“I’ll Be There For You”

It’s a wonderful sentiment isn’t it?  The idea that someone will “Be There For You”?  This post isn’t for those who believe it.  It’s for those who say it.  

Being there for someone doesn’t mean that you get to choose when – or how.  The fact of the matter is if that person is in some form of distress and has chosen you to come to, it’s an honor and it should be treated with respect.  When it is not, the results can be more damaging than you will ever know.

Recently, I have gone through a few very intense, very emotionally draining – and in two cases physically damaging – events. I sought out a trusted friend like I usually do – when everyone was watching.  This isn’t because it was going to be a majorly emotional event.  It was just going to be a hug.  Literally.  I have two friends whose hugs can make the world disappear until its manageable. Luckily (or so I thought) I was surrounded by other friends as well.  Friends on my close friends Facebook Feed.  The ones that see the everything that is my life.  But, I made one fatal flaw.  I was myself.

Typically, the person I show the world is a very calculated version of myself, which changes and wanes with what the person I’m with expects, wants, or needs.  This person has been honed over years of trial and error and is typically bright, bubbly, and flirty.  While these are all parts of my personality, they are not the natural state of my being. 

That day, I was tired of putting on an act.  I didn’t want to be any of those things.  I just wanted to ‘be’.  I was told that this person would “be there for me”.  This person knows the real me and I was so excited to not have to put on an act. 

Throughout the day, the person was withdrawn and serious.  I figured they were having a bad day and withdrew further.  All I wanted was the hug.  In the end, the hug I got was so short that it inspired more anxiety than it relieved.  Worse yet, I was told by that person that they withdrew because they were following my lead.  Apparently, I can only get someone to be there for me if I am the person that it expected – not the person I am or needed to be.  

This week, even though I am still going through all the drama, I was brighter, bubblier, flirtier, had an edge to me… and I got a wonderful hug that made did exactly what I needed it to.  I’ve always known that love  has conditions. But, I didn’t realize that “being there” does also. 

I can take it.  I can hide the stuff a little more – become a little less intense and more mainstream expected when I’m around others.  (Only a little though.)   I can act as I have to in order to get what I need. But, I know several others in similar predicaments who can’t or don’t want to.  Even though their friends say that they will “be there” for them, they still feel alone and lost when the time comes for needing someone. 

Please – I know so many people want to “be there” for someone.  Each person has their own reasons as to why.  But, if you are going to make the offer, please be prepared to actually “be there” when the person needs you.  Otherwise you’re only misleading them and lying to yourself.

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