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the source of my despair

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May. 2nd, 2003 | 01:28 am

So, there's been several cases where I've told people that I feel hopeless about ever dating. This shows that I wish I could do such a thing and yet find myself quite pessimistic about it happening.

When I tell my friends about this, they have a tendency to argue with me since I seem reasonably functional, can be interesting, and even have a few social skill. However, since I have access to my mind and they don't there is something that makes me believe my view is more likely to be true.

The reason I think it's unlikely for me to actually manage to end up in a relationship is I want one too badly. Basically most of my life has been spent living with an enforced emotional distance from others. It started as protection against insane parents, followed up by my families frequent moving and the corresponding continual loss of friends. Not to mention just the alienation of being a queer atheist kid growing up with fundamentalist christians.

So I was left carrying my desperate loneliness into my adulthood. I tried to date a few times but discovered that trying to use a significant other to fill years of abandonment was doomed to a painful failure. (And after failing just left me feeling all the more cautious toward opening myself to others).

Unfortunately whenever I start feeling that there is some hope of forming some relationship that has enough intensity for me to think of it as "love", regardless of how I try to not lose control, I am inevitably overwhelmed by this desperate need to feel cared for. Once the person I'm interested catches a glimpse of the depths of the isolation and despair that I've struggled with they inevitably run screaming into the night.

When I share this, I'm usually then told that "one can't find love until one loves oneself."

One of the things I find irritating about that claim (even if it's true) is that I've had to drag myself to psychological health, through decades of severe depression, through the years of transition. (With some help from a few friends, but still largely any progress I've made has been through the exercise of my force of will.) Basically I feel like I won't ever get the chance to experience a romantic relationship until after I've overcome all of my psychological damage. (I describe this as no love for me until after I'm perfect).

So since I haven't found a solution to desperately wanting to feel loved, I don't think I'll find anyone willing to deal with this bit of brokenness, and as a result, I'm condemned to being emotionally isolated.

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Comments {31}

T e s s

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from: soulsong
date: May. 2nd, 2003 01:43 am (UTC)
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there is something that makes me believe my view is more likely to be true.

And that 'something' is, while you hold this view, it will be true.

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T e s s

(no subject)

from: soulsong
date: May. 2nd, 2003 02:10 am (UTC)
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You've got lots of justifications here, all of which are true if you believe them.

Frankly I think most are bullshit (I describe this as no love for me until after I'm perfect) but really they all come under the category of self-hate.

I know, because I've said all this crap myself. I've pushed people away by being too desperate. I even went through the gender thing too so don't tell me I dont understand. And yet, I overcame it all. I love who I am. I am proud of my path. And this attracts people who meet those high standards we both share.

My wisdom, for what it's worth, is this:
You will almost certainly get the kind of relationship you think you deserve

Oh, and the idea that you need to be perfect, is moronic, and unworthy of you. No-one is perfect, and love, even self-love, comes from accepting and celebrating flaws, not erasing them.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 2nd, 2003 02:42 pm (UTC)
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Oh, and the idea that you need to be perfect, is moronic

At this point I know that, though for a long time I had trouble feeling unworthy for being inadequate. I have had a strong tendency toward perfectionism, and a corresponding inability to accomplish anything because of it.

I mentioned that comment more because of feeling frustrated with how my personal psychological issues seem to be structured, I'm well aware that other people with many more problems get to use relationships as a way to resolve some of their issues (while creating new ones). While suffering with severe depression for instance, one is really unlikely to be able to interact with others in anything other than a selfish needy way. Now that I've gotten a handle on the depression, the next problem of tending to overwhelm anyone I'm interested in with some type of strong emotion makes me feel like all of my major issues are conspiring to make relationships as hard as possible. The conclusion I draw from that is then in order to be able to deal with relationships I'll have had to resolve most of my major issues, and therefore be "perfect" or more acurately, just an exceptionally healthy psychology.

