From Thich Nhat Hanh

From Thich Nhat Hanh

“When we protect ourselves so we won’t feel pain, that protection becomes like armour, like armour that imprisons the softness of of the heart.”   (Pema Chödrön)

I read this today and it struck a chord with me.

A few years ago I went through a really bad time in my life when I knew the business I was running was going to fail.  It was hard for me to accept this … especially because about 10 years earlier I had lost another business .. and my home .. and everything I had ever worked for in similar circumstances.     The stress of the situation led me slowly into a depression .. so slowly that I really didn’t realise at first .. I thought I had never suffered depression before .. where in reality (looking back) I went through exactly the same when I lost my previous business.    

The sad thing about depression is that you do tend to protect yourself without realising it … you pull back, you play a role for people but inside your head you are fighting a battle.

It was a hard time for me … I just didn’t feel anything good at all … infact I didn’t really feel anything … I just existed, which is horrible place to be in .. I have spoken about this before in previous blogs … it is like being a zombie .. you breathe, you function but you are not living.

You close down… you protect .. you make a little cocoon for yourself where you still fight your battles but you stop affecting the people around you that you care about.   

It was during this time that I was surprised by the people who cared .. and hurt by some people who didn’t.   

I also felt that one person in particular took some satisfaction from kicking me when I was down … I have no idea why .. perhaps it was her own defence mechanism kicking in … or perhaps I had just been fooled from the start but whatever it was, it was like a final nail in the coffin for me.  

I think what I forgot through it all was that not everyone thinks the same way as I do … not everyone is as open as I am .. (one of my good points but also a fault!) … and some people twist things to fit their stories and to achieve their goals.

I was accused by this person of “destroying” her when I ended our relationship … I think perhaps the person who has been destroyed is me.. and sadly I think this has been deliberately … I am now too wary to give my heart to anyone ..  it isn’t worth the drama, lies and hassle that I try so hard to avoid because it unsettles me.

So now I find myself in a position of hiding behind truth, having FWB’s because it means I do not have to open up and be responsible for their happiness… but mainly because I have become a coward .. I am scared of feeling anything more than friendship … I am too wary to allow myself to care ..   Some people can switch their emotions off and on .. I am not like that .. there is not one person who I have a relationship with that I wouldn’t try to help if they needed me … there is not one person who I would ever not care about .. but that is me.

Loving and caring for someone are much the same thing .. you may not love someone in the right way .. or rather in the way they want from you … but that does and should not allow you to stop caring.   There are no answers to this .. I know I will never get the truth .. and perhaps I just need to accept that some people need to hide behind things too … or that they need drama for attention.   What I do know is that I did not deserve what I got .. and that hurts and probably always will.

My heart is bigger than my brain (which is probably a good thing as I am not the brightest wee cookie on the planet!) … unfortunately my loyalty seems to be something that has been taken for granted here .. I do feel manipulate and used .. and I am angry at myself for not seeing it when everyone close to me could … perhaps that is why it still plays on my mind so much .. it is not so much that I do not trust other people .. but that I do not trust myself.

I did try to understand .. I did try to forge a friendship and just accept that sometimes how people see things as “their truth” will always be different … but in the end I gave up … I hate giving up, it is not in my make up … but this time I have been well and truly defeated.

You win.