So, I know it’s kind of hard to believe from my previous posts, but I used to be quite the positive little chicka when I was growing up. I was actually sort of the therapist for my little group of friends. Whenever there was a problem, they used to come to me for advice and for a shoulder to lean on. And I’d always be there… what can I say? I tried my hardest to be a good friend.
The thing is, over the past few year this has changed drastically. My outlook has become a lot more grim and I can’t quite give out the same positive advice I used to give out with the belief that it is all true. I think most of my friends realize this and while they still seek me out for advice every once in a while, they don’t quite lean on me as much. I think they’ve realized it’s hard enough for me to support my own weight, let alone someone else. I really have to say that I thank them for this understanding.
However, I do have some friends now that are facing some major issues and don’t have anyone else to talk to about them. It really puts me in an uncomfortable place, because while I really do want to help them, I also realize that I might not be the best person to talk to them about it, given that I am fighting my own demons. It also really tires me out… I know that’s an awful thing to say about listening to other people’s problems… but I have to be honest here. It tires me out. When I’ve got a million of my own problems running through my head, having someone else’s problems thrust into my lap adds a lot more stress than I need.
I’m really not trying to be mean here. I still do try my best to listen and give as much help as I can possibly give, but it drains me so much. Maybe more than anything, I see my own problems reflected in their faces and I can’t help but end up thinking of my own problems compounded with theirs. It’s tough.
Anyways, one friend (the one I’ve mentioned in a previous post) is facing similar issues as I am. She also is a recent grad with no clear prospects for a future career. And while she seems to be a lot more gung ho about finding a career path than I am, I am finding out day by day that it comes with it’s own stressors too. For example, since she comes from a very traditionally Korean family, she has her parents to contend with. They expect her to be successful and they expected it to already have happened. The fact that she took a year off school to recover from her mental breakdown was seen as a year lost to them. And the fact that she’s not currently in some sort of medical program is also seen as a major failure for them. She’s getting a rough time from her parents about not being productive enough and not living up to her potential.
I don’t really know what to say about this, because I realize how complex an issue family matters are. On one hand you want to just scream at them and do your own thing, but on the other hand you can’t help but want to still live up to their expectations. It’s a vicious circle. I mean, they’re your family.. even if they beat you and emotionally abuse you, it’s a sickening thing that you’d still want to go back to them. But you do. I can totally understand that and I don’t judge. I’d never judge.
So I really don’t know what to tell her. I know that living at home with them is making her situation worse, because it’s causing her to second guess everything she does. It’s also giving her a second breakdown – something she doesn’t need right now (b/c she’s heading in the right direction). I’m hoping she can move out soon, but I realize that limitations of her situation as well. She’s not currently working and she has been a student that has been dependent on her parents for the past 6+ years. She has no savings and so she can’t really just pick up and move out. And even if she could, I don’t think that she could cut ties with her family that easily; not that I’m suggesting she should do that. In fact, ideally I’d hope she’d be able to move out with the blessing of her parents and be able to work on either finding a new job or going back to school on her own time. When she has her parents hovering over her, I feel like she has all this added stress on her back that she doesn’t really need in her situation. I also feel that a lot of the stress on her back is put there by herself, as well as by her parents.
But anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself. Essentially, I don’t know what to tell her anymore.
I guess, the problems we’re facing now are becoming more and more complex. As kids we used to be concerned with nothing more than how to spend our allowance. As teenagers, we’d be a little more concerned with things like who to date. Now, our problems have become so complex and so … grand that I really don’t know if there is any use in asking others for help. I feel like, regardless of what advice you get from your friends, it’ll never be the roadmap you’re looking for. The reality is, whatever decisions you end up making, you really have to make on your own, with the best judgement that you can make at the time. It’s difficult, but I don’t see any other way.
Anyways, I’m starting to feel really worn what with my own problems and now with the additional load of my friend’s problems. I know it’s not her intention, but being the type of person I am, it’s also my habit to carry other people’s baggage as my own sometimes. I don’t quite know how to let get of things (clearly), especially when it concerns people that I care about. Sometimes I get criticized for caring too much about others and not enough about myself, but I think all-in-all it makes me a better person. Yes I suffer more, but maybe the more I suffer the stronger of a person I’ll turn out to be. Maybe the more I suffer from other people’s problems, the better I can learn to deal with my own. I dunno, that’s what I gotta tell myself sometimes.