Thursday, February 25, 2010

this is what happens

every time...not that it occurs all that often, but here's some insight into my character and the workings of my fearful brain....

Let's say I meet or chat with someone new. And let's pretend that they have something particularly nice to say about my appearance - they like my smile, they think I'm cute. I can handle and appreciate comments about my strength of character, my writing talent, my cooking, whatever. But comments, positive ones, about my appearance, send me screeching away as fast as my two feet can take me.

And then I rationalize. Or rather, I make excuses. All the reasons why it probably won't work out, so I'd better not even try.  I cut myself off from even the possibility of a relationship before it even exists because I. Am. Terrified.

Why does this matter so much? Why should revealing any vulnerable part of myself to someone be so difficult? I ask myself the questions, but answers are few and far between.

Once upon a time, there were men. And I could offer myself physically without any single emotional component - whatever was done, was something done to me. I really didn't participate - I did what I needed to do without becoming more involved than I had to. It was what was supposed to happen.

I could take my clothes off. Hey, and I was twice the size that I am now. Maybe the weight shielded me in ways that I'm only coming to appreciate now. But now, I think about all the flaws that are still there - because I am hyperfocusing on my flaws, in case you missed it - and I wonder if I can ever be that vulnerable with anyone again. It's not just an act, it's not just something that I'm doing because that's what's expected of me in the moment. It's real.

Or it would be real, if I could just let go. Let go of all the anxiety and fear that really holds me back.

Fear of being just as uncomfortable as I used to be.
Fear of my own lack of experience.
Fear of the flaws that hide beneath the clothes (and yes, I'm 44, I've had kids, that's life)
Fear of being rejected for the very things that brought me here - to this place in my life.

I don't like rejection. No one does. But instead of opening myself to the possibility of love, which may include the possibility of rejection, for whatever real and imagined reason I can think of, I just shut down.

I turn off my IM. My google chat, my innumerable ways of being reached electronically.
I stop writing, because usually I can bring a more positive attitude to bear when I work things out on paper.
Blogging becomes hard. I don't want to show anyone, even those who only know my by the text I write, anything more significant than life updates and stories about the weather. I am that afraid of what lies beneath, and that what lies beneath is somehow lacking.

I wonder why there's been no other messages, but at the same time I'm secretly relieved. Because, yanno, it probably won't work out anyways.

There is at least one person out there, who upon reading this - if she reads my bog- who will be nodding her head and smiling a particularly enigmatic smile. She knows me well.

I feel like I'm drowning in my own pool of anxiety.


Ang said...

I have the same problem receiving compliments about how I look. I find them hard to believe. I want to take off running as quickly as I can. I am working on my self-worth and fear of rejection. It is the hardest damn thing. But I am fighting. You deserve the best...I say open yourselve up to the possibility

Eileen Pennington said...

all i can say is the right person for you will have you accepting whatever compliments are given. you may still not entirely believe them at first, but....

you will soon.

take a breath, and know that you don't have to run. it's okay if things don't work out, but don't run, k?

m.m.sugar said...

I don't like rejection. No one does. But instead of opening myself to the possibility of love, which may include the possibility of rejection, for whatever real and imagined reason I can think of, I just shut down.

My thought is:
"If it's soup, it's soup. If it ain't soup yet, let it simmer.

Camlin said...

Simmer? I can't even get the pot on the stove....

Making Space said...

Maybe you're not supposed to put the pot on the stove. Maybe she is. Whoever she may be, now or in the future.

I think the removal of those emotional barriers that existed in our male/female relationships brings a huge feeling of falling down the rabbit hole. We were used to knowing the boundaries, and now there don't seem to be any. It's like hands could touch and go right through each other. When you're used, as we are, to huge fortified walls past which we simply cannot cross, that kind of mingling is, even in imagination, kind of terrifying.

Ultimately, what we may be after is someone who sees our terror and loves it too. I mean, really, it would be nice to be all evolved and shit, before getting involved with a woman, but we're old enough to know that may not be realistic. LOL How nice to consider the prospect that our histories, our internal messiness, our very insecurities, could themselves become part of our appeal - not for fixing, or rescuing, no. But because they make us human. And how delicious to be seen, to be cared for, BECAUSE OF, rather than i spite of, one's very humanity.

Maybe you can't get the pot to the stove because someone's coming along bringing her own pot for your stove, and it's full of boulliabaise. Why not? Really, why not?

You are an inspiration, Camlin. Whether you're sharing or hibernating, it's all good. It's all deeply, wonderfully good.

Colby said...

You're on a journey and this is part of it. You'll get there eventually and when you do, it will be wonderful.

Hugs to you, Anna!

lhahn said...

You Camlin. Look over there. Now take a step. See, you did not drop into a deep dark hole. Take another step. Oops, asshole alert - veer left. Take another step. Hmm, she's a cute one. Step a little closer.

The journey of the heart is fraught with peril. But, I'm tellin' ya', it's an exciting ride.

Maria said...

I was one of those really odd people who preferred to be alone and had no desire for a lid for my pot.

I swore that I would be single forever and without children.

Somehow I ended up with a partner and a child and it is the best decision that I ever made.

Sometimes, you reach out before you talk yourself out of it and that is mostly a good idea, I think.

~seelenschmerz~ said...

i'm smiling and nodding my've just told my story, relayed the same fears, anxieties, personal views about myself....but that was all before. one day, i decided to say fuck it all, i'm going to go this journey alone but continue to be true to myself as a lesbian...i stopped being cruel to myself, i allowed myself to be comfortable in my skin, i decided to stay single and if any other women wanted a one nighter, i was all for it with no emotions attached....that was then...this is, i'm getting married in a couple of months to an amazing woman who has loved me for a long time while we were (and still are) best of friends...this, too, can happen to you, hon
but you need to be open to it and LOVE YOURSELF. i see the beauty inside of you and the physical beauty outside of you....YOU need to do the same.


Laura Lee said...

My dear... cultivate love everywhere in your life, and you'll have nothing else but its fruit to reap...
fear melts away, concern for image melts away... relationships just- happen. You will see.
Your life becomes so full there is no room for doubt.
Begin anew each moment. Forgive yourself first. Then forgive everyone else. Love is a VERB and a CHOICE. So love, sweetheart, just LOVE.

Mel's Way or No Way said...

Love, love, love-love yourself and love will follow. Easier said than done, right?

At least you recoginize those fears and next time you feel like bolting, give yourself a kick in the rear, turn and face it.