I’ve been flying a lot recently and on the planes they give you some TV shows to watch through their website. One I watched when I was too queasy to read was Girl Meets World. It was an episode where the kids are supposed to forgive someone and one of the girls wrote the dad who left her when she was little. I was watching it and kept thinking about the person who hurt me the most, the person I’m pretty sure I’ll never forgive and thought, “I can’t do this, he wouldn’t answer.”
Now, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t answer because when we were supposedly going to be friends and I’d shoot him a message on Facebook or an email, he didn’t answer. So I’m not going to bother, no matter how much some people think it would help me heal. I may be ready for that someday, but not now, and yeah, pretty positive he wouldn’t answer me anyway so that’d just make me feel worse and why bother.
But it does lead to my point. I’ve taken that experience and let it affect me, color my reactions, even with my friends. I have friends all over the world that I don’t get to see often, or haven’t seen since school and it’s hard to stay in touch, and sometimes when I reach out, I don’t hear anything back.
That hurts. So much more than I’m comfortable admitting in public.
I decided to go Indie for a lot of reasons having to do with the publishing industry but also because I had people who were doing it who offered help and support. One of those people was a really good friend of my boyfriends, who then became a good friend to me. She was a ton of help in prepping the books and marketing, and gave me a lot of encouragement, then she moved, and we haven’t heard from her since.
Now, I know she’s busy and life happens, and sometimes people just don’t remember to get back to someone once they have time. And I know all this logically but it still hurts my feelings terribly that she can’t be bothered to call me back. What I normally do when this happens is I don’t try again. I email or call once, if that person wants to contact me then they can respond or we just never talk again.
It’s childish and self centered, and I’m working on it. It’s very hard to get over this idea that if someone cares, they’ll make the effort, when really people care and sometimes they just don’t have time or something slips their brains.
I also have other author friends who sometimes get together and do a sale, they’ll put it in one post and all promote it. This time, my author friends forgot to ask me if I wanted in on the sale.
My god, that hurt. It still does. Because it tells me not only are we not friends, but they couldn’t be bothered to even think of me because they’re all bigger names than me, so they discounted me and don’t care and, and, and…
Which is ridiculous.
I start thinking this way and it spirals and I feel worse and worse. This is one of the symptoms of OCD, that spiraling thing. While I don’t have any kind of serious OCD, I do have it mildly and it is no one’s friend. You get on a thread of self doubt and questioning and you go around and around in your head.
I have a very hard time reaching out to people because I have a fear of rejection, and every time someone doesn’t answer, I feel rejected and it hurts and it feeds that fear, and kicks off the spiral.
One of the problems with this, and one reason people don’t like talking about it, is because if you say that your feelings are hurt easily or you take things personally, then people don’t want to be around you because they’re afraid they’ll hurt your feelings without meaning to and they don’t want to be responsible for that.
Trust me, I don’t want to be responsible for others’ feelings. And despite me being so touchy, I’m a pretty tactless person. I hurt feelings just by talking.
The only way I can see to conquer this is to keep trying. Reach out every once in awhile, see what happens. There is a point where you want to stop because then you’re just bugging people who aren’t interested. And you do have to be sensitive to that because you don’t want to waste energy on people who really don’t care.
I’m still trying to figure out where the line is, but I’m pretty sure it’s beyond just trying once and writing them off 🙂
Another thing you (and I) have to keep in mind is people have their own stuff going on and if you aren’t there in front of their face, they just have too much going on to pull you out of the din. You can’t be so self centered to think that people are considering you when they are trying to live their lives and take care of their own business.
You don’t see it, but people don’t notice your problems or wants because they’re too busy with their own. The big point of this blog post is to get those of us who tend to be touchy to think outside our own skins and understand that we can’t just expect people to come to us, we have to be okay with going to them.
You’ve got to be okay with asking for help, saying can you promote me on your blog, leave a review, tell your friends. You’ve got to be okay with calling your friends out of the blue to say hi and catch up. You can’t expect them to just know you want something.
And you can’t be so insecure to think that any time someone doesn’t answer, it’s because they’re done with you.
Happy writing and good mental health 🙂
(And on that note of telling people what I want, my Evie anthology is on sale for $0.99 this week, check it out 🙂