- The caring guy that does the right thing, sets up and appreciates beauty, especially the beauty in nature and that which surrounds us everyday? or
- The "taker" or the guy who seeks to optimize what I get out of everything.
Am I the poet or the shark? I see a bit of both in myself. I don't mean to seem melodramatic, but I'm not really sure I know who I am and that is at the root of everything. I have mentioned before that I am an excellent chameleon, quickly assessing and understanding various situations (personal and professional) and "coloring" myself to fit in.
I am very adept at this skill. Some would say that children of alcoholic parents develop this skill in order to cope with the inconsistency and upheaval in their family life.
So, I ask myself about relationships and I came up with the following "truths" about myself -- areas that I need to change:
- I don't know what a normal relationship is -
I need to realize this fact. I think I have an idea and have clearly tried to do what is necessary in order to "fit in" with what I see others having in their relationships. But, when I ask myself, do I really know? I don't. This ripples through intimate relationships as well as "friend" relationships with men and women and also relationships with employers and other institutions. I volunteer a lot and even my relationships with those organizations can be inappropriate.
- I judge myself and others harshly -
I am amazingly critical. Unfairly so. I love when people fuck up as it gives me a chance to show how superior that I am to their situation. Well -- smarty-pants -- here I sit, broke, alone and lonely at 50. How's that approach working for you?
- I have difficulty just having fun--everything had an agenda -
I think I have fun, but I don't really. Weekends frighten the crap out of me -- 48 hours with nothing to do is torture.
- I take myself way too seriously and was overly responsible -
I am so responsible, its sick. I think thats why I like to drink, a chance to be irresponsible.
- I don't like change or know how to deal with it -
I hate change. I completely don't know how to deal. Look at me now. I don't even know where I want to live or what I want to do. What a sad commentary on my life. I feel I have a lot to give, but nobody to give it to...
- I seek approval and affirmations from others but not from myself -
People think I am great. They love me and shower appreciation on me. And why not, I work it every day and I am smart and successful. But, I think I am a piece of crap and unworthy of their affection or attention. Christ, I show up to a job daily where I don't get paid and do a crap-pile of work. Talk about not seeing any value to my life. I'm broke and I fill my life with obligations instead of focusing on what needs to happen. It's freaking tragic.
- I want immediate gratification -
Not so much, but I do need to see results. Sooner is better than later
- I avoid conflict because I didn't know how to deal with it -
Completely true. I take everything so personally that conflict gets elevated to a high level and it becomes all about me and then I get immediately defensive and take it to a new level because I feel personally threatened.
- I fear rejection and abandonment and would put up with a lot of stuff to avoid being rejected -
Look at the crap I put up with my marriage. My wife is a lesbian -- hello?? Who did that, me or her? Her, obviously, but I can either accept it or reject it. I am so crazy that I accept it in my relationship and then think its normal and it's what I deserve. That's bullshit. If you asked a 100 men if they would accept being married to a lesbian, you would get 100 "no" answers. Why do I try to make it work? See the "smarty pants" comment above.
- I fear criticism and judgment of myself, but would not hesitate to criticize or judge others -
Yes and yes.
- I have a lot of misplaced loyalty -
I get treated like crap again and again.
So, some insights and some places to work. What a list.