i'm about to say something that maybe i shouldn't say. but lately, i've realized that i can't ignore this anymore, or hide from it, or even run away.
i don't love the way i should.
there, i said it. i'm admitting that, other people come in about tenth place following me, me, me, me me. i'm not exaggerating. i'm not trying to be cool by saying this. in fact, i'm terrified of it and it's made me feel like a horrible person for about as long as i can remember.
why don't i love people the way that everybody else seems to? why is it so easy for me to cast people aside, to forget them, to hurt them or push them away? my self-destruction in this area knows no bounds. it's hurt my family, it's hurt my ex-husband, and it's hurt my friends. the only people it HASN'T hurt are the kids i've worked with over the years. and i guess here is where i make my admission, that those kids have sometimes been the only thing i've loved. that when people find out where i work, and start going, "ohhh, you must be such a good person!" i always shrink because i feel like, i hold to that love i have for my kids because sometimes it's the only thing that makes me feel human. once i started working as a para and realized how much it took me out of my own completely self-centered head, i decided i would never have any other kind of job again.
i really do love every kid i've ever worked with. for some reason, kids with autism and me, we just connect. they burrow into my heart and stay there even when it freezes over.
but...other relationships i have- budding friendships or friendships i've had for YEARS...i go into destructive mode. i do things i KNOW will push the other person away. i wait for them to leave. and if they don't, i leave. and it's always just a matter of time one way or the other. i can count on one hand the number of friends that have lasted through this. and hey, i don't blame people. when someone pushes you away, annoys you as much as possible, acts like a robot...whatever- then who wants to stay? pretty much nobody. and that's why i'm here, writing about it. because i recently read a book about a character who was so selfish and horrible that she destroyed everyone around her. and she kept it up, until the last few pages, when she makes this huge sacrifice to prove to herself that she can love someone. and all i could do was go back to the bookstore night after night and read that book over and over again. i didn't want to identify with the main character because she was so despicable. but shirking reality hasn't done me any good so far, so i'm not going to keep doing it.
it's hard because in some ways, getting sick and having surgeries that i hated made this worse. it was even more acceptable for me to be self-centered than ever, so i thrived doing so. i let it be an excuse to shove everybody away from me in every way i could. and it's just....damage that can't simply be undone, most of it. but i'm writing this blog because i want to try.
i have a couple of good friends left in my life. they are people i love and care for, in differing degrees. they have stuck around even though i pushed them away. they deserve more from me. so, this blog is me saying that i'm going to change this. i'm going to try. that blog i wrote awhile back about being isolated...was the beginning of admitting this to myself. this is my follow-up, my pledge.
working with the kids and loving them completely, without limits, THINKING about them when i leave work and caring for them no matter what else is going on, has shown me that i DO have the capacity to love. i just need to learn how.
so, here's where i start.
please be patient with me.