Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Truth Hurts

Last night, I sat up with Rosa. She wasn't feeling well. She had spent the day doing laundry and the mundane little things it takes to keep a house running. "What did you do today?" she asked me after I had listened to her talk awhile. "I hung out with the gang all day. I was lonely," I replied.

"You are so unlike them," Rosa told me. "You are kind, smart, so together."

"I teeter on the edge, though," I told her. "I teeter on the edge of not having it together. It is kind of like being a teenager and hanging out with the bad crowd. It feels dangerous and fun -- exciting."

"I know," Rosa said. "It feels comfortable to me as well. I am used to hanging out with people like that after my homeless days."

"You know what I like most about hanging out with the gang?" I replied.

"What?"

"They accept me for who I am. They don't put on airs or try to make you something you are not. I grew up with my parents doing that - they and their friends -- always putting on airs. I can be the most desperate drunk and good for nothing and Big S, George, Ferret, and the gang would like me as a best friend. I can be myself, warts and all."

"Self esteem," Rosa then said bluntly. "You don't have any self esteem -- no self worth."

Rosa's biting words hurt, but she was right. I hang out with the gang because they are the only one who will accept me. I don't have any other friends and I get lonely. My social anxieties will not allow me to associate with the crowd my father hangs out with -- nor would I want them as friends.

"I struggle with self esteem as well," Rosa told me as she backpedaled and worried she had hurt my feelings. "I think of my past and it really brings me down. I was a prostitute and a crackhead -- not things to be proud of. It haunts me."

"Me and you are just so sensitive," I said, wrapping her in my arms as we sat on my couch. "So terribly sensitive and I would have never thought you would be that way. I always thought of you as being so tough and steely."

"It's a curse and I think that is what makes us want to use and for you to drink."

"True," I said as we both grew quiet just sitting there holding each other.

"At least I have you," I thought quietly.

I realized I have spent most of my life alone. All through childhood and adulthood, I wandered aimlessly without a friend or friends. It took me becoming homeless to finally find some friends. I had hit rock bottom and had nowhere to go but up. My friends -- the gang -- maybe misfits, but they are my friends. I don't have to be alone any longer. I only have one life to live and I want it filled with interesting and vibrant people full of life. Not the milquetoast circle of friends that hover around my father because of his money and social standing. Those people are not really friends in the truest sense of the word and would disappear if my father became penniless and destitute. George would give me ten bucks and buy me a beer if I fell on hard times. I call that a friend.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Andrew (and Rosa) you no longer have to live under a curse! There are generational curses that can be broken, only through the power of the truly living God. The God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, the creator of the universe. The loving God that sent Jesus to die in our place, only if you will accept him. Then and only then can those curses be broken off of you.

You are blessed to have friends that are true friends.

Josie Two Shoes said...

Like you, Andrew, I have often found my best friends in "low places". I have no time for the self-important people who surround me. They way they squander their lives and money just apalls me. They way they play up to each other for the very reasons you mention - wealth and social standing - makes me turn away. I prefer the people I am friends with to be REAL, and to accept me as I am - just like yours do. The only thing we have to watch for is that in being a good friend back, we don't take on each other's bad habits, we all have plenty of our own! :-) I have made some wonderful friends here in the blogsphere, and while they aren't around my neighborhood to share a cup of tea, they do lift my spirits immensely when I am feeling down. Thru the magic of the Internet we find out we are not "aliens" on the planet, there are many more out there just like us - friends are such a blessing!!

umangexuberance said...

hey andrew..
i know how it feels..never being able to fit in..all my life i strove to be understood and accepted

but now at last defeated and sad i finally understand that what truly matters is for us to accept ourselves..then and only then can we truly be at peace..we need to make peace with ourselves before we go out to the world fighting for an understanding

i know its easier said than done..but i have finally started trying..and am digging my way forward through all this grime..its slow and tough but worth every inch.. hope one day you can find comfort in your own skin
take care :)

p.s. i love the way you write these honest musings of yous..they are just beautiful :)

Anonymous Boxer said...

We are all misfits to some degree, until we find others that understand our "language."

I am often alone, but rarely lonely... because I have myself.

Barb said...

This Group reminds me of "the island of the misfit toys" and amidst the brokenness you are a redemtive quality amungst it all. Pull yourself up, Andrew, seeing the good that is around you, instead of what brings you to a place of complacency.
(It is possible that I am the worse speller in the world without spellcheck)

B~

madamspud169 said...

I have never been lucky enough to make friends, I spent childhood & adulthood on my own always. I just don't seem able to make a proper, decent friend. You are lucky to have Rosa & George after all they're the best type of friend you could possibly have. Next time everything is getting you down try to remember just how lucky you are to have these two in your life (& all the others), it may just help a little.

Biby Cletus said...

hi there, i stumbled across your blog while randomly searching the blogosphere, nice one you have here, i also find the design to my liking. do keep up the good work.

warm regards from the other side of planet earth. i'll be back for more.

Deep Regards

Biby Cletus

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for some time now. I find it endlessly interesting. It's the stuff books are made of, drama, climaxes, love, pain, and all the rest. I think that you are a fantastic writer, it's not often that someone can be so honest about their life the way that you are. You have a way of writing that has emotion in it, and anyone reading can feel how you feel in the moments you describe.

Fantastic.

I have one question though. How do your parents get along with Rosa?

CRUSTYBEEF said...

I have those issues too, and funny it's all of you guys-my blogging buddies that truly make me feel accepted..and then my anxiety gets the best of me when I think to myself, of COURSE they like me, they've never met me..lack of esteem is so hard to overcome. If you figure out how to do it? Will you let me know? And in the meantime, I'll hang out anticipating a new post and story and life line from you.
Have a great wednesday!!!
keep away from those nasty mosquito's-OUCH!
Always,
Crusty~

LAB said...

It is so hard to find those "friends" in life that are so accepting and honest with us. I have only two and they are such treasures to me.

Thanks again for sharing!

Shruti said...

I know how it is to not have friends. But I am not eager to have many either. That is just because of the reason you give - that people dont accept you the way you are. They always try to change you into someone they want to see. I make no exceptions to this. Even people that you may accept as your friends try to do that but maybe unconsciously. They do it in such a way that you never mind it. You accept them as your friends because the changes that they try to make in you, go well with you.(I hope all this makes sense)

But you have your perfect friend in Rosa. Why do look to other people when you have each other. Go ahead and enjoy each other's company.All the best

Milky said...

""At least I have you," I thought quietly."

You should have said it out loud, instead of just thinking it. =P