Let's talk about pride for a minute.
Not vanity, that's something else. Though I will admit to being a bit more vain than I should. I consider it a byproduct of having such crushingly low self-esteem for so long; I can't help it if I want to make sure I look nice.
The kind of pride that makes it difficult to admit when you're wrong.
The kind of pride that makes it difficult to admit defeat or simply walk away.
The kind of pride that makes it difficult to admit when you need help.
The kind of pride that makes it difficult to admit that you're hurting, you've been hurt.
The kind of pride that makes it difficult to reach out for something so simple as a hug when you need it most.
I was thinking about that this morning as I was driving to work. A lot of my emotional distress lately can relate back to the fact that I refuse to admit when I'm hurt or sad or stressed out or any of the things that maybe people that are in touch with their feelings are capable of doing. I still have that ridiculous mindset that I can do it all by myself, and I can't.
I'm using this as a blanket example to cover a multitude of issues I've been having lately. As far back as softball, when I refused to quit even though I was miserable. Maybe that's an admirable example of hanging in there. Maybe it wasn't pride so much as obligation, though it was definitely pride that made me put forth the energy and effort to try and still win games even though my efforts were largely unappreciated. I finally did admit how much of a toll those girls were taking on my general outlook, how miserable it was to haul my sorry ass to practice just to be verbally steamrollered every single time.
But in the field of relationships, this is where it backfires on me most. I've noticed a pattern with myself. I've shed most of my old habits and created a batch of new ones. I've learned by observation and my mind has skewed those ideals into something that doesn't exactly jibe with what I actually want. Because I go out of my way to avoid being clingy or attached or dependent on anyone; and this aloof attitude tends to result in simply not getting as much attention as maybe I need. Because "high maintenance" gets spit out like dirty words, and I don't want to be high maintenance. And I don't think I am. But I've set myself up for the lowest degree of maintenance possible and that just leaves me feeling alone. I'll make myself miserable but I won't admit that I'm hurt by the lack of attention. I didn't realize I needed such constant reassurance and affection, but, you know what? I do. I'm not like a camel, I can't store it up and ration it out as needed. I'm insecure and, well, I'm just a girl. I'm not superhuman. I'm not immune to it. This was all much easier before I dipped my toes back into the dating pool, when I was confidently single and had a grip on things. But I remember now what I was missing, and it's all the more disheartening that I had it for a minute and then lost it again.
But I won't admit it. I'll admit it here, sure. You guys don't care if I'm being silly or ridiculous. You'll slap me upside the head and tell me to quit being lame and I'll whine that "I knowwwww" because I DO know, but I won't do anything about it. Because I don't admit that I'm weak. And I definitely don't admit how I Actually Feel to members of the opposite sex. That makes me vulnerable, and as we've discussed in the past, I don't do vulnerable.
Except this post, I guess. This post is all kinds of uncomfortable vulnerable. And I didn't even SAY anything. Yes, I know, I'm being vague, it's a skill I've really honed over the years. I'm not ready to say what's actually on my mind, just yet, but it will come. By the end of this month of daily posts, I hope to have forced it all out. It was easier when I felt like no one was listening. Now I watch what I say because, well, my pride gets in the way and I would like to slink away from this trainwreck of word vomit with at least some of my dignity left intact.