This next post is a very long, contemplative soliloquy that I have been needing to get out of my system for a few.
So, if you are just visiting for your Blog Explosion credits, feel free to wait your 30 seconds and move on. The rest of the post is in the ‘more’ section for those that wish to stay a bit longer.
I have been feeling a little as though I have reached a personal growth plateau, an impasse that has me stumped as to how to proceed.
My internal dialogue has always been a strange, scraggly sort of circle. I’m not quite sure where one thing starts and another begins.
I am afraid of success. Or rather, I am terrified of failure, which in turn becomes a fear of success, because with success, comes the risk of that success’ eventual failure. (Hey, I never said it made SENSE). I am so afraid of going out and finding a job that I literally have panic attacks before interviews. I keep my head down so I won’t have to look at people who may be either a)laughing at me because I am fat, b)interested in me as a friend or whatever, or c)acting like I don’t exist. Most days I feel like I would literally run in the other direction if someone said so much as one word to me.
And yet…how much of what I am experiencing now has become a self-fulfilling prophecy? An endless cycle of my own making? People hurt me, I go on to assume that other people will hurt me, or things will go wrong, so when they do, I am vindicated, and of course the next person will hurt me, too. How much do I manipulate my own outcome to satisfy those hungry inner voices?
Things have happened in my life that have led me to believe that people will always let me down, and I’ll never succeed at anything. Sexual, physical, emotional abuse. Domestic violence. Other smaller things too numerous to list. I don’t know when I turned that into ‘it’s my fault that people always do this to me’ and ‘I’m a loser.’ I do know I have spent the better part of my life trying desperately to silence those inner voices, yet having those voices be continuously vindicated in their incessant yammering as something else happens that sends me into a tailspin. The only GOOD thing I can say about myself now is that I still get up every day and get things done.
So is there some point where maybe I SHOULD feel as though I have some sort of toxic personality that emotionally drains others to the point where they have a need to withdraw from me, leaving me feeling even more abandoned and more likely to drain the next person I come into contact with? I have no idea. And if that IS the case, I have no idea how to FIX it. As I have gotten older I have less and less friends or even acquaintances, and less inclination, or maybe it’s less social skills, to go out and find new ones. I am becoming more and more comfortable in this shell I have built up around myself, but at the same time more and more lonely and desperate for contact. So desperate that I wonder if that makes me slip more easily into relationships that aren’t any good for me. And I wonder if I am able recognize whether it is better to let things go. Whether it is as straightforward as letting go of the fear or as complicated as letting go of someone I have loved for so long I can’t remember my life before these feelings.
I got in contact with an old friend after I moved back to the city. I’m still not really sure why. When I decided to end the friendship I had very good reasons, and I was in a pretty good place in my mind, I thought. It was no longer healthy for me or my children. But even after a year and a half, it still felt as though there were a jagged, irreparable hole right in the middle of my heart where his friendship used to be. I never felt that even when I decided to cut off contact with my mother for the better part of the last 10 years. And my soul was curled up in a small ball in the middle of that hole, crying out at the injustice that there was no one and nothing to replace this person, and wasn’t the only best friend I ever had better than no one at all? Even if I was never really HIS best friend? Please… I can’t stand to have no one.
So, I called him up, and we immediately fell back into the same mind-meld we have had since the very first day. Within the first minute we were completing each other’s sentences. And as soon as I heard his voice, I was lost. Again. I was brought right back in time to the first second I saw him and KNEW. (Yeah, I never believed in love at first sight, either) HOW could I have been doomed to be in love with someone who has never loved me back the way I deserve to be loved? Why did my heart have to choose the one person who will never be able to deal with his own issues enough to allow himself the freedom to love someone else fully?
And WHY do I keep allowing myself to think that his friendship will ever be enough for me? Obviously, it will never be enough, or I would have stopped wondering if it was enough a long time ago, no matter what I felt about him.
