Intimacy: Using, Being Used and What I Really Want
I was driving to work this morning when I started talking out loud: “Dear Universe, Dear God, Dear Great Grandma, Dear Guardian Angels… I’m a little irritated this morning. I’m not actually mad at him. I’m mad at myself. I hurt myself. I gave a piece of my spirit, my energy, my body to someone who probably didn’t deserve it. I’m upset because I’ve developed a really unhealthy pattern when it comes to intimacy and relationships.”
Normally I don’t really care (I’m all for sexual exploration and expression as long as you do it safely and you both consent) but this time I’m really bothered. I’m bothered because I kinda liked him. I thought he was a nice guy. What does that even mean? Actually it doesn’t matter because that's besides the point.
I’m not actually mad at him, I’m mad at myself.
I keep saying that I want to have this deep intimate connection with someone but my actions do not reflect what it is that I say I want. I’m in cognitive dissonances (I’ve been finding myself here a lot lately)
The player, the user, the cheat; you are not the one who scares me. You, I know very well. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. Don’t let my moment of promiscuity fool you. I used you to feed my insecurity, my shame and my pain. The pain is what’s familiar. I know you won’t be here for long. You will not be there to lick the wounds I’ve created with you. I know you don’t care. Show me just how worthless I am tomorrow when you don’t call. You got what you wanted and I gave it to you freely and willingly.
I pretend I don’t care. I pretend you didn’t just take a sliver of my soul.
The one I fear is the one who wants to make me his world; the one who strokes me gently and kisses me softly. I’m afraid of the one who will just let me lay there and hold me. He is the one who will know the difference between my smile of joy and my facade of agony. I’m afraid of one who will take the time to realize that even at 29 years old, I’m still that eighteen year old girl begging for a man to tell her “You are lovable. You are more than your body. One man did a really fucked up thing to you but there is a man who will love you for everything you are. You are beautiful. You have such a big heart. You are also really fuckin weird and I love that about you”
I say I want all this but I’m terrified of it. I’m afraid for you to love me. What if I allow you to love me and I’m not enough. What if you fall in love with me and I can’t live up to your expectations. Even more terrifying, what if I am as great as you think I am.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I had an epiphany.
Every time I push someone who loves me away, I have to justify this to myself. I tell myself I’m pushing you away to save you from me. Subconsciously, my limiting beliefs are: I am not enough. I’m only good enough to sleep with. People always leave. Love is a quantifiable exchange. Love is conditional.
My pattern supports that belief.
Let’s examine my pattern: I meet a guy. I’m captivated by something about him (notice not who he is, something about him). He’s nice, he powerful, he plays the guitar, he’s intelligent, he’s quirky, he has a six-pack, he’s artistic, (insert superficial things here). This something is usually something I want in myself (thank you years of therapy for helping me realize that I fall in love looking through fragmented glasses). This is not fair to that person nor is it sustainable might I add. I’m infatuated with this person. They chase me. I sleep with them. I lose interest. Or, I sleep with them and they really like me then I push them away.
I am the master of the push away. I have to push you away because you can’t love me. I’m not loveable. I’m damaged goods. I’m not enough and I’m not deserving of your love. If I allow you to love me then you are challenging my (negative) beliefs about myself. Then what would I do?
These beliefs enable me to live in mediocrity. I don’t have to love myself if you continue to support my belief that I’m not enough. I don’t have to get uncomfortable. I don’t have to step up and I most definitely don’t have to shine.
What I just realized is that my limiting beliefs about intimacy actually have nothing to do with men or other people. All this is about me and my lack of love for myself.
This whole time I thought I was afraid to fall in love. I ran away from it with all of my heart. I ran away from people who loved and cared about me.
I’m not afraid that you will fall in love with me, I’m afraid that I’ll fall in love with myself!
Falling in love with myself would mean, I would have to give up my very real habit for self-inflicted pain (it’s an actual thing, Google it). Loving myself would mean that I am worthy. I would have to stop settling, even for my own bullshit. I’ve been waiting for someone to fall madly and hopelessly in love with me. I'm finally here! It’s me I’ve been waiting for and I finally showed up.
I have so much more to say but this post is going to be way too long. Maybe there’ll be a part two. What are some of your limiting beliefs? Don’t fall for your own B.S. A belief is just a thought you’ve convinced yourself to believe. I’m going to take some time to work on dismantling mine now. This specific one is a belief that I’m finally ready to let go. I’m finally ready for true intimacy.