Yesterday, I sat in a window alcove on one of the busiest streets in the city and cried.
I didn’t just cry, by the way – I wailed. I howled. Tears didn’t fall daintily down my cheeks – they poured. I didn’t care.
This is me at my lowest point.
I have just had enough.
Here’s what led to it:
My love of my mates makes me want to go over and above for them. That works out pretty well most of the time, but when I’m doing it for multiple mates at the same time AND feeling depression arrive in my mind and heart…it all lead to yesterday’s complete and utter breakdown.
Firstly, I want to explain. I like metaphors. Very much. When a friend shares their problems with me, I feel like they’re giving me a heavy rock to carry. They’re saying to me “hey, I’m dealing with some heavy things right now – my arms are sore and tired – do you mind carrying this for me for a bit?” when they tell me all their problems.
I’m a good person with a gentle heart and I want SO MUCH to make you happy, so I always say “of course” and I take that heavy weight from you and I carry it for as long as you need. When you’re better, you say something like “Hey, thanks for being there for me – how are YOU going?” and I picture them taking the weight they gave me off me and carrying it themselves again. Friends I trust – like Becci, Sam and Marc – I’ll even ask them to hold my burdens for a bit – and they do. And guys, I love you for doing that. You guys are my heart.
Except that for the last 3-6 months, my mate’s weights are so much bigger, they are giving me heavier and heavier things and I’m so bruised under the weight of it all that I’m starting to lose my mind.
My friends Liz and Caroline are both single mothers. Liz has 2 boys, Caroline has one. They are both trying to be both parents to their kids, they are both exhausted and they both lean heavily on me for emotional support.
My friend…um…let’s call her “Natalie” is a single Mom of FOUR children. She leans on me for financial support. This week I’ve sent her $250.00 for her Marriage Visa which to me, is the same as sending someone 10 GRAND. It is a FORTUNE and one that I am really gonna struggle with. But she is my friend – so I sent the money without any hesitation.
That’s the kind of friend I am. If I have it and you need it – then it’s yours.
I also don’t lend money. Ever. I freely give it. So I won’t be calling Natalie in a week’s time and asking for my entire Christmas savings back. Nope. It’s hers now.
So at this stage, I’m struggling financially and struggling emotionally. Supporting 3 Mom’s is hard work, you guys. Really, really hard. I am convinced 100% that this is why God wanted TWO parents in a family. So they could support each other and help each other.
Because doing this on my own is really exhausting.
Add my best friend Christabel to the mix, now. She is in her 30’s and is experiencing dating and boys for the first time in her life. It’s such an exciting time but also one filled with a lot of things to figure out. I can’t imagine having to learn all of that in your 30’s when so many of us went through the entire awkward “What do I do? what do I say? Is this ok? Is that ok? Are we ok? What the hell is going on???” stage in our teens. SO. It’s a lot for her to go through. I understand completely. At the same time as having a new boyfriend, Christabel is exhausted from work, mentally battered by her loving parents who are from a different culture and don’t understand dating in these modern times and is stressing over her little brother who really needs a permanent visa. Christabel takes ALL of that stress and lays it on my shoulders.
I feel like I’ve got a freaking couch on my back from EACH Mom. So 3 couches on my back. Big ones. Now Christabel is adding a fridge. Not an empty fridge, either. This emotional baggage has lots of stuff INSIDE this “emotional fridge” and it’s 3x as heavy as it normally would be because when Christabel contacts me – it is OFTEN. It is RELENTLESS. It has no boundaries. It comes with a lot of exhausted tears and that is my weakness, you guys – a best friend in tears can ask the world of me and I give it.
And so I have with Christabel.
And I didn’t have it to give. But she’s my best friend. So I HAVE to be there for her.
