Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dry wells

Recently I was talking to someone who is very dear to me and they were lamenting the fact that someone they love has turned their back on them in favor of someone else. By their estimation, someone who didn't deserve the love and attention they were getting. That person kept messing up and their loved one kept forgiving them, time and time again. They just couldn't understand.

I understood, as someone who has tried time and again to drink from dry wells.

To be completely stereotypical I think women do this a lot. I think men do it too, but I don't often hear about men who keep going back and keep going back, hoping that the response will be different. I'm sure it happens sometimes, but women seem to do this with more frequency. I am completely guilty of this, so maybe that's coloring my perspective.

I thought about a time in my life when I saw something bad coming from a mile away and I did my best to warn someone about it. Instead of being appreciative, they were dismissive. Rude. Hurtful. I left the meeting, called my good friend Allison and sobbed on the phone. Because I wasn't heard. Again.

(Later, as I predicted, everything blew up. I was completely right. It didn't make me feel any better)

Yet, despite being dismissed so callously, I would have done the same thing again. I probably wouldn't now, and lately I've found myself in a position where people who are routinely dismissive of me and my feelings are trying to lure me into their problems and I...just can't bring myself to care. So maybe it's getting easier? I don't know.

I just know that I keep seeing all these women who keep going back to their husbands and their parents and their politicians and their bosses, thinking it's going to change. Thinking if they just keep acting right then eventually the other person will act right too. Thinking if they just tried harder, loved more, prayed on it, then it will all be okay. 

The wells are dry though. You'll never get filled up.

My therapist and I discussed this not long ago and she said (and I really thought this was profound) there are people who won't change unless they are required to do so. Granted, there are some people who won't change even if you do require it of them, and in that case those are the people you just let go. Some people actually can change sometimes, if you force it. You have to set up boundaries. You have to say no. You have to care about yourself.

I think that's where it becomes harder for women. I think for me it's always been that I've blamed myself. That I've wanted so much and felt so guilty for wanting so much. 

My heart hurts today, because I can see around corners. I know that people I care about will get hurt, and are currently being hurt by people that they want so desperately to care. I still have hope that people can change, but it's becoming harder to see that these days. It never stops hurting when you give someone another chance and they reject you again. No matter how old you are.

There is no class in school to teach you how to stop hoping. I sometimes wish there were.

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