You don’t have to say anything about it. It is something I have (mostly) come to terms with. I only bring it up to give a little context.
I have a father out there in Meat World somewhere. I differentiate for a reason, and no, I Don’t Want to Talk About It. We have met twice ever. Once I stayed with him, my former step-mother and two half brothers for a few weeks. Over the twenty years since then we have had few enough phone conversations, emails, and letters that I can count them on my fingers. I don’t need all of them. At least one hand’s worth are those initiated by me. Every now and again he would pop up in my life and make some n00bish attempt at contact with me. It never lasted.
Somewhere along the line I decided that I am worth more than a one-sided relationship. I don’t have the spoons or the emotional strength to give to something that is that unstable. I recently wrote him, laying out the terms I required of him if he wished to have any more contact with me or my family, and that if they were acceptable that he would write to me right away.
I wrote that letter a year and a half ago before we moved from Hawai’i.
I probably don’t have to say that I didn’t receive a reply.
It pained me for a while, until I realized why I made that decision.
I bring him up to make a point.
Because I need to focus my spoons on relationships that give as much as they take. I need to make sure that the relationships that I am working at putting my valuable spoons into are giving back to me. I deserve to be valued as much as I value. I deserve to know that the person whom I am spending my precious spoons on gives a fuck that those spoons have value and that a gesture like a phone call, email, mailed letter or card are not just something that I do offhandedly. Those gestures take time and physical resources on my part.
And I deserve to be a part of a relationship where the other party recognizes that, and can be arsed to give a little of that back.
Sure, I am not always the best at correspondence, but email, Facebook, and a few other electronic mediums have given me back a bit of that. I have managed to make contact with people that I love and care about, I have managed to forge new friendships, rekindle old ones, and build bonds that I need. And those people, who care anything about me have shown me that they can do the same. Those who don’t use these mediums call or write, and I feel appreciated or loved. I feel as if my spoons matter. I have even managed to connect with a sister that I didn’t know until recently, and it has meant something that I can’t describe. That is saying something for someone who works as a freelance writer, and who talks as a nervous habit.
I have made the conscious decision to conserve my spoons by moving past relationships that are one sided, and trying to recognize when I need to leave ones that I have grown out of, even if the other parties don’t recognize it, or won’t say so to me. By choosing not to spend my life resource on something that isn’t symbiotic, so to speak. I need to know that I am appreciated, and that my time and energy is acknowledged. I need the people who claim to care about me to acknowledge that my resources are limited, and that my energy is precious to me and my family. That a phone call, letter, card, email, or other means of my reaching out isn’t just a fun thing, but a tap on my limitations.
To some it might sound selfish.
But maybe, just maybe, it is time that I include a little selfishness just for me so that I can save those resources for the people that can be arsed to say “I acknowledge and appreciate you”.
We all deserve that.