As much as I love myself (because really, who doesn't?) (love themselves, I mean) (well, or me, because I'm awesome) I also am my own harshest critic. No, really. I may not always let people know just how much I judge myself, but I do. It's far easier for me to see myself in a negative light than in a positive. Thus the self-deprecating humor. You know, make fun of myself before other people do, because then it hurts less? Yeah, I'm special like that.
(You see what I just did? Yep. Slammed myself in a joking way. Jeez, I can't help but do it even when I'm talking about how I do it.)
Sometimes the humor fails me. Then I just get angsty. Let me tell you, it's a real riot walking around with an inner teenager, especially one like mine. My inner teenager is not the bubbly cheerleader who loves trips to the mall and texting all her BFFs about the cute guy she saw at Forever 21. Oh no. Mine dresses in black with black eyeliner and mopes about in the corner and writes dark poetry about the horror of existence in a world of pain and anguish and bubbly cheerleaders.
Okay, fine, I've also been known to hang out at the mall with friends and text BFFs about guys, such as the cute policeman who totally gave me a major break this summer on not having renewed my registration for, oh, seven months; or the hot mechanic who changed my oil and replaced my sway bar links this weekend. But then my inner teenager has to hate ME, so it gets complicated.
I never said I was a simple person. I come with fine print. People just keep forgetting to read my manual.
Heck, I wish I could find my manual. Maybe then I could figure out how to run my own head.
Crap. Where was I going with this post? Oh right! Harshest critic. Angst. Too complicated for my own good. Fun stuff. Not entirely sure why I'm spewing this, but hey. Whatever. You can just stop reading if it's too emo for you.
Except now I'm panicking that you're really leaving my blog because AND THIS IS KIND OF THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS STUPID THING I have abandonment issues. And I've been realizing lately, as I've been navigating the ridiculous self-designed maze of my own mind (map not included), that I have a nasty habit of never fully giving myself to those I love. Deep down, you see, I don't really think I'm good enough to keep people around. So I have to protect myself from the inevitable. Friends, family, significant others, my own children...it doesn't seem to matter who the person is, there is always a part of my heart, a part of ME, that I hold back in reserve. There's always an unwillingness to risk myself fully in a relationship, because in the back of my mind a voice is always whispering They always end up leaving. One way or another, you will lose this person. He or she will leave you, will walk away, will break your heart if you give it all.
It's a sobering realization to have. It also explains certain behaviors. For example, my tendency to NOT write my parents much when they're overseas. Oh, they get my blog, I tell myself (which is a handy excuse these days but doesn't do much to justify the previous thirteen years). My mother will write long, lovely, newsy, satisfying letters that make me feel like she just sat down and had coffee with me. And I will, if she's lucky, write back a paragraph or two. Just the basics. A brief response to specific questions, usually. A quick update on how the boys are doing.
For another example, my ability to disconnect from friends and not even realize that two months have passed since I've seen a person or even necessarily talked to that person on the phone. I just continue to go on through my life, pushing away any sense of missing a connection. If she really wants to talk to me or see me, she'll call me, right?
I have to wonder, too, if I'm capable of loving a man in a way that means forever, 'til death do us part. I haven't done so well so far. And recently I've realized that it's one thing to say I love someone: it's another to give him my heart. Fully, completely, with all the tremendous risk that comes from placing that most delicate part of Self in someone else's hands. I don't think I've ever done that. I'm not sure what it takes to do so, or whether that strength, that willingness to risk so much, is even in me.
Most sobering is the realization that as much as I love my children, there's still a part of me I withhold from them, too. You see, they're going to grow up. And they may not like me very much some day. They may not call. They may not talk to me. They may resent me for choices I've made and have yet to make. They may move far, far away and only come home for the occasional holiday. I will lose them. One way or another, I will lose them: to jobs, to wives, to time.
So I shield a part of myself off from the world. Because if I give myself fully, then every time someone leaves, every time someone walks away or vanishes or drifts off or outright rejects me, there's a piece of my heart that goes with them. And I'm not sure there would be enough left of me to survive.
3 years ago