I understand. It took me a long time to understand that I needed to care as much about myself as I did about others. It took me longer to get to the point where others' opinions of me weren't a critical factor in my opinion of myself.
Starting that isn't easy, but I think you're headed the right way.
Just taking me a long time to get there. But, hell, considering everything else I've gotten through I guess I shouldn't be too tough on myself - at least I have identified the issue, which is a big chunk of the battle.
Can i just say that people who go thru a harder life tend to end up really knowing what life is really about. I too have had a somewhat hard life, and I'm thankful for it everyday because it really has made me a much better person. Anyways, Trudge on. =) Good luck in law school and if you ever need to talk and you can find me, please feel free to.
Thanks, the support is appreciated. I'm curious, though, if I know you. I checked your profile page and couldn't find any clue as to what led you to me [g].
New to lj, found you on random search looking for interesting peoples...... Sorry to intrude..
Oh, no problem! Just wondering whether you were someone I knew but couldn't identify. Glad to have you around!
I am seriously thinking about this post.
"Mr. Wolf, no disrespect intended. I respect you." - Pulp Fiction.
There seem to me to be really deep issues here. You've spoken before about some things that I have gained some insight into, and there's a real urge to add my $0.02 to the mix, but I'm not quite sure what to say, or if I can say it right or whether I will offend rather than help.
'Tis a dilemma indeed. The more so because 1) I don't know the backstory, having just arrived on the scene recently, 2) I don't want to be a pompous ass, and 3) I have no business going around taking other people's inventories.
I will ponder further.
2003-08-19 04:26 am (UTC)
Re: Ponder mode *on*
It is no single issue, but a culmination of many different incidents, with different people, and some long talks I had this weekend. It's been going on all my life, really, and I'm just now understanding it enough to get some kind of label on it. Less sudden crisis, more slowly looming shadow.
Feel free to butt in - the fact that it's posted here sort of gives you permission, after all [g].
I went to a meeting tonight and someone talked about fear and I thought of you. And then I came home and read the Ferrett's post and thought more about responding, and then I re-read the above and thought more. Maybe I'm totally wrong for weighing in on this, but this has been nagging at me for a while.
Are you sure you're not trying to solve the wrong problem?
There seems to be a theme to these anguished pleas of yours. In addition to the very insightful analysis of your own flaws, there seems, to my eye, an elephant in the room you're not addressing. Perhaps you use different terms to describe the elephant than I would - since you don't say things as I would, I'm not sure you're not doing yourself a disservice.
In any case, it sounds like you have a real fear of being wrong. If I read between the lines, and I haven't dug far enough back to read the posting(s) about your childhood, there was a time in your life when not only did you have to be perfect, or at least doing the right thing all the time, but you had to protect your sibs and the adults around you. This is, of course, an impossible task, and one which it is not fair to ask an adolescent or child to perform. The fact that the impetus came from inside you matters not; you felt it.
I can imagine how enormous that burden felt. I can imagine how enormous that burden feels now. Emily seems to feel it too. When she and I argue, I get the distinct impression that at one time, she argued with some frequency with someone with whom she could concede nothing, because they would seize on that concession and conclude that she had conceded everything. She reacts like someone who has to keep her walls at maximum height, because to admit that she regrets the argument would be to allow me to believe that the stuff I said that was out of line was okay. Now, I know that to be untrue; that I am quite capable of admitting that I was wrong about lots of things and accepting her "I'm sorry we had a fight" as simply that, not an abject apology for disagreeing with me, but she does not, at least not that I can tell.
I suspect I know where it comes from, but she won't tell me. It's not me - she's been like this as long as I've known her.
And, knowing that she chose me when I was an active drunk suggests that she chose me in part because I would always be more flawed than she was, so even if she was wrong, she could always feel better because she wasn't a drunk.
So, you're married to The Ferrett, a man who perceives his own flaws so keenly that he remains unconvinced, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that you really, really, deep down, love him. He's so convinced that he's fucked up that he became weepy and needy and almost drove you off.
What does that say about you?
These are not negative judgements - you and he are among the kinder, better people I've ever known. (Either that says something about you, or I need to get out more.)
Perhaps there's an element of contempt in your kindness and peacemaking. If you can fix this person, you must not be screwed up. Let's count off all the stuff you do - you've made Law Review, you have a full-time job which you do extremely well despite not having a great deal of formal training (if I remember correctly), you garden obsessively, you're a Mom, you're a lover and a friend, you write intelligently, caringly, and wittily in a journal, you can probably dance and sing, and oh, yeah, you broke your shoulder this year. It has occurred to me that an element in your oil on the waters is just wanting to fix things so they won't be so demanding.
I'm not sure if the resentment you're seeing, or think you're seeing isn't coming from a leakage of frustration that these two sides don't see their commonality and stop trapping you in the middle.
You wanted to save your family, and you did. But you had a vested interest in that; you didn't do it entirely for other's benefit. You may want to save people from themselves because it makes you feel better, and they may be picking up on that. (Unless you have poorer taste in friends than I think you do.)
What if you are the bad guy? Is that really so awful? I mean, I was the Bad Guy - I was the sucking drain of need who was doing nothing to save themselves. I was the guy who wreaked havoc just because I could. I could apologize, and feel guilty, and listen to people try to help and then I'd go out and do it again.
I wonder if you're expecting way too much from yourself - you self-sacrifice and then are beating yourself up because you're too self-sacrificing. That seems like another impossible burden.
2003-08-20 09:10 am (UTC)
Re: (I broke the database)
Wow. Interesting insights. I thnk you are right, about my need to be right, and my fear that admitting a wrong will mean being blamed for everything. (My first marriage was characterized by the need for blame to be assigned, and if I didn't defend myself it would always be my fault, no matter what - so I got very defensive.)
Good insights, now I just have to figure out what to do with them...