Wednesday, August 03, 2005

"My dreams came in like needy children, tugging at my sleeve"

Well into adulthood, I had little or no trust in the affections of other people towards me. I remember telling SJ once that "I expect people to disappoint me." It's a defensive stance, obviously, that results in a perpetuation of disappointment. It works a little like this...I expect people to disappoint, so I don't let them in, then they don't reach out to me and I am disappointed. The whole defense, while meant to be protective, often left me feeling only needy and disappointed.

I could go into the deep psychological roots of this, but let's just say that there were emotional injuries which no one came forward to repair when I was too young to understand or develop decent coping mechanism. (Beautiful piece of intellectualizing, that sentence, isn't it?).

Therapy helped, as did the conversation with SJ in which I had uttered those words, and made me think about what the set up was and how I was selling myself short, ultimately. I have to be grateful that this no longer feels true most of the time. I love my friends, and I know that they love me.

But occassionally that old thinking crawls into my brain, and here's what it whispers* to me..."You are not smart, witty, pretty, or particularly talented at anything. Worse yet, you are boring. Your friends have their own lives and are annoyed at how much you bother them. Stay away. Drink something, eat something, read a book - hide away (with a nice pack of cigarettes, you know you want them). Wait to see if they come to you. It's the only way you'll be sure..."

*not a real voice...just thought I'd clarify so my social worker community doesn't freak out :).

That thinking has been there a lot more lately, exacerbated I think by my adventures in internet dating. I fight against it in the same way you fight against depression, by doing exactly opposite of your inclination...calling friends, seeking support, exploring my talents and delighting in them, trying to appreciate my beauty (this is perhaps the hardest these days).

I'm not writing this to garner sympathy (or changes in anyone's behavior because I love you all as you are). It's more like ipacac - just get it out, so I can feel a little better. And as hard as this was to write, I do feel better now it's done.

P.S. Went to install my DSL only to find that I don't have an ethernet port and need to buy a network interface card. I get to install hardward on my computer tonight, which I find strangely sexy.

11 comments:

Flash said...

Damn that whispering voice, it pulls that shit on me sometimes too.

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Lord Bargain said...

i'm entirely with you there as well. Lock the door, shut the curtains, eat pizza, watch telly, read book, blog, go to bed. That way you're not bothering anyone.

funny, isn't it?

Le moine perdu said...

That's really interesting, because how you describe yourself as a kid is very close to how I was, but how you 'sorted' it is miles apart.

I figured that trying to expect people NOT to disappoint you only ends up with you being disappointed too! So I found a middle ground: I expect people to let me down, but I don't hold it against them at all, because I know they didn't mean to. I go by people's intentions, and accept that as good enough, and believe that people's intentions are usually good even if they're too useless to actually enact them most of the time.

This enables me to look down upon the pitiful mortals with the patronising smile of a father, and view their foibles and flaws and indeptitudes with an indulgent smile and a ruffle of the hair.

Well, it's better than thinking I suck.... ;)

Charby said...

I totally understand where you're coming from.
I still get the same feelings and its awful, making me want to spend the whole day in bed, hiding from the world

Mr_Mystic said...

It's a Shame how we can think low of ourselves somtimes. What is worse is that there are so many people out there fabricating a conception of beauty that we get caught up in it. The problem is that its not real. I will give you an example of what real beauty is.

Ghandi, was and is more beautiful than Brad pitt, Jude Law, Beyonce, etc, could ever hope to be.

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Fred said...

I feel better, too, because I sometimes feel like this. I'll sit in my classroom after a tough day and wonder why I try so hard to work with students who are very difficult.

Then, I remember the one letter from a parent who told me I made a difference in their child’s life. I smile, get my stuff together, and come back the next day ready to go.

Aravis said...

I throw walls up and don't let people in, or I did. I've gotten better about it. It isn't comfortable though really, is it? I hope the feeling passes soon for you.

I love cracking open my computer (or a friend's) and adding/removing cards. It's easy, and people are often impressed that I'm not intimidated by my computer's inner workings. *G*

I hope you were able to install the ethernet adaptor with no problems!

spinsterwitch said...

Thanks for all the comments...it's good to know it's not just my insanity, although remembering that I'm not alone in those feelings is hard when the feelings are there.

Anonymous said...

I know you weren't fishing for sympathy, etc. but I just still want to tell you again that other people see you so much differently than you see yourself. I know that's true of all of us. It's funny because I have always thought you were beautiful but lately even more so and I think in part it's because at least outwardly you seem happier, more confident and I admire and even am envious at times of those qualities that you exude. I also think it's from letting more of yourself show, your inner self, that's really come out in your blog. Like the two sides of you integrating or something. After you showed us your paintings it was like wow, she's beautiful smart and a talented artist too! And especially a wonderful friend. So glad your DSL is up and runnig!
luv and oxox,
HC