hiding hidden emotional baggage

March 17, 2008

gah… the beginning of relationships. or dating. the introductions, histories. stop.

so, being the social scientist that i am (or pretend to be), everytime i meet someone new i listen to them form their “life story”. i don’t go so far as to do a thorough content analysis of any sort, but i can’t help but assess what they tell me. (call it over-educated osmosis – whatever. p.s. i don’t believe the shrinks don’t unintentionally screw up their kids).

the story they tell me about themselves, i can tell, says alot about how they view me. anyhow, i’ve learned lots of things along the way about myself in a cyclical (though not tautalogical, i hope) fashion. in the same vein, what i choose to tell a person is also selectively chosen to construct a story about who i am and how i want to be viewed by that person.

i have noticed a similar theme running through the stories that the last few guys i’ve met have told: the proverbial “rags to riches” tale. i wonder what this says about me. or if it says anything at all since this story does seem to be championed in “self-made man/woman” (aka individualistic) discourse. or perhaps it’s a vibe that i’m giving off after having been in a long relationship with a “poor little rich boy” who, at the time, felt entitled to everything and that life was unfair.

i also find it interesting that i semi-consciously don’t bring up my own “self-made” story (come on, we all have one) or that particular “entitled boy” with whom i had a terrible relationship.

my interpretation of the “self-made” story involves the story teller’s pride, but there’s also a glimmer of low self-esteem. i find this especially true the further back into their histories they go with respect to their “i coulda been a pro-athlete” nostalgia. at the same time, the story says “i’m worth it”.

my assessment of my own shortcomings suggest to me that, even without saying so, i reveal my emotional baggage. i don’t want people to know what i’m capable of surviving out of fear that i may be taken advantage of again. perhaps because in having “survived”, it means i was stupid enough to have done it in the first place. long after i’ve forgiven “entitled boy” and i’m still working on getting to the point of forgiving myself. and for that reason, yes, i suppose i still do have emotional baggage. i just won’t tell you about it, not explicitly.

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2 Responses to “hiding hidden emotional baggage”


  1. […] or this is what i vaguely remember writing about here. […]

  2. Michelle Whitehead Says:

    Love the post! Hearing what people say vs. understanding what “programs” they have running in the background is quite enlightening!

    I find one’s ability to willingly divulge their emotional hindrances separates those who live in reality vs. those who live in denial.

    Just a thought….


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