(Although thinking about your challenge, I did start to wonder if it's not negative emotion that freaks people out, but that I have a phase shift between being emotionally reserved and tending to strongly share my feelings. So the people confortable with the first phase of me getting to know them are perhaps frightened by the second phase).

Out of curiosity did you have to deal with severe depression? I had one trans-friend who didn't, and she didn't understand how although the answer to being depressed is to stop, recovering from depression can still take a long time. (Depression has the unpleasant property of sapping ones motivation to deal with it.)

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T e s s

(no subject)

from: soulsong
date: May. 2nd, 2003 04:59 pm (UTC)
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I'm well aware that other people with many more problems get to use relationships as a way to resolve some of their issues

Yes they do. One variant of low self-esteem says, "Yes they're selfish and abusive, but this is all I'm worth." Obviously you're not like that.

I did start to wonder if it's not negative emotion that freaks people out, but that I have a phase shift between being emotionally reserved and tending to strongly share my feelings.

I do understand what that's like. Five years ago I was exactly like that. I thought I could make friends with anyone simply by sharing enough of myself. I hadn't figured out that friendship needed some kind of natural connection for it to work. I was very emotionally forward with people, and several people pushed me away and cut off contact with me because of it.

I won't pretend that everything about us is the same. I know that I went for this intense approach because I wasn't competent to make friends on the basis of shared interests, or philosophical outlook. I figured if I could share enough of myself, people would find something they liked. In reality, I just pushed them away with a combination of being both desperate and uninteresting. Maybe you got here by a different route. Your mileage may vary.

Out of curiosity did you have to deal with severe depression? I had one trans-friend who didn't, and she didn't understand how although the answer to being depressed is to stop, recovering from depression can still take a long time. (Depression has the unpleasant property of sapping ones motivation to deal with it.)

I've never had severe depression, so I guess you can discount all my advice on that basis if that is your desire. I did once get offered anti-depressants by a shrink shortly after my op, (it seems a traditional thing for trans people to be depressed at that moment in life when we realise the emotional crap hasnt gone away) but I've seen severe depression in a couple of my friends and I wasn't in the same league. For what it's worth I read your paragraph above to my friend xencat who is hanging out with me right now, and he, being all too familiar with depression, said, "YES" and nodded a lot.

I understand that it's not possible to "pull yourself together" overnight. I credit my recovery from low self-esteem to my friend and former housemate Steve (the guy who just got elected for the Greens), but this took a lot of time. He saw the real me long before I made it real, and he made sure I saw myself the way he saw me. He gave me respect and admiration, and his own self-confidence and healthy attitude made it all the more powerful. After a year or so, I'd internalized the respect he had for me, and that was the basis on which I learned to love myself. I was lucky, someone saw the goddess in me when I still hated myself. I started to get better before I came to believe it wasn't possible.

I believe from what you've said that you're on a similar path. I think self-love and self-esteem is a little like enlightenment. It seems like an impossible goal before you get there, and the route is very unclear, to the point where if you stare at it too much, you'll never find it.

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T e s s

(no subject)

from: soulsong
date: May. 2nd, 2003 07:21 pm (UTC)
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This thread has brought back all sorts of memories that I'd forgotten; of the times when I'd visit trans friends in Brighton and Portsmouth and Southampton; of one couple in their forties in particular, where the husband was a CD and the wife supportive and full of wisdom. I remember hanging out with them in '98. I remember telling them how I couldn't talk to people, how I had nothing to say, except to express the intensity of the friendships I was looking for. I remember them being concerned for me, but totally unable to help. I remember being in awe of another trans friend who could talk to anyone she wanted, without any sort of fear of rejection. In my overbearing, overly-vulnerable way I asked her how she did it. She said there was no trick, she just found people interesting. I knew I found very few people interesting enough to talk to. I hated myself for that. I hated my crippling arrogance and selfishness, my lack of interest in other people. I thought I was doomed to always be that way.

