Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Good Natured Teasing, Really?

I’m dating someone new. I have been for almost a month now. I’ve dated a lot of men and women. I generally get on better with women emotionally, though physically with men is a different. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just easier than talking to them or, honestly, letting them get closer to me emotionally. Regardless, that’s not what this is about.

This guy, we’ll call him B, is probably one of the sweetest, most considerate men I’ve ever dated. I’ve never dated a guy that wanted to spend so much time with me right away, or ever really. **Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the men I’ve dated wanted to spend time with me, but we went on our 2nd date, and it’s been a month and I can’t actually say that it’s technically ended. We’ve spent every bit of our spare time together for the last month.**.  He routinely buys things for me that have to do with my extremely geeky interests, that he has no interest in at all, b/c he loves how much I love them.  I cook. I bake. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone cook for me. He does. I had a bad sinus infection for a few days… so I didn’t expect to see him at all b/c no guy I’ve ever dated ever bothered to try to “take care of me” while I was sick before. I planned to sniffle and game on-line. He came over, made me dinner, bought ice cream and did all my dishes. (I made him cupcakes).  I keep waiting for some other shoe to drop and for him to just be an asshole, but he’s not. He’s adorable, and sweet, and grumpy in that “get off my lawn you damn kids” kinds of way that is exactly how I usually feel. He’s really great.

However… and I’m saying this in a way as to express it so as to show that I honestly feel it is more my hang up, than it is anything that he’s doing…

He teases me. He pokes fun at me for things. Random things and because I can be very serious about stuff. It hurts my feelings. I’m honestly not sure why. I believe I am the one overreacting about this, because he never does anything in a hurtful, condescending, or mean way. I make sure not to show that this stuff bothers me unless it gets to be too much. And then thankfully I can utilize the years of therapy I’ve had, collect my thoughts, and explain why things bother me. But even knowing that he has absolutely zero intention of making me uncomfortable or unhappy, the teasing still hurts me to an irrational level. It makes me angry, honestly. From the start, when I started this blog, I said Anger was my deadly sin. However, I’ve noticed that with the anger, I’ve also identified it’s source. It’s coming from a place of shame and insecurity.

My entire life, from one person or another, be it my father or an abusive ex-boyfriend, I’ve been told I wasn’t good enough. The teasing to me, feels like a jab at my character.  Jabbing at my character, who I am as a person, feels like you’re picking at my flaws… Picking at my flaws means there’s things that are wrong with me, and if I’m that flawed of a person, what could possibly be there for you to stick around for? I’m not perfect enough. I’m not enough of what you want. So clearly, leaving, abandonment, must be the next step yes? Probably not, unless I decide to make it happen that way, but that’s the way my brain seems to function.

Honestly I think he should have just as many abandonment issues, if not more, than I do, but he seems okay now, except he keeps pretty much everyone at a distance. That he let me in at all, is pretty big.

I don’t want to overreact. I’ve been very careful to let him know when he pushes me too far. It’s very early in this relationship. There is no way for him to know everything about me, or me about him. We’re still learning a lot about each other. I’m very upfront with my past and my level of brokenness. When he pushes me too much I really do try very hard to hold in my emotions, clear my head, collect my thoughts, and explain logically (and non-judgmentally!) why something he did bothers me. 

It should never be about blame. What is good natured ribbing to him, and I absolutely recognize it as such… still is triggering to me. I feel incredibly dysfunctional that I’ve had so many people in my life that have broken my ability to just see the humor in simple things without feeling hurt by them. **I’m actually in tears writing this**.

I want to be someone that isn’t hung up on that kind of pain. The combination of being off my meds (Another post- I really can’t afford them) but also having actually had a past with abusive people and a ridiculous life, it’s something I have to deal with as my reality. It’s okay for me to have problems because of my past. As long as I deal with them logically, and explain them rationally, and don’t simply react impulsively… which is often the problem with BPD… everything should be okay. That’s how normal people function, yes?

I’ve been so broken by the exes that told me I was worthless though. By a father that told me I wouldn’t be lovable. Every time I feel myself saying something “wrong” or simply “that makes me uncomfortable, I’m sorry, but here’s why….. “, I feel like it’ll probably be the end.

I’ve gotten much better about speaking my mind. Not settling for the bullshit, abusive treatment that I had in the past. But I’m still hyper vigilant that I’m going to do or say something wrong and it sets my anxiety into overdrive.

