January 13th, 2011

Sea dragon

I am still living in a cotton-wool world

In London, they use "cotton wool" as a way to say you're overly protecting people (correct me locals if I've got the flavor wrong). And I'm trying to do that, too. I want to try to keep my stress down, which means avoiding thinking too much about things I don't have control over, actively trying to improve things I need to fix, and staying away from the people who are hostile toward me.

In the positive world, I'm trying to focus on good things. Hey, I still may have the dregs of a cold, but my energy levels are up. I've made lots of plan for travel and am pencilling piles of shows I want to see (though not buying yet as the budget is too tight). I'm working on organizing my week so I get at least one round of Pilates and one round of counselling in. I'm spending what in my mind seems like a lot of time with someone who loves me, and trying to spend time with other people that I feel are good friends. With luck, I'll come up with the magic formula to get myself on a better footing. I think it's working pretty well so far. Keeping busy, physical activity, being around people; these are the things that make a stable cowgirl. Let's check in again in a month and see if it's holding up.
Sea dragon

Lady peaceful fail

One of the things the counseling I'm supposed to be getting started next week looks at is underlying false beliefs about yourself or the world that negatively affect your behavior and cause you problems. One of them (an easy one to understand) is that the world is basically dangerous. Another is that you are basically worthless.

Another one is that people will always reject you.

This is something I know is a problem for me, but it's not something that is an imaginary belief, it is a reality. I could name numerous people in the last ten years who have just cut me out of their lives. Some have done it without saying why. Some of them have made big announcements about it.

It's not something that's just my imagination. It's something that really happens, has happened, and is happening. It's such a big deal for me that it's part of the reason I moved to England, after the three girls I considered my best friends all shut me out simultaneously then denied it was happening. This was probably the worst of all of the incidents because it was such a head fuck that I spent a good year very seriously believing I was just a worthless human being that no one would ever want to be friends with me. And my parting gift from one of these girls, as I got ready to move, was, "Those people will get tired of your shit, too." It was a nice pick-me-up but also just incredibly effective at fucking my head up just a little bit more.

Anyway, so social ostracism really bothers me. When I'm feeling really good about life and on top of things and like I'm not the source of all evil, I can shrug off people that I consider acquaintances deciding they don't want to be a part of my social circle any more. People are all very different and I'm not everybody's cup of tea; there's no O- / universal donor when it comes to friends. When someone I think that's a close friend shuts me out, well, that would probably be upsetting at the very least because I would miss them; because I consider really close friends important bellwethers as to when you're a fuck up, their stamping of "not worthy" is something that inevitably leads to soul searching, or at least a lot of questions if they'll let me ask it.

Now sometimes my stress all amounts to nothing. Once I was rejected because someone didn't want to get close to someone who was going to be moving in a year; another time a girl had successfully developed a relationship on someone we had both had a crush on and suddenly I became a threat. These just aren't things I can do anything about, or things I really think should involve a bunch of self-questioning about my morals and how I conduct my life. Me, when I reject people, it's usually because they are verbally abusive to me and unable/unwilling to quit, or, worse, disinterested in my feelings of hurt. Accidents are forgivable, but if you hurt my feelings and don't want to stop doing it, I want to get away from you. And if I really care about you but you don't care about me ... well, this is probably a relationship I also need to step away from.

So the point of all this is that, as you might guess, I'm not really at the strong point this decade right now, and I'm not able to shrug off shunning easily. And I'm getting a lot of it. And it's getting to me. And the upshot of this is, again (as I mentioned it a few days ago), I'm looking at parties I might go to and they're making me feel anxious, because I don't actually like to be around people that don't like me. Counseling might help me be able to (at some point) shrug lesser rejections off as the quirks of human relations that they are, but I realize that, to get to a good point, I probably also need to avoid putting myself in situations where I'm going to really be feeling the hate. I really want to go and show people that I don't care, that they can't get to me, but I do and they have and I know the end result will be me being miserable. It's sad, I love being around lots of people, but right now, one or two bad apples will send me home with an ache in my heart that lasts for days and days, and I need to not be doing that to myself especially if I can see it coming.

Anyway, so scuba diving. I have my class on Saturday. Tomorrow night I expect I'm going to pop by the Tate for a bit to catch the Gauguin exhibit before it closes, then I'll go home to study. I hate that when I think of how I'm going to be spending my evening was that C was right, those London people have gotten tired of my shit (at least some of them have), just like she said they would, and I hate that such a little piece of poison could have lodged itself so firmly in my heart. Maybe if I get lucky I can find someone to have dinner with me somewhere so I don't feel as adrift as I always do when I spend the whole evening with no one to talk to. And maybe in six months it just all won't be bothering me so much, and the people who've gone to so much trouble to show how poorly they think of me will have receded into tiny pinpricks in my consciousness, like stars dying in some distant galaxy.