Saturday, February 9, 2013
Bad things are going to happen. People are going to break your heart. It is part of life. It took me a long time to understand this. Having grown up in isolation, I was used to being alone. I had great issues with trust. I had closed down so much of myself. I had folded myself over so many times I was unrecognizable, even to myself. Especially myself. I am forever learning how to interact with others, who just like me are trying to find their way in this world. Growing up and well into my adult life, being around other people was stressful. It felt like one big test that I was bound to fail. Having not been allowed to express my own emotions had inhibited my ability to understand other's feelings. I was tense and distant. I did not wish to be, I just had no idea how to interact. My dream most of my life was to buy an island and just disappear. So stressful was it for me to be part of any personal exchanges, I would rather hide then partake. I held myself apart and became more and more miserable for the effort.
I could find no meaningful solution to this back and forth of my inner self. Forever playing a one way game of hide and seek with the world. I would spend weeks virtually alone. It would start out with some small hurt. A misunderstanding, a misplaced word by family or friend and I would be filled with hurt. Vulnerable and distant, I was miserable. I would take my cue and cut off all communication. I did not want to talk about whatever it was. I simply wanted to be left alone. I would nurse whatever the perceived trespass and play the martyr's roll. Vacillating between anger at the villain I was building up and scolding myself for ever letting them into my life. I should never have tried to build a relationship. I would always be alone. I was stupid to try. Down that rabbit hole I would tumble, free falling into depression. Locking out the world was my only defense.
Then, as time passed, my logical side would rehash whatever drama I had created in order to retreat into myself and realize that I was overreacting. That shrunken hippocampus had struck again. So, I would venture out or more often, someone else would barge into my world. I had a handful of loving, caring individuals who would simply not allow me to stay hidden. I owe them a lot. I still get that urge sometimes. Hurt feelings lead to that timeless ritual of disappearing. It is so hard and easy all at once. A picking away of a never healing scab. The desire to mark down all my faults and mentally flog my soul. Habits are hard to break. No one who walks life's path has an easy journey and one is not promised.
I am getting better. At least I hope I am. I have tried to stop thinking like a victim. When someone does something that causes me pain, I step back and stop thinking about how it affects ME and focus on the real issue. What is going on within them? It was the key to escaping my self made prison. I had to acknowledge that I had banished myself. That most perceived slights were nothing at all to do with me. There is great comfort in that. All my life I had tried to be smaller, to blend in, disappear. But I had been mistaken. I had it in the the wrong order. While listening to someone's harsh words or observing their hurtful deeds, that is the time to remove myself. No one is doing anything to me. They are usually just expressing their own hurt. I am very aware of pain and once I realized that that is what they were expressing, I could be there for them, without the need to try on whatever they spun together, to see if it fit me. It had nothing at all to with me. Or at least not insert myself into the position of whipping post.
Life is all about relationships. Like that exercise "the fall of trust", where you fall backwards and your team catches you. That is the secret, you must build a good team. This may be an obvious thing for you. You may have always known this. You may be one of those people who knows everyone and you float on a river of friendship. I am learning to float in that water. To allow others to play a part in my life. I am learning, that how you view the world, is exactly what your life will be. I have learned to listen without automatically projecting my own low self esteem into the scenario. I see the great treasure that friends are. They are absolutely necessary to getting through the hard times and to be there to revel in good ones.
Posted by Chele at 4:23 PM