But here is the thing. How much of this whole 11-year saga has been a part of my own internal self-fulfilling prophecy machine? I mean, I knew he was the one, right? Scary shit. No, no, back away. You’ll never be good enough for him, anyway. Never clearly state what it is you want from him, make it clear that you see other people, too, never tell him how you really feel, he’ll laugh, he’ll think you are stupid, or worse, he’ll say he doesn’t feel the same. Then, when he suddenly drops you like yesterday’s garbage and doesn’t so much as call to let you know he is alive for almost a month because he met some other girl, hey, see, I told you that would happen! See, he’s your friend again now that his interest in the other one is waning. And off and on over the course of our friendship this same scenario has happened.
The other facet of this self-fulfilling prophecy theory is that I allowed myself to cheat on another relationship with this friend. Now, not only have I compromised MYSELF and my own self-respect and honor with something that I have never ever done or even considered before…hey, I helped give him a concrete reason to not ever really want to be with me! See, I’m a cheater! (Cue self-fulfilling prophecy music here.)
Then, when I FINALLY get enough balls after years to just up and ask him to be with me, and he says YES…I drop the ball. Just like I always do. I go for something, then I get scared and I stop and turn back. And most of the time, I lose that opportunity, never to be given it again. And give my prophecy another notch in its belt.
And now I can’t be sure that it is the healthiest thing for me to be this person’s friend while I still have all these unresolved feelings.
What the hell? I guess the impasse that I am feeling is what exactly to work on at this point. It’s just not clear in my mind. I mean, do I work on the fear, or the cause of the fear? I have thought about setting smaller goals that are easy to achieve to give myself enough of a boost to go on to bigger things, but heck, most of my goals are day-to-day as it is. I know most of this is the depression which is part-seasonal, part-situational, and I DO need to get myself back into therapy. But I have even felt afraid of THAT. Fear is pissing me off. I am afraid to feel better. Because I don’t know what feeling better FEELS like. What kind of crap is that?
My mind knows what a silly fear that is when it objectively looks at my accomplishments. Maybe what I need to learn is now to better get a grip on my runaway emotions. *sigh*
I just want to lay down and sleep for about 3 weeks until I can figure out a way to sort out this massive ball of emotional yarn.
And if you made it to the end of this little narcissitic load of junk, umm…you are now a part of my world and you will never escape. :bad:
moderate · December 22, 2004 at 11:21 am
your mindset is typical…yes, typical of a person, who, for whatever reason, has suffered hurt but rather than understanding that the pain was not a fault of your own, have ascribed it to yourself. by concentrating on this imagined guilt, you put yourself in a position of being unable to do anything. you fall back into whatever you are familiar with. for some it’s alcohol, or drugs…for you, it’s self-punishment. it may not help you…but i speak from experience
RisibleGirl · December 22, 2004 at 2:25 pm
Wow, pretty deep stuff. I read a lot of my old self in your post. Even down to the 11 year “what is it” relationship. Only mine was 8.
I did a whole lot of work on myself after finally breaking the cycle with that guy. I vowed to not date for one year- no matter who asked. I went into therapy for six months, then dedicated Saturdays to doing something creative and Sundays to reading spiritual and self help books (check out “In the Meantime” by Ivanyla. It’s really a GREAT book. Also another one of hers that I really liked was “One day my soul just opened up”.
I liked my world of no dating or relationships SO much that I extended it. I learned a whole lot about who I was and what was important to me. I met hubby not too long after I decided to dip my toe back into the dating pool. I feel that he is truly a gift to me for all of the hard work that I did on repairing myself.
Like you, I also was a single mother and I also had a lot of abusive relationships in my life. I just wanted you to know that it truly is possible to crawl out of that hole. Really.
If you’d like, I’ll send you the link to the stuff that I don’t talk about on my blog. I don’t want to post that link here for obvious reasons. I just want to give you the opportunity to see that it’s possible to be where I’m at today from where I started from.
Janet · December 23, 2004 at 5:18 pm
I don’t know you, but from what you’ve shared, it sounds like you have gone through a lot in your life. I know it’s hard, but you have to try to give yourself a break now and again. Blogging is great that way. It lets you vent and find shoulders to cry on, all at once.
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