AFRAID OF GETTING CLOSE: HAVE I REVEALED TOO MUCH?
When I first came to SAA, it was very easy to be open and spill my story and my thoughts to the group.
After all, opening up emotionally to any male strangers who were willing to listen, is a very familiar and comfortable situation, for me.
Now, as normal, I get the sudden paranoia that I’ve given away too much personal information. And again as normal, now I want to escape this vulnerability by shutting down emotionally and cutting off contact with every single person I’ve spoken to.
This is especially true of the co-ed groups, since I’ve had an easier time sharing with men and I am closed-off emotionally towards most women.
[Note: If there are any astrologers reading this, I’ll note here that my sun and moon were squared in my birth chart, which might provide an alternative/additional indication of a tendency to go back and forth between sharing and hiding.]
Probably the group in which I feel this the most is the Monday night SAA group. Man, do I want to fly out of here like a bat out of hell.
I’ve sometimes wondered if anyone can tell, by the look on my face—but if I’m doing a good job of keeping my emotions in line, then chances are they see nothing. A boring, normal young woman. Nothing fancy. Nothing special. Are they sick of me, yet?
Should I stay in the group I fear the most? Is that like “jumping into the deep end?” Or should I play around in the shallow and medium water for a while, first? Actually, the “group I fear the most” would be the women’s SLAA group, not the co-ed Monday night SAA group.
I’m currently jumping from group to group, not staying long with any of them [I did this with guilds in World of Warcraft, as well]. I find excuses to not go back to certain meetings and when I grow cautious or fearful of the current groups, I find excuses for them, too, and I jump back to the first groups, again. I’m not even aware of what I’m doing. Thus is my elaborate scheme for avoiding… (drum roll, please)… intimacy!
I’d like to note, here, that I’m figuring this all out by myself, with my own observations to my reactions to other, and reading books (research).
I don’t have a sponsor and not seeing a psychologist at the moment. So I’m pretty darn proud of myself to figure all this out! Seems like I’m progressing and learning at a pretty good pace. Ok, on with the show!
So anyway… intimacy. Yeah. I’ve avoided it in other ways, too. I’ve had about 25-30 jobs and I’m only 29 years old. I loved jumping from job to job. I liked the thrill of being the new worker. Lots of attention on me. People are always nice, in the beginning. [Plus, I was allowed to make mistakes and I didn’t have to take full responsibility for the job, yet.] That’s why I liked it.
But I always found reasons to leave and I usually quit in explosive rage at one of the workers.
I justified my leaving because the place sucked (and maybe with McDonald’s that was true, haha).
I was always disappointed when the “newness” wore off and I stopped getting kindness, “love,” and attention that I was so desperately missing from my childhood. My current job is, by far, the longest job I’ve ever had. Almost a full 4 years, now.
I even find excuses to move. I’ve lived in about 25 different places, over my life so far [although the move when I was 6 years old was not my choice, of course].
I switch grocery stores, too. I don’t even like to park in the same spot at home and work. I change it up, just for fun.
EXCUSES FOR REPEATEDLY SWITCHING SAA MEETINGS
- I didn’t like how that one guy tried to hug me.
- It’s too far of a drive.
- They aren’t interested in listening to me, anyway.
- The chairs are too close together and I feel uncomfortable.
- I don’t like driving at night.
- The whole “god” thing is a turn-off.
- I want to keep exploring all my options for recovery.
- Sick of going to churches.
- The general area doesn’t feel safe.
- I feel left out of the circle when I don’t want to hold hands.
- It’s too crowded.
- I need time to myself.
I shy away from people who show a healthy interest in getting to know me and I chase after the cute guy who I’m sexually attracted to but who is unavailable, for various reasons.
“A MIND THAT IS STRETCHED BY A NEW EXPERIENCE CAN NEVER GO BACK TO ITS OLD DIMENSIONS” (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.)
Well, shit. Now that I realize what’s going on, I can’t keep doing it and consciously lie to myself that “it’s alright.” I can grow and learn. I can do this! Yay.
It’s pretty difficult, though. I’m not sure how to stop being attracted to the wrong type of guy (aka: “Mr. Unavailable”). How can I possibly stop this? Is this another thing that will get fixed by loving myself? I wish there was an alternative way.
ENGULFED BY MOM, ABANDONED BY DAD
My mom was unable to get her emotional needs met, so she looked to my younger sister and me to compensate. As children, we didn’t know hot to fit adult needs, but we survived as best as we could.
Into the teen years, when I tried to naturally figure out who I am, that process had stunted growth. I didn’t know how to get my emotional needs met because so much focus was on taking care of my mom’s emotional needs.
The relationship engulfed me and stopped me from growing. I wasn’t even aware that I was allowed to have my own personality, needs and wants until I was 28 years old.
That, mixed with my dad’s controlling personality, and I wasn’t able to properly mature.
