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Old 12-17-2010, 12:52 PM
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Friday, Dec. 17th 2010, 5:13 AM

The fear issue with Cricket comes down to a fear of someone I love rejecting me, IE saying "You're not good enough to be my lover". So, let's explore this recently discovered fear of rejection.

I suppose it starts in childhood. I had a hell of a time making friends. I had been to 7 different schools, three of them twice (for a total of ten different moves) before 6th grade. I still haven't figured out why yet, but I was always a social outcast, up until the day I graduated high school. Part of that (I'm guessing) was my zero tolerance for anything I percieved to be an insult or "being fucked with". I took EVERYTHING personally, so one kid would say something wrong, I'd get pissed off and hostile, and the next thing I know, them and all of their friends are picking on me all year long. Add to this the fact that I was small, AKA an easy target, and the situation rapidly started involving anyone who wanted someone to pick on. I was a small kid with no friends - is there a BIGGER invitation for bullies?

This changed when I started learning how to fight. All the sudden middle school hit and I was no longer an "easy target". I was seen as dangerous, but I still was small, had a bowl cut, and basically looked like a white Steve Urkel with bad acne instead of braces, but including the annoying voice (puberty was unkind to me). Add to this the fact that
my family was always below the poverty line and my mother was a religious psychopath with a whole host of her own psychological issues who refused to allow me to have/attend the normal social experiences kids my age should have had because they were "a bad influence on a christian boy", and you end up with a dangerous, bitter boy with a serious underdog complex and not a snowball's chance in hell of acting or socializing like a "normal person". I had no idea how to even approach people and initiate a conversation, let alone how to make people like me.

That changed one day in 7th grade. I was watching this one kid bully someone other than me for a change - actually, someone who also liked to fuck with me on occasion - And I just snapped on him. I ended up putting him in the hospital after kicking his ass and slamming his head in the lid of one of those flip-top desks with the storage area underneath the writing surface. I got suspended for ten days, but I also made my first friend. The guy I stood up for - someone who had been fucking with me fairly often up until now - not only saw me as something other than a social reject, but also wanted to talk to me, didn't mind being seen with me in school, and even wanted to hang out with me after school.

Fighting became my only means of gaining "social acceptance", for lack of a better term. I still had no idea how to start a conversation with someone I didn't know, but I knew that if I hurt the people who were hurting/fucking with them, then I would gain acceptance. So I started targeting bullies and tough guys, litertally stalking them to get an opportunity
to hurt them. I got hurt plenty too - there's a reason I've had my nose broken 8 times and been hit with more random objects than I care to list, not to mention the other host of injuries. I got suspended so often in 10th grade that I had to drop out and get home schooled to pass that year, but for the first time in my life, I had a group of people who thought I was "cool", and a smaller, close-knit group of dangerous outcasts like me who truly cared about me as a person. Most of the latter group I am still friends with to this day, and consider to be family - we've been through far too much together
for me to see them as anything else.

I "protected" people to earn their acceptance, including working as "security" for the biggest drug dealer in school. Suddenly, my poverty-line family wasn't an issue anymore, because I was getting paid to break people in both weed and money. For me at the time, the physical pain, broken bones, and bad grades were more than worth it. Of course, when you
hospitalize someone by slamming the edge of a textbook into their throat or breaking the handle of the janitor's mop over their face, you definitely make enemies out of their friends, so the fighting not only continued, but it escalated at an alarming rate. Eventually, I wouldn't go anywhere without a knife - at least - on me at all times, and very rarely without "backup", AKA my fellow outcasts to watch my back and jump in if the numbers game got to be to much for me to handle on my own. We started referring to ourselves as a wolfpack, or simply "the pack", because we fought and cared for each other like a pack does.

There's also the fact that most "normal people" simply don't want to associate with a violent, dangerous sociopath (which is what I had turned into), so while I finally had some friends, I was more ostracised from normal society than
ever before.

So what does all of this have to do with my fear of rejection?

I was constantly afraid of not being "useful" or "letting down" my friends both the real ones and the ones that were just using me for my "talents". (Why else would any "sane" human being keep fighting after getting cut with a knife or hit by a baseball bat?) And honestly, how was I to know the difference between the tow groups of people I hung out with?
I had grown up with a mother that only showed her love when I "met her approval" and a stepfather who had no idea how to be a dad or how to relate to me - not that the man didn't try, Tyr bless him. He had no idea what he was getting into with me when he married my mother. Not only that, but in my last entry I said that "I think everyone is keeping score"
in reference to who I think is judging my worth. That's not entirely true. While I felt (feel) like everyone was (is), I didn't care about a lot of those people after awhile, to the point that I would have felt nothing if I watched them get hit by a car and die - or at least I pretended I didn't, even to myself. I'm honestly not sure which is more true, whether I
truly didn't care about them or I was just hiding it from myself and everyone else. I still had very little tolerance for insults or criticism from other people, so I obviously cared to some degree that no one would see me as "weak" or "lower than them". But the people I DID care about.... their approval meant EVERYTHING to me. It became the way I measured my own self worth. So if one of them rejected me or criticised me, it devastated me mentally and emotionally.

I think this is something that I have never truly gotten over, no matter how hard I try to hide it. I am an extremely cocky, arrogant person, and I feel that I have every right to be after surviving the things I have, but that arrogance is not the same thing as self worth. I still measure my self worth according to how the people I care about view me. Their "rejection", whether percieved or real, destroys me. If they reject me as a friend (or even worse, as a lover) then I am CONVINCED that I did something wrong, or that I'm not good enough for them. And I so desperately want to be, I obsess over what I have to do to convince them to "take me back", so much so that I have a really hard time grasping the concept of this break between me and Cricket having nothing to do with me - my ingrained response
is to question why I'm not good enough, or what I'm doing wrong. I have to remind myself HOURLY that this isn't "my fault", and it still never really sinks in, even after her repeatedly telling me this.

As a side note, I think my emotional disconnection - full blown sociopathy - started in high school, as a way to "cope" with feelings of rejection, particularly from my mother and even more so from girls. Let's be honest here: the "bad boy" image only works when you look the part, which I definitely did not. Thanks to my mom, I was regularly wearing christian shirts to school with my bowl cut, mangled glasses, and skinny build. I stopped feeling anytihng at all except for anger or a vague sense of amusement - and a fanantical, nearly homicidal loyalty to those I "cared" about. I'm
honestly not even sure it qualifies as love, although I thought it did at the time. Mohegan started to break that down 8 years ago, and Cricket helped Mohegan to finally break me free of it completely .

Now don't misunderstand me, it's AMAZING to actually feel things like love and happiness again. But after not feeling them for literally half my life, I have no idea how to deal with things like sadness, emotional pain, resentment, jealousy, fear... basically any negative emotion. I literally have NO coping mechanisms for these things, and I'm trying to learn them on the fly, while going through one of the hardest things I've faced, and without driving away someone I love who just desperately needs the time and space to deal with her own badly damaged psyche.

So yeah.... that's where I am right now.
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