Monday, November 16, 2009

I'll try and make this quick, as my goal is to turn my lights out in 10 minutes.

My therapist was so proud of me today when I told her what happened over the weekend. She thought it was a really good decision for me to be home. I felt really pressured to go even though there were so many things there that would have made me uncomfortable, but mostly due to the long drives and getting back so late, and my severe issues with traveling like that. And I'm a terrible passenger, especially with unfamiliar people who intimidate me. She congratulated me on keeping myself together and not cutting.

We talked about why I rebel sometimes. I don't always. At school, for example, I follow the rules and if I think someone is unhappy with me it freaks me out and I bend over backwards to fix it. Around other people, for example the people I would have been with this weekend and other similar acquaintances, I am scared to death. And I put up the gay shield. By the way, I just figured this all out today. This was a huge revelation.

See, if I put up the gay shield, and make it loud and clear I like girls and activism and Buddhism and falling asleep next to hot women after crazy sex in the candlelight (OK maybe I don't mention that part but man that was hot and I will explain it later), then they can judge that part. I KNOW how to respond to people disliking my sexuality. I do NOT know how to respond when people just don't like ME. I don't want them judging ME. See, I'm a shy and quiet person who is uncomfortable around unfamiliar people. I don't make good conversation with them. Therefore, I look pretty boring and awkward. And even without the gay thing, I don't buy into their brand of Christianity and I don't want them judging me for that either. So when I'm around people who intimidate me, and who I think might judge me, I put up this gigantic wall of gayness or Buddhism or whatever and then they can judge that and I'll deal, but the real me is safe. I can name 4 people with whom I can be myself, for real: Mom, Dad, LittleBrother, and BFF. That is IT. Anyone else, and I'm probably putting on a show or a mask.

I was going to wear a blazer and tie this weekend. It would have been cute, but it was also a "take that" to P (brother of the bride, friend), who said I would look good in blue (back when I liked him) and so at the time I decided to get a blue dress. He and I ended up being completely incompatible, and we ended up arguing and haven't talked a lot since. So when I thought about this weekend, and that, on top of which I would have been surrounded with tons of people who intimidate me over the weekend, I was like, no. What's the opposite of a nice feminine dress? So I was playing THAT role. The "I'm gay and rebellious and you can't hurt me" role.

Now the real me IS gay, and might be Buddhist, and is working on being sexually free, but I don't shout about any of them ALL the time.

Part of the problem is that I have trouble feeling like I have an identity. I know that everyone deals with that, but I have no idea. I can be one thing or another, like a teacher, or gay, or a photographer, or whatever, but I can't be all of them. It doesn't make sense to me. It's a trait of borderline personality disorder. not that everyone with this issue has BPD, but I do have it, and when I got my psych testing the doctor made sure to mention my identity diffusion, most common with adolescents.

OK, that was past 1o minutes, but I had to find my phone, and then talk to my brother about how I made a kid cry today. He was touching the only color printer in the school NOT owned by the office, and he would not stop. I physically guided him away from it and he insisted on going over there just to bug me. Normally I'd ignore him but it was expensive stuff. Finally I just screamed NO, and I mean screamed. He started to cry. I didn't feel bad. He has beat up on me and my paras SO much and has been a little snot. So no sympathy for him.



Mockingbird Girl said...

I know that you and I just "met", but I wanted to let you know just how amazingly blown away & impressed I am by your courage and self-introspection.

What you did (or rather *didnt* do) in terms of the wedding took guts... as does learning about and adjusting to the truths you are discovering about yourself.

I also wanted to empathize with you in terms of using "masks" as a way of shielding & protecting from the potential pain of disapproval, dislike or just plain apathy. Yup, I've been there & done that too. I've managed to use different masks at different points in my life - but all for the same reason: to hide, protect, deflect.

I'm happy (and *relieved*) to say that at some point along the way, thanks to therapy, maybe meds and some damn hard work, I gave up the masks. It didn't happen all at once, but I'm actually (finally) relatively confident in my own skin. I wish the same for you...

Gina said...

Well, Mockingbird Girl took the words right out of my mouth, albeit much more eloquently than I ever could have said. Congrats on the breakthrough. That's huge. I hope you get your package from me soon! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm going to agree with your therapist here... and say that I think you did the *harder* thing and the right thing by staying home from the wedding. I've so been there, trying to do something that really feels wrong and then bowing out and feeling crushed and guilty and ashamed about it. And lonely. And stuck. I read that post and was like, oh man, I am so right there with you. I couldn't even comment, it just met me in the gut so much.

My therapist told me that when I'm feeling like that, the word to think of, if you can remember it, is "choice." You made an active choice to abandon the car and not go to the wedding. You had agency, you took authority over your own life and your own plans. You did what was right for you. For me, remembering that sometimes helps me feel less shattered when I'm then at home by myself feeling like such a failure. It's like no, I'm not a failure, I'm strong for doing the right thing for me, even if it's something that other people wouldn't understand.

I'm probably not making any sense. But I'm so glad you share these introspections here. Thank you.

Miss Emily said...

Wow. Thanks for those comments.

MG: Thank you. And I can only hope to be where you are someday. I know it will take work. And I'm still waiting on my meds to see if they'll actually work for me.

Alphafemme: It's hard doing something when I know people won't understand. I end up getting into arguments about things because the other party just simply does not understand how I function in the world. Sometimes it makes me back down when I should not.

Also, I got the yoga CD! Can't wait to try it out.