There is a saying that comes up in discussion of consent, that says that the answer is either "hell yes" or "no".
Meaning, that unless than answer is a very enthusiastic yes, then the answer is no. There is no grey area.
It does make sense the more than it gets explained. Because, really, how much fun is anything with a partner that is reluctant or anything less than eager to be there?
It’s not always a permanent no… given time and attention, things can change into a place where there is an enthusiastic yes… but until it does, anything less is an automatic no.
But, I read somewhere where someone suggested that this actually applies to every stage of the relationship, with the same logic. Who wants to date someone who isn’t all that sure that they want to date you? Each stage, both people need to be enthusiastically ready to move forward to a new stage, or it just isn’t going to be very enjoyable for either one.
Several people said as much in different ways in the whole situation with K.
But, honestly, I was in a place where I was totally ok with that.
I was totally ok with getting scraps of what I deserved rather than being treated like his cherished one. Something was better than nothing, and even a K who kept changing his yeses into nos was still better to me than no K at all.
Not that my choice mattered, but…
But, it’s there’s more to it than that.
Because the more thought about it… the more I realized that’s exactly my friendship issue that I’ve been attempting to sort out for years.
I know that many of the people that I have called my closest friends, didn’t consider me to be as important in their wider circle of friends as I considered them in mine.
My enthusiastic yes to their friendship was met with "when its convenient", "eh, I guess so", and a seeming yes followed by actions that didn’t match.
But through the K experience, I’ve discovered how many more of them it was really an answer of
"as long as you have no real active drama"
or "as long as you bounce back quickly and don’t get emotional"
or "as long as you stay always being the one who is full of encouragement and humor to distract me"
or "as long as you follow my advice and do what I think you should do"
or "as long as you always act like a calm mature person even when you feel like you are falling into pieces"
I know it’s not as obvious on here, where I tend to be a lot more brutal… but nobody is really used to me showing a depressed side… let alone that deep..
Someone told me that with K it would never be a balanced relationship because I would always have to be the strong one. But ya know what? That’s honestly most of my friendships.
I’m the one who listens to years of whining about husbands being jerks… but then, when I can’t keep my own even keel anymore, it becomes very apparent very fast how lopsided some things were.
To be clear, the depression isn’t from K. It’s just something that was already getting worse after the school failure, and was always in the background, and just couldn’t be held out of sight after the K emotional crisis. Plus, the relationship with him was helping a ton by giving me a lot of happiness to balance the scales.
And after that explosion… well.. why even try to shove it back under the carpet?
I’ve never been good with small talk anyway… but especially when depressed.
But right now, when some days it’s enough of a task to haul my butt out of bed?
Well, it comes down to just not caring anymore.
Why always be the one making the effort to call?
Why bother listening to someone whine about how crummy various things are in their life when I know they don’t want to listen to mine?
Why bother making posts public here if they aren’t concerned enough about life to ask me how things are going when I don’t give them an easy way to just get straight to the good parts they want to discuss?
Why force small talk if people aren’t going to seek out conversation with me?
Why ask people for input and wisdom if they aren’t going to be ok even if I screw everything up and do everything they told me not to?
Why was I putting up with it? Well, because, like with K, I knew I was the lesser one. The one who was ok with scraps because it meant friendship even if not good friendship.
I was getting my crumbs out of it.
But right now… when I just don’t really care about much?
It’s just not worth the effort to me anymore. Right now, I just have no desire to be the one running the initiative on anything.
I’ve pretty much gone to a system of only speaking when spoken to. If people want to talk to me, they will call/message/whatever.
It’s been very very quiet.
Sort of sad… but I’m mostly ok with that