Refuse to be a backup emotional anchor of hollow souls

Posted: May 14, 2014 in Love and Relationships, Personal
Tags: , , , , , ,

As I sit down to write this, I am receiving some constant messages from a long lost college mate with whom I have no contact for a year now. The messages wouldn’t have made way into my cell phone had I not installed a new app this morning. Unfortunately, I was completely ignorant of her presence on the app or else I would have blocked her there too like some other networking apps/websites. Yes, you can go ahead and label me as a caddish individual, but I am pretty sure of few things: Priority, Reciprocation and Permanence. And under no circumstances, I compromise with these three policies of my life.

Friendship, just like every relationship, weighs heavy on our heart and makes us dependent on it increasingly. We seek the support of our close people at the face of every adversity. Whether they are able to do anything tangible or not, but the kind of emotional aid they bring on the table speaks volume of the kind of goodwill we are surrounded with. Unlike now, I was always the quintessential friend who would go to any extent to get the monkey of acrimony off the shoulder of my close buddies. From late night telephonic conversations to constant chatting to sending them gifts, I have done almost everything conceivable to get the smile back on their face. Needless to say, I was on major occasions teased as “the counselor” who would listen to your problems and suggest you solutions; even if there was no solution at least I would listen to you sacrificing my sleep and important work.

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So, there was this college friend of mine who would come to me whenever there was something significant to talk about, preferably whenever her love life was on rocks. I patiently lend my ear to her on each and every occasion as college life is all about unconditional love in friendship. This continued till the final semesters, and finally we moved to different cities for pursuing our career. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop me from calling her on a regular interval and getting an update of her whereabouts. Meanwhile, her love interests too kept on changing after few months, and so does the problems related to them. But, I never failed to mollycoddle her at any instance.

Everything was going well, until an atypical feeling started arising within me. I started observing that there were frequent and long calls from her side only when her relationship underwent some serious repercussions. She used to shout, cry, sob, rant and sulk for hours. Whereas I would listen, console, advice, and then again listen. Quite in contrast, when she used to bury the hatchet with her love interest the next day, she ignored me as I never existed in her life. On most occasions, she did not even bother to reply to my messages. This cycle again continued till the time her boyfriend matched up to her expectations, but alas, a tussle would again make her call me.

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I realized that over the years, I got trapped into this role of emotional anchor and somehow this part got overlapped with the emotions of friendship. Now, I am no more a friend, but just an emotional support who would come to her rescue whenever she would be in a catch-22 situation. But, still there was no escape to it because I was too naive to break someone’s heart in the time of need. The counselor in me faced a major turning point last year when my mother was unwell for some weeks. I was very disturbed those days. Usually I am a close person when it comes to showing your emotions. Why not confide in my friends during this tough time just like they do to me? I thought to myself. I called this particular friend, but there was no response from her. I dropped her message saying that my mother was not well, and I am little disturbed and may be talking to her would make me feel better. It was the feeling of your heart getting lacerated unlimited times when she replied just with an “okay”. I did not get a call from her for another 20 days.

My mental fulcrum got totally crashed and I saw a new practicality of life. All these years of friendship, support and reciprocation came crashing to the ground. Now, I was confirmed that I was not just an emotional anchor, but a “backup” emotional anchor. There is huge difference between these two terms. The former is what you get unconditionally from your parents and close people, and the later is when people take you just an option or alternative to their priority to in life. In this case, her love interest was the priority in her life and I was a backup option for listening to her worries whenever she needed someone. It was not about friendship anymore.

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With all the ups and downs in my kitty, I made up my mind that come what may, I will never be an alternative for people like her. I will be always there for people who have filled my life with warmth, but today I am clear sighted to pigeon-hole individuals who have the agenda of using me just in the time of hardships. And by bringing this change into my lifestyle, I got rid of some major complications of my life and got closer to people who actually matter. The list of my friends is relatively smaller today, but at least it comprises of those people who inspire me to be a better person every day instead of making me feel like a recycle bin of psychotherapy emotions. If you are getting drowned in the cacophony of endless one-sided emotional support, think again! May be its time to walk out of it and embrace redemption.

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Disclaimer: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over it.

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Comments
  1. Mancy says:

    Wow! I feel so great now after reading this. You seriously give us a heroic feeling – as if we’ve literally won a battle or something – whatever we did – was important. You help me understand valuing things. There are always things that I get to learn from your thoughts here. You’re doing great. And for this article, you’re so true. You’ve always been very transparent both as a person and as a writer – I can tell this as I’ve been your friend and known you as well as following this blog. There’s always some or the other thing that you bring upon to in my life – even if its a small thought, it matters and somehow I find this connection so important and so worthy. So genuinely thanks to you. 🙂 Smiles all over again.

    • @Mancy: In this hectic lifestyle, we seldom think of these issues. But, in the long run, now I feel it is very important to prioritize things and move ahead in life. Once again, thanks for reading and making me smile with your generous words ! 🙂

  2. R Vyas says:

    A lovely post..reminds me of that quote by Mark Twain – “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” 🙂

  3. Akshit Choudhary says:

    Very much true. You can keep on giving endless support but when difficult times come, you’ll literally scroll down the phone book of you mobile just in a hope to come across a name to whom you can call up and that is when we realize thats its really been lonely all this time!!!

    BTW……I’ve lost my pen and feeling very sad for it…..send me gifts!! 😛 😛

  4. Soumyo says:

    Indeed a thought to think about and relook at things from a different perspective…. Well written Indrani

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