I woke up with a really ghastly feeling in my stomach. Last night I thought I was over the emotional shock of being so bluntly rejected by someone I trusted, but apparently I'm not. It was curious how this person was so angry about narcisissm yet displayed the same signs himself; very agreeable in the beginning when things worked according to his schemes, but as soon as they didn't he's like a child who was denied candy in a candy shop. All I kept hearing was "me, me, me" and a somewhat patronizing way of telling me what "we" need to do, and it completely freaked me out. There's not that much good to say about myself either because I just lost it. I really didn't display my anger, merely tried to negotiate, but I might as well have talked to a wall. The bottom line is, I went into a state of extreme anxiety, which might have been some form of post traumatic disorder as a result of too many failed relationships over a short period of time. I'm not saying I'm without fault. My intensity, impatience, and perceptiveness has caused me to over-react to many things. Of course it's hard to say when my reactions have been justified and in proportion with the problem, but if my sensitivity is leading to this kind of insurmountable problems, then what's the use of trying to connect with anyone anymore?
When I met this person I had a beautiful dream one night where everything was difficult at first but then miraculously, everything was being taken care of and this enormous weight was lifted from my shoulders. I couldn't believe the feeling of not having to struggle anymore. I realized upon waking what a ridiculous strife my life has been. But I really have had no choice. At times I could have taken the easy way out and stayed put, but with my need for change and adventure it would have driven me crazy too. So I've worn my heart on my sleeve for many years now but nothing good has come out of it. Even if I do believe that in certain ways we attract what we need in order to grow or simply something that reflects some inner issue, I never anticipated that the opening up of my emotional life would cause so much grief. In comparison, life used to be very easy and smooth. Maybe it's also due to the collective and its changes. But the thing is, I no longer know how to deal with my emotional self. I mean, I understand that I just need to ride out the storms. But I am starting to worry that something really bad will happen to me soon or that I won't be able to function in a relationship anymore. This person also knew that I have the condition which causes me to have very low stress tolerance, but he never asked about it so he either didn't care or didn't want to know. I tried to say that it's not an issue in the company of the right people. But I don't seem to attract the tolerant kind of men. Why? I do much soul searching but I have fewer and fewer answers.
I'm sorry to say this but never have I had as much trouble with people as I have with Americans online. I also hate to put one big bunch of people in one bag. For some reason though, it seems that I just cannot make my voice heard in their company. I really don't know how to explain this. But it's as if I had been part of a cult where my whole sense of self had been systematically undermined. There is only one person I am able to talk to but she's a very intelligent woman who isn't shaken by my ups and downs. The others... well, truth to say I think they know more about me than I ever did about them, and so they had the upper hand. My last experience seemed like that. I got to hear from this guy that you don't expect a person's friendship and trust, you earn it. Well yes... the thing is I thought I already had. I did have an expectation and that was to be heard when I was in distress. Unfortunately, emotional distress in the form of a crisis doesn't wait for people to have time. Apparently this person thought I was being extremely selfish for having a crisis when he wasn't up to it. And I promise I did not bombard him with any long, abusive letters. They were merely short statements about what was going on from my point of view. That I might have had trouble keeping my thoughts together might have been a fact. To really put a knife where it hurt he had to ban me from his Flickr stream though he could have simply removed me from his contacts. This person, who thought of so many others as predators, was definitely one himself. I think that intuitively, I felt this and that's why I broke down.
The question is, did this person do the right thing by abandoning me right then and there with the view that it was all too complicated and too much for him to deal with? As I said, I didn't know this person all that well, but what I had seen of his values I had liked a lot. In retrospect I think that he was only gratifying his own self-esteem by sucking in my encouraging words. It's ironic, since it's hard for me to express any form of admiration for other people, let alone a guy. And I'm not talking about infatuation. There are many more nuances to emotions than that! The fact that he didn't stick around tells me that my break down was a real indication that I was dealing with a hyper selfish person. I have met many now, and so I recognize them fairly soon.
So yes, I was having a fit - but I didn't accuse him. I tried to take responsiblity for my own emotions and the crisis I was going through. I even warned him that it was coming. In my opinion if you already like someone, you give them a chance. He could have been the great friend who helped me ride through the storm and come out on the other side. But no. He was all for great friendship and how one's basic need is to be heard and understood. He was obviously only talking for himself. What happened instead was that I had one more traumatic relationship to add to my list. And unfortunately, this whole thing has undermined my emotional stability even more. It will be even more difficult for me to trust someone. I don't know why this is happening. I don't see myself deserving it and whatever desperation I may feel I try and contain. But now - I'm now officially a nervous wreck.
Artwork: "Caught in the Ice", digital photograph by author, all rights reserved 2008