Giving Space

If there is one thing I can honestly say about myself, it’s giving space. I don’t do it well, and when I want to spend time with someone, I want to spend time with someone. I don’t always want to back off.  I especially don’t want to give space when a friend is hurting or going through crap. I may not always know what to say, but I like to be there. I like to comfort. I think I’m one of those natural maternal comforting types. Ironic since I won’t ever be a mom in the true sense of the word with my own kids.

Another thing I’m not good with is grief.  Not that I don’t deal with grief, but I haven’t had to, so I don’t always know what to say or do in the situations. The one time in my recent life where grief was a part of the process, was losing Boris this winter out of the blue to colon cancer. I was in shock and cried for two days. Till I found out that Boris hadn’t been truthful with me for the seven years we friends. Suddenly that friendship seemed like a sham (still blows me away some days) and like a water faucet, boom, I was out of the sadness. Even the anger.  Hold on, I want to check up on the stages of grief. Well, I think I blew through a few and was at the end rather rapidly.

So again, grief for me is more of an abstract. Watching someone go through aspects of it is hard. Especially when I want to be a giver of comfort. I don’t want o to have someone blow me off because they need to deal. Let me deal with you.

I think some of that stems from the fact that when I’m not coping well, even if I say I’m ‘fine’ which as women know means ‘ I’m not fine and I’d really like to talk about it and could you hold me,’ I actually want someone to push me to open up. What I really want is to talk about it. I want someone to care enough to push through my boundaries and ‘nudge’ me to open up.

So when a friend tells me to let them be and they’ll deal with it on their own, or think about it on their own, to me it feels like I’m being pushed away. Currently, that is my situation right now. I have a dear person in my life who is making me feel like I’m knocking on a brick wall. I know that we all have boundaries, and we all deal with tragic or tough things in our own way, but being on the flipside of the person going through a rough time, and being told to back off, in a way, is incredibly hard for me. I don’t understand it, I don’t like it.

I guess this is where I wonder about boundaries. If person A has the boundary of letting them be, but person B needs to be around person A to feel connected, who’s more important? I almost feel like there is this weird paradox in regards to it. Who’s right? Is person B supposed to push a little to get what they need? Or are they supposed to back off from person A to give them space?

Because I can tell you right now, if I am pushed away too much, it makes me get very frustrated. (of course, I am person B in this scenario) The more frustrated I get, the more annoyed I will be with person A.  So what’s right?

I feel like I’m overthinking all of this, and when I’m tired, which I am, it’s all much more dramatic than if it were an everyday kind of thing. My mother always talks about a poster my dad gave her when they were seeing if their relationship was going to work, and my mom was going home for a while. Something along the lines of ““If you love something set it free. If it comes back it’s yours. If not, it was never meant to be.” I think she repeats it better than this, but whatever.  See, I’m a more insecure person, so if someone pushes me away, it feels like I’m literally being pushed out of their life. So to let go of someone, for whatever reason it is, is very, very hard for me. This statement is one of those ones I’m not exactly good at.

But I feel like I’m going to have to learn this little bit about life. Frustrating as it is. But I still wonder, am I allowed to want to spend time with Person A? Am I wrong if that person wants space? I mean, gosh darn it. See, I am not good at giving space.

Kate