When I am alone, I am comfortable. I am happy in my skin. The feelings that come up are contained and processed and released.
The problem arises when I interact with others. Then I start to feel inadequate. I feel that my words are not enough. I feel that I am not strong enough. I take things very personally and because I am not good at laughing myself; find it uncomfortable when others laugh at me or tease me even if its well meant and playful.
I struggle to find the words to fit the expectation I create for myself. I watch others vigilantly; their facial expressions making me feel bad or good. I feed off their energy and lose mine. I leave feeling dissatisfied; thinking I should have or I shouldn’t have said this or that. I wasn’t forthright enough or I offended someone.
It is a daily battle because after these interactions, I have to sit with myself and talk myself back to feeling good. With positive self-talk, I tell myself all the things a loving mother would tell a child:
“It’s ok, you are going to be fine”
“You haven’t said or done anything wrong”
“You are not powerless or helpless anymore’
“Don’t be hard on yourself,it wasn’t your fault”
“No they didn’t mean anything bad by that”
“You belong and you are worthy of love and respect”
“You did fine”
“There’s no emergency, relax, nothing bad is going to happen. You are safe”
” I love you and and am proud of you”
“You are lovable and wanted”
“Remember who you are; a courageous, compassionate and beautiful spirit”
“Don’t take in everything so deeply”
“Nobody is focused on you; they are preoccupied with themselves”
It’s a battle with my harsh inner critic and all the evil introjections I absorbed as an abused child. I was deeply affected by what was said and done to me and more so by the lack of care and support that should have come after the abuse. Left to my own limited child resources, I took responsibility for it all and made myself bad to keep my parents good. It’s something I return to over and over in my psyche; trying to understand it and know it and move beyond it. But it is not easy to just move on from it. Even with the understanding, it is something that is triggered over and over in my social interactions.
Somedays I get disheartened and believe that it is impossible to change. But I would like to believe that with continued positive self-talk, self-love and self-care I will be able to feel more comfortable in my social interactions and not be so hypervigilant.
Thanks for reading and understanding.