I have not posted much for some time, mostly for two reasons: too much to say, or nothing to say. Mostly I have been doing some deep soul-searching, and treading the waters of my life. I say treading, because lately that’s what it feels like. I’m not drowning, but I’m far from swimming adeptly.
Soul-searching sounds cool, but it’s hard work. You find a lot of crap buried in there that you didn’t expect to find. Then you have to deal with it. If you’re lucky, you’ll face up to it and be able to transform/integrate it into your greater “Self”.
I just discovered something not so pleasant about myself. I have serious intimacy issues. This is from Harley Therapy Counselling Blog:
WHAT IS INTIMACY?
Intimacy is often mistakenly thought to just be about romance. But physical intimacy is only one form of this important aspect of human nature. The verb ‘intimate’ translates as ‘to make known’.
So intimacy is simply a term for letting yourself be closely known and experienced, even as you make an effort to deeply know and experience others.You can have intimacy with partners, friends, children, or siblings.
Well, this hit me hard the last day or so when a man I’ve been involved with for some time, and care for dearly, finally gave me an ultimatum. I detest those, but he may have helped me in a way that no one else ever has–because I realize now that I may have had these issues all my adult life. No one has ever cared enough to give me this opportunity.
I’ve been keeping him at a distance, even though he has been open and honest with me in every sense of the word. He has tried to coax me out in the gentlest and most patient of ways. But the closer and more open he became, the more closed up I’ve become. Was this on purpose? No. It is/was a self-defense mechanism. I even reasoned that it was his “pushiness” that was causing me to retreat. That he had expectations of me and that he was not accepting me as I was. When…in fact, he was really more than willing to take me with all my flaws. (Except of course my inability to commit in a real and loving way.)
I have been examining my past, and being raised in a very traumatic childhood where there was no reliability or trust in those that were my caretakers, I learned to wall myself off. I often felt betrayed as a child. Betrayed by the people I trusted. It never occurred to me that this was carried into adulthood. Until now.
I have rarely had boyfriends, even though I lived with a man for 19 years. He was as emotionally distant as I was. We were perfect for each other. Neither of us really got too close to the other one, even though we went through the motions of two people in a committed relationship. Don’t get me wrong, we loved each other very much. We just couldn’t express ourselves in the normal ways that a loving, intimate couple would.
Even my siblings have accused me of being “cold and unemotional”. I claimed that it was because I am a calm and even-keeled person. I am, but they are also right. I am unable to respond in a real and feeling way to those I am close to. But I will cry bucket-loads of tears over an emotionally intense scene in a movie, etc. That may be more of a way to release feelings that are otherwise bottled up?
In the past I have also used alcohol to overcome my resistance to intimacy. I realized some years ago that I was drinking to overcome fears…some anxiety. To be more open and carefree. What a crock. I was a pretend version of me.
When I cut out the heavy drinking, I practically became a homebody-recluse. Not much dating, a lot of time to myself. I did not seek out the company of friends even. I only interacted when someone initiated. How much I have deceived myself…is incredible to see now. I am probably only seeing the surface, too.
I need help, and I intend to get it. I’ve overcome a lot in my life, and I can overcome this, too. First I had to be aware of it. You can’t fix something if you don’t even know it’s there and broken.
The only thing I hope is that my friend will still be there when I contact him, and that he will be willing to work this through with me. He has made incredible strides in his own self-development, and I can’t help but think that the reason was so that he in turn could help me overcome this which I could not even see in myself.
Thanks for reading.