It didn't turn out like that. These days I find people fascinating. Everyone has a story, and every story is unique and worth hearing. The fear has gone. I know that when I open my mouth, I can be interesting and even sometimes wise, and so I am not afraid to be myself. Somehow all these things came together. I don't know how everything changed, and I dont know when it happened, but when I look back I remember struggles that seem so alien to me, it's as if they happened to someone else.

The really astonishing thing is that this social maturing is so incredibly quick. The Tess of even two years ago seems like such a child to me. Even such a short time ago, I remember feeling socially way out of my depth. I am 32 years old. For the first time in my life I feel like a fully functioning adult.

I am utterly fascinated by this process of growth. As trans people I think we have a special gift - to be able to see life from more than one perspective. Historically in many cultures it made us spiritual leaders, wise men and women. Our disadvantage in the modern era is that we lack mentors and guides, and our path is more difficult than most. It takes time for us to catch up. But I strongly believe that when we do, our song is valuable and rewarding, and transformative. You are a being of extraordinary insight and latent spiritual power. In time, probably sooner than you think, you will realise that this is who you are.

Perfect? No. Emotionally, spiritually and physically beautiful? You better fucking believe it.

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wig

(no subject)

from: wig
date: May. 2nd, 2003 11:15 pm (UTC)
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YES

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 3rd, 2003 02:29 am (UTC)
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You are a being of extraordinary insight and latent spiritual power. In time, probably sooner than you think, you will realise that this is who you are.

This reminds me of years gone by when a coworker shared they thought I could accomplish anything I sent my mind to.

our path is more difficult than most. It takes time for us to catch up.

so very true.

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Freya

(no subject)

from: moonglade
date: May. 5th, 2003 09:45 am (UTC)
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"This reminds me of years gone by when a coworker shared they thought I could accomplish anything I sent my mind to."

From what I know of you from the internet, it wouldn't suprise me in the least if this was true. Unfortunately in order to achieve things you have to believe you can. It's like you were telling me about finding that you could draw much better than you expected, just by pretending that you could! :)

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 5th, 2003 02:45 pm (UTC)
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The challenge for me at least is maintaining focus... I have a tendency to get distracted and go do something else.

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Freya

(no subject)

from: moonglade
date: May. 5th, 2003 10:34 am (UTC)
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It's interesting, I think you and Ms W are both right! There are a lot of people who aren't very interesting it would seem, but then even the fact they aren't is interesting!? I guess it depends on if you approach each person from the viewpoint of being a possible friend you can hang out with every night or as an individual with a facinating perspective and story. Whether you relate that person directly to your own existance or to the universe itself.

Even people who do nothing but work in a factory all day and watch soap operas all night, are actually really facinating! I guess it's a matter of perspective but it's like there are so many questions you want to ask them. How did life take you where you are today? Are you happy? Where do you want to go in life? What motivates you? Just endless things!

...and yes theres always stories! Sometimes when I come by things on e-bay or second hand, I try and ask people what the story is behined the thing. Quite often people will tell you there is no story but it's funny because all second hand things always have a story. Where did you buy the thing and why? What was happening at the time in your life? What did you do with the thing? Generally the older and nastier something is the more story it has! :)

Like that old tv you gave to Jen Tess! That had lots of stories!

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 3rd, 2003 02:14 am (UTC)
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I've never had severe depression, so I guess you can discount all my advice on that basis if that is your desire....I understand that it's not possible to "pull yourself together" overnight.

I don't desire to discount your advice, I've just had to deal with some people who didn't get depression and gave the rather unhelpful advice "just stop being depressed", so I just wanted to make the point that even if a problem is self-created, it can still take a lot of time and effort to resolve it.

