This is the conclusion from my series of posts entitled I’m Your Crutch. You can check out the series here:
A couple of weeks ago my best friend and I attended my therapy session. It was the first time that he had been in therapy (even though he needs it) and he spent a lot of time listening. I actually listened as well. Not that I don’t listen (okay, maybe sometimes I don’t) but, I learned something new…just because I think he knows me after all these years that I don’t need to tell him what I want or need. My therapist recommended that I tell him “Look, I need you to be emotionally supportive right now, is that something you can do?” She said it would get him in the right frame of mind and then it would be on him to tell if me if he can or can’t do it.
Background…My friend is a fixer. That’s what he does. He fixes things. He’s analytical and when he sees a problem he tries to fix it. That can work well if you need something fixed but when you need someone with emotional intelligence because you’re struggling…well it’s hard as hell.
I have anxiety. I always have. I don’t think I realized it until I got older. Honestly, I probably recognized it a couple of years ago when Mr. C said to me that he thinks that I have anxiety. I acknowledged that I did and I can usually push myself past it but I needed time because I get overwhelmed. My two best friends come in and see something that overwhelms me and will literally start taking control of the situation. I’m so thankful for that. They see a problem and begin helping me to move out of my own way mentally and push forward to the solution.
It has served us well this many years, but as I’ve aged I realize that I need more emotional support from those closest to me. I’ve said this multiple times to my best friend and he brushes it off like ‘I’m being an overly emotional woman’. Maybe sometimes I am, but sometimes I want my friend to say “it’s okay. Here’s my perspective. You know that I have your back and will support whatever choice you make.”
Emotional support is huge for me. But, my therapist was right…I need to tell him that. She did ask him does he think that I don’t need his support. He responded “Sometimes, yeah. I think she can handle it. She is Type A. She prepares for everything.” My therapist laughed and said “She can’t spend every possible moment of her life wondering what the next move will be. She doesn’t have that kind of time. No one does. She needs you to just support her.”
Just support me.
It was simple and it sounded nice. Maybe that’s all we needed to remember. That friends need to support each other. Friendships are supposed to be symbiotic whereby we both benefit from the relationship. I don’t think he realized that I wasn’t benefiting from his lack of emotional support and that it was actually harming me.
It was a pretty deep session and in the end we agreed to try and fix our friendship and not walk away. She asked me to tell him three things that I loved about who he was. I said that he was a good human being, that he was dependable and that he fixes stuff. Yep, the thing that is a weakness some days is truly his strength. He’ll fix it for me and I am thankful for that. I love that part of my friend. She asked him the same thing and he said “I love the way that she’s raising her son in his innocence despite all the in hell this world. She shields him from that. He’s the most innocent child I know” He then told her that he’s from the streets and has seen so much so that when he speaks with Munch it is always refreshing because you see the love and desire that she has for him. She tries to protect him as much as possible from this cruel world. I smiled. I never knew that. I couldn’t believe that he saw that.
She asked him “what else?” He said “I love her determination and perseverance. He told her that no matter what she will try to figure out her next move. That no matter what life throws at her she will persevere. She’s a survivor”.
I didn’t know that is how he saw me. I was kind of ashamed that I was willing to walk away from someone who loved me as I am and saw me for all that I was worth and admired me for it. I just thought that we had outgrown each other. Apparently we hadn’t.
The emotional things with his feelings have been buried, died or hidden. I’m not sure which. We are where we should be in our normal everyday life. There is no more awkwardness or subtle thoughts of my being his crutch mentioned. We are respecting this new way of dealing with things and it seems to be working.
I guess I’ll worry about it should we ever cross that bridge again. For right now…I need the peace in my spirit with him and the goals that I have burning in my heart. My focus is on moving forward in the best way possible so that it benefits me and Munch. I have my friend back. This space we’re in is good.
If you’re interested in being a guest blogger, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.