I’m not your mom friend

There’s something absolutely exhausting about feeling like compared to others you aren’t valid, yet feeling obligated to help the ones whose shadows you stand in. I sit next to people who have dealt with far worse things than I have and it almost feels like a contest to see who has more problems when they bring up things that have happened to them. In the friend circles I’ve been in, I’ve often felt like I’m supposed to take care of other’s feelings and let them vent to me about their trauma and their feelings. It becomes an echo chamber of us all voicing how badly we were hurt, how terrible our mental health is, each one of us trying to be louder or trying to sympathize with a story of a similar experience (or sometimes any experience at all).

I find myself trying to voice myself and my own issues around people who I know have it far worse than me. Next to them, I am nothing. When I try to vent to them, I come across as annoying and needy and whiny and put more on their shoulders than they can handle. I can’t handle their stuff very gracefully either, but I try because I fear what could happen to them if I don’t. If I say no or tell them to stop, will they get mad? If I don’t listen and try to help will they end up getting hurt?

I feel the need to make things all about me because I feel unheard. What people seem to know of me is not what I tell them but what others continually say to them I am. 

I call myself a mom friend because I care. I want to be seen as someone who can be trusted and confided in and who will protect their friends because sometimes, that’s what I am, and it makes me feel happy and connected. Except most of the people I try to be there for don’t seem to reciprocate. I’m sorry if this sounds like a guilt-trip, but it’s what I perceive, and just like everything else, the truth is a matter of perception.

I’m not your mom friend. I was never your mom friend. I am a person who wants you to be safe and happy but I cannot handle your problems. If you hurt yourself and I know what you were going through, I will feel I am at fault for your injury or even death for not being able to help you. I am a teenager and I am immature and naive and stupid, just like all other teenagers. Stop acting like I’m different or mature or like I can help. I don’t know how to help and I give up my headspace trying to make things better.

I understand how my mother feels when I talk to her about all my problems now. I realize I’m powerless and can’t protect anyone. I realize I need therapy. I’m getting therapy. If you’re one of those people who seeks comfort in your friends like I do, get therapy, too. Your friends cannot handle it and neither can mine.

I’m done mom friending. I quit. I know the people who have hurt me most in this way will likely not respond to this or check if they did anything (which is funny, because it plays directly into what this post is all about, but c’est la vie). No, I don’t wanna talk about it unless you’ve reflected and actually think you contributed or if you have questions that are not some variation of “Did I cause this?”. Otherwise it’s just you trying to take care of me or me trying to take care of you which is the exact opposite of what the goal of this post is. I’m gonna try to do better and that starts tonight. I want to be many things but being a hypocrite is not one of them.

I sincerely apologize for snapping like this, but I felt and still feel it needed to be done. I’m fed up and setting a boundary.

– Potato