I grew up fearing intimacy with both men and woman.
WORK ATMOSPHERE FEELS LIKE CHILDHOOD AGAIN
I am afraid that being intimately vulnerable will mean that I will lose myself—lose my very soul. I fear that in boyfriend relationships, as well as friends.
My current work atmosphere is very triggering because I feel like I’m not allowed to have needs and wants—I have extremely very little say when it comes to how materials look, even though my job title [would suggest that I am the main person to decide such a thing].
The work atmosphere feels very toxic and I am surrounded by women who remind me of my evil mother.
I am miserable at work. All walls are up. No emotion is allowed, or else I’ll be made fun of, with sarcastic jokes, as they seem to like to do, around here.
It is my childhood all over again.
I fear that all jobs will have this miserable atmosphere. I fear that my only options are either this place… or McDonald’s type of jobs.
I AM MY MOTHER’S DAUGHTER
I grew up harboring a deep resentment towards my parents, but it was subconscious. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, and why I had such immense amounts of rage towards my parents.
Especially my mom.
On the outside, she seemed like a sweet, innocent girl. But that was exactly the problem—inside herself, she was an emotionally immature little girl who didn’t know how to properly take care of herself and get her needs met.
…Exactly like me, eh? Yup. Her bullshit was fucking passed down directly to me. Probably my sister, too.
Except this time, I’m going to heal myself. I’m still in recovery, and I’m doing what I can, now. Slowly, my needs will be met and maybe I can toss in a couple wants, too. 🙂
[Note on the side of the page:] It’s amazing I can write all this without feeling rage, right now. Sure, I am upset but I also feel calm and feel good to finally understand more of my past. It is healing to write. I’m glad to have this journal.
MY MOM’S DEATH
It is no wonder, though, that I felt relief when she died in my mid-20s. I was probably subconsciously happy that I didn’t have to take care of her anymore.
In her last years, she lived in a different house [than I grew up in, because she and my dad divorced shortly after I moved into the dorms and began college], with my sister.
I am absolutely positive now that my sister took on a motherly, care-taker role towards my mom. My sister might have been codependent, too.
She once told me, if I recall correctly, that she tried to throw away mom’s alcohol. Did mom become an alcoholic after the divorce? I don’t know. I got the hell out of there when I was 18. So I wasn’t really taking care of my mom after that. But the guilt and pressure from the remaining living family members was still there.
The family was angry that I did not cry at the funeral. Made fun of me for being emotionless, cold, uncaring, selfish, and other such names. They don’t realize what I feel inside. Will they ever figure out the shit that was happening in the past? I don’t care. I am figuring it out. That’s all that matters.
It’s one big family curse. Who was at the center? With addiction, doesn’t it usually center around a single person?
Maybe now it’s time to look at my dad—the monster of terror and horror in my dreams.
QUESTIONS TO ASK SOMEONE
In my very first meeting of SAA, I felt like I wanted to act out with every single guy in the room. The demographics didn’t matter. Every guy. What is a good way to deal with feelings like that, other than to stop attending the meetings?
I just wanted to be used by them and thrown away.
MAJOR PROBLEMS BETWEEN MY PARENTS
My sister once said that dad was a workaholic. How serious is that addiction? Is it similar to, say, a shopaholic or a chocolate addict? Or is it a serious disease like alcoholism or drug addiction?
I also heard that dad cheated on mom, although I have no solid memories of that. I just remember the one night when my mom tried to destroy the computer with a hammer because she thought he was talking to a woman online.*
*[Note: That was when I was 17. My dad was in the computer room and my mom came at him with a hammer. She was intending to smash the keyboard, but he thought she was attacking him. They struggled and he was already downstairs by the time I came out of my room to see what was going on. My mom was in the hallway floor, crying, with a bloody mouth. I suspect that he (accidentally?) hit her face or mouth and because she had braces on her teeth, it was easier than normal for her mouth and gums to be cut. “Your father hit me!” she cried as the blood dripped down her chin. I always hated that phrase: Your father did this, Your father did that. “Your”… as if he was my responsibility, as if his actions were my fault. I went downstairs to get his view on what happened because at the time, I liked him slightly better than my mom (this was before the night he threw me against the wall and pinned me down on the floor). He was crying, sitting on the couch, clearly upset. I think he said something about how the relationship isn’t working; I don’t quite remember. I just went back upstairs into my room, and blasted Nine Inch Nails music. I think my sister tried to comfort one or both of them.].
I seem to vaguely remember suspecting my dad of having relationships in the places he traveled to across the country, for work. I never knew any details, though. [Note: My aunt, his sister, once told me that he was cheating on my mom the very day that I (or was it my sister?) was brought home from the hospital, as a baby. He wasn’t there because he was at another woman’s house, or something like that. I don’t know for sure.]
Was he a sex addict, love avoidant, and workaholic?