Sunday, January 17, 2016
Building Up Your Ability to Go Without Love or Acceptance
This is a good video. This is definitely a problem ACONS face. I had a time before I met my husband where I was all alone in the world. This was during my first no contact and all my college friends had graduated and returned to homes that were all hundreds of miles away. We can end up in a negative place where out of the fear of being alone, we give in to neediness and desiring the approval of others. It is a struggle for me.
When young, I put up with many toxic relationships because I feared being alone. Fortunately I ended up secure in my only romantic relationship and marriage which probably was pure luck in meeting a fellow Aspie but in many others I was not secure. I ended up with abusers at work, at college and in social gatherings. While in my 20s I learned to stand up for myself and fight, only in recent years I am only getting to the root of the problem. For all of us with a no contact of a couple years, you realize all the people you walked on from or went no contact with and think "What now?" The room is empty. You get afraid. At times you think, "Was I crazy to walk away from all these people?"
What was put in us, to even pursue love, attention and acceptance even from our families and other people who did not like us? Since I have been no contact the last two and half years, this is something I have asked myself. The desperate years of wanting these people to embrace and love me, and trying to hard to make it happen was very sad. What led to this? I suppose the lack of love that every child needs was an empty hole, we all desperately kept trying to fill.
Back in those days, it was better to have a friend no matter how badly they treated me. I had at least a few friends I didn't even like back in college just so I wouldn't have to sit at a dorm dinner table alone. One bored me to tears and had the emotional depth of a 1 inch puddle. Sometimes I had these people who treated me like absolute dirt as "friends" in my twenties. One even treated me like an annoyance, and there I was like a puppy dog going "please love me" for years.
I'm this old and realizing the life long implications of having a family that did not love me and the neediness I took out in the world. For those with "mean" mothers who rub popularity in the face of their daughters, some of us may even get the idea that our self-worth is tied up in how many people like us and and in full social calendars. This desperation was something real toxics used to their advantage. Many young ACONS can end up with narcissistic, or abusive or controlling romantic partners doubling their trouble.
Some good friends, we may need to take personal time for ourselves when facing troubles and emotional upheavals but I am talking about the other kind of relationships that too any ACONs learned to put up with that are toxic. Many of us attracted narcissists to ourselves. When you are in a deferential mode towards people it puts you in a bad position.
The therapist on the video is right about having an emotional backbone where you can stand alone and be okay with yourself. We don't want to be stuck in the trap forever of trying to get love and acceptance. We want self differentiation where we stay connected while being ourselves.
I asked on here, some time ago in article, "Can I be me?". Some of my social anxiety is arising out of this panic. Some of my social anxiety has worsened, in the last few years. I am not sure why or how, and even at times miss having more confidence and a fighting spirit. I have been burned so many times over the last few years, it makes sense. It may be as I dig down to the roots of this stuff, there are times like this.
The depth of my rejection was so intense, that I know there has had to be a lot of working to come out of it. There were times when I was teen and later where I don't even know how I stayed alive, since no one cared about me in the entire world. I was able to find myself and become my own individual person, and that in itself was a miracle, but I don't walk around anymore with this fear. Where I feel I must prove myself to people or that their opinion of me if it turns negative will destroy me. These are things that bring trouble to relationships, that insecurity. Add in Aspergers and the natural solitude that can come with severe illness and it's a complicated pictures.
I am working on accepting "being alone" and also asking "What do I like, and what do I want?" outside the definitions and strictures others have given me. He is so right about depression being a deficient of pleasure. I have kept myself out of the psych ward, just waking up some days and deciding, "I must have fun today". We don't want to be dependent on others to serve those needs. I know years ago that was something I was able to do in my 20s going out to eat alone or reading a good book or a movie.
It is an ironic paradox that when you need love and acceptance, you will get less of both.