I just pushed them away with a combination of being both desperate and uninteresting. Maybe you got here by a different route

I've spent a long chunk of my life fearing that I'm uninteresting. However LJ has shown that people can be interested in me, at work I've been able to demonstrate informed opinions on a wide variety of topics. Even my therapist has shown interest and appreciation for my observations and opinions. So it's slowly sinking in that I'm not so uninteresting. (Hmm... I seem to be upbeat from watching the x men, so I've got more access than usual to positive memories--So I can remember that I've even been able to make software development interesting to non-CS people which I suspect shows some small talent at making things interesting. ;) )

the route is very unclear, to the point where if you stare at it too much, you'll never find it.

One of the weaknesses from pursuing self-awareness (at least for me) is a tendency to get stuck feeling rather self-conscious and as a result rather awkward.

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adrienne

(no subject)

from: sapience
date: May. 2nd, 2003 03:35 am (UTC)
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Once the person I'm interested catches a glimpse of the depths of the isolation and despair that I've struggled with they inevitably run screaming into the night.

I agreed with everything you said up until this point. It's not the darkness that makes people scared. It's the emotional black hole that is often created by low self-esteem - it sucks up everything in its path, but is never satisfied, and refuses to let go anything it has caught in its gravitational field.


I feel like I won't ever get the chance to experience a romantic relationship until after I've overcome all of my psychological damage. (I describe this as no love for me until after I'm perfect).

I definitely disagree with that. I know lots of people in relationships, and none of them were over all of their psych issues before they got involved. Including me. You just have to find someone whose psychoses match up well with yours.

The problem may be that you're falling for the wrong people. A completely closeted lesbian who wishes to stay that way would not partner well with a lesbian who is an out and proud gay rights activist. A queer poly woman is often plagued by doomed attractions to straight women, gay men, and monogamous persons. Someone who is settling down, nesting, building a life full of responsibility and constancy, probably won't work well with someone who still doesn't know what they want to do when they grow up. A codependent person isn't going to match up well with a free spirit. Someone who is uncomfortable talking about sex, or even being around a sexual vibe, probably isn't right for the highly sensual and sexual person who will gladly talk about sex acts in detail with relative strangers.

But, I mean, what the hell do I know? It's easy for me to sit here and say all this, but who's to say that I know any better than anyone else?

The one thing I do know is that with very few exceptions, I have been the initiator in my relationships. I tend to go for the shy type, so I learned early on that I couldn't wait for them to do something. In almost every case, things started off by me doing or saying something that made it completely obvious that I was interested in them in a more-than-friendly way.

With women, it's harder, though, for so many reasons. One is that I have a fear of objectifying them, and that makes it hard for me to hit on them. But if I get over that, then there's the bipolypartnered problem, which seems to be a much bigger problem with women than men. And if I get over that, there's still the problem that I can't read women's signals well enough to figure out if they're interested or not (like I can with men), so I end up getting rejected most of the time.

I'm not trying to solve your problems or anything, here. I'm just trying to share how I see it with you. If it helps you gain some insight into yourself, great. If not, I at least hope it isn't harmful in any way.

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adrienne

(no subject)

from: sapience
date: May. 2nd, 2003 03:42 am (UTC)
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Rereading this, it seems rather cold, austere. I didn't mean to come off that way at all, but it tends to happen when I try to emotionally distance myself from an issue so I can look at it more "objectively". So I'd like to fix that by offering some things to randomly insert in my post to make it more warm and fuzzy:

*grin*
*smile*
[picture of a fluffy bunny]
:)
;)
[random monty python quote]
[random princess bride quote]
*hugs* (j/k)

<3,
adrienne

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 2nd, 2003 02:49 pm (UTC)
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it sucks up everything in its path, but is never satisfied, and refuses to let go anything it has caught in its gravitational field.

*whistles, looks around, tries to deny recognizing some of my past in that statement*

I definitely disagree with that. I know lots of people in relationships, and none of them were over all of their psych issues before they got involved. Including me. You just have to find someone whose psychoses match up well with yours.

I agree with that too, though in my ever unpopular pessimistic view, it does feel like the psychoses that I have are specifically the ones that make relationships challenging. For instance, my discomfort with sex combined with being relatively out about being trans is problematic. The queer women I've met who are less bothered by my trans background also tend to be much more sex-positive than I've been comfortable with.

