I haven’t blogged in months, partly because I attempted to start a new project…and because I am who I am, I start and don’t often complete projects. Since I last blogged, a lot has happened. I’m seeing someone, started a new job and have been endlessly torturing myself internally. The amount of relief I get from writing is why I’m back, and can’t speak to if this will be a more permanent return.
I have been having sessions with Dr. S, and have revealed some very deep issues that I have. I don’t easily trust people, I don’t really like myself, I have an extreme desire to please others, and I feel alone. I have been processing a lot of these realizations, but they really all gelled together recently with hearing a song. I played that song on repeat for 7 days straight, on the subway, at work, in the shower, etc.
I don’t trust people easily, I put up a wall, I become more rigid around strangers because of a massive fear of rejection. I believe that putting up a wall will protect me from a world of hurt, and I consequently shut out people who don’t intend to hurt and somehow still let in those crafty enough to let me let my guard down. I think my fear of rejection stems from what’s been identified by Dr. S as a very poor self-image and low self esteem. I don’t enjoy being photographed, I don’t often look in the mirror, I took take pride in what I wear/etc and rely on this notion that my ‘natural state’ is good enough and a sign that I’m beyond caring. Yet, the very opposite is true, as I seem to care greatly about the opinion of others.
I have built up so much of my life on the opinion of others. Having been neglected as a child, having a brother who received all of the attention, I learned to differentiate myself with my intellect. I’ve built up an entire ego or core on my brain, something that could never be taken from me and up until recently has always helped me. Now, it seems that I’m realizing that I can come off as condescending, that my intelligence is palpable and the crux of this is that I’m trying to prove my intellect…continually. This isn’t something that I had realized, but Dr. S has pointed out some actions that lead me to believe that much of what I do is truly to impress others, and to regain that attention that I never had — doing so in the way that has always worked for me. Black kid who is smart is rare in many parts, and propelled me through school. Now in this corporate environment, it’s become something of a liability. I know that I’m smart, and I constantly try to prove that (implicitly) and that’s off putting.
All of this feeds into a desire to please people, take on as many challenges as possible and kill myself in my current job. I haven’t really taken the time for myself, to treat myself; instead, I have been running from a fear of loneliness. Being smart, being XYZ hasn’t done much to help me make friends, get into a relationship or be successful at work (to some degree, yes, but in other ways, no). I fear that because everything I do is to please others or the approval of others, if I stopped doing that I would be alone. I truly don’t care what others think (for the most part), but I also hate being alone. How can I reconcile being myself and still wanting to be around people? I haven’t yet found a balance, but my solution has usually been to cater to others. While those who know me will find this hard to believe, I cater more to others than one could ever really imagine — relative to what I want to do.
So why is this all important? I have had these realizations over a month long period of time in a piece meal fashion, and the main linkage was this song from Glee.
When I listen to every word that is being sung in this song, it kills me. I didn’t know why it had such an effect on me when I first heard it. However, after several days and 1000s of listens: it hit me. I have such a fear of rejection, being alone and building walls that I don’t know how to let someone love me. I don’t even think I know what love is — and if I did, would I be able to recognize and appreciate it?
Much as you blame yourself, you can’t be blamed for the way you feel
Had no example of a love, that was even remotely real
How can you understand something that you never had
Ooh baby if you let me, I can help you out with all of that
Let me love you
And I will love you
Until you learn to love yourself
The way I’ve constructed myself is so disastrous for me. It’s crazy how the lyrics of this song echo all of me not knowing from a lack of an example of what love is — and here I mean this much more broadly than romantic love. How can I understand something that I’ve never had? How can I appreciate something I’ve never felt before? And then It hit me: If I never learn to love myself, how can I ever let anyone love me?
I can see the pain behind your eyes
It’s been there for quite a while
I just wanna be the one to remind what it is to smile
I would like to show you what true love can really do
And then the song continues, and I realize that maybe so many have seen the pain behind my eyes but I’ve never really felt comfortable letting anyone ‘in.’ And the few that I have or who have come close, I usually push away. It’s actually such a depressing realization. And I couldn’t for the life of me understand why this song stayed glued to my brain until it finally hit me. And then I think — have I met this person to make me feel this way, or is this what I’m looking for? And will I ever find it if I haven’t, and could I ever really know?
And that felt good to put to paper.