Tuesday, September 6, 2011


So, today, funny thing happened. Actually, it wasn't funny. It was far from funny. It was more like watching a psychotic person finally explode.

And that psychotic person... well... was me.

I suppose that could be funny. Back to the point--

I've been doing a lot of critiquing lately. A lot. There have been several people that I've been helping out. Luckily, one of them happens to be a friend (let's call him B) that lives near me. We got together at Starbucks today because nothing goes better with a red pen than coffee. After 3 hours on his (I think) 5 pages of work, someone I once knew came up to say "hello".

They were pleasant, and when this person left B remarked, "Oh, what a nice person." But then he paused. "Oh, I guess they're not a nice person?" he asked, raising an eyebrow and evaluating my expression.

What B didn't know was all the subtle exchanges that had gone on while this person and I were talking. They hadn't talked to me in months. It was one of those quiet separations of a friendship, where one person slowly bows out of the the picture never really explaining why.

I knew why it happened. I didn't need any explanation. And here they were, interrupting my time, to point out that they still knew that I existed... as if things were fine. They weren't. I don't need niceties. What this exchange elicited from me was a final explosion of my restraint. And my friend, oh my poor friend, got to witness me in all my abrasive glory.

My explosion went something like this...

     "I'm tired of it B. I'm so tired of all of it," I growled, my eyes rolling dangerously back into my head. That still didn't seem to quelch his curiousity over what had just transposed.                       
     "That person is the representation everything I hate about myself," I continued. "I can't do it anymore, seriously. It's not like I've been nice today or anything, but I'm done holding back. I'm tired of people thinking that I'm stupid or that I need to apologize or excuse myself for the way that I am."
 "You don't have to apologize to me," B said.
     While my brain acknowledged his kindness, my mouth would not pause long enough to say so. The verbal tirade had been unleashed, and there was certainly no stopping it now. 
     "I know, B, but you are one out of a million. I'm tired of feeling like no matter how hard I try I can't ever say the right thing. I used to blame it on my (insert ailment here) but I don't think it has anything to do with that anymore." I started to drum my fingers on the arm of my chair. I lit another cigarette. B still didn't say anything, he knew I had some greater explanation to get out. I'd surely not expressed enough sarcasm at this point.
     "I think I must have a version of savantism. I can't socially interact well with others. I have zero tact, no matter how hard I try!" I considered this last statement for a moment, thinking about how much I'd actually poured into trying to have deccent conversations. The gears turned fairly quickly though, and I offered a quick guesstimation, "Seriously, it takes three times as much effort just to be 25% less abrasive." I raised my hands over my head, admitting defeat.
     "And, guess what, it's not worth it to me anymore. There are people like that in the world (I thumb over my shoulder to where this person had gone to) that are just too tired of dealing with someone who is as socially inept as I am. I don't need them to pat me on the back or tell me that it's okay. I never needed that. I only ever needed people to be upfront with me... to just say that I'm being a b**** and have a laugh with me about it."
     "I come across as a b****. I know I do. But I have a good heart, and I know that too. I'm tired of trying to show people how much I care or that I just want to help. I'm done. I'm done being nice. And you know what, while I'm ranting I might as well get this out. And I hate to say it, and I know I'm going to sound arrogant.... but, I'm right. I know I'm right about certain things. It's like a piece in a puzzle, I can scour the board for the right piece, and when I see it, I know I've got the right one. It's true about writing. I mean, there is a reason why my red pen is almost out of ink. I don't say it to be mean, or to be cruel... I just need the right pieces. I'm smart. I get things. I'm not going to sit down and explain something to someone if I didn't think they were worth it. I don't think anyone is worthless! I'm a big dreamer and would do anything to help someone get there. That's why I'm so abrasive. It's not like I think I'm better than anyone else. Obviously, I think my writing is mediocre... but I will work to make it better. I won't stop. I just don't know how else to be, and I'm tired of covering it up, trying to make excuses, and change this part of me. I'm abrasive and a social moron. I don't care anymore."

 B held up a hand to give me a high five. He took a deep breath, "Does that feel better?"