(Not to mention the trans thing still makes me feel extra nervous about objectifying women).

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adrienne

(no subject)

from: sapience
date: May. 2nd, 2003 04:17 pm (UTC)
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*whistles, looks around, tries to deny recognizing some of my past in that statement*

*giggles* My past doesn't have anything like that in it, either. Nope, not me. :) Life's been much better since I fixed that tendency, you know? It just took me forever to figure out that I couldn't expect someone else to come along and fix my emotional problems for me - that only I could make myself feel happy, or whatever else I needed.

It's the same way I have learned to approach the issue of my sexual satisfaction in my physical relationships. I consider myself responsible for my own orgasms. But if the person I'm with would like to help me along in some way (within the boundaries of our relationship), I allow myself to enjoy the extra sensation and sense of connection, and if appropriate, can sometimes allow the other person to take over some of the work.


it does feel like the psychoses that I have are specifically the ones that make relationships challenging.

Well, yeah, I can see that. Sex-negativity can definitely be antithetical to getting into a relationship. Maybe instead of trying to be "perfect", you can just start by focusing on getting your sexual discomfort to a more manageable level.

Heh, I say "just" like it's so easy. But having a place to start from IS easier than looking at all of the possible problem areas all at once and getting overwhelmed with the immensity of the situation (which looks more and more like mountain rather than molehill all the time) and then giving up until the wistfulness hits again and the problem seems even more unconquerable than ever before.


And as for the objectification thing, I'm currently brewing up a poem on the subject as self-therapy.

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Josh

(no subject)

from: irilyth
date: May. 2nd, 2003 11:51 am (UTC)
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I think there's some truth to both sides of this: Desperation is a turn-off, but so is pessimism. I hope to have some more positive advice (beyond "stop whining, just be more optimistic and everything will be fine", which IMHO isn't very useful), but will have to get back to it later, stay tuned.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 6th, 2003 12:33 am (UTC)
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Out of curiosity did you ever come up with some suggestions?

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Josh

(no subject)

from: irilyth
date: May. 8th, 2003 09:12 am (UTC)
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Been busy lately, and heading out of town this weekend... Briefly, though: I think experience can be very confidence-building. I didn't believe that any woman would ever want to go out with me, until I actually went out with someone... And the change was dramatic: Where before, I was afraid to talk to women, now I felt comfortable flirting, because I had direct first-hand experience that it could work out well. (Even though that relationship ended somewhat badly.) This has come up again over the course of my life: I tend to be optimistic about dating-related things when I've recently had success at asking people out, and to be pessimistic immediately after getting rejected.

So, I'm not sure that translates into a useful suggestion, except maybe to expect it to seem daunting until you've done it once or twice, and don't feel like you have to become Super Duper Self Confident Lass before you can even try. Getting over that first hump is hard, but think of it as a learning experience, expect it to be bumpy, and think about how to use what you learn to have a smoother ride the next time.

Does any of that make sense? Also, it occurs to me that I don't actually know as much about your relationship history as I could, so some of this may be a little off -- I'm thinking from a "never done this before, find it terrifying" perspective, which may be different than "done this once or twice, it didn't go at all well".

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Vicky the Compost Queen

(no subject)

from: vixter
date: May. 2nd, 2003 06:43 pm (UTC)
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Desperation also has the danger of leaving you open to manipulation or exploitation.

Everyone, including you, Diane is worthy and deserving of a loving relationship. Also some of the strangest people seem to be in relationships. I don't think depression or desperation itself precludes having a relationship. It make affect it, though.

I think your shyness and relative lack of potential partners are also big contributors. These are things you can do something about. Not easily, for sure, but I think they are easier than willing yourself not to be depressed.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 6th, 2003 12:21 am (UTC)
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I was talking about the difficulties meeting people with a friend, and she agreed that Caltech is a tough place to date even for the straight women. Let alone the handful of queer women around here. The other problem is just being rather busy and having difficulty spending enough time around other interesting people to get to know them.

