I’m interpreting this as:
“Who do you really wish you could be more like?”
Because it’d be great if — at least more often — I was able to be myself.
That’d be really cool
Because I’m really cool…
At least when I’m being myself.
When I’m trying to be something I’m not — I become a total dork.
Maybe that’s because a dork is something I’m not
Except when I’m trying not to be a dork
And pretty much ensure I become exactly that.
But to the extent that I’m able to be myself,
I’d say I’m pretty heroic.
I can do all sorts of stuff that no one else could possibly do.
For instance, I’m pretty smart, right?
I have a big brain, and I know how to operate it
And I bet none of you
Even if I gave you a week or a month or a year
Could figure out how to operate my brain.
But for me, it’s cake
If I want to make it think a thought
I can do it — BAM! — just like that.
For you to figure out how to do that
It would likely take a very long time.
But for me, it’s easy.
Of course, I was very lucky
Because I was born with it located very conveniently
Right inside my skull
And since no one else has access to it
That sort of gives me a natural advantage
Since I have full ownership rights and all
See, making my brain perform
Total magic like that accidental rhyme back there…
I’m afraid that’s my power alone.
I’m sure you must have other talents
Here’s some silliness…
On Saturday night, a friend took me to her favorite Argentine Tango club.
This wasn’t no show-dance stuff. It was the kind you can imagine where they’re all close-embraced and wrapping into and around and melting into each other with that really slow and sensual lovemaking vibe, like sloths playing twister, but possibly even more sexy.
As my inner nature is quite sloth-like, I instantly decided I needed to do this.
So on Tuesday I started beginner classes. I picked it up pretty easily and earned a lot of compliments from my partners, including several who thought I was one of the instructors.
Then yesterday, Wednesday, I picked up another class and practice session at a different school run by a former competitor, Colette. As the lesson went on, I found I was being paired up with more experienced partners, until by halfway through the practice session it became clear that she’d decided I was her future tango star and was lining me up to dance with her best ladies and herself.
Totally serious — it was ridiculous. And while I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the “buzz” that was going around, I got some hella good instruction and got them all to teach me some cool tricks. My mind was completely blown several times — like when one of them taught me how to get her leg wrapped around mine — and it hit me.
“Holy fuck, I’m actually doing tango.”
It’s definitely time for me to lay off a major distraction and take care of some stuff I really need to. I imagine I may pop in from time to time, but I don’t expect to be “back” until certain things are settled into place.
Meanwhile, I’d love for you to check in: jollilama at gmail.
The same things apply to men, of course. I escaped from the same situation a year and a half ago, and I’m still recovering. It continues to eat at me that it can be so difficult 1) to detect, and 2) to get validation of your experiences and speak out when *everyone* loves them and no one is the wiser.
Putting together my psychology background and some helpful books, I’ve gotten much better at spotting potentially abusive people, but…. you just never really know. And once you feel you’re certain… the question of what the hell can you do about it becomes pretty all-consuming. Especially when none of your friends is showing any signs of even starting to believe you.
And where it gets really tricky…
Not only does your entire world get turned upside-down, but it’s so easy to take on undeserved guilt, because you’ll have taken on some of those “watch list” behaviors yourself in small ways, just in attempt to create some type of rapport amidst the crazy-making. You’re always wondering if the problem is that you’re being a jerk, or if you’re being too much of a pushover, or not being empathetic enough, or you’re just imagining things… or… or… or…
And that guilt is what gets you stuck.
In fact, that guilt… is what got *them* stuck. Abusive people are stuck in a self-reinforcing loop in which their deep sense of guilt— usually something from childhood — encourages them to act out in ways that validate their sense of perpetual guilt. Like many of us raised in less-than-ideal environments, they have an emptiness deep down inside suggesting that they are “not good enough” or even “unlovable.” So they spend their lives overcompensating, trying to prove they’re “good” and “awesome” and worthy of the love they cannot feel. But for some… they further project their unwanted guilt onto others and manipulate them into acting out their own “bad” side. And it’s fairly common that they will pick just one person, such as a spouse, to fulfill that role.
To whatever degree you can relate to the guilt and associated self-esteem drag, please know that you can release it. It comes from forgiveness— both of the people who hurt you, and mostly, of yourself.
Forgiveness doesn’t imply letting anyone off the hook. On the contrary it involves taking clear responsibility for your own contributing actions and failures, separating out others’ responsibilities, and releasing the leftover anger that’s been hanging around way past its motivational usefulness. And then very courageously taking the step to “accept”— What’s done is done, and What is… is fact, but just a momentary fact… as you allow it to evolve into something way better. Which is freedom.
As for identifying a problematic situation at an early stage, the list Mayjah posted is pretty good, as long as you keep in mind that it’s most healthily used to diagnose a relationship -- not a person. Because once stuff is turned upside down and you’re feeling guilty for every little thing, you’ll get stuck in a perpetual “blame game” if you go trying to do diagnosis. But— if you’re in any kind of relationship where that kind of shit starts happening, you need to seriously consider as undramatic escape as possible.
And then start learning to identify the signs early and often… and get yourself help if you need it. It can take a long time to recover, especially depending on how badly you’ve been duped.
But in any case, the real trick is find a way for the anger to illuminate the guilt you’ve been carrying around your whole life. Because the guilt you feel now and every time you get into that same sort of situation… it’s the same emotion from way back when. Find that one. Forgive the parent who didn’t give you an ice cream cone when you were three or left you in the shopping cart when you were two. And from there, the rest will follow.
Feeling like I need a long break from the Internet.
Not that that would actually happen.
Even if I should totally consider it.