There's been a few times lately where friends told me I had the wrong people around for too long. I have a habit of apologizing or saying thank you at moments where normal people apparently would not. There are plenty of articles and studies about how this is a sign of emotional/psychological abuse and gaslighting. It’s always hard to admit to things like that, but here we are.
One such moment was when I was apologizing to a friend, who lives in a different state, after I explained why I couldn't go to his birthday party. I thanked him for understanding my reasons. He said, “The fact that you have to specifically thank me for understanding means you've had some shitty people around.” Damn.
He's right. I have been around so many people who demanded everything from me and every time I couldn't meet their expectations 100% it was my fault because I wasn’t good enough in some fashion. I believed wasn't deserving of much and I would take the metaphorical leftovers and thank them over and over for the scraps.
That's not how friendships and/or relationships should work. Out in the world is a group of people who convinced me that my eccentricities, passion, drive, desire, and the job I created for myself -working on daily basis towards - wasn't good enough and that I was crazy in attempting any of it. They convinced me that my ideas, expectation of life, and creativity were something unmaintainable. Something which made me an outsider. An Other. A commodity and something to be used then sat to the side.
It took a different friend telling me that I am eccentric, I am intense, and I am passionate; but all of those things are positive traits. She said it in such a loving way and spoke about how all of those characteristics should be celebrated, not condemned. She began to show me I should never be embarrassed by who I am because I live my truth on a daily basis.