"Good pain good pain good pain good pain"
This was my mantra while I was birthing my sons, and experiencing the most intense physical pain I have ever been in. This week, I've discovered an emotional pain so raw and intense that it left me quite literally sleepless, hungerless, tasteless and thoughtless. It took my breath away that in all that I've experienced in life, I had never quite felt grief and sadness like this. I also discovered that it was possible to sit with this pain...to live with it, and experience it, and learn from it. Most importantly, to learn from it...that it could become "good pain".
It took this catalyst to give me the impetus and courage to finally see what people had been trying to tell me for years. I finally had that "clunk" moment, where it all fell into place.
You see, I have "abandonment issues", as those psychoanalytical people like to call them. More simply, I'm perpetually paranoid that the people who are important to me, will bugger off on me. In fact, the more important they are to me, the more paranoid I am about this. Again, the psychoanalytical people can give you nice history on why this occurs - that I didn't have proper stable attachment figures as a child, that I never formed proper adult relationships based on true love and respect, that I have never learned to be happy with my own self etc., etc., etc. The most damaging part of this, was that I was driven by this nagging fear, to be seeking constant reassurance from those around me that they were still there, that they would continue to be there, that everything was OK. Ad nauseum.
My Dad, bless his cotton socks, has been trying to tell me for years "the thing is, you push people too much - you're always trying to get too close to people, too fast. Slow down!". I didn't get it. I mean, I vaguely got it, in the abstract...but I didn't really get it until this week. By constantly running around trying to ensure people weren't going to run off on me, I was chasing them so hard that...you guessed it, they had no choice but to run off on me. I was fulfilling my own fears by trying to fix relationships that weren't even broken in the first place.
And I was so driven to do this, because the idea of being alone was so terrifying to me, I'd do anything to ensure that I wasn't. I subjugated my whole "self" to those relationships - wanting to do anything, be anything, give up anything, to ensure that they continued. Which meant that the genuine people, who had initially been attracted to me for me, found that the person they liked, was no longer there. And therefore I fell into relationships with people who were more than happy to take advantage of my compliant nature, and developed a nasty habit losing myself.
This week, I finally realised, in that "truth has melded with mind" sort of way, what it truly means;
...that you have to love yourself, before you can properly love another
...that the only people worth having in your life, are those who want you, for YOU