Diary Page Forty-One
February 24, 2003 - My external life is rather the same, every day. I don't have a job, I don't go to school and most days I stay home the entire day. So it behooves me to occupy myself with good endeavors. I try to get some chores done every day, although sometimes I am the slowest person ever when it comes to seemingly simple chores. In fact, it took all of last week for me to get the laundry done. Now to be fair, it was a lot of laundry, all of my clothes and all of my mother's clothes. But I got all of the washing done in one night (while watching TV and listening to music the whole time). The rest of the week was devoted to actually drying the clothes. I know that is terrible but that is what happened. There were just so many and they took so long to dry. I tried not to put too many in the dryer at the same time. And there were days I wouldn't even go near the laundry room so something that should have taken two days at most took me a week. I don't think the clothes suffered much, but I am left to wonder why I can be so slow sometimes. I am not always slow, in fact, sometimes I can move very quickly and even impatiently. I don't like to be leisurely mentally or with anything important or significant to others. But if it just affects me then I can be quite leisurely. Sometimes I am easily distracted and sometimes I cannot stand to be interrupted. My mother is the one who interrupts the most, it has always been her. Her, and the telephone.

Sometimes I don't care if my actions seem illogical or inefficient. But I never want to be reckless. I can be exceedingly careful. I am careful with the feelings of others perhaps to a fault. Even if someone else has been inconsiderate it is rare for me to say anything about it, not to them anyway. I always wonder why other people are not as considerate as I am. It is one of my motivations, consideration of others. I am almost always thinking about others and their feelings and needs. It is hard for me to free myself of this, when I want to do that. For the most part I think it is a good thing but it can preoccupy my thoughts oeverwhelmingly at times. I don't ever want to step on any toes, and at the same time, I want to make sure all toes are cared for and never hurting period. This causes me to do a lot of things for people, generally, anything they ask me to do. But even moreso, there are many things that I don't do that are caused by the same desire. It is one thing that keeps me quiet. The fear that my words may hurt someone else. It is hard for me to try to hurt someone intentionally with my words, even when I am really angry. Once when I was in high school I said something mean about a girl behind her back in an effort to fit in. She found out about it. So now all I want is to find her number and call her and apologize. I did at the time, but I am the kind of person who is apologetic forever. Nothing ever goes away in my mind, every time I feel I have hurt someone (even when I didn't do anything wrong or when they don't feel the least bit hurt). I just don't want to make someone else feel less. "Feeling less" is a concept that I understand but I don't know how to explain. I guess it means, "less than worthy", "less than a man (or woman), "less than valuable", "less than wonderful", less than a lot of things. Just less.

I have an example. A few months ago water from our shower was leaking through the floor and ceiling and into the room below. We were all trying to figure out why this was happening. My brother had an idea and asked me if I ever turned the shower head down when I was in the shower to keep the soap from rinsing off before I was ready. I told him no. To my eyes he looked kind of sheepish or embarassed and he said that he did do that. Well this has been weighing rather heavily on me ever since that day. For in fact, I had stopped doing that with the shower head but I
used to do it. I wasn't doing it when he asked me and I hadn't done it in a while. But I was really upset over the "fact" that he might have felt like he was odd or the only one. So last week I apologized to him and I told him that I used to do that too, and I didn't want him to feel like the only one. He told me that he didn't care at the time and it hadn't bothered him in the slightest. But he did thank me for my concern, misguided as it may have been. My brother is also very concerned about things but he is more extroverted than I am so he is far more likely to express it verbally immediately rather than hold the worry inside.

So that whole showerhead thing might seem silly or strange. I know in my head that I didn't hurt him at all. But my heart has to be
sure and it is hard for me to convince it. I try very hard not to let this be stifling because that isn't any good for myself or others. But it is a strong part of who I am and I am learning to accept that. It is part of the fact that I love to nurture. I like to care for and about people and animals. I can get bored of taking care of actual material things. In fact, I know I don't do that very well. I am also ambivalent when it comes to taking care of myself. There is just no way I can come before others, not ever. I can never justify it in any situation. So whenever I do something for myself or don't do something because I do not feel like it, I feel very guilty. Sometimes I rebel against this monumental force inside that says I must serve and care for others. Then I can seem quite selfish and lazy. Like when I refuse to answer the telephone. Now I have toned this down since our voicemail service got shut off (maybe I should rethink leaving the bills up to the rest of them). Since I know the phone will just ring and ring and since I know I would hate it if I was on the other end of the line, I pick up the phone nowadays. But many times I feel like the requirement to answer the telephone is a requirement to be subservient. Why must I answer, just because you choose to call? It makes me feel like my need to relax, or sleep, or surf the internet, or whatever I may be doing, is not as important as you calling on the telephone. And I don't buy it when I am told that those activities are not important. They are important to me because they help me to relax. I am very worried about people and anxious all the time and sometimes I need to relax a lot to compensate for this. Besides, I am tired of feeling like I am less important than everyone else. But I suppose it is my own fault, since I perpetuate that attitude.

But on the other hand, I like the idea of nurturing others. I like the idea of me being a nice, warm and safe place for others to come to, if only just to crash for a while before they take off in another pursuit. I'd always be there. Steadiness and loyalty are extremely important to me. Someone has to be there for you. One of the saddest things for me is the fact that there are many people who don't have anyone to be there for them. No one to make them feel safe, or loved or cared for. I'd never stop crying over this if not for Jehovah. He is our rock, our safest place. So I know he is there. I don't know why more people aren't there for others. But I realize that I am different and different doesn't mean better or worse. I would like it if others could appreciate the differences in me the way I strive to appreciate the differences in them and everyone else. But again, I don't really encourage this by my own behaviors or attitude. I do not project the image of myself as being someone who is valuable and who should be appreciated for her uniqueness. In fact, sometimes I think I will just be swallowed up one day by everyone else's desires and needs and I will cease to exist. As a self-aware being, the idea of this bothers me. But strangely enough, I don't know if I feel important enough for this to even matter. It is not that I feel unloved, or even unimportant. Just not
that important. How could I ever be that important? Secretly, I would love to be that important to someone. I still service and care for others whether or not I am that important to any of them. Of course I feel better doing it for people who care about me but that is not a requirement by any means. I don't go out of the way to try to get anyone to love me or care about me. I don't know how to make someone else care about me. Is that even possible? Sheesh, it is hard enough for me to get anyone to notice me period, much less care that I exist. And even those who care that I exist, rarely seem to care enough to nurture me for a change. Yet as I type these words I still don't feel as uncomfortable with that notion as I should. Or maybe I shouldn't. Everyone teaches you that you should be selfish sometimes, that you should want to be taken care of sometimes. Yet while I am being taken care of, who is taking care of the one caring for me? I should be doing that. It is like a masseuse. The masseuse never gets the massage. But isn't that the way of things? It is why one person becomes a masseuse and another keeps doing things that cause back pain and stress. Then again, masseuse does not mean masochist.        
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