I had a lovely evening with Lillers last night. Sometimes, just the physical presence of a friend can help with clarity. I hadn't been able to pinpoint what had been bothering me as of late, but as soon as I was adequately champagned and sitting across from one of my dearest friends in the world, I got a little weepy because I felt like I understood the situation a little better. She didn't even have to say anything, though much was said. The voices of the alternate selves, dom-sub sexual dynamics, fight or flight, parental influence, autism, kink and everything else can be all be discussed over the phone, but it's so much more effective in person.
I'm in a funk. I'm not too concerned about the funk, because it's pretty much self-induced. I need this funk. It's great that I've learned to be happy in the present, but I need to learn how to come to terms with the past. Over the past few years, I've mended a lot of the broken relationships, and now I'm stuck with the hardest task of all. I need to come to terms with all this residual self-hatred and doubt.
I separate my relationships into two distinct groups: people I met when I couldn't stand myself and people I met after I became somewhat comfortable in my own skin. My feelings toward the first group tend to be fairly intense, regardless of whether I actually have an active relationship with the person. However, my relationships with individuals in the latter group tend to be relaxed, casual, and what I'd consider to be "normal." I don't think I've ever harbored substantial feelings of resentment toward anyone I've met in the last five years. Sure, I may get annoyed or even furious with a person from time to time, but those feelings never hold a candle to the intensity of the emotions I feel toward the first group.
Really, the best word to describe it is obsessive. I frequently obsess over individuals from my distant past. I pick apart the meaning of every status update, I criticize their every move, I take pleasure in their shortcomings and (shamefully) mourn their successes. I haven't spoken to many of these people in years, but I still cling to every morsel of information about their lives that I can find like it's some sort of treasure.
I've tried to deal with this in different ways. The most recent has been consciously putting myself in a situation where I'm forced to look that person in the eye and reacquaint myself with the individual as a person rather than just an infuriating social networking profile. This practice in particular has really helped me find the root of the problem. At the end of the reunion, I will realize that "so-and so isn't so bad" and that I'm actually happy for them. At that point, all that's left is the raw self-hatred. The jealousy. The feelings of failure.
I'm not over it. I love who I've become, but I still have very intense, very present feeling of self-hatred. Not for who I am, but for who I was and who I am in relation to who I was. I don't hate people, I hate what I assume is their perceptions of who I am. I hate that they see the whole picture. I hate that they've seen me at my worst, but I never got the chance to show them Liz 2.0. It's not that I want to boast, because I don't think that Liz 2.0 is anything worth boasting about. It's just that I want to say, "That wasn't me. That was a very rough draft of a work in process."
Meeting the "villains" in person made me realize that it isn't the individual themselves that I'm obsessing over. I'm preoccupied with the made up voices in my head. That sounds way crazier than it actually is, but I'm not really sure how else to describe it. Anyway, I need to figure out a better way of dealing with my insecurities or I'm going to end up jaded and bitter.
More on this later. I'm going to finish chatting with Travis before heading to bed.
I find that I'm much more comfortable with the impromptu, spur-of-the moment trips a little more than the carefully drawn out holiday visits. Since this trip was fairly last minute, I wasn't able to overthink the schedule and I found it a little easier to relax.