I feel like such a lunatic for typing it out but I am pretty convinced that I get some sort of strange pleasure out of feeling small. And by small I don’t mean physically, though I wouldn’t mind losing this tummy and (some of) this ass. I’m talking more along the lines of not as important as the person I’m with; insignificant. Like my needs and desires are respected but completely secondary.
Trying to figure out the reasons behind this one is tricky to me. For the longest time I DID believe this of myself. I felt worthless for being a fat person and my whole self image became wrapped up in that. Additionally, there are times when I find myself with people whose brains I envy I again feel small and not worthy. I don’t use big words. I stumble. I’m awkward. I am less than they.I know that these types of “small” are not healthy and so I work on them as much as I can.
And yet, last night when out with Harvey, after a bit of chat and laughter, I reveled in feeling unimportant. I craved the physical pain he inflicted on me in public because somehow it represented that mental feeling I was needing. I am an emotional masochist, this I see now. But this isn’t one of those times when I’m happy just saying “It is what it is.” I want to know WHY.
I’m not always like this. I like being with Andrew and not feeling small at all. I like to feel equal with some people, not at all with others. It really depends on the dynamic.
When I hang out with Harvey, I always want to feel special. For the first few years of our relationship I didn’t feel this and when it finally clicked that he cared about me, it was great. I still want that. I want to know that he cares about me, that he enjoys my company, that he finds me attractive … Basically that I please him. Let me be clear though; I don’t need someone else to be pleased with me in order to love myself. I’m a big fan of who I am, what I offer and my talents in this world. However I still really enjoy pleasing people.
And I know I do please him. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe knowing is boring. Maybe it’s just too easy for me to know that someone likes me. Maybe I like to occasionally wonder – depending on the person, even just a little bit, that what is actually true about my relationship with a lover could actually be different than what I believe.
Maybe that’s leftover from my days of no self worth. Maybe maybe maybe … blah blah blah.
What I’m noticing today, after hanging out with him in our old haunt that we hadn’t visited in months is that I felt a little out of focus, perhaps a little sad. It’s entirely possible that every time we’ve hung out and haven’t had much time for aftercare that I’ve gone through the same thing; I can’t be sure. What is strange to me is that I don’t find myself questioning his feelings about me the next day, just everyone else’s.
For example, as I sat there this afternoon talking with James online I became convinced that he had tired of me after a few weeks. Convinced that all the things he’s said recently that have been wonderful were going to disappear. A million and one times still convinced that he’s not attracted to me, but is being oddly polite about it. Why did I question his interest; ‘cos he was a little busy at work? No, because I CHOSE to let my self esteem take a hit.
And here’s why I think I do this occasionally, though I could be way off the mark. (Who can say, really …)
If I choose to give someone the power to make me feel small, it forces me to take the lead in making myself feel better. By being an emotional masochist I can also control my own mental aftercare needs. I have to ask myself “What do I need?” and then I have to have the strength and courage to actually ask people to help me fill those needs and feel safe. While I might feel a bit shaky today and have an inner dialogue that reads “OMG no one likes you.”; I know it’s not true. I know it’s not true because it wasn’t true yesterday. It wasn’t true last week and it won’t be true next week. I am taking full control of my self worth – admittedly in a fucked up way – not allowing it to suddenly go down the tubes without me aware that it’s happening.
So far, this is the only real answer that I have for my emotional masochism desires. It would be so easy to say that I like to be called worthless, a dirty slut for someone to use and abuse, but it’s not true. What is true is how much my battle with loving myself has affected a huge portion of my life and how I’m owning that shit. It’s a battle that I have since won, but – for whatever reason we could analyze to death – every now and then I like to test it. Because after a day of shaky uncertainty, I WILL come out on top. I WILL rise above and I WILL be as certain as I possibly can be about my value in this world.