When Christabel calls me in tears – I give up my time, my energy, my rest – everything I’ve got – to listen. I give up precious minutes with Alun and CRITICAL time on my own (time on my own is the glue that holds me together) to call her. Even just to text costs me. Not in money (how much do texts cost?), but in my heart – because when I text her, I set aside time specifically for her. I carefully read her texts – (and believe me, there are always A LOT of them). I sit and I carefully and lovingly respond. As I gently touch each letter on my phone to respond, bits of my heart are breaking off because I know it won’t end at my response. Christabel will ‘ping’ back with more questions. More furniture to carry. I can’t even text “Hey, I can’t text right now because…” because even THAT will elicit a response “Oh no – why not? Are you ok? Can I just tell you about…” and more furniture gets piled on.
That isn’t even the part I mind.
I MIND that I’m not the only person in Christabel’s life that she “desperately needs to talk to”. Nope. She tells quite a lot of people what she’s going through and has A TONNE of support in return. So while I’m carrying a full fridge load of emotional weight – others are carrying her tables, bedroom furniture, TV etc in emotional baggage. Christabel will very often use a sentence like:
“Yeah, I see why you’re saying that, because Penny/Julie/Anna/My Chiropractor/My massage therapist/my old boss/my work colleagues/my family/my brother/Krystal/Mary/Joseph/Jack/Sue/Ellen/Margaret have said the same thing”
WHY ARE SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE FUCKING WEIGHING IN ON THIS?!?
While I’m sitting on the train, being shoved about after a long, HARD day at work of dealing with 1000 demanding staff members, and I’m trying to balance my gym bag AND my phone so I can text you back when I AM EXHAUSTED and ALL I WANT TO DO IS BE LEFT THE FUCK ALONE you’ve been talking to EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD about what you’re going through?
I GAVE UP PRECIOUS TIME WITH ALUN for this?
I GAVE UP THE NAP I DESPERATELY NEEDED for this?
For you to weigh my advice – WHICH HAS COST ME MY FUCKING SANITY – against the advice of 50 other people?!?
I AM FURIOUS ABOUT THIS. I feel really cheated.
Now I’m carrying couches, fridges and ALL kinds and depression is setting in like a very unwelcome guest because I’m SO FUCKING TIRED, you guys. I’m so weary. I’m so weighed down and I’m so exhausted.
Add ALUN to this already heavy mix.
He’s going through his seasonal depression, God bless him. Every year after his birthday, his mood gets very low indeed. Alun grieves the loss of his best friend to suicide every August so from August through until about February the next year, Alun is not my Alun. Instead of his cheery, loving, giving, amazing self…I get the surly, sarcastic, mouthy, rude and often very, very unhappy version of my favourite person in the whole world.
This is SO HARD for me to handle.
I can usually take on Alun’s burdens because I don’t have A TONNE OF OTHER SHIT to carry.
But this week has pushed me over the edge because it’s too much. IT’S JUST TOO FUCKING MUCH.
So my life RIGHT NOW is like this:
I’m drowning. I’m struggling and I’m ALWAYS shaking. Physically shaking because I’m so wound up, distressed, upset and exhausted from carrying around SO MANY FUCKING BURDENS. Every hour of the day is really, really hard for me to get through. I’m working 24/7 just to keep myself from falling completely apart.
I’m fragile AF right now. I’m on the brink of giving up completely.
Now, let’s add a STALKER to the mix.
You heard right.
“Amos” on reception has transformed from someone I could barely get 2 words out of in a day to a NON STOP TALKING MACHINE. I blame myself 100% for this because I reached out to him, befriended him and have listened with my whole heart to everything and anything he says.
Now I face a demanding work day WITH AMOS CONSTANTLY TALKING TO ME.
I can only explain this as trying to scoop up a tonne of wet, horrible SHIT with a shovel when someone keeps taking the shovel off me to ‘chat’. FOR HOURS. I have stuff to do. Stuff I hate and don’t want to do and it’s hard enough without you taking my time and attention so I can’t do the stuff I need to.
