does.  

Some of it, I can blame on fear.  I don't always trust that I will be able to do anything, or that I am even correct in thinking that they need help.  I feel like I am being invasive, and somehow, even though I know that I should ask, the words just won't come.  I get so caught up in, "it's not my place" or "if they needed me, they would come to me".  But every time I do this, I just end up doing nothing.  And how is that right? How is it right for me to worry about what someone will think of me for showing concern.  It's a selfish thought that I have far too often.  Maybe this seems like an extreme view, but I'm not trying to torture myself, I'm trying to be realistic.  When I spend time worrying about whether something is "my place" or not, I am making the situation about me.  And when someone is hurting, or needs help, that just isn't an attitude that should be excusable.

And then I start to worry about if I will even be able to help.  I feel like I am going to say the wrong thing and hurt them more.  This I can excuse slightly.  At least then I am semi-focused on them.  But see, then I start to think about all the times that I have been upset.  And how often I just needed someone to persuade me to actually say what was wrong out loud.  How often all I needed was the assurance that someone was there, and cared.  So, why am I focused so much on what to say?  Even if I can't actually help, there is no reason that I shouldn't ask what is wrong.  I manage to completely ignore the fact that I am supposed to just be listening.  

And then there is the part that I am most ashamed of.  Sometimes it is just easier to not ask.  Because if I ask, I start to really care about what someone is feeling, and worry about them. And so sometimes, if I don't think I can fix it, I feel myself avoiding the situation because I am trying to avoid the pain from not being able to help someone I care about.  

I know, pretty selfish.  All I can promise is that I do know how wrong this is.  And I can also promise that I do truly want to be a caring person that others can come to.  I feel that I have made some changes.  When I see people upset now, most of the time I am able to to force myself to say, "are you ok?"  And I am so happy for it.  I have been able to be there for some of the people that I truly care about.  But I know there are still times that I am not, and I am truly sorry.  I know my high school friends in particular, I feel like I have let you down multiple times in this respect, because of fear and uncertainty.  I truly do apologize for this.  And I can promise to anyone in the future, I am trying and I am going to try to be there if you need me.  


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