It’s better to respond than react…Part 2

Posted on February 17, 2013

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Old habits die hard

When i’m not getting what I want from THE GREAT LOVE’s communication and I start getting angry about it, my brain still sometimes reacts immediately and says “he’s been with someone else / he had a better offer / he doesn’t really love me/ there’s there evidence I need to prove all of that doubting theory!”

I don’t have masses of labels to put to why my brain works the way it does except that I’m exploring in therapy something called arrested development and the theory of the inner child. I don’t think i’m especially different from  a lot of people other than i’m exploring this stuff, whereas most people just keep on reacting.

Arrested development is this idea that when a childhood trauma happens, the person you are at that age gets trapped subconsciously inside you harboring the pain from them until you’re able to heal the child, let them grow, or give them what they want. That’s how I interpret it anyway.

Ever since I can remember I have always had this deep sense of loneliness that comes in waves at various points, especially when I am feeling rejected or abandoned, which is my trigger. So breakups can be (not always tho, if handled the right way) especially traumatic for me, more so than normal people might feel them – as I relive all the subconscious pain from my childhood. Even when I’m the one doing the breaking up I can really suffer to the point that I avoid relationships a lot of the time even though a massive part of me feels that a relationship is all that I want.

The foundations of my earlier years mean that rejection became a bit of a running theme as I grew up, and I became increasingly sensitive as a result of it  – starting when I was 18 months old and I went from having all the attention to suddenly having none as my little brother was really ill and needed lots of care. Pretty normal stuff for tonnes of kids all around the world.

When I was 7 I was sent away from home to a school in another country. For a 7 year old that’s a pretty tough situation for an already sensitive kid although at the time I just did it, I didn’t want to do it, I said I didn’t want to go, I threw tantrums about it, but I wasn’t given any room for negotiation. It was just the way it was. And unbeknownst to me, a seemingly massive rejection for a kid who till that point had only known one thing: the life of her family. Sure, by that point I was pretty grown up already – had lived in two different countries, started experimenting sexually with a friend, in that slightly non-sexual but curious way kids do – and probably been a cheeky, spirited, and perhaps at times naughty child. Perhaps a bit attention seeking. But I was fun I think. Always mucking about, getting up to mischief. I didn’t do anything massively deserving of being sent away, even though maybe subconsciously as a kid that thought crossed my mind, I wasn’t sent away because I was naughty or uncontrollable. At least, that’s not why I was told I was sent away and I believe them to this day – it was about education, and nothing else.

I think I was a fairly bright child, and like all mothers mine thought I was ‘gifted’. So boarding school I can imagine seemed like a fair solution to a probably difficult situation – my parents were both working two jobs, they’d run out of childminders who’d take me and my brother, and I think I’d started lying and causing trouble at school because it wasn’t stimulating enough for me. I’ve always been able to see the rationale and understand why I was sent away on a conscious level. But what you can’t control is the way it subconsciously makes a child feel. And it’s only now really, aged 33, that i’m realising I’ve held myself to blame all these years for the reason why it happened. I’ve had a running dialogue in my brain that doubts whether i’m lovable, deep down that is – underneath the surface. I’m realising – over lengthy periods of time exploring this – how my brain always defaults to the negative and blames myself for things when stuff goes wrong. Also, i’m my own worst enemy in other areas, not just work, friendships and relationships – for example when i’m feeling really bad I look in the mirror and see someone with a less than perfect nose, I see someone with imperfect teeth, I noticed the deep line that appears between my eyes, the cellulite on my ass, the chub on my belly and all I think is how disgusting I am and how no one would want me. This is when I’m in a really bad place of course.

I don’t feel like that all the time and when my needs are being met I feel great and love my body and the way I look and the person I am. But it’s there. I think all women suffer from this to be honest, right?

But anyway, I don’t know how to end this post for now so i’ll leave this here! Always keen to know how many other people are exploring this at the moment, would be nice to have someone to talk to about it other than my therapist….

Bringing it back to THE GREAT LOVE really quickly

Just to wrap this up where I started – this all is connected to the guy in my life that i’ve been focusing on this past month, following us coming back into each other’s lives after 6 months of not talking and six years of on and off relationship attempts.

He is adopted.

He has Aspergers.

We’ve both got a metric fuck tonne of neuroses and issues that prevent us getting together properly or staying together for very long but when we are together its like we offer each other the antidote to the very thing that makes us deeply lonely and it feels incredibly intense, and then for various different reasons it’s taken away. Well, for me it feels like its taken away and for him he is just holding me at arms length because of his own fears and issues, and the minute that happens I then panic and tell him never to speak to me again. Although i’m trying to do things differently these days.

So my response strategy to our skype chat on Thursday last week (‘Shitty Valentine’), now that i’ve gotten over my  reaction to it (‘Mini Rant II’) is to just back the fuck off. I made my point at the end of the skype chat, it’s now left with him to work out how to communicate with me about what I said and he probably just needs some time to think about it. When he’s ready, he will get in touch. His last few efforts to meet up have been met with hesitation by me admittedly but I think that’s only healthy given the circumstance and i’m in the middle of job hunting and I need to be on the top of my game. It’s important I take my time over this too, I don’t want to rush in like I always do and then end up feeling confused and hurt and tapping into my less than stable inner child!

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Posted in: Journal, The Truth