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To the Friends Who Stay Through the Intensity of My Life

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Like most people who are breathing (and honestly those who aren’t), life hasn’t always been kind to me. People who were supposed to love me have hurt me instead, sometimes in the name of their so-called love. I grew up being told that I was difficult to love; that I was frustrating and stressful to be near; that I should be grateful for the love I was shown because most people wouldn’t try so hard to be near me. Every “I love you” I heard growing up (and some even now) came with an asterisk.

Maybe that’s why it’s so hard for me to accept the people who try to love me now.

I’ve started to notice a pattern in my relationships. I’m working on trying to process why it works like it does, but for now I want to explain what I think I know.

I start by meeting someone and thinking they hate me. I go for a while thinking that, then one day I have an emergency and they help me. After that, they become my new favorite person, and I constantly tell them that. I go overboard in telling them how much I appreciate them in my life and how much I love them. Next comes me putting them through the wringer. I lead a very intense life — one with a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, worry, constant emotions — and I throw them into it head first. I expect them to leave, so why not make them leave quickly so we don’t draw it out? I constantly apologize for my life and pulling them into it, I think that will stop the inevitable. Then I get suicidal. I feel like I just pull down everyone around me — stressing them out, frustrating them, making them hate me — so I just want to make myself disappear to make life easier for them and to protect myself from the hurt that will come when they leave. Then I start to withdraw because I’m convinced they hate me. Then they’re gone.

That’s been almost every single relationship in my life. I live life in constant regret of pulling people into my life, I hurt because of how I hurt those around me, I don’t know how to be a friend.

I am so grateful for the people who stay — even though they are few. I know I lead an intense life. My life scares and frustrates me too. I need you to realize that. I want you to know early on what you’re getting yourself into so you don’t hate me later thinking I lied to you about who I was. But I am trying to learn to take it slower. I am trying to learn to be less intense. I am trying to heal so I can have easier friendships.

To those in my life — whether you are new to this ride or you’ve been on it with me for a while — I can’t tell you how much I love and appreciate you (but I’ll annoy the crap out of you trying).

I’m sorry that I apologize so much. It’s out of fear. Fear you’ll think I’m taking you for granted, or that you will think I don’t care.

I’m sorry I am intense, but I am so very happy that you try to stay by my side.

I will do whatever I can for you — I hope you know that. You mean the world to me. Thank you for being so fantastically you. Please keep staying. Please keep pushing me to be better. Please keep laughing with and at me. Please keep sitting with me. Please keep holding my hand and yanking me through.

Thank you.

Unsplash photo via Dương Hữu

Originally published: August 2, 2019
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