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Am I loveable?

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May. 23rd, 2001 | 01:35 am
mood: distant

I think not.

I was thinking that it seems my entire life is dedicated toward making it difficult for me to feel like I'm loved.



My parents were were argumentative toward each other. My father rapidly lost any ability to be anything but hyper-criticial. My mother needed me to provide emotional support for her against my father. But she was frequently absent in escapist fantasy.

Then we moved every two years for K-6th grade. Which made it really difficult for me to feel comfortable making friends.

Furthermore, there was this little matter of my parents belonging to an isolationist, fundamentalist church. The rest of the world was evil and absolutely not to be trusted. One can only be allowed to trust fellow church members because they're pure, true, just, ad nauseum. Of course my parents being such the "wonderful" example of christian living left those appellations in question.

The biggest side effect is they were rather untrusting of my friends from school, and tended to prefer that I didn't spend much time with them. Approved friends from church were miles and miles away and could only be reached via car, or telephone.
So the deck is already stacked against me--but there's even more.

Next up is that I kept getting shuffled into the various gifted & talented or honors programs, and my destiny as a stuffy overly educated person was sealed. One bonus is I did get to meet people who were similarly intelligent, and the ones that I could relate to turned out to be equally estranged from the world.

And so now the most frequent reaction I get from "average" people is blank stares whenever I talk about things that I'm interested in.

Growing up one of the really interesting examples is I'd frequently follow a strange train of thought and find something funny. People around would be understandably curious and would ask me to tell them what the joke was. I would, and then the blank stares would begin. I eventually learned and started telling people, that it was a obscure thought of mine and that they wouldn't find it funny.

I still got the blank stares, but at least it didn't take as long.

I'm a technologically orientated intellectual geek. Each one of those categories makes it difficult to meet people and relate to them on a caring emotional level.

Then came the gender identity problems, which left me with the deep seated belief that no one would ever be capable of loving me. I was sure that my fundie parents would not be able to deal, I knew that the world was rather disapproving, and then there was this discovery that the lesbian-feminist community had been (at least historically) severely disapproving. (Some were almost, but not quite as "disapproving" as the nazi's were of jews.)

So I tried to date men, but discovered, though they make nice friends and can be interesting to talk to, dating them didn't work for me. After a short time I usually just lost interest. The attention (if done right) could be nice, otherwise it was rather creepy.

So I'm left facing that I might be lesbian. Of course I'm rather nervous of claiming that identity since I'm still worried I'll be cast out when someone discovers the heinous crime of how I was born.

And then there s the extra problem that women trying to date women, are remarkably unlikely to actually ask each other out. They'll usually just go out and be friends, and months can pass before anyone brings up the subject of perhaps, maybe, dating, or sex or relationships or whatever it is that separates friendship from being significant others.

Of course given all of these historical problems with lack of relationships it's not surprising that I don't have much experience.

Though my relationships with women tend to be short (about 3 months) and then I ended up pining for the next year and a half. So I'm not really sure what people do in longer term relationships.

So to summarize. I have trouble feeling lovable because.
1) my parents sucked
2) I had no siblings to bond with about sucky parents
3) I didn't get to maintain friendships
4) I was discouraged from having unapproved school friends who lived nearby.
5) I turned inward toward knowledge away from people and tried to blot out the pain.
6) Severe depression (from the unbearable pain of being) encourages further alienation.
7) Being athiest and having gender identity problems are not going to win a points of support from damaged parents, and lots of other people would have problems too.
8) Computer geeks are just sooo unattractive. (At least that's what I've felt.)
9) I developed an intense self-hatred of my body, (It's down from making me violently ill, to just being unpleasant)
10) Being a woman attracted to women is a pain because I wander the world assuming everyone's straight; and since the gatherings of lesbian & bi women tend to be a cross section of the population it's really hard to find ones that I can talk to without boring them (or finding them boring)
11) I carry around with me the societal programming that fat is bad and thin is good. So I tend to find women who would be generally considered attractive, attractive. Of course I assume that they wouldn't deign to talk to me as I'm an ugly/repulsive slob. (Depending on how self-hating I'm feeling).

Given that list it's pretty shocking I can actually manage to talk to someone with our running screaming.

WHINE POUT COMPLAIN.

I wish I knew what it meant to be loved. All I can come up with is it means there someone around who will cuddle and be emotionally supportive.

Of course since I'm damaged in these areas it's really hard not to end up being _far_ too needy.

It'd be really nice to actually manage to feel loved. As if that's ever going to happen. Not only are there the above problems there's also my incredulity preventing anyone from getting anywhere near me emotionally.

Do I want to think about the sex thing. I guess I might at some point actually want to experience that but it seems far too confusing and scary.

So I'm left with a rapid reflex that whenever I see someone I think is attractive I almost instantaneously become depressed.

