Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Hard to Love

Sunday, October 6, 2013
Posted By: 
Eden Maheras
Lee Brice has a song called “Hard to Love,” and if you’re not familiar with it, here are some of the lyrics:
I am insensitive, I have a tendency
To pay more attention to the things that I need.
Sometimes I drink too much, sometimes I test your trust,
Sometimes I don't know why you stay with me.

I'm hard to love, hard to love,
No, I don't make it easy,
I couldn't do it if I stood where you stood.
I'm hard to love, hard to love,
You say that you need me,
I don't deserve it but I love that you love me, good.
I have been called selfish more times in the past 6 months than I have since my bratty teenage years.  And it’s true; I have been selfish.  I have taken advantage of people in my life: my parents, who have been saints, and who have stepped up to take on the lion’s share of raising Max in order to allow me to get my Master’s Degree and refocus my career, not to mention maintain a social life; and my boyfriend, who is so patient and amazing that at times I can’t believe he’s real.  I’m not being hard on myself here – I know that I have had to, and continue to have to, deal with a huge amount of emotional trauma, stress, and responsibility.  Believe me, no one is better at forgiving me for mistakes than I am.  But the fact remains that what I’ve been through, what I will continue to go through, is not an excuse to take others for granted.
There aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week to meet my performance expectations in all of the roles I play every day – mother, daughter, girlfriend, student, intern, friend.  I live on the brink of an emotional and physical exhaustion that few can truly comprehend.   And I ask for a lot of patience from the people in my life because of this.  Patience, and second, third, and fourth chances to redeem myself for acting inconsiderately.
It’s not that I don’t want to give back to the people who give so much to me.  I wish I could show them how much I appreciate them and want to even out the balance in these relationships.  I can’t place the blame solely on lack of time and energy, though certainly that is part of it.  The other part is harder to admit, probably because it involves more actual accountability and responsibility.  And it’s complicated.  With my parents, I think there is partly a sense of comfort in letting them take care of me again, reverting back to something familiar.  And delegating Max responsibilities to them is likely easy, in part, because I know they’re great at parenting and I am so unsure of how to be a mom still.  It’s easy to fall back on their knowledge and experience. 
With my boyfriend, it’s more complex.  Part of it is differences in personality and preferences; I’m not used to being with a guy who vocalizes a need or desire for emotional support and commitment.  And it’s hard for me to give that freely.  With JP, it took a long time to get to the point where I was open about feelings.  I'm not much of a "feelings" person - a fact that comes out on every personality profile I've ever completed.  After JP died, I felt like the part of me that was willing to open up to another person and show vulnerability shut down completely.  It has been a battle to allow myself to open up emotionally and be ok with it.  Any conversation about feelings ends up with the label “therapy session.”  I’m sure that over time, it will get easier to deal with emotions – from allowing myself to have feelings without experiencing a sense of guilt, to expressing them, to not seeing them as a bad thing or a sign of weakness. 
Until then, I’m going to keep trying to try to be as open as I can about where I am with my heart and my head, and act like a responsible adult even when I want to revert to my teenage ways.  And hope that my support team's patience will stretch a little further...  

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