|>>|| No. 28675
I keep running up against a wall in my relationships with others, romantic and platonic, and a recent talk with my girlfriend made this clear.
In short: I internalised the fact that I am very much alone in the world from a very young age. A degree of emotional independence might be healthy, but I take it much too far. I struggle with the idea that anyone really has my back or wants to (or even can) support me. I have a lot of confidence in myself, not so much in others.
I could examine every little reason for and aspect of that, but I don't feel like I need to. I think it's a typical story: boy in a shite industrial town, hard-working but depressed parents. Lots of toxic relationships and traumatic experiences. Didn't or couldn't have much faith in the adults around me. Truthfully, for a long time I did not have anyone, so handled it by keeping things to myself. I'm sure this can be pathologised as avoidant personality or disordered attachment or whatever label you like, but that kind of analysis doesn't really interest me much.
The other side of the coin is that I'm also pretty bright, emotionally expressive, and sociable. I have a lot of interests and have mixed with many kinds of people. I like talking to and sharing life with others. I have built a very good life for myself in another location and am loving meeting people here.
The result is that I have a lot of friends and enjoy the companionship, but as soon as something rubs me the wrong way or I feel that people are no longer an "ally", the switch flips and I quite literally feel nothing for them but a very cold sense of distance. The best way I can describe it is anger, but viewed through a telescope.
I sometimes feel as though the same sensitivity and awareness that makes me so good at gabbing and becoming close with people is the exact same sensitivity which will put me on high alert if anyone indicates they might hurt me or let me down.
This understandably upsets and confuses people, especially girls I've become involved with. I really hate this. I hate hurting others. And to be quite honest, it doesn't seem fair to open up and unleash my "issues" on people, even if they want to know and help. Treating friends and partners like therapists is rarely a good idea.
I want to handle this responsibly. I don't see any romance in "damaged but charming" or any other stereotypee. Money is a bit tight for proper therapy right now, and I've found most therapists woefully inept in dealing with young men in particular. I know at least one of you will suggest CBT, and I won't reject it out of hand but it seems like an extremely dry and mechanical process. I have my reservations about it. So, what do I do?