*sigh*

Well, it's time for bed, and so that's enough pointless whining for the evening.

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Comments {7}

Stephanie Wukovitz

(no subject)

from: sebab
date: May. 23rd, 2001 05:00 am (UTC)
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Hey.

It may sound strange for the Queen of Insecurity(tm) to be telling you this, but...

People are less scary than you think they are. yes, it's very true that the majority of them aren't going to be able to have tech conversations with you, even if they are geeks -- they may be geeks of a different flavor.

But just by virtue of being human, they're going to share a great deal in common with you.

A few years ago I started to become more comfortable with myself and with this fact. Those few people with whom I have even more in common (tangible or not!) are *always* going to feel special to me, but that doesn't mean I can't recognize something worth celebrating about most of the other people I meet!

(And yes, I'm a veteran of the whole 'gifted program' farce. Different people have different gifts, and picking kids on the basis of IQ not only seems limited, but it also has the effect of painting a big, fat target on them. Maybe we should have gotten classes in self-defense and how to deal with bullies instead of screwing around with extra projects and mentors, and whatnot)


As for long-term relationships -- 'long term' being defined in whatever way you wish -- they are not always exciting. Sometimes the relationship just IS, and sometimes you have a bad month, and sometimes you differ in opinion and fight. I think that not everyone is going to be happy in a long-term relationship, either, because the idea of one right for them.

I think that some people simply aren't happy in long-term relationships because they're not comfortable with themselves yet. There are some things that other people can't give you.

People always used to feed me (what I thought was) a line about how I'd feel happy when I liked myself, not when I got a certain (endless) amount of approval or praise or love from outside. I don't think this is a 'line', but I think that part of it is true -- that we are not going to feel good about the nice things that other people tell us and do for us until we can love ourselves too and *believe* that we are loved and appreciated.

Gack, that sounds so trite. But it really is true for me.

I think that you can only come to realize this by yourself, but other people can hold your hand a little and help you to find the way. Here's some reassurance, though -- I'm a few years older than you and I am still figuring out most of this stuff.

*hug*

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 23rd, 2001 10:33 am (UTC)
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I'd wondered why it was easier to talk to some people than others. Why one artist was easier and more interesting to talk to the some random computer geeks.

I came to the conclusion that the difference was that she was an intellectual. Some people enjoy discourse, analysis and broadning their mental horizions. I can usually feel somewhat comfortable around such people and have interesting discussions. It doesn't even have to be remotly compatible fields.

In an extreme case someone talking about the different states of awareness while playing a sport is going to be far more interesting, to me, than someone who just lists off scores of their favorite team.

Maybe the difference is also related to being inquisitive about one's internal processes.

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Stephanie Wukovitz

Re:

from: sebab
date: May. 24th, 2001 06:37 am (UTC)
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both of those seem like reasonable possibilities.

there are some 'smart' people I don't enjoy spending much time with -- those are the people who tend to equate the ability to recite a bunch of facts with 'intelligence'.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 23rd, 2001 10:50 am (UTC)
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I've recently started thinking that I have unrealistic expectations about relationships. Thats why I started thinking about my lack of experience.

As for "some people simply aren't happy in long-term relationships because they're not comfortable with themselves yet", I only have one thing to say.

*Pout*

It's hard to feel comfortable with the idea of being cared about in my life when it seems like my life has been completely orientated toward teaching me to distrust "love and affection", to deconstruct it at every corner, and to know that there are always dangerous strings attached. Those assumptions are probably not true now, but they certainly still feel true.

I guess that's my most recent useful realization about my fear of emotionally charged relationships. Earlier I thought it was because there was something fundamentally wrong with me, now it's turning into a lack of experience of good relationships and lots of bad experiences.

And I didn't get my necessary quota of early primate cuddling and so now I'm too desperate for it or so my recent experience suggests. For instance my last girlfriend broke up with me for that reason. I needed affection and she didn't like feeling like it was needed, or I think that's what she said.

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Stephanie Wukovitz

Re:

from: sebab
date: May. 24th, 2001 06:04 am (UTC)
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then it sounds like you're on the way to being happier :)

(so stop pouting, heh... unless you're trying to be cute... in which case, carry on :)

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: May. 24th, 2001 04:02 pm (UTC)
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But I want results, yesterday at the latest.

8 years of therapy, and though I've gotten better at some stuff I've ended up worse at others.

*sigh*

Back to the self-improvement treadmill.



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Stephanie Wukovitz

(no subject)

from: sebab
date: May. 23rd, 2001 05:04 am (UTC)
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p.s. I used to be rather overweight -- losing it doesn't help the insecurities as much as you'd think :( And I've also seen some people who aren't conventionally attractive do perfectly well in social situations, because they are happy and people just like to be around them.

Some people are just good at figuring this stuff out! Me jealous :)

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