I started laughing, "Yes." This guy gets me. Even if he doesn't, he pretends to very well. And at the very least, he'll never stop humoring me. 
My fear is that people will hate me. I don't need to be petted or treated delicately or handled with kid gloves. I just want people to be upfront with me. I'm not mean because I hate anyone or I think I'm any better than anyone else. I simply can't help it. My perception of what comes out of my mouth is different from what most people have. My verbal filter was set off and skewed a very long time ago... by means out of my control. I've been trying (and failing) for years to set it right. I just think I deserve to be told the truth. I deserve to be surrounded by people who sincerely appreciate me and have a thick enough skin to laugh with me when I'm on a tirade.

I'm guessing this whole post may seem a bit weird coming from the girl who wrote Speechless and Insight Into Sight. Well, those were about what is in my heart. This is just about my ability to communicate.


  1. Shocking! A real eye opener. I never realized... you're allowed to smoke in Starbucks? It's banned over here in UK. - dbowen

  2. I feel you. I'm tactless and abrasive. Of course, I know this, and don't particularly care. Not sure where that puts me on the abrasiveness spectrum as compared to you? Is one more abrasive simply by knowing and not caring? My Dad's like you. He wants to be less abrasive, he just... can't.

    I just figure people who get me will like me and understand. People who don't like me... well, they don't have to. It doesn't make them bad people, just... different. And we don't need to waste time on each other.

    It's hard though when you have a friend and it causes problems. I had a friend from high school, and as we got older my abrasiveness seemed to become more of a problem. Well, we had many problems, but my abrasiveness was one of them, because I didn't know how to deal with her so I got more abrasive. Doesn't make sense, but there you go. We didn't have the quiet bowing out thing. We just... stopped. I regretted it, but was too proud to do anything about it until my quiet retiring grandmother (who happens to be my friend's grandmother-in-law because my friend married my cousin) gave me a stern talking to. I had to get drunk to fix it (go figure, I'm abrasive, so I drink to make it better...?) but I did and I'm glad. I think the 3 years apart helped us to grow into people who better understand each other. I'm still abrasive, but it doesn't matter anymore.

    We were lucky, but not all friendships will go that route.

    Anyway, long and short... Not all people will get along. Don't worry about the ones who don't understand or like you. Look for the ones you do, and focus your energies there.

  3. Very good advice! I knew the stabby people would probably "get" this. I like the line about not "need[ing] to waste time on each other." I think that'll be a good viewpoint for me. :)


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  5. Dear Anon 9:48PM... either you know me or you don't. If you know me, then I'm sorry this rubbed you the wrong way. I'm guessing you are being forced into these situations and are angry that I have the ability to decide to give up trying to be anyone else but me. "I deserve to be surrounded by people who sincerely appreciate me and have a thick enough skin to laugh with me when I'm on a tirade."

    I'm thinking that you DO know me, but just in case, I'll pretend you don't and say that you don't know what I struggle with. There are people who sincerely have a diagnosed medical issue with this. It is in my nature to try, try, try again. But I refuse to feel guilty about this. And if you are going to come into my life, read my blog, and pretend that you know me... REALLY know me, then maybe you should do better research... and that includes actually talking to me and not posting anonymous comments on my blog.


  6. Accepting who you are is probably one of the most important things you can do in your life. Living and changing for other people will ruin you. You will constantly feel like you're not good enough for anyone when you're trying to please everyone. Finding people who accept the real you and still love you, those are true friends and you could even go so far as to say soulmates. Maybe not in a romantic sense, but people that complete your life without facades are your soulmates.

  7. I always find it amusing when people make negative comments anonymously. As writers, we put ourselves out there, bare for all the word to see, and that leaves us open to those who would like to see us fail. I understand this...it's human nature. But if you have something to say, don't say it from behind a curtain...from inside the safety of an anonymous disguise. Be brave enough to stand behind your words. Or be prepared for people to consider you inconsequential. There are always two sides to every argument, it takes two to tango, and all of that, but as far as I can tell only one person (the original author of this post) had enough character to sign their name to their comments. This says far more to me than words on a page.

  8. First off to the two anonymous posters who were being so nasty I would love to see you cowards who are spouting your opinions & trashing this author's gut level honesty have the courage to place your names beside your statements. If anyone including the author is going to take you seriously you need to own what you say.

