I’ve been on the move for the last few years – literally. Since graduating from high school, my address has changed nine times (in less than 7 years). I always convince myself there’s a good reason, and often there is. But there’s one that creeps up all the time – I just am not making any connections. I have a lot of acquaintances, peers, people to hang out with once in a while, but I always feel an acute lack of friends/lovers. And so I find a way to move on, convincing myself that the city I’m in just isn’t right for me. It’s an extreme measure and outward manifestation of something going on within me. There’s a battle between the conscious idea that I’m a wonderful person and worth being around, and the subconscious belief that I’m not really worthy of their attention, and even if I was, they would end up leaving me anyway. I’ve heard it called fearful-avoidant attachment style, and I think that actually fits pretty well.
I got called out on this recently, very vocally, and I could almost feel the walls closing up. Vulnerability was ok with this person to a point, but as sarcastic quips started leaping from my mouth, I began to feel uneasy. I so wanted to express myself to this person, and was almost willing to believe he would listen, but instead I was shutting down. By the time I caught it, it was too late – lines of communication had already been shut down, at least for the moment, and I was left with my own thoughts. The war began another battle as my conscious mind wished for betterment and berated me for allowing habit to take over again. For running away, again.
I spent a lot of the night thinking about it. How do you even dig yourself out of a hole that a number of psychologists think is permanently set in childhood? But I absolutely have to. I have to find a way to flip my understanding and acceptance of myself to match other people – not try to get other people to match my negative self-conception. I need to stop choosing people who are obviously going to leave, a tactic that reinforces my beliefs. I need to stop verbally putting myself down, and make the quickest response a defense of myself rather than sarcasm and self-deprecation. I need to allow this temporary identity crisis to bring to an end the constant differential between my desire for love and my refusal and inability to accept it. I have to.
A TDL Reader