It's been a heavy week for me, and if I'm honest, I'm forcing myself in front of this keyboard. My self-doubt has nearly convinced me that the words I will type will fail the thoughts and ideas underlying them even before the first keystroke. I suppose this is my attempt a transparency today, so I hope you can forgive its awkward clunkiness and keep reading with me as the words unfold.
I've been learning a lot about myself in the past few days, particularly in the context of close relationships. It feels like the realizations and mini-revelations keep coming at me as if they were traveling near light speed. So it seems the only reasonable choice is to absorb and feel the impact of each as sober-mindedly as possible.
Self-abandonment is a bitch. I learned as a child to abandon my true self and play the role that would best elicit love, care, attention, and acceptance—showing up as my whole self I discarded as an option, a pattern that I carry into all of my relationships to date. While I say that I'm comfortable with my muchness, my actions scream that I am terrified of being too much.
Truth be told, I am too much for some people—this reaction is rarely about me, though. I am so swayed even still by the responses of others that this perceived rejection hurts to the point that I am willing to give up or abandon parts of me to maintain tenuous relationships that give life to no one. And I can suffer through the pain of this constriction and restriction for quite a while, I've learned.
These relationships sap my energy, and the constriction only multiplies the amount of energy I willingly give up day by day.
This pattern is my narcissism. To call it anything less would be to delay further the necessary change and growth taking place in me. All of this is about me and my need to control the relationships I participate in by manipulating myself and the situation. I am not fulfilling the real needs of the other person in my adaptability—self-abandonment. No, I am meeting my intuitive perception of what that person needs, which is often projection.
I feed on the reaction to my shape-shifting like a vampire, but I can never be satisfied. With this pattern in place, I set myself and others up for failure from the get-go because there is no basis for a fulfilling relationship—that requires at least two whole people.
It should come as no surprise that I also have trouble expressing the emotions I am so attuned to in these relationships. If I am constantly holding back my whole self, I do not give the other person the chance to show themselves as safe; this protects me against what I see as the inevitable abandonment by the other person. Thus, I have created a shitty catch-22 for myself where I lose either way.
Not only is this my narcissism, but it is perhaps my most profound insanity.
Regardless of what I have experienced repeatedly and what I know to be true, I repeat this pattern ad nauseam. I am terrified to trust in the muchness of others to be enough to match my own. It feels so much safer always to be too much—damn my neurology's love of binaries.
I know that there are those of you who can relate—breaking the proverbial fourth wall. In one way, or more, or another, you grew up receiving the message that you were chronically too much. So, you too crumpled, crinkled yourself like paper wadding up itself in preparation to be thrown into the wastebasket.
Is our smallness worth it?
What do we gain by stuffing ourselves into too-small boxes? We are constantly overflowing, re-stuffing the parts of us that inevitably breach the confines of our self-confinement back into places where we never fit to begin. We spend so much internal energy convincing ourselves to stay too long.
We broadcast the message through our self-abandonment that we are expecting and meant for others to abandon us. Then, once we've overstayed yet another relationship—perhaps we've also self-sabotaged in the process—the other person finally sees that the most prudent decision is to walk away. So we are devastated once again, and we also keep ourselves feeling safe as we have perpetuated the old pattern.
I see that this pattern, the sense of perceived safety I feel in perpetuating it, may not actually be worth it. I've given up so much in my life, and I have experienced tremendous devastation and loss in my relationships. It's time that I explore a different choice, scary as it is.
Maybe I'll let people surprise me. But, yes, I feel the fear rising up in me as I type those words. However, I can't continue this. No, I know too much.