Friday, November 18, 2011

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy

 I’m good at allowing myself into other people’s live, but not at letting them into mine.

This was the main point I took from therapy yesterday.

Therapist says I’m incredibly perceptive when it comes to determining other people’s emotional spheres. I tailor myself to match what I have picked up in another person. She says she sees me doing this quite often. I mirror people well. I don’t even realize I do this most of the time. It comes naturally. Though I do catch myself veering more towards positive stories and spins of experience when she seems to indicate that it’s what she expects to hear. Therapist often tries to explain my feelings on a subject before I’ve finished talking about what it is that I’m saying. Sometimes I correct her, other times I feel like I’ll be disappointing her if I’m not fitting her more pleasant description/expectation. I see how she interprets me, I understand how she wants me to be, I pick up on all the little body, facial, and emotive signals that tells me what she is thinking.
Her point, was that if I’m feeling a certain way about someone, it is often justified, because I am so perceptive and in tune with how other people feel.  Little of my hypersensitivity coming through. I’m hyper vigilant when it comes to paying attention to how people react to me.
This came about mostly because I was fretting about Tech Boy. I’m worried that I may be starting to like him too much. I’m still not sure if he’s ‘right’ for me. I’m starting to get paranoid if he doesn’t text me. He mentioned a female friend’s birthday is coming up and I felt a stab of jealousy (though I didn’t say anything ß-- I know better).  I’m worried I’m getting too sucked into this, and I’m not comfortable with myself right now. I don’t know where this is going, or if it’s going anywhere. All the signs point to him liking me, but I don’t like me, so I think I’m projecting my fears onto him where they don’t exist.
I wanted to push away yesterday. Maybe the day before too.
Don't do it, Snow!
I have trust issues. I’m still trying to figure out how much I can trust him, or if I can trust him at all.  What it boils down to is I don’t trust my own judgment when it comes to trusting other people. I’ve made too many bad decisions, misplaced my trust in too many people and had it come back to bite me in the jugular as I lay bleeding out on the sidewalk. Not that I haven’t made some good decisions. I have, but the good do not outweigh the bad for me. Especially when it comes to men. Sorry guys, I’m sure one or two of you are alright. (Aside: I feel pretty shitty thinking this way after what my boys at work just did – geezus I’m a terrible person). I don’t trust. I do believe people will hurt me in the end. This has been too much of my experience. I am very, very guarded. Justifiably.
However it makes me feel like I’m lying.  I hold back from the people that try to be close to me. I do not share my genuine self because it would make me vulnerable, open me up for the potential to be taken advantage of, and also because I feel like it is too much of  burden to place a lot of the badness that I’ve had in my past on someone. Instead of sharing, I shut down, or re-direct the conversation.
For example: On one of my dates with Tech Boy we were talking about how we felt about living in NY (we’re both originally from out of state).  I mentioned that my first couple years here were pretty rough b/c of my living situation but in general I liked NY. His response was a natural sort of “Well it couldn’t have been all bad”…. “No, I suppose it wasn’t all bad…”, but I wasn’t going to tell him about Evil-Ex. He does know that I had problems with an ex that I was living with in a vague general sense, but I’m afraid to get into the details of just how bad it all was. I don’t want him to think I’m weak. I don’t want him to know how much damage has been inflicted on me. I don’t want him to think I have too much baggage (because this is just unattractive).  I’ve had bad things happen to me and somehow I feel like this will make me a bad person in other people’s eyes. At the very least, it will clash with the impression that I give people of myself. In short, I don’t trust that him to not reject me. So I’m not open about everything there is about me. Since I’m not full disclosure, I feel like I’m hiding things, being secretive (which I am), and therefore not being honest.
Something like that.
If I’m always closed and guarded, it’s going to push him away in a different way. I’m sure he thinks I’m a little closed off. Therapist thinks I need to open up. I don’t need to come out with the worst of the worst, but I should let him in to some of the problems I’ve had in my past.  This will help him understand why I am guarded.
To my credit, I give people a chance ß-- Both Roommate and Therapist have told me this. For everything that I’ve been through I haven’t shut myself down completely towards other people. I have in the past, but presently, I’m still trying to meet and get to know new people. I only share what I want people to know of me though. People open up their lives to me very easily (apparently I come across as very open and trustworthy), and I let myself stroll right into their worlds where I can take a look around and judge whether it’s safe for me…. But I don’t actually open up my own doors to them in what I believe to be a meaningful way. I may crack a window, but the drawbridge stays up and I have a few strategically placed snipers looming in the battlements. Overkill.
Therapist talked a lot, but I felt like I was pretty dissociated and floating through a lot of the session. I couldn’t really concentrate on what she was saying. I’ve felt like that the last few days. People will talk to me and it’s a struggle for me to pay attention, to retain the information they are telling me.


