I have this complex. I have had so many struggles in my life, that when life is flowing smoothly, I get this guilty twinge. Then when my life is going great and a shitstorm happens in the lives of my friends and family, I feel guilty as though it were my fault and I am bad luck. I need to get over this, but it is so hard. I have a natural talent for taking on the emotions of being responsible.
So this new years starts off with major shitstorms. My housemate is having some issues and my partner had his iPhone stolen right out of his work truck. My immediate reaction is to be so sorry, and to emotionally bash myself for having things work out in my own life. I do feel bad, and that is not a problem, the problem is that I feel somehow responsible. I will have to sit and meditate on this for some time.
I often try to figure out when I began to feel responsible for other people’s problem. I think it started in my marriage, when my ex and his whole family blamed me for our financial issues. I went to school, I refused to take no for an answer. In fact I never asked, I just did it. Somehow this caused us financial issues, funny since he never actually paid any of my loans. He made me defer them for years. The idea that I was responsible, has been left on my shoulders for so long, that maybe I just accepted it and carried it through to all aspects of my life.
It is really strange to me, that this has manifested as it has. I have to reign in those feelings and realize that I am not the cause of anyone else’s problems. I did not tell the thief to break into the truck, I did not tell fate to drop a bomb on anyone. The issue is clear, but solution is not so clear. I can see the cause, I cannot see a way to break that cycle. This is my challenge for the next year, to let go of feeling responsible for others.
As strong as I am, sometimes this feeling of responsibility weighs very heavy on my shoulders. I try to remain positive, yet it always tends to bring my spirits down. As a side note, my mail goes to my partners place currently, the mailbox was broke into this week. Fortunately there was nothing worthwhile in there, except that the box will have to be replaced. So weird how theft really brings your whole spirit down. I know nothing worthwhile of mine was stolen, yet it still feels like a huge violation.
I think maybe dealing with theft is the hardest part. Theft leaves you feeling lost and vulnerable. The thief takes more than just your stuff, they take your security with them. I have had my home broke into only once, and it was so devastating. I guess I am lucky in the fact that I have given up everything, so I have very little attachment to stuff. I still feel violated, but that feeling of loss is no longer there.
The reality of the situation really hit me the other day on the bus. I have this chest plate tattoo that says survivor and a date. A very friendly man got on the bust and told me he liked my plate. He asked what it meant. I told him I was hit from behind by a truck going 40 mph while I was on my bicycle. His eyes got really big and he simply stated, I bet you walked away with more than your life after that. I know he meant a settlement, but I stated yes, I have a greater respect for each day. You never know when it will be your last. A shitty few days is better than none at all. You have to change your mindset and understand that life is not fair, but it can be enjoyable.
My partner is stressed out and frustrated, but in the end, he was not hurt and he has his life. I am happy it played out that way. Not that I rejoice in the theft, but that it was not an armed robbery and he was in danger or hurt. I am grateful everyday that those I know and love wake up and come home daily. That is really the only thing that is important. I got into a habit of texted or calling when I get home to whoever I was with. I started this after the collision. My partner demanded that he was notified that I made it home, or if I sidetracked I at least let him know I was safe once I left him. It’s so strange, my mom wanted me to check in as a teen and I refused, I now understand the whole point behind this. I was informed that one of the rules of the Peace Corps is that they have to know where you are at any given moment. This may seem strange, but in case of violent uprising in the country, they need to know where you are to evacuate if necessary. So it really does make sense to check in with someone when you are alone in the world. It is nice to know that someone cares where you are. I guess this is the only positive way to see it.