Limited friendships and self-care

I am so grateful for friends. I know what it’s like to not have them. I know dark times.

So treating friends well is important to me. I’m going to be good. I’m going to give. And I try not to take too much. I’m very aware of all of this all the time. And I’m autistic. This isn’t supposed to be my strong suit.

2020 was what it was and it taught me a lot. Value people for what they bring and who they are. No one person fills the slot of friend. Everyone brings something different.

2021 is teaching me to respect myself a lot more. I will give and put my needs in the backseat and justify it for a million reasons: they’re young, they have no relevant experience, they’re hurt, they’re scared, they are using what they learned in survival times.

I can do that, but it doesn’t mean I have to give friends 100% me. Drop me to tend to them. Things have been hard this year but I made them harder by letting people slide when they’ve been greedy or careless. I haven’t been respecting my own boundaries.

Why haven’t I been respecting my boundaries? Because I like to pretend I’m not sick. I like to pretend like I’m not disabled. Who wants to hang out with a disabled sick person? Who’s going to invite that person out?

That’s self-hate. And it stops today. I have a lot to offer. And if people can’t appreciate my limits, even when I vocalize them, I have to accept that.

I can start enforcing boundaries today. And if friends can’t be there for the real stuff, that’s ok. They can still be friends. But they don’t get 100% me. They get 15%. They get what I am willing to give. They are good time friends.

If they mature…if they become more realized people, then we can reevaluate at that time. But I can’t be fun time Vene to everyone to make them comfortable. They get fun time Vene when I have the energy to be her. When I feel like being her.

I don’t need to apologize for going through a really hard time or being autistic. And I shouldn’t have to show stigmata to prove that I actually am. If they can’t grasp how hard it is because they have nothing to compare it to…ok…they get put into “Fun time Vene” rotation.

The people who do get it, who’ve been so supportive, who’ve been patient with me, who’ve shared their experiences, who’ve modeled empathy and compassion: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I know you go through hard times to and don’t always share them publicly. I see you. I honor you.

I have to start distinguishing the two. Not resenting the green ones because they’re ignorant. Not resenting the limited ones because they’re not capable of more. But also, I get to decide what I give. And if I’m hurt, it’s because I was expecting more from people who don’t or can’t be more. At least not yet. That’s on me.

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