I also feel like if I get to invested in someone something is going to happen and it’ll fall apart and all go to hell. It’s just a vague sense, nothing specific, but I always believe that if I let myself get to close to someone that is exactly when everything will go wrong. Catastrophizing, maybe?

Anyways, so I’m very attune to people’s emotional spheres. I have trust issues. I expect the worst. But maybe my issues with Tech Boy are a result of my own closed off-edness (ß- not really a word, I know). I’m closed off because I expect something bad, so he’s picking up on the fact that I don’t want to let him in and is therefore respecting my boundaries, which I perceive as him not trying to get closer, when it’s me that won’t let him even if he was trying, and that makes me paranoid and want to push away which actualizes as something bad happening. Is it all me? Or maybe he just wants something casual, light and fun, which is exactly what we have now, so he doesn’t feel a need to dig deeper and it’s just me wondering if there’s more scenery in Kansas (I’m totally stereotyping Kansas here – Sorry Kansas-anites (?)) .  That may not have made any sense.
Open Up, Stay Closed, Open Up, Stay Closed …. It’s not a simple decision. Therapist says small steps. The things I’ve been through are not too much for someone to handle if they’re someone that cares about me. Someone that cares won’t be judgmental. He’s already proven himself to be open to various aspects of my lifestyle that others might shy away from– shady stripper past, my bisexuality (Boring-Ex was super threatened by this), my extreme Geekery with +10 Nerdiness, isn’t threatened by my intelligence or that I make more money than him. I guess it’s time to do exactly the opposite of what I want to do (Push away) and start letting him in to the more intimate details of my life.  Slowly.

Does anyone else find it ironic that I can easily post the most intimate details of my life here for thousands of anonymous viewers to see, but I have the hardest time opening up to one person in real life? Yeesh.

It's a nice thought anyways.

10 comments:

  1. That's so courageous of you. This exact thing freaks me out. I listened to too much of someone the other day (genuine interest) and the walk away feeling of intimacy from just that (I didn't share much) was overwhelming.

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  2. i have trust issues too,it is understandable why you can't open up-especially to someone important to you.Just remember that your misfortunes are not your fault and that if tech boy is a good person,he will understand. :)
    if not,then he is not good for you anyways..
    -aizen999

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  3. i agree with you about the irony of bloggers. i don't like to share intimate details with my family and friends of how i'm thinking or feeling. but here, i can say whatever i want, with no concern for anyone's perception of me, or anyone else's feelings. it's liberating, in a way. so, yeah, i think i know waht you mean. anyhow-- keep us posted... keep posting.

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  4. this concept sounds half-crazy in my head, but maybe you could start your opening up with Tech Boy by telling him you have trust issues? I can't quite explain why my gut thinks that is a brilliant starting point, but it does. (Yeah, I'm trusting my feelings--very Jedi, I know) ;)

    I'll keep my fingers crossed...

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  5. @nofamiliarscars ... It is overwhelming. And everyone seems to come to me too. I don't understand it. I don't actually need more emotional baggage on top of my emotional baggage, but thanks!

    @aizen99 ... you're right. It's just scary getting to the point where you can really figure that out or not.

    @2Peeps... Welcome

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  6. @Liz ... Liberating is exactly the word for it. This is my space to collect all of my thoughts uneditted and unaltered. No one to worry about but me.

    @the red one... I understand what you mean actually. It's a good way of introducing the fact that, there are reasons I'm not an open book. Maybe not a bad idea. I'll def keep it in mind. Thanks!

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  7. "Does anyone else find it ironic that I can easily post the most intimate details of my life here for thousands of anonymous viewers to see, but I have the hardest time opening up to one person in real life? Yeesh."

    You know, this was one of the funniest things I realized about you, Haven. If I'm afraid of rejection, I'll blow people away with too much data.

    Self fulfilling prophecy on both extremes. Heh.

    But agreed on what The Red One said. Explaining you have trust issues is a great way for Tech Boy to go 'oh, so that's why she's kind of guarded', and he'll stage the right pace, it seems.

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  8. Self fulfilling prophecy indeed!

    I suppose I wouldn't be Borderline without a little walking talking contradiction thrown into the mix.

    I think you're right AMoral (and red!). Flat out telling him that I have trust issues is probably the best way to go. Communication is really important. Thanks =)

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  9. Thank you for sharing so much. I finally feel like someone gets me. I've been doing the same. I found a stranger on the Internet I can tell my thoughts to, but I can't seem to be as open with my partner of 17 years. I'm so afraid that if I show him the real me, he'll run away for sure.

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Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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