Yes, they do … it would appear that I am such a strong person that everyone assumes that things are OK. Cancelling things I was looking forward to for example.
In the past few weeks three things I was really looking forward to were snatched away from me and not one of them because something changed. Each of them was just because the ‘friend’ changed their mind. Because I am ‘so strong’ I can just ‘understand’, it will ‘bounce off’ me.
Well these things don’t. It is true, I am a strong person but I am not unbreakable. My feelings are really hurt and I am screaming inside for someone to care but, of course, on the outside I am fine, I am coping so no one really, no one except the occasional very special person really notices. They don’t notice because they either can’t be bothered to look or just don’t think of looking. Either is the same and true friends would look, would notice. I mean, come on, looking at this from the outside … I am a gay guy with 4 kids, one is very mentally handicapped and stops us going out as a family unless it is one of the 70 allocated respite days. I am single. No one comes in to help out, no family supports me, and no one calls to ask if they can take over for a while. Effectively, this family is on our own. We muddle through but the tensions on all of us and especially me and Matt are incredible. I, with support from Matt, have had to fight really and I mean really hard for every service we have and even now it is being spoken that some will be taken away again just when we were on the edge of getting somewhere. If it gets as bad as I suspect it will, we will be told by the end of this year that the respite will never go above one week at a time that week will never be more than once a month and that week will be chosen for us if available. Then, next year Jermaine leaves school in July and nothing is in place, nothing at all which will mean him at home 24/7. But even then, it will appear I am coping, no one will care enough to ask because asking may make for some awkward conversations, might involve really putting themselves out and well, they are sure I would understand, you know how it is.
So, should I bother agreeing to go anywhere any more? The simple truth is, I am having to balance up the hurt against the possible gain and am coming to the conclusion that many of my friends are unreliable, have no idea when they are doing some serious damage to me and so I best not got there. I mean, still meet them somewhere possibly or go to their house for an hour or so but I don’t really feel I can rely on them for more than that because they see nothing wrong in taking away what they have given, it just hurts too much.
Another example of why it is I am not a happy bunny just now. For many years I ferried folks back and forth to Cambridge for the punting trips, sometimes more than once. But now I don’t have the big car, did any one of those place me on the priority list for picking up? Of course not, one of them had to be virtually told to do it. This is the nature of those I thought of as my real friends once.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have friends I am sure I can rely on and I hope they know who they are, it is probably on two guys though if I am honest, two that have never hurt me, OK, one did when he tried to kill himself, that really hurt but apart from that, they are there when I need them and genuinely seem to care and I love them and value them for that. The others, well, most, if not all, have hurt me with words or deeds in the past yet they wouldn’t know and I guess that is the crux of it, a real friend would know.
This sounds really negative and I don’t want it to but then, this is the point of my blog, to write down how I am feeling, get it or try to get it out of my system, and just lately it is not being entirely successful.