About a week ago, some good friends of mine spontaneously dropped by for a visit. While they were here, I was overcome with anxiety, which they noticed and encouraged me to open up to them about. They made helpful observations and gave me encouragement, which I took to heart. Talking to them opened a door and shed light on my underlying issues of self-concept.
Imagine a world where everyone walks around with their eyes closed. Infants use their eyes, and as they grow older, they begin to ask questions about what they see; unfortunately, as the adults all have their eyes closed, they are unable to answer their children’s inquiries. Some simply respond with things like “I don’t understand your question,” others make up answers based on what they do know, and some accuse the children of hallucinating or making things up (with varying degrees of amusement, condescension, and reprimand).
I’ve dealt with random strangers when I’m taking transit who range from rude to aggressive. I have anxiety, so dealing with this roulette wheel every day can be incredibly challenging. I get frustrated, even angry at times, and today was starting to look like one of those days. Continue reading
People trying to control how I feel or behave drive me absolutely bonkers. I am not a puppet or a toy — I have free will and a sense of self, not to mention thoughts and feelings.
I spent a long time arguing with myself about whether I should forcibly end friendships with people I’ve previously dated. Several useful realizations came out of that process.
Missing my previous partners usually leads to me resenting that they don’t seem to miss me as much, if at all. Then some part of me wants to be spiteful and cut them from my life entirely, while other parts of me want to try to pull them closer — or keep just enough distance to ascertain whether they ever miss me at all. I don’t think any of these choices are healthy, because they all still focus externally, and involve trying to exert control! That’s antithetical to my goal. Letting go means surrendering control. Continue reading
I recently got out of a year-long relationship, and have noticed pronounced attachment patterns cropping up. They’re very old, and were lying in wait while I was romantically involved, but then they came back with a vengeance.