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.