Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sessions with Sue 5

Yesterday we talked about my constant need to protect myself from everything and everyone. My childhood experiences with my dad left the impression on me that relationships are painful, and that you always have to protect yourself against people. As a result, everything I do now is about protecting myself so that I don't get hurt or humiliated.

I tend to see everyone as potential enemies first. I assume that they don't/won't like me and will hurt or disappoint me in the end, so they have to go through hoops, so to speak, to prove themselves trustworthy. Then maybe they can be considered to be my friend. But I even keep most of my friends at a distance, revealing as little about myself as possible, and not fully believing that they're sincere when they reach out or say nice things to me. I am always on guard, which is why my safe place is extremely small, comprising only my mom and the house that I grew up in. Below are some more thoughts that I jotted down from our conversation:
  • Part of growing up is learning to see your parents as human beings. Ma is not all good, Dad is not all bad.
  • Believe it or not, Dad has good things in him too. Maybe learning what they are will help you to recognize those same good things in you.
  • You've defined yourself very narrowly, which leads you to have a deficit mentality.
  • You are stronger than you know and are much more than how you look (or don't look). 
  • It's good for you to muscle through anxiety and get to the other side, because that teaches you that it won't kill you.
  • Need to start accumulating experiences that will enable you to believe that you'll survive even if you get hurt or are embarrassed.
  • Maybe making yourself seen and heard will inspire others.
  • Consider that you might put yourself out there (do something new, take a risk, be in the spotlight in front of others, etc.) and things might actually turn out okay. Don't be so surprised and confused when good things happen.

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