Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nobody loves me, nobody cares

Those are the words that go through my head when I turn on my phone after yoga class and find that no one’s emailed, texted, tweeted, commented, left a voicemail, tried to be in touch. When someone says they’ll call right back and the call doesn’t come. When no one else picks up the ball when I’m too busy to be the planner of everything I’m involved in and stuff falls apart if I don’t make it happen.

Nobody loves me, nobody cares. Is that true? Intellectually I know of course it’s not true. I’m surrounded by people who love and appreciate me. But, still, there it is. Like a quiet chant that seeps in whenever, wherever it can, those words quietly deflate me.

I expect to be disappointed.

Yesterday, as I explained my overview life map concept to a friend (that was the subject of yesterday’s musings), he matter-of-factly told me that yes, I expect to be disappointed. I am sure the worst is waiting for me. Well, not the worst that life can bring, but the most painful to me. I expect indifference, disinterest, that I don’t register on anyone’s radar, that I’m not important enough to make an effort for, that I’m inconsequential in other people’s lives.

That thought slapped me upside the head. In a casual conversation, I discovered the theme of my life. Not that it was hiding anywhere. Nobody loves me, nobody cares. It’s pervasive. All encompassing. My default mode. I can rise above it, but there it is, like a familiar blanket, waiting to wrap me up tight whenever it can.

Why is this where I go? My wise friend Amy said the question shouldn’t be why—it should be how to keep it from happening again. But, it’s hard not to examine, delve, put pieces together for glimpses of understanding and insight. It could be that my brother was gravely ill when I was too little to remember and my parents were distracted, distressed, often physically and emotionally unavailable. At least, that’s what I’m guessing. We rarely talk about any of this. Yesterday my brother called me, shocked to have discovered I’d suffered from seizures as a baby. He never knew I’d been found turning blue in my crib. More than once. I know that when Jack was having seizures I had tremendous trouble coping. My panic and fear almost incapacitated me. Maybe having two kids grappling with terrifying issues was too much. My parents both came from emotionally stunted families (although, to be honest I’m pretty sure there wasn’t much communicating going on in most families back then) and their default mode was shutting down. My mom ate and read mysteries. My dad put headphones on and listened to classical music. Much more must have going on inside, but that’s how it looked to me. I remember wanting to spend time with them and being told there must be something wrong with me that I’d prefer family to friends. But, I had no true friends. I didn’t think anyone liked me. I was so afraid of that being true, I gave up trying.

If my family didn’t want to be with me, why would anyone else?

(I still feel that)

Even now, it’s hard to trust, to be open, to believe people have my back. To ask for help, to extend myself, to trust that it will be ok in the end.

So, if I was to rewrite my story, to find a new way of thinking, being, feeling, maybe it’s that I have to love myself. That I need to care about me. And that looking for approval, acceptance from the outside will always let me down. If I can learn to find those things on the inside, the outside will get easier.

It’s a step folks.


Christopher said...

I write about the feelings of despair from childhood that have crept into my adult life on my blog all the time. I know what you mean. I was sure for a very long time that no one would ever truly love me.

They might love the part of me I was willing to show but I always felt like a fraud. Like I was hiding the true me. The me no one could like because he was so broken.

It is a constant fight but it is one I feel I have finally got a handle on. Even so I will have days, weeks where I am sure the sky is falling and someone is going to shout to the world what a fake I am.

You are not alone. it is just sometimes we forget to let you know we are out here.

Lauren said...

They were just doing their best. To change your mind about that nobody loves me refrain, you have to see yourself thinking that. I think you do now. Say to yourself, hmmm, really? Do I really believe that? Or is it more fun to whine? (sometimes it's more fun to whine, it really is). Then be relieved that nobody called, you get 30 more minutes to get centered before "life at Grand Central Station" starts up again. Maybe you could be more selfish with your time. The best way I've ever gotten myself to straighten up was deciding to change my mind. Of course all that's easy for me to say, I'm not standing in your yoga slippers.

squarepegperson said...

Unbelievably apropos that I saw a tweet today pointing to a post of yours (I follow you on Twitter, but this was someone else pointing)...came here and read a few posts and found this one...

I wrote a note to a friend today, basically saying what you said (not the specifics, but the FEELINGS!) - and asking her: "What do YOU do with those feelings?" (pretty sure she has them too, based on talks we've had).

What you wrote at the end:

" If I can learn to find those things on the inside, the outside will get easier. "

that's what I've been coming up with too - tho i'd LOVE a quicker, easier (can you say Fairy Godmother?) deal !

Love your honesty and vulnerability here! Thank you!