Tell me you don’t love me and I’ll bake you brownies (they’ll be delicious)
Emotional blind spots are something I’m hesitant to label as a psychological “issue” – but in a sense, it is — and it’s one we ALL have to some degree. It’s that (often unhealthy) aspect of our personality that everyone in our life sees but we are “blind” to – or choose to perpetuate even once we know exactly what we are doing.
My emotional blind spot: I can’t cope with people not liking me. I will, endlessly, try to work to win your love. Men, obviously, but people in general. And the best way to make me work extra hard for your love? TREAT ME LIKE GARBAGE.
This went on for years with various relationships and the sick thing is, I’d complain about how awful they treated me even as I kept on trying to bribe them to treat me better.
Sometimes the hardest life mission a person can undertake is to look in the mirror and dam his or her own rivers of denial. Denial is a tricky slope because it’s far more dangerous than ignorance – I’m a relatively smart girl, but absolutely foolish when it comes to relationships.
I have the all-encompassing power to perceive information while automatically refusing to allow it into consciousness. It’s true. Ask everyone who knows me. And I just can’t stop.
I like to tell myself that my mind has given me this gift in order to protect me – to allow me to go blind to the information that I am afraid of putting into the reality.
And so I did that. I created super strong relationships. Or so I told myself. Great affections that would last. I feed my own crazy, and you know what? For my entire life thus far, I have had the same relationship over and over again. I’ve constantly entertained people into my life who were takers – emotional parasites that existed to drain me of what they needed or wanted from me and give nothing back.
If there’s anything lonelier in life than loving someone who doesn’t love you back it’s to love someone who says they love you back just long enough to drain the well dry – and then abandons you as soon as it is. And that is the only love I’ve ever known.
This week is the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and tonight, I was talking to my friend Bryce –one of the smartest people I know in the universe — about all that had been going on this past month and some new truly heartbreaking letdowns that had happened more recently and she taught me about the concept of Tikkun. Tikkun is your your life correction. That ugly shit that will repeat on you forever until you conquer it. It’s the baggage of your personal soul. It’s what we are supposed to recognize and deal with during this holy week. And it makes it somewhat cosmic that all this realization is happening right now.
During the week of high holy days, we’re supposed to examine our behavior patterns and change them into more positive ones for the coming year. I keep wondering if I am deliberately choosing friends and love interests who specifically match the psyche that will elicit this behavior. People who love to hurt me and then lash out at me for being hurt. Do I have so much self-loathing that I resist healthy relationships and gravitate toward takers? Is my whole life one giant emotional blow job with no reciprocation?
No, maybe not. I do have some amazing friends – but I’ll tell you this – I’ve never shown them the consideration and respect I show the bad ones.
My mission to myself is to stop trying so hard to be something I’m not just to make others like me. It doesn’t work that way. You can’t bribe your way into people’s hearts. Nor can you place yourself in a heart that doesn’t exist. When you sacrifice for love — or even acceptance — and put yourself second in ANY type of relationship — friends or lover or family, and I’ve done it all — you believe it means the other will end up loving you more. Or at last. And it never actually works.
But it kind of just perpetuates the tendency that you and that person both love THEM more and as time goes by, you will end up loving yourself less. The more you sacrifice, the less of yourself remains, until one day, you wake up and find yourself feeling empty inside.
It’s funny. Recently, I’ve lost a lot – including a few people who were – I thought – everything to me. You know what happens when you’ve given up all of yourself to become more acceptable? Ultimately you may get their temporary favor — but they’ll never really appreciate the real you. They never took time to even KNOW the real you.
And in the process, you lost your essence, the very soul of who you are. And I find myself, right now, trying to figure out just who that person is – a person who is known for her smiles and giggles but is increasingly clouded by anger and resentment – and a desire to never make anyone brownies ever again.
And trust me, they were delicious.