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wig

(no subject)

from: wig
date: May. 2nd, 2003 11:15 pm (UTC)
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I think you should be extremely proud of yourself for 'dragging yourself to psychological health'. A lot of people never make it that far. Personally I haven't had to deal with trans issues, but I have had to deal with other identitity crises, crippling depression, the Pit of Despair and social awkwardness.

Once the person I'm interested catches a glimpse of the depths of the isolation and despair that I've struggled with they inevitably run screaming into the night.

I used to often feel this way, and I know just how painful it is. But David hasn't run screaming into the night. (Well, he has a few times, but then he came back.) I wasn't very open with him when we first met, but in time everything came out, all my insecurities, fear and pain. It was very ugly indeed for a while, but now I can see how this relationship has provided me with the precious opportunity to continue to heal. Things still get ugly from time to time, but not nearly as often as they used to, as my shadow self occasionally vomits up chunks of undigested anguish. So what I am saying is it was true for me - I hooked up with someone whose psychoses match mine, and have been able to use this relationship to work things out. I agree with your other friends that no love for me until after I'm perfect is silly, and I think deep down you probably know it is silly, too :)

But how to get the relationship in the first place? I agree that people are turned off if they sense desperation. What did I do? I used a combination of methods, mostly 'acting as if'. Even if I didn't feel confident, I tried to act as if I did. Even if I didn't feel worthy of love, I tried to act as if I did. Even if I didn't feel attractive, I tried to act as if I did. I had to repeatedly make conscious efforts and it was very awkward at first, but it was a case of 'bring your ass and your mind will follow' - I forced myself to go through the motions of being emotionally healthy and mature, and in time my mind came more and more in line.

I also could relate to the 'phase shift' between being emotionally reserved and emotionally outgoing. This used to be a lot more of a problem for me when I was just coming out of the (most recent) period of depression and my emotions were quite volatile. As I have lost my more and more of my crippling self-consciousness (and, incidentally, as my yoga practice became more regular) I found I was able to 'even out' my emotional output.

And can I just say, time heals all wounds. This I am finding to be true.

Hmm, I don't know if this is the most coherent comment I have ever written, but I just wanted to say, I could relate :)

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T e s s

(no subject)

from: soulsong
date: May. 3rd, 2003 04:23 am (UTC)
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Ziege wise. Ziege understand. Ziege want to take over world with Yoga.

While I'm a paid up member of the "get yourself psychologically healthy and they'll be leaping into your arms" camp, I still agree with Ziege that some relationships can provide a wonderful space in which to grow. In fact, it's hard to see how else we could grow, except through close friendships and relationships. For myself, you've already seen that I credit much of the changes in my life over the last five years to two people in particular. Neither of those was a 'successful' relationship, though I did date both of them.

The hardest part was finding that the healthy people I wanted to go out with, weren't interested in me yet. I had to 'put up with' those who would 'put up with' me. These came in two flavours - those with low-self esteem like myself, and those who were wise enough to see the potential in me before I ever could.

Unsurprisingly, the latter are extremely rare, but they do exist.

PERSIST

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 6th, 2003 12:26 am (UTC)
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"get yourself psychologically healthy and they'll be leaping into your arms"

I may be sliding off into arguing just for arguings sake, but it does seem like some of the techniques I use to promote my own sanity can be problematic for meeting people. One good example is instead of sulking around my apartment, I'll try to do something I find technical interesting with my computer. However since it's both a solitary activity and one that is challenging to share with most people I can be reasonably healthy in a way that makes it hard to meet people.

An even better example, my anti-car belief system shows a great deal of self-confidence, introspection, and understanding of the world--however it's really inconvienent.

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wig

p.s.

from: wig
date: May. 4th, 2003 04:02 am (UTC)
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Even if I didn't feel confident, I tried to act as if I did. Even if I didn't feel worthy of love, I tried to act as if I did. Even if I didn't feel attractive, I tried to act as if I did.

