Few weeks ago, I got a text from a friend who I haven't heard from for a long time. Again, the customary "how are you" was thrown back and forth. But before that, I asked who was it because the sender only registered a number, but the delivery of the text was familiar, telling me that who it was, was at some point in my lifetime was someone I was in close contact with. And she was, when I confirmed the ID. She was, even without the emoticon, sounded disappointed that I had to ask, telling me she never deleted my number. I had to explain that I changed phone, that I saved my contacts in my phone memory and my old phone's battery gave up and the battery's model was phased out, so I had no way of retrieving my contacts' number. You know the feeling that the person you're talking to doesn't believe the word you're saying? I had that, with the "uhm, okay" reply. I let that slide. I have learnt that when you know you are sincerely telling the truth, you don't have to insist you are right.
I was happy to reconnect with her because I haven't heard from her for quite a while. Yes it was through texts, but she's an old friend and, whatever way to keep in touch is keeping in touch. She said she felt abandoned, so she stayed away from social media, i.e. Facebook, the site where we're connected. I told her I left a message on her wall, if she had read it? Her declaration of abandonment quite stunned me because I tried to connect with her through Facebook. Still, I let that slide, thinking that to launch my defense against the accusation would rouse more resentment from both of us.
That "attack" came at a crucial point in my timeline (was going through an epic evolution,redrawing my inner map). It's surprising, yet revealing. I got where she came from. I felt that abandonment she was referring, that feeling that nobody understood and that no one will understand you, so you build a wall around you to protect yourself from rejection, founded or imagined. I felt resentment on her "abandoned" statement. We lived parallel lives, yet I chose not to point fingers on whom or what to blame my pain. I realized that the abandonment we feel is a matter of perception; perhaps a defense mechanism to repel that fear of rejection, a reason to justify the hurt when our needs are not met. So what do we do? We distance ourselves from others, from our friends, from our families. We extricate ourself from the circle, to be alone in our misery, masochistically reveling our aloneness in the misery, at the same time, getting bitter and angry of everyone who do not get our misery.
In this world full of duplicities, someone out there truly, sincerely, deeply gives a fuck about you. Reach out. Someone in the hundred or so in your friends' list would drop what they are doing or forget what they are going through to be there for you. Just reach out. Someone would freeze his/her own hell to show up for you; to pat you on the back, commune with you, sit with you in silence, hold your hand, and confidently tell you that it's going to be okay. Just.reach.out.
The two things that hold us hostage are fear and pride -- we fear of rejection, so we rely on our pride to get through life single-handedly. It's true that walking alone would get you somewhere and doing so opens possibilities you can reach, of which you never thought possible. Nevertheless, it'll be nice that know that someone has your back. But you never know until you reach out. You will never find out if you don't ask. You know what else I learnt? Someone who's honest and brave enough to point out your shortcomings, either as a friend or a lover or family, they're the very people who will get you and will show up for you. In the world where your struggle becomes some people's amusement and subject of mockery, find company in the people who managed to confront their humanity. They're the ones who will be there for you. All you need to do is reach out.