>A pair of noids live in my head

>

“They don’t really like you.”

That’s how it starts.

Sure, they spend time with me. They invite me to a lot of things. They come to my parties or join me for dinner. They chat with me on Facebook, swap e-mails and sometimes just text to say hello. And each time, within each moment of connect, I am elated and thrilled and feel overwhelmed with gratitude for having so many wonderful people in my life.

But then a day goes by that we don’t connect in any way. A dinner or night out happens that I wasn’t invited to. A message goes unanswered or an important event or party isn’t attended and the paranoia creeps in and, even though I should know better, I start to wonder “What’s wrong? What did I do?” It is the voice of insecurity and it haunts me.

I know this voice well. It has been with me my whole life. It has continually reminded me to remember my place and be realistic, to doubt my relationships and my status in the lives of others and to expect nothing because I don’t deserve anything. It whispers to me the shame I should feel for my face and body, my job and home, my hobbies and attractions my personality and my thoughts. It reminds me of all my flaws and faults and warns me not to trust or get to close or believe anything I’m told. It sets the timer with an unknown zero hour and ticks away the moments in my head as I wait for the next axe to fall, another friend to leave me in the dust for discovering who I really am: a sad, pathetic, needy little man.

I try not to give into this voice. I know it’s irrational and a manifestation of my worries and fears. But it gets strong sometime – overwhelming in fact – and, every now and then, I let it out and look for some reassurance when I need it, afraid that, by asking, I’m going to damage the relationship; but also afraid that, by not asking, it will poison me from within and destroy it anyway. So, sometimes I indulge the voice and I open up, reach out and ask for some evidence that the voice is wrong, that it’s crazy, so I can prove it wrong, laugh at it and shut it up for a while.

Most of the time, I have been lucky and have had people in my life who understand my hyper-sensitivity, my insecurity and my need for reassurance now and then and they give it gladly with a laugh or a hug and a promise that, if there were a problem, they would let me know.

But there have been those rare occasions when my outreached hand was slapped, I was chastised for needing something I “shouldn’t”; I was ridiculed for bringing drama into the relationship or for asking for some reassurance. I was told I was paranoid, immature and bothersome. And this fed into that voice. Gave it strength and kept it alive to grow and haunt me into the future.

And I have to ask myself: was it right or was it just a self-fulfilling prophesy?

I wonder sometimes if I am solely at fault for having such deep rooted insecurities. Can I blame my parents? Society? The world? Or am I just broken, never fully able to believe that I’m worthy of love, affection or friendship? That I’ll never succeed at anything, that I’m doomed to be fat, ugly, unpopular, untalented, unrecognized and unimportant? No matter how much I feed it with proof otherwise, it is insatiable and I can never provide enough contrary evidence to stifle it permanently.

Is it wrong for me to be honest about my weakness and ask from the people in my life a little more than they might have to give some of their better adjusted friends? Am I allowed to want and need a little more support than would be normally expected? Or is it my job to keep it inside, bury it and pretend it’s not there, no matter how much I believe and know that a few words of reassurance will quiet it far more than any denial I could ever conjure? Am I the bad friend for needing it and asking for it, or are they the bad friend for resenting me for asking? Or are we both or neither to blame?

It is too late to go back and repair the damage it has caused in the past, but I struggle to prevent it from wreaking more havoc in the future. I don’t want people in my life who saw me at my weakest and chose to turn away or kick me when I was down, but neither do I want to lose the good people in my life for insecurities they neither caused nor contributed to.

I hate this voice. I hate what it does to me. I hate what it’s done to some friendships but, most of all I hate that I can’t ever permanently banish it no matter how hard I try or what I do. Wherever I go, it’s there with me, waiting, lurking, prepared to pounce on the smallest sliver of confusion or doubt.

And some times, no matter how hard I try to ignore it or deny it, I start to believe what it’s telling me. After all, it’s been right before….

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12 Responses to >A pair of noids live in my head

  1. Breenlantern says:

    >Thanks for all your feedback. I appreciate you sharing your responses.And welcome, Robin.

