I buy and make things for my friends a lot. I even do this for friends I don’t know as well, ones to whom I don’t owe that social obligation. I always say that my favorite part of a gift giving holiday is watching the recipient’s face light up upon oppening my present. Only, I sometimes wonder if that’s less just from a selfless desire to see them happy than it is a feeling of security that they won’t leave me.
I have had several friends leave me over the years. I don’t hang out with anyone from SSPP. I had a group at CG that abandoned me in a cruel way. I’ve had friends who just stopped contacting me, friends I gave up on because I hated feeling like I’m forcing them to spend tim with me. Gift giving has become a sort of self-preservation. If I make them happy, they won’t leave me. If they feel taken care of, I won’t have to be alone. Only, I still feel alone mostly.
My brother’s Christmas gifts to me this year represented the first time in a long time I’ve felt like someone really cared if I was happy. Sure, he got the ideas off a wish list, but he still chose 5 items off 6 pages and managed to find some of the best ones. He remembers what I tell him as if it matters.
Sure, I’ve had other presents in the past that I’ve liked okay, but for me it’s really all about the thought. I consider gifts in advance and put in hours of labor creating them just so someone can smile. I never believe them, never think I’ve done quite enough to keep them. I can’t help but feel as though they will all leave me some day. In my worst fears I end up old and alone, dying in my house with no one finding me, noticing I’m gone, until I’ve started to decompose.
Maybe that’s a little morbid, but I can’t help it. I don’t know how to feel better.