Why did I write this in the past tense? I still do this when necessary.

Also, a lot of my healing has resulted from me helping David deal with his psychological bad habits. It's a two-way street.

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Freya

Shiny happy people

from: moonglade
date: May. 5th, 2003 10:20 am (UTC)
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Yes that's exactly what I was saying!

The other big problem you seem to have Diane, is being afraid to fail! You should never be afraid to fail at anything! So what if you fail? It doesn't matter. I think a lot of the time I don't even notice when I fail at things. I mean say you start a relationship, and it seems really great and you are having a good time but then it all goes horribly wrong! What does it matter that it does? Surely it's good that you had a good time in the first place?

What are you afraid of? You talk of having been through some bad things? Were they really that bad? If so then what are you afraid of now? Do you believe that things will be that bad again, and even if they could then you overcame them, so it should be easier to overcome them again?

I know in my own life I have been through some preety staggeringly dreadful stuff, I have a vivid imagination, as anyone who knows me will probably testify, but I have no nightmares because I just can't imagine anything worse than what I've been through. My worst and most upsetting dreams are those that refer to the past, usually they are not scary but leave me depressed.

I'm afraid of schools, and there are a few things that make me nervous in a slightly irrational way but mostly I'm not afraid because I know theres very little anyone can do to me anymore. I am almost completely free, and I mostly fear the state (states) and the various people that exercise their power.

What is it you are afraid of Diane? What can anyone do to you of significance?

Hands up all the people here who havn't had a relationship that didn't work out for some reason or another!!! :)

Life isn't a coca cola commercial.

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Diane Trout

Re: Shiny happy people

from: alienghic
date: May. 5th, 2003 02:51 pm (UTC)
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You did pick up on a long-term problem of mine. I have had a tendency to want to be "perfect" and as result been afraid of failure. It could very easily have been the common parents not thinking one is good enough that afflicts many people. I'm trying to get better, but still I have a fear that if I make a mistake people wont like me or something.

(Though I'm not so clear on why I have trouble being afraid of failure, I'll have to think more about it.)

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T e s s

Re: Shiny happy people

from: soulsong
date: May. 7th, 2003 01:28 am (UTC)
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I have the perfection-need too, and fear of failure cripples me, which is why it took so long for me to 'get around to' writing my novel. It does seem to sap the beauty and art out of things when you're more focussed on technical perfection that simply expressing yourself, regardless.

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Diane Trout

Re: Shiny happy people

from: alienghic
date: May. 7th, 2003 01:44 am (UTC)
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One of the things that's been help me move away from perfectionism is that it's so limiting, there's many things that I'd have liked to do but because I was afraid of not being good enough I never tried.

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T e s s

Re: Shiny happy people

from: soulsong
date: May. 7th, 2003 02:36 am (UTC)
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Certainly. I'm much better than I was. Not where I want to be yet, though. Not anywhere near.

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soulspirals

(no subject)

from: soulspirals
date: May. 3rd, 2003 06:47 am (UTC)
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I have always found you interesting. When I left LA, you were one of the few people I was truly disappointed to leave. I felt like our friendship and connections were just starting to come together. I find you thoughtful, intense, intelligent and articulate. And I occassionally find myself wishing that you and another friend of mine were a better match geographically and orientation-wise.

You'll find your way, if you keep working this hard at it.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 6th, 2003 12:33 am (UTC)
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Aww... thanks, I do wish I'd gotten to know you better before you moved away...

You'll find your way, if you keep working this hard at it.

I thought when I wrote the original it was just going to be me engaging in self-piteous whining. However the various comments people have been making have been helpful (I appreciate the range from just warm and supportive to constructive challenges.)

Also as a technique for self-growth, a LJ post does seem to have at least one advantage over face to face communication--it's easier to take a break, yet still be reminded to return to it.

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