Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Needy

On a drive to a recent therapy session, I found myself thinking of several incidents where I realized just how needy I was.  And still am.

1.      In high school (or perhaps late middle school?), a popular and pretty girl signed my yearbook with what I realize now was generic hobgobble
a.       You’re such a great guy!
b.      It was awesome this year!
c.       Stay sweet!
d.      Keep in touch!
e.       You’re so cool!
I latched onto those phrases and was all, “be still my beating heart”.  As I fell into this memory, I felt embarrassed at how quickly and solidly I latched onto the attention I perceived at that time.  My desire to be loved by females in particular was deeply rooted, but it was also due in part to my pubescence.  Still, thinking about all these years later, I could see how heavily I jumped onto her generic writing.  Here was this idol, I thought, and she’s writing to me, she knows me.  How embarrassing.

2.      Also in high school, I had a foreign language teacher, very exotic, whom I crushed on.  In her class, I was goofy enough for her to know me, and know me she did.  Herein was more of the attention was desperately craving that I didn’t realize I craved until many years later.  The pinnacle of this occurred when I was helping her move textbooks from her class to a supply closet.  It was pure joy.  At one point, I had a stack of books in my arms, and when she went to take them from me to put on the shelves, she grazed my groin area.  I think the world stopped for an instant.  After, she pushed me back to her classroom in a rolling chair.  I told only my closest friend at the time, and of course we high-fived. 

But now, I’m looking at that incident and thinking, how embarrassing that an accidental graze could turn me upside down.  How badly was I longing for attention that I wasn’t receiving from my mother (not romantic, but loving, caring attention) that I would explode a nothing incident to a ground-shaking firework display?  And then of course, I carried that with me to present day, bringing that toxic thought and behavior to my marriage.

3.      A third incident I thought of occurred in college.  I believe there was a photo posted on Facebook that looked as if I was slapping the air.  I captioned it with the main idea of it looked as if I was slapping “something”.  A girl I knew posted a comment underneath responded with an obviously flirty, “yeah, my ass!”.  Immediately after I tried getting closer to her, talking to her more, upping my flirting. 

As I thought about this in my car, I became damn near mortified.  How could I take something like her comment and run with it so much so that I thought there could be something there?  I was embarrassed at my behavior and my feelings about her comment.

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These incidents were testaments to how extensive the lack of love and caring was for me, that I so thoroughly latched on to these incidents, thinking that maybe there could be more attention for me.  I didn’t realize I wasn’t getting it were I should have been getting it from, but now, it’s that much clearer to me.

9 comments:

  1. My thought: Sexual attention confused as love because love didn't exist.

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    1. It was most definatley some kind of sexual attention which I substituted for true love and caring. I took that and ran with it...straight into Toxicity.

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  2. I know I've got a deep neediness. Mine manifests differently, though. I tend to be blind to affection the more I want to see it, if that makes any sense at all. It's like the more into a person I am, the less likely I am to see the signs, a way of further depriving myself of what I desire so much. It takes a ton of bricks to get me to recognize that someone likes or cares about me (this isn't solely for sexual relationships -- it's platonic ones too)

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    1. I would just as soon keep and latch onto - in one way or another - a possible romantic relationship or a platonic one. Actually, I'm pretty sure I didn't have any platonic male-female relationships; indeed I spent a great deal of time latching onto whatever interest was there or not. These three incidents serve to illustrate the vast expanse of my latchitude, and how deeply rooted my longing for love was. Love in both the romantic and parental sense.

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  3. Any attention better than being ignored. I saw myself in this post. I totally took the simplest of attentions and created total dream castles out of them. I am learning to see the real thing now.

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    1. I'm still embarrassed at how I reacted. Hindsight is a pretty powerful thing. I absorbed, or try to absorb so many people that there was really no hope of finding whatever I actually was. It's sad, to know how desperately I needed love that I would absorb those nothing words.

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  4. I'm embarrassed to admit that this level of neediness describes the first 50 years of my life.

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    1. But now we know, and as they say...knowing is half the battle. Sometimes it's like 60/40 though isn't it or it fluctuates. Either way, it's such a terrific battle, sometimes it exhausts me.

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  5. Hi, Where you feel that embarrassment is exactly where you need to be tender with yourself. Self-nurture now by letting go of that shame. That's a toxic effect from being raised in an effed household. I say this because it reminds me so much of me as a little girl, ravenous for *any* affection. Left so hungry b/c my parents were unfit to be parents. This led me to years of sexual abuse by a few perverts, starting at like 7 or 8. Like you, I carried this 'vulnerable neediness' with me for years beyond childhood. It's great that you're willing to discuss this stuff...it's so helpful to the readers too!

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