Sunday, March 11, 2018

two further thoughts

I have to eat some lunch (ugh, time change messes with when I want to eat) but two other thoughts after church today:

1. Mike (who was probably Steve's best friend in the congregation, and the one who eulogized him on behalf of the congregation) came up to me in church and said, "So, did you recognize the reference to you in the eulogy yesterday" and I was briefly like "ohhhh crap" and then I realized it and said: "You said something about Steve's hugging, and how some people were slower to come around to it than others....was that it?" and Mike laughed and hugged me so yeah.

I'm wondering now....was I maybe a little bit of a "project"? I know other people in my life have tried to get me to unbend a little/be less stiff and formal, and I can totally see Steve being frustrated with me for being like that. (And also thinking about how he made me blush at the Christmas party, that would be in line with that).

I don't know. On the one hand, I do think being a little staid and formal is just who I AM and I shouldn't try to change that too much, because I think I'd seem a little ridiculous to myself trying to be very much otherwise. But I have cultivated a greater comfort with hugging people and with sometimes being a little "loud" in public (like: when something funny is happening) so I don't know.

2. I thought - but didn't say, because I was afraid of getting a little tearful again - that when I announced that the flowers were from his memorial service, that "I hope Steve knew, while he was alive, just how many people loved him." (I am not kidding - there were like 300 people there for the service, and MOST of them were not relatives or fellow-congregants).

And the minister had talked about how, in some discussions with Steve, how Steve had apparently struggled somewhat with feelings of self-worth and not being worthy (And also, because of one big reason of who he was, survivor's guilt).

And it strikes me....maybe there's a lesson for me in that. While I don't have the same things in my past/personal life that were challenges for him, I know at times I struggle with not feeling "worthy," and I often wind up taking thankless type tasks, I think, because somewhere deep in my psyche I feel like I have to "earn" people's liking me.

And so maybe there IS a lesson from me in that, that even if people aren't slobbering all over you that they care about you, they still do, and just if you aren't someone's "special someone" you still matter. (I have a terrible thing about (a) wanting to be "the very most important person" to someone* but at the same time (b) feeling like I don't matter and shouldn't intrude into their lives because they have family and friends who have been their friends longer than I have). So very often I kind of stand back and don't call people or ask them for help or stuff because....I don't know if I'm afraid I'll seem too needy, or if I'll hear a "no" and then feel like "Well, I was stupid to ask, and I don't matter to them that much" or if it's fundamentally my fear of rejection (I'd rather remain alone than risk rejection)...

(*and yes, it kind of horrifies/disgusts me to even put that in words. SO NEEDY.)

I dunno. I do wish sometimes I could just relax and accept that people (I mean, outside of my own family, I kind of take that for granted) love me, but it's hard, and I suppose in part I have my childhood demons to blame for that. (And maybe my tendency to be kind of stiff and over-formal is tied to that: afraid to let my real self out lest people find her messy and unmannerly)

But yeah: I hold firm in my assertion that there is always something you can learn, even from a sad situation, and maybe this is what I learn.

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