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.