    L - Did you really read this article carefully? Take a deep breath and re read it. She was not trashing you. In her statement "That person is the representation everything I hate about myself," she was indicating that your inability to deal with her personality/ailment and really accept her the way she is was representative of something she hates about herself.
    I don' know either of you well enough to judge you but I'm (as you can guess) a blunt person. Sometimes in life a friendship reaches a point you just can’t be friends anymore. It's 1000 times less painful to both parties if you call a spade a spade and go your separate ways.
    Friends don't come over to say "Hi" because as you put it - it is the "right thing to do" they do it because they like the person and want to spend a few moments with them.
    I didn't see anything in your statement that indicated that was your intent. You acted like you were being kind and gracing her with your greeting. Are you really that self-centered?
    It seems to me you decided quietly that her personality was one you were not a strong enough person to deal with and so you bailed. She was just indicating that honesty would have been nice. If you truly hoped the best for her you'd have said "Listen you do X and it bugs me to a point I can't cope, so let’s call it quits." Really, how hard is that?
    I like how you are so devastated by her post on her blog where she kindly omitted your name. If it was that big a deal, why did you not pick up the phone and call the author? Talk to her in person? Oh wait because publicly blasting her from behind the anonymity of an initial is way easier. No dear, you don't truly hope the best for her - drop the cowardly facade. At least the author is not ashamed of who she is, you clearly are.

  9. Nice. She knows me well enough to know my true intentions behind all of this. I said 'hi' merely to avoid awkwardness seeing as how that is where I work. An honest pleasantry. I'm also no coward. She knows this, you know nothing. I was directed to this blog after a couple of friends felt I should read it. I won't be back. This is all you'll hear from me. -L

  10. I had a mind to not saying anything, L, but seeing as you came back to say more, perhaps I should give you an explanation...

    You never gave me reasons as to why I was ticking you off or how I was rubbing you the wrong way. I offered to help you at every bend in the road. I'm not sure what you were expecting. I didn't say anything negative or mean about you. Ever. And I do agree with Safireblade in that if you go to talk to someone, it's because you want to. You haven't wanted to talk to me in months. And obviously I'm not such a bad person because you've left your daughter in my care, and she adored me. I know you never said I was a bad person, but you never gave me a reason for the disconnection.

    When it first happened, I called and did everything I could to make sure I was reaching out because I knew you were having a hard time. Instead of being upfront with me, you ignore me. And coming to say "hello" was merely salt in a wound. It did not make me feel any better. It wasn't clearing up awkwardness. It only reminded me of another friend that was no longer in my life.

    As far as the other anon commenter, I maintain my stance that no one deserves to be talked down to in that way. I have never said anything like that to him/you, and I have only ever BEEN THERE when he/you was/were in need. Isn't that why we became friends in the first place, L? I let you guys go, and here he/you come(s) stalking back into my life through my blog.

    I don't need to change who I am. I am abrasive, and if I did it to be cruel or anything like that, then maybe I would deserve to be told off in the way that I was. However, I don't. I've always tried coming to you guys to ask what I've done wrong, and asking you what to do to make it better. It never dawned on me that you two might also be at fault. Because, at my core, I am constantly questioning my actions and trying to make myself better.


    I don't do it to "play victim". The truth is, I'm pay for someone else's mistakes. But, I seek the help and wisdom of professionals and friends alike.

    I work for myself, I go after my dreams, and I try to hold the level of integrity that I respect in others.

    So, I think you both missed the point. But, Mr.-Anonymous-Commenter, you are obviously not anonymous. I know you well enough to know that you wrote those. Just leave me alone. Isn't that what YOU wanted? Separation? I've given it to you. Please find something better to do than harrass me.


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  12. I just wanted to say thank you for posting this. I often find myself gritting my teeth and saying, "I hate..."

    I don't. Not really, but I find myself so frustrated with inconsistencies, mostly those I see so glaring within myself. I think it takes an amazing person to look within and really see who we are. We should absolutely surround ourselves with those who do the same. There is nothing that says we have to be friends with everyone.