I have had difficulty with friendships as far back as I can remember. I lived in a very rural area in which only one other boy my age lived close. I believe because of this I didn’t learn how to interact with other kids. Adults were always around, and by watching how they interacted, that’s how I thought you were supposed to treat people. When that didn’t work, I acted in horrible ways.

When I think about how I treated some people in high school and college, I’m embarassed. I would get really moody because I knew that everyone was either taking pity on me or was on the verge of leaving the friendship they had with me. I seemed to thrive on the fact that I made these poor people pour out their feelings for me time and time again, only to be met with the same moodiness from me a few weeks later. I hated it probably just as much as the friends I dragged through this. All of them were gracious and merciful with me, telling me later that it was no big deal.

I wish I could do it all over again after learning what I know now. I craved those feelings because I was completely devoid of affirmation and affection when I was growing up. I didn’t know how to ask for the things that I needed, so I did the only thing I knew how to do, which was to put people in a situation in which they were compelled to affirm me and relay their affection.

Thankfully, I’m a different person now. One that understands boundaries much better. One that knows how to ask for the things that I need. And one that is thankful and full of gratitude for what God has given me. I have a wonderful family, supportive friends, the best job in the world, and more blessings that I can count. Thank you for all of you that stood beside me when I made it hard. You know who you are.

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