Thankfully through therapy I’ve learned to rationally discuss my issues or whatever problem comes up. Very quickly! He hit a big one or two pretty quick and he was incredibly receptive to what I had to say, which shouldn’t be shocking to me, but it was. Even now, I expect all men to treat me like my Evil-Ex or The One or any of the multitudes that were just in it for what they wanted out of it. Even in the face of someone very different, that kind of abuse stays with you. It actually is something of a Post Traumatic Response when people do certain things. It’s not the new persons fault, they don’t know! However, it’s triggering, and we need to know our triggers and be able to convey those problems accordingly!

I’m pretty sure that’s all that this teasing issue has been for me. It compounds on my personal insecurities. Never feeling good enough, being told I’ve not worthwhile, all of the things that go with being in abusive relationships and the shitty things that people before have done to you…. It always feels like an attack. One you’re not allowed to defend against, otherwise the person with have a ridiculous temper tantrum (Go GO Evil-Ex!) and punish you in some way. I also grew up with a highly critical father so “teasing” to me mostly sounds like criticism. It sounds like something that’s wrong with me. Something that makes me less worthy of being with that person. Which… as far as I can tell, is pretty much the exact opposite of what good natured teasing is all about.

Which is why it’s important to be able to take a step back and look at the persons real intentions. My Evil Ex would have actually be trying to hurt me with the things he said to me. B is just trying to be sweet and familiar. Everything with him is good natured and isn’t out to make himself look good, it’s just an attempt to be close to me. I can appreciate an attempt to be close to me, even if he doesn’t quite understand  yet, that I’m not as good about teasing.  


  1. OMG she lives! :D

    Welcome back, Haven!

  2. Joining Matt, I really missed your posts Haven. Welcome back!

    Know that there is another soul here that wishes you well and hopes that things will work out for you as we know the depth of the emotional issues you're dealing with. The dark demons in your closet. And the courage and perseverance you have to work these out over the years.

    It looks like you're on to a good start with Bats. You appreciate his caring personality (though beware of red flags around codependency as this might turn his tendency to take of you to feel like control and engulfment if you don't communicate properly and assertively when you're a bit suffocated otherwise this might trigger his abandonment anxiety...)
    Plus, you're aware of the friendly teasing affects on you AND you didn't run away! That's brilliant. You're up to the challenge of communicating this to him and working this out TOGETHER. That's how it should be done. Kudos to you guys!

    Hugs and all the best Haven. You deserve it.

    1. Thank you. This is encouraging indeed. I hadn't even thought about red flags, but I usually don't and that's a problem I have. Thank you.

  3. Gods you had me worried there! Welcome back!

  4. Gods you had me worried there! Welcome back!

  5. Gods you got me worried there! Welcome back!

  6. Aww he sounds lovely! Yeah codependency sounds like a possible trap you might fall into. Make sure you keep in touch with your other friends and your interests. You're right, communication is the key in relationships. I can see why getting so upset about the teasing might make you feel quite damaged, but you're still beautiful. I think he's the kind of guy who wants to know about your sensitivities and issues. I don't think he'll run away. Like you said. He seems caring.

    1. Codependency is an odd state for me. I tend towards counterdependent. Too much time with one person tends to drain me. I will definitely keep an eye on it.

  7. I would be concerned not only about the potential codependency, but also the teasing. That could turn into outright emotional abuse down the road. It's a huge red flag if you've asked him to stop and he hasn't.

    1. Oh anything I don't like and tell him about he stops immediately. I'm not worried about that. My friends and I tease each other all the time and that never bothers me. But b/c it's someone I'm intimately involved with on a different level, and it's a guy, I think I'm overly sensitive to these things. I honestly think it's more my issues then it is anything he's doing. Nothing he does has the feel of being hurtful, just familial. After having been in abusive relationships I know the difference of how it feels.

  8. I would also say the teasing is a red flag if it hasn't stopped. My ex started like that, and eight years and two children later we needed a restraining order for a year. It is definitely a beginning to emotional abuse if he doesn't take your requests to stop it seriously. Please take care. The wish not to see abuse everywhere because it happened to you before can also mess with your radar so that you minimise something you need to listen to.
    I'm also v glad you are back. Keep posting!

  9. oh! it is so good to have you back!! I have missed your insight & wisdom even more than I believed.

    As usual, you say things i needed to hear.



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

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