From A Distance

Most people are aware of the fact that I hate birthdays.  I hate getting older and I hate losing people that I love because they have gotten older.  It is also not lost on me that some of the most horrible things that have ever happened to me occurred on my birthday.  So, when I start to consider the possibilities of having a birthday party, I’m torn.  Perhaps I should just let this one go this year.  42 really isn’t a special number.  Then a part of me remembers that I could have not made it to this age, and I would like to celebrate that fact. 
In my head, I start to make up a guest list.  However, when I put it to paper, I am overcome by a harsh realization.  Anyone that I would possibly invite to a party, well honestly they are Joe’s friends.  Of course, over time they have become my friends, and for that I am grateful.  Yet, I can recall a time when I had a relatively long list of my own friends that I brought into the marriage that I could invite.  Those people have long since left my life. 
I have one friend, but she lives out of state and probably wouldn’t be able to make it.  It’s easier for me to tell myself that because if she said no, I would certainly feel rejected by my only friend.  This is what keeps me awake at night.  Have I spent so much of my life pushing people away, that there is quite simply, no one left?  Am I really that horrible of a person?  Don’t I possess any redeeming qualities at all?

I know I am quick to anger and accuse.  So many people have hurt me in the past, I can’t help but expect the worst.  Perhaps I spend so much time assuming that they can’t help but buckle under my expectations.
Do I push everyone away?  Is it easier for me to face life not ever having to compromise when I surely don’t want to?  I have no family nearby that I speak to, except my father.  He’s 85 now and quite possibly may have dementia.  Everyone else is out of state or cut out of my life.  It’s times like this that I question everything.  Why am I not good enough? 
I’ve given people that have hurt me chance after chance.  The outcome was always the same.  They hurt me again.  I’ve spoken of it often, but my suicide attempt in 2013 most assuredly scared off several friends.  Even those that had been around for 20 or more years.  I came out of the hospital to discover that I had lost several close friends due to my mental illness.  At this point, I’m really not sure which way is up.  

I would never want anyone that I do consider a friend to think that I didn’t care about them or respect our relationship.  Of course, I do.  I simply don’t have anyone in my life that I frequently see or spend time with.  Some of the people I consider close friends, I’ve never even met.  What does that say about me?  Am I just better from a distance?
When I begin to second guess all of my choices, and start to miss those that have departed, I have to slap myself back to reality.  I am aware that there was a reason for all of this, it’s just hard to see when you are so very lonely and sad.  I frequently tell myself that I let people go to preserve what is left of my sanity.  It’s true. I’ve committed myself to the belief that I would rather spend my days with my husband and my cats.
Perhaps I just need to accept that this is my life.  I have allowed this to happen.  I need to take full responsibility for my actions.  I guess the hardest part about this whole situation is knowing that I let people walk into my life, stomp all over me and then strut all the way back out again.  It’s stupid really.  I guess I just look back to the house full of people we had here for Christmas a few years ago, and wonder where I went wrong. 
To our friends that have stuck by me, thank you.  I don’t know where I would be without you.  Your support and love has not gone unnoticed.  I promise to use my past mistakes as lessons and try very hard not to push you away. 

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