“. . . I have tried to take care of my needs by indirectly projecting them on those around me and then acting as if I am taking care of the other person.
This indirect way of trying to get what I need by planting my feelings as needs to be attended to in those around me has been a way to hide my vulnerability, while still managing to appear as a kind and other-centered person. I realize I am not alone in this malady. It is often so subtle and so close to our healthy way of relating to others that we seldom realize the manipulation and deceit involved.
. . .the energy wasted in trying to quietly get others to behave in ways that will satisfy our needs remains a major source of anxiety and alienation. Rather than prevent us from being hurt, indirectness and dishonesty only heighten our isolation from what it means to be alive.” -Mark Nepo
I do this.
I hate that I do this.
My awareness that I do this is so heightened that I feel raw.
So I’ve been embracing the directness in my personality because it is totally there underneath the nicey nice and people pleasing and co-dependence. My directness does not come from a hurtful or mean place. It’s just me listening to myself and speaking aloud my wants and needs. It’s just me being honest and vulnerable and strong. It’s just me being completely me.
In layman’s terms: I am owning my shit.
Not everyone is going to like it. That’s a different battle I will wage while lying on the couch of my therapist’s office (yes, she has me lie on the couch and yes, I sometimes pretend I am a character in a Woody Allen film). I am breaking down so many of my old habits that came from a place of intense fear of being rejected based on my unworthiness. That feeling of unworthiness has had a firm grip on me for a long, long time and from that I’ve made countless decisions that did not have my own best interest at heart. I’ve cared more about what other people thought than what I thought. I’ve tried to manipulate situations to protect everyone’s feelings. And sometimes my attempts at being thoughtful have come from a place of self-protection not altruism. That’s an ugly truth but there it is. It all started with my Dad and the demise of the family and how in my own child’s mind I thought I could be enough to fix everything that was broken and it’s rambled on from there.
Lately, I’ve been cutting people out of my life for good reasons- reasons that have always been there except before I was not strong enough to walk away. I’m working on letting go. I tend to blame myself when anything goes wrong because I’ve spent my life being responsible for everything- even stuff that is not my stuff! And I am just bone fucking tired of it. I’m giving it up. . . and in the process some relationships are over. I’m making my peace with that. And with myself. I’m trying to work my way back to the start of all this so I can REALLY let go. I know I am getting closer. I know I am getting stronger. I know I am on the right path.
But I might need you to hold my hand sometimes.
I’m learning to ask for help.