Amos’ incessant fucking talking has turned into touching. A LOT OF TOUCHING AND I HATE IT. He has to hold my hand a lot now or stroke my leg. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING, MAN?!? BACK THE FUCK OFF.
But no, I can’t say it. I don’t say a word because I’m just too broken inside to say anything.
I feel like I have nothing left.
So when Amos is stroking my leg…I die a little inside. It it so painful to have someone treat you like a piece of meat. It is shameful, heavy and horrible and I deal with it ON AN HOURLY BASIS.
I feel so vulnerable and used and dirty and filthy and SO FUCKING ALONE because of it.
I want to scream at him DONT FUCKING TOUCH ME. But instead, I smile. “Haha oh yeah that’s funny” because I’m scared to cause a scene.
Because inside I’m broken. I am so filled with thoughts of how my beloved Alun is suffering, how Christabel is coping (is she sleeping? is she okay? Has she heard back from her boyfriend?) how Natalie is doing with her new Fiance, how Liz and Caroline are…how EVERYONE IS that when a man is emotionally RAPING me (that’s honestly how it feels every day here with “Amos”)…I just let him. The light has left my eyes and all hope has left my heart SO I JUST LET HIM USE MY BODY HOWEVER HE WANTS because I don’t have anything left in me to fight back.
I feel dirty. I FEEL ABSOLUTELY FUCKING DISGUSTING with how Amos treats me.
And it’s getting worse.
Because he’s started following me AFTER WORK, now.
I was happily on the cross-trainer at the gym yesterday after work.
Of course there were texts from Christabel.
Of course 10 dozen friends wanted something from me “Janet, can I have…Janet, can you just…”
OF FUCKING COURSE.
But I was working out, so for ONCE in my MISERABLE BLOODY EXISTANCE – the world could wait and I could just listen to my favourite songs and work out.
I was sweating hard. I was enjoying.
I reached behind my machine to grab my towel…
…AND CAME INTO CONTACT WITH AMOS WHO HAD BEEN STANDING BESIDE ME THE ENTIRE TIME I WAS WORKING OUT.
He does NOT go to the gym
He does NOT go to MY gym.
How had he gotten in and WHY THE FUCK was he next to me as I was working out???
Have you heard the saying “the straw that broke the camel’s back”?
Well Amos FUCKING STALKING ME AT MY OWN FUCKING GYM was mine.
He stood there for about 5 minutes.
To me, it was like an hour. I was SO INCREDIBLY UNCOMFORTABLE and SO INCREDIBLY ANXIOUS and SO FUCKING SCARED!!!
“You need to stand up straighter” Amos said – TOUCHING ME AGAIN.
“Go on a higher level – you need to push yourself” TOUCHING TOUCHING TOUCHING.
“Oh…okay” I’m dying. I’m dying you guys.
“If you really want to lose weight here…” TOUCHING MY BODY AGAIN AND AGAIN “you need to do more push ups”
“You have a lot of fat here” TOUCHING MY GROIN BASICALLY
I endured it.
When I left the gym, tears were already starting to fall.
That didn’t stop a homeless man approaching me.
I pointed helplessly at my earphones “sorry, I can’t talk”
He gestured at taking them off as he wanted to talk anyway.
This is where I should have kept walking.
But no, I AM AN IDIOT WHO CAN’T SAY NO. Not even to a HOMELESS STRANGER, so I took my earphones out.
“Can I have money for shoes?” He pointed at his feet, clad in socks.
“I don’t have enough for that” I sobbed
HE DIDN’T CARE
“Well..what DO you have, then?”
THE CHEEK OF HIM.
I should have walked off THEN.
Come on, JD!!!
I hunted around in my bag for the loose change I keep “for emergencies”
I gave this cheeky bastard about $5 in change.
“This isn’t enough” he said
THE FUCK IT IS, BRO.
And that was it.
I was DONE.
I saw a window alcove about 2 meters away.
I sat in it and I WAILED.
I am sorely tempted to hang myself.
Now you’re all caught up.