Sometimes, the best I can do is to just not talk. To bite my tongue and hold my breath and walk away. Preferably outside, where there’s something I can kick.
And when someone tells me their pain and looks to me for comfort, I have to decide whether I’m going to fake it again or not. Am I going to fake empathy where I have none or am I going to just shoot straight and tell them I’m currently incapable of caring. But it’s not personal. Because it isn’t.
In moments like these, the only thing that moves the needle is guilt. Seeing someone in pain that I caused. And not innocently. It’s pain that I caused because I was being selfish or stubborn. Then the guilt hits me like a tsunami and I feel once again the voice that tells me I’m a terrible person. Just look at the evidence. It’s right there, on that person’s face. As they crumple into tears. That was your doing, and you’re still the same heart breaking stone hearted statue.
There’s guilt and there’s sorrow and then self-pity. Poor me. I didn’t intend to be this way. I wasn’t planning or hoping to be the monster that hurts people callously. I’m just as much a victim as they are. I mean, I have to feel guilty for something that shouldn’t be my fault!
Those are the types of thoughts I face when I’m struggling to care.