Tuesday, September 9, 2008

changing my story

a month or so ago, a very good friend asked if I still wanted to be a marriage and family therapist. I laughed because I haven't mentioned that to anyone in around two years.

but it made me wonder, "from my past disclosures, what else do people still think is true of me?" --perhaps it's (an over-concern with others' perceptions of me) a remnant from the years of very insecure adolescence, or of very present-day narcissism, or fear of early death, in which case I never get to publish, figuratively, my life (I'm more than half sure I'll die young), but mainly I'm taking it as a sign that most in my life aren't the best sounding boards for figuring out my future.

what's rather consistent internally, is just bits and pieces in my friends' minds

even after trying so hard to "get real," cut the strings of my airs, double back and criticize myself this way and that way, reveal my strategic maneuvers--my playbook, expose my achilles's heels, render myself understandable, my good friends still remember anachronistic self-disclosures.

I have great friends and we have relationships that are healthy...it's just that I'm not all that healthy psychologically an individual--so I blame most disappointments on myself, on my petty scorekeeping, and on my inability to form friendships like average guys do.

there are three types of relationships that I long for:

romantic: should romantic love be one of self-discovery? well probably not--or at least not how I did it. the last time I was a boyfriend, I entered it with the enthusiasm and idealism of a novice. she would complete me and I, her. every crevice would get a flash light shone in it, psyches would be unfolded, pretenses would fall and the spirits of two individuals in embrace would conquer the anxieties of life. instead, she was more in it for normal love--not dime store psychoanalysis. we fought until words only made things worse and no amount of mental gymnastics could land me on the virtuous high beam. probably never great to end a relationship with overtures to a love that doesn't really exist, a truce, and a promise to stay away from each other for a few years. but I think I can do it better now. I've learned from past mistakes and I'm a better person now, more subdued and deliberate and honest in a constructive way. I'm not getting into next time so much as an avenue for therapy into wholeness. next time it will be mutual and giving. giving is important to me--it's the whole point: living for someone else. still, I want someone who's OK with everything me. of course I can't split myself open on the first date and play self-psychopathologist but I do expect to get honest pretty soon--because I refuse to make someone commit to a persona.

to be continued...