This is a text about how wrong it can turn out even though someone tries to do the right thing. Entering the scene as an intensely engaged friend, starts acting like The tall dark’n’handsome savior swiping in and ends up leaving a disastrously catastrophic mess, much worse than it was to begin with. I do think it is important we dare to intervene, to step in, to have the courage to focus some attention on a person diminished by their situation.
But this is not the way to do it!
In an exposed position I mixed up assurance, that deep down feeling of everything working out and even if it doesn’t turn out for the best I will be ok anyway.. with insurance, the need and urge for guarantees and predictable outcomes.
I had felt assurance and at the time I thought that was enough. I was convinced that as long as I was walking in to everything with eyes open and prepared to take any consequences, I would be ok.
What I needed was insurance, I had the need for experiencing some predictability in those factors of the outside world affecting me. After such a long time of laying all trust in my own ability, in the confidence I would handle it whatever hell happened to be my journey, I needed more than just self-reassurence.
What I got on the other hand and what I immediately began to desire was to be seen, to be encouraged, to be fully accepted and for someone to have my back unconditionally for a while. And all of that I got, bundled with wonderful promises of a future very similar to the one I had given up dreaming about.
I got those three mixed up, could not tell them apart. And when the promises desolved and the encouragement turned into submissive worship which turned in to helpless self-loathing I was left lost and eerie in a dense forest not finding my way back to any path or landmark I knew. No bredcrumtrail to follow since I had not thought it to be a necessity.
I lost all hope in the possibility of guarantees ever applying to me, of there ever being anyone inclined to say ”OK, this didn’t work out, lets try another way!”. I gave up on people in the same way I felt people had given up on me.
I confused my broken trust in others with the confidence in my own abilities and thus lost the assurance that had been the only thing keeping me going before walking in to all of this.
Some words at the end.
Someone living under abuse or just exposed to high pressure and unusual circumstances is not helped by praise and glory, they will swallow it with appetite (even if they dismiss it) and they will sought for more lighting up with what looks like regenerated strength! But that is just the starvation effects fooling you both. What they need is to not be exposed to that, they need to get continuous, predictable reassurance from you that says ”It doesn’t matter what you accomplish or what you achieve.” and no golden stars for good behaviors.
Someone in that state does not need their hopes and trust in the possibility of a bright and glorious future reinstated. They don’t need promises of everlasting unions, faithful friendship and other beautiful gifts of love from you.They need realistic short term promises and goals set up in such a way they are most certainly guaranteed to be fulfilled.
I realise how tempting it is to make praise and promises and I know it’s always given with the best of intentions in mind.. but please read this, remember this and spread this message to as many as you can!
This story should not be repeated.