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killer diller
13 March 2010 @ 07:38 am
i don't feel as safe here as i should if i'm going to write from my heart, because i feel i shouldn't talk as openly as i need to. the truth is that it's none of you, my friends, that make me feel this way. it's because of a past relationship that brought out a lot of feelings of worthlessness and pain that i hadn't been in touch with before then. the behaviour involved in that relationship hurt me so much that i could hardly function. if i'm honest, i am still more hurt than i would like to be. i loved that person. not love-by-infatuation, but love as m. scott peck wrote about it. she couldn't believe me, and i knew that. the more time that passed, the more i tried everything i could think of that would allow me to become "better", so that i would be accepted and loved. i was convinced that i needed to work to be worthy of respect. a part of me is still trying to let go of that twisted notion. what i imagined was going to be a sweet, tender relationship based on deep respect and intimacy, became a constant struggle for control--something i didn't want. i just wanted her as she was. i ended up feeling like a rat in an experiment. this is a perfect example from a book my counselor recommended:

        "let's say that you have a rat in a box with a lever. you teach the rat to press the lever. every fifth time he presses the lever, he is rewarded with some food. the rat quickly learns to press the lever five times so he can claim his reward. but if you stop giving the rat food, he will quickly abandon the exercise and quickly goes back to doing whatever it is that rats do.
         now let's say that you intermittently reinforced the rat with food; that is, you vary the reward schedule. sometimes you reward the rat after two lever presses. sometimes you wait until the fifteenth press. you alternate the reinforcement so he never knows to expect the food.  then, once more, you take away all the food pellets. but the rat keeps pressing the lever. he presses it twenty times. no food. he presses some more. he thinks, "perhaps the human is waiting for the ninety-ninth press this time."
        when a behaviour is intermittently reinforced, extinguishing the behaviour takes a lot longer once the reward has been removed."

-stop walking on eggshells
what i'm saying is that i went through a lot, and i am not yet in the clear. but i'm getting there. i'm coming back to myself in a strong way, because of the time and effort (a.k.a. love) i've put into it.

i did what was right for me. i cared, but it wasn't enough. after i realised that, i knew i had to take care of myself. in the eyes of some of the most sound people i know, it's all so simple  -- i deserve to be treated with a lot of respect. i think they're right. i'll start with expecting it from myself.

the best part of good therapy is realising that you don't have to hurt anymore. you don't have to use that "over-conscience" you've developed. you don't have to please anyone. most of the time i really do feel that way, but there are still bad days. it was louis who finally put it to me in a way i could understand -- i had compassion for other people, but none for myself. that's called projection. i have to re-learn to respect myself. i have to learn that it's okay to feel outraged when i'm unjustly treated.

think about kids. you're seven or eight and someone tells everyone something mean about you. what happens? you forget about them. you know it wasn't right and you think they're crummy. no amount of popsicles or parental interventions are going to save it, because deep down, all kids come ready-built with an understanding of how things work. the mean kid has to seek forgiveness. if they won't, there is a chance they'll be forgotten. that is because a remorseful heart inspires action where a guilty heart will inspire withholding. exceptionally perceptive beings (re: kids and a few adults) know the rule. i think we're made that way to protect ourselves. because none of us are supposed to forgive in the real sense of the word until there is atonement. what a kid does, and what i can remember doing, is be true to themselves. they're genuine. forgiveness should only come when a genuine effort is made. when a kid gets up from the sand, after having it thrown in their face the first time, and immediately walks across the playground to sit beside a new kid, they are making an effort to forgive themselves. kids know what kind of treatment they are entitled to without being told. why do so many people forget once they're old enough to know better? love. better, a lack of.