  2. Robin says:

    >Thank you for sharing that 😉 A new reader, I am enjoying your blog more and more, everyday.

  3. >Like "Greg Ohio" said, I've too have protected myself by not having lots of friends. I also tend to isolate myself. I've found it easier for me.I don't have an answer for you, but I can tell you you're not alone in having those feelings.

  4. AJohnP says:

    >You need to go listen to the song 'Die, Vampire, Die' from the musical [title of show]. Really – do it.

  5. >Perhaps we should all take a leaf out of Smeagol's book and tell Gollum to 'leave now and never come back'.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLvIFRNbqOs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  6. Ur-spo says:

    >a good exercise for you -alas, you may not be able to get rid of the voice, but it sure can be put in its place. when you realize it is talking, take a deep breath in, call your energies together, and quietly envision putting a pie in its puss.

  7. Cubby says:

    >"You like me. You really like me!"Awww Sean. You are so liked, no matter what that little voice says.

  8. anne marie says:

    >been there done that. 4 years of therapy got rid of that same voice for me.FUCK THAT VOICE! DO NOT GIVE INTO ITS BULLYING! for that is what it is – a bully. do not encourage the bully, do not feed the bully; only when you starve it does it wither and die.(ask me how I know this){{{{{hugs}}}}} and snorgles – I loves ya!

  9. raindog469 says:

    >I feel that way on a regular basis, even though I've been on both sides of it. My whole life, even when I've been in leadership positions in the middle of everything, I've felt like I'm out on the periphery, barely involved in things. I'm bad at small talk, so the best I can usually manage is a "Hi" and if I think I know someone well, a hug. I'm incredibly self-conscious about boring people with the half-dozen topics that I'm really interested in, or worse, letting them see me mope. I'll see the morning after that friends went out to celebrate someone's birthday, and it will seem to confirm to me that I'm still on the outside, tolerated rather than embraced. On the other hand, sometimes we'll be doing something with another couple or a small bunch of people, and I won't reach out to others because maybe we're not be as close as I think we are and I don't want to appear needy. Sometimes it's because I, like most people (I'm guessing), have friends who dislike each other enough to cause drama, and one of them "got there first". My strategy 20 years ago was to pursue friendships that were largely based on shared sexual experiences, and rarely crossed the line into real socialization. I don't think that's viable anymore, so I'll have to live with my insecurities, and with knowing that I'm likely to trigger other people's from time to time while I try to fake being a social creature.Just know you're more appealing than you think you are, on many levels, and that you're not alone.

  10. Greg Ohio says:

    >Sean I too feel this way quite a bit but have protected myself by not reaching out and by not having lots of friends and by become a recluse in many ways. I think what you do and how you do it is remarkable considering the thoughts you have that I too share. Hold your head up…Your quite strong too despite this character that lives in us we can be strong. By the way never doubt my friendship from afar even if I miss a blog or a post…I am attempting to keep up with you and send Hugs across the miles

  11. >Sounds like you need a hug.I'm not an expert in psychology, but I doubt you're alone in experiencing negative thoughts and self doubt. I regularly have similar emotions to those you describe.I'd rather a good friend of mine express these, even if that makes them seem needy and hypersensitive. Why hide fragility, it's what makes us human surely. What's the alternative? Building a wall around ourselves, unable to communicate our true feelings with the outside world – been there, done that, it doesn't work, it's just as destructive.Try not to do yourself down. Easier said than done, I know. As to the part about feeling shame about 'my face and body, my job and home, my hobbies and attractions my personality and my thoughts'. I for one think you have nothing to be ashamed of.You are in no way 'doomed to be fat, ugly, unpopular, untalented, unrecognized and unimportant'. My dear, that's just bullshit. Believe me if there wasn't 3000 miles of ocean between us, I think your hubby would have some serious competition 😉

  12. Brent says:

    >I know exactly how you feel. JUST yesterday I sent someone a text asking them if they wanted me to not text them anymore. I hadn't heard from them in quite some time, and decided to find out… he said "heavens no" and he had just been busy… but the voices in my head wonder.. is he tell me the truth.

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