Ground Zero

I find Oliver staring at me. “Do you miss Jess?”

“Yes. She was my friend.”

“Then why don’t you show it?”

“Why should I?” I ask, sitting up. “If I know I feel it, that’s what counts. Don’t you ever look at someone who’s hysterical in public and wonder if it’s because they really feel miserable or because they want others to know they’re miserable? It kind of dilutes the emotion if you display it for the whole world to see. Makes it less pure.”

House Rules, Jodi Picoult

I’m not entirely sure how or when it began, but over the years the layers grew thicker, the walls higher and stronger than ever. Selfish, but to break the walls down would lead to painful consequences; it would lead to pain. Peeling the layers away would leave me exposed; naked.

It was a personal choice, what I deemed to be a tool of survival. It came with scarring experiences and I had had enough of that. Thing is, I just never realized the extent that it went to; how I was hurting and/or affecting others with the indifference.

It’s not like I don’t feel; I just draw the line between feeling and being emotive.

‘Treat others how you would want to be treated. Treat others the way they deserve to be treated.’

Ingratitude was something I never thought I was capable of. Talk about a harsh slap to the face.

I know myself well: my usual response to such situations – confrontations of any sort, included – would be to back off and/or walk away, because hey, why go to all the trouble? I may want to please people, but I’ve learnt that not all people are worth pleasing. I’ve burnt bridges before, whether intentional or when I’ve given up trying to keep it together. Why try to change for someone? Been there, done that, and that only led to a path of destruction anyway. Some may say, “to each his own. Different people have different perceptions and expectations.” But there’s a stark difference between deliberately changing one’s self to make others accept you because you think you’re not good enough, and changing one’s self for the better; to be a better person to those you love and care for.

Especially when you realize that some things are worth fighting for, that some people are worth treasuring and that some friendships are worth keeping.