Things always get messy, difficult and awkward when I start to open up and get close to people. I know it is related to my past and the wounded child in me because I have witnessed this pattern repeatedly.
As soon as I get close to a person, the friendship becomes more difficult to maintain. People are supposed to work through their issues, iron out their differences initially and reach a point or place of mutual understanding. With that initial hurdle out of the way, they know each other well, have a solid foundation built on trust and from there can be best and great friends right?
Unfortunately not so for me; the closer I get to people the more overwhelmed and stuck I become with the seemingly insurmountable problems that surface. I suspect that it must be hard for others too, who have been abused, to get close to people. Is there any wonder when my primary caregivers and the very first people I was close to disregarded me and made me feel powerless and voiceless?How would I know how to have a close relationship and manage problems and issues confidently. I have had little practise other than my grandmother.
There is an unmothered part of me that wants nothing more than to be close to people and to be loved, yet there is another part of me that makes me so unskilled in close relationships.
All of this has come up because I have made a friend at work and opened up to her, but I am resentful sometimes because I feel that she is only my friend when she needs a counsellor or an empathetic listener. I am jealous more often than not when I am not included in her plans or not given enough attention. Sometimes I resent when she gives me the attention and want to run from it. She can’t win really I have to admit that it is partly my problem.
My expectations are so unrealistic and so high that people can never really win with me. I give a lot but I also expect a whole lot. I have always found it hard to make small talk and prefer to have deep and meaningful relationships. Yet it’s the deep ones that hurt the most. I find it easy to talk to new people, I am welcoming and approachable but I sometimes shy away from people who I have known for a very long time. Feeling awkward and uncomfortable and not knowing what is based on reality and what comes from my past. Do I have a right to be angry? Should I speak my mind or will I chase her away? Am I too demanding? Can I use my voice here? Is she trying to hurt me or is it me and my past again?
I am not spontaneous in my speech and cannot just come out and say what I feel or think in the moment. I have to reflect on things and prepare what I need to say beforehand. How honest can I be? I have seen people who proclaim to be best friends yet they don’t reveal everything to each other. So are there things I just need to swallow?
I don’t want to expect too much yet at the same time I don’t want to be a walkover and I want to be respected and cherished too.
I am gentle with my struggle and confusion because how could it be any different. I know where it all comes from and that wasn’t my fault BUT it is time to turn things around and be more proactive in creating my own happiness now and choosing how to respond to things.
Rewiring those neural pathways to think and feel differently. I am 40 years old and I don’t need all that pampering and attention that I needed as a baby and little girl. I didn’t get it then but I am giving it to myself so maybe I can be my best friend, my strongest advocate and supporter, the one who regards me most highly and cherishes me so that I can stop expecting others to do it for me.
I really have done well with what I have been given and I am not dependent on others for my happiness because lets face it, people will always do and say the wrong thing both intentionally and accidentally so why be so needy of that care and love from the outside. I could choose to be realistic about friends and what they do and don’t do. Of course I can’t protect myself from all the hurt in the world, people hurt sometimes, it’s part of relationships and I have endured much greater hurt and come out stronger for it.
Hoping that you can make sense of my musings today and offer your thoughts my dear readers.