Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Today is a long day...costume costumes costumes. I'm here late to watch a dress run through of the show, and I still have a couple items to pick up. Argh. Hopefully all will go well. I have yet to find a decent solution to my sweater problem for one of the characters, and I'm making a last ditch effort to scour the costume room for something decent.

I realize as of late, that I have trouble taking compliments. I also have trouble accepting affection ( be it verbal or something as simple as hugs) from people other than Mike. I must admit that much of the time I have a sense of feeling unworthy...and perhaps uncomfortable as a result. I am very elusive and reclusive as well, so said contact does not come easily nor has it ever. And my lack of self esteem has much to do with compliment acceptance.

I'm trying to pinpoint why this would be...embarrassment? While sometimes I may want attention, I feel uncomfortable when I actually get it. Even if its due me. I don't like being put on display necessarily, although it can make me feel good. I'm always afraid I'll sound like I've got an ego or something, so I keep it modest. Not that I would know much about actually having an ego. It just troubles me that I have such difficulty retaining the good things that people say about me and learning to internalize them, instead of getting wonked with the bad things - little as they may be compared to what good I've done and rolling around in them like a hot sweaty pig in a mud puddle.

Some part of me feels like I don't deserve it, I guess. I know I've bottled up a lot of shit from my past and it's still affecting me. Harsh words that were said long ago still bite. I'm not good at letting that kind of stuff go. Part of me is also afraid that if I do listen to the good that has been said of me, and start to believe it, that somehow I'll do something stupid and ruin it. Dumb thing to think, yes...but this is me - the chronic worrier we're talking about. Full of regret, bound by past mistakes and trying to painfully overcome them.

I have a way to rationalize that kind of shit though...if i am worried that I will ruin the situation, better to stay below it so I don't have far to fall. It's the fall that hurts. Treading the sewage is nothing after you've done it for a while. Ridiculous idea, and self defeating. But It's what I'm wrestling with for the moment.

I wish I could forget all the stupid things I've done and mistakes I've made over the years. I hate looking back on stuff and thinking...god, why the hell did I do that? I know humans aren't perfect, we weren't born that way and no one ever really does anything exactly right...but I find that I am so weighed down by the little problems and mishaps. Sometimes I feel like I was never forgiven for them. At the time, I didn't know any better. You're supposed to learn from mistakes. Why is it that decades later I'm only really getting a handle on it?

Maybe the reason I feel that I was never forgiven for my past misdeeds is because I still haven't forgiven myself. I am still my own best punishment. The fact that my back is in knots is proof enough. And why am I my own best punishment? Because I can see it coming. Because I can control it. Because when I have to, I can make it stop. No unexpected fits of yelling. No walking on eggshells. No hiding - I can't hide from myself.

I'm not good at forgiving myself. That's probably my biggest and worst flaw, aside from my absorption with fear. Part of me thinks I don't deserve it....perhaps I should smack that part upside the head with a skillet.

Oh the convoluted self protection schemes that I have developed. Even if it's protecting myself from something good. It takes a lot to get through my layer of defense these days. I avoid confrontation because I got large aggressive, traumatizing doses when I was little. I decided I already had enough I didn't need a second helping. I swallow a lot of pain, frustration, fear, anger. It always seemed to makes things worse to let out how I really felt.
Now it's that much harder to let people in.


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