The Self Fulfilling Prophecy of Irrational Self-Loathing
...hath been fortold.
A funny thing happened last night. Amidst the reverie of a dinner with friends as we laughed on couches and talked about nothings in particular, this very blog, the one you're reading, came up.
Lauren, my fiancé, told me she'd read it and liked it, especially the short piece on Hustlers. She'd read all the entries and liked them, and was sorry she had forgotten to share that with me earlier. She also, I think, said that I was a great writer and had a good way with words. This last part I find hard to recall since, by that point, I'd already dove deep into my own narrative of things, my own experience of the truth through which everything thereafter was funneled.
I find it somewhat difficult to put into words my response, given the absurdity, but here goes. What I HEARD Lauren say was that the blog sucked. Plain and simple, it was so unmemorable that she wasn't MOVED to immediately run and tell me how great it was and how it changed her life, how it made her finally understand the depth of who I was and the true power of the written word.
I know. This is absurd and strange and may require immediate medical attention, and yet I cannot escape it.
In that moment, I found myself only hearing what she was not saying, every response only there to appease or placate my sadboi feelings. Every word reinterpreted to fit the narrative I'd already landed on" you're a piece of shit and suck at what you do, and we're all tiptoeing around that fact in order to protect your fragile sadboi ego.
And so the Self Fulfilling Prophecy of the Irrational Self-Loathing hath been foretold and would now come to bear. Bare? Bear:
On the ride home that night, we talked it through and I was able to see the madness of my ways. I apologized and she shared how my going into that mode is painful, not just for her but for me too.
She's not wrong. It's dumb and counterintuitive and just all in all ridiculous, to doubt the person you've chosen to spend your life with about whether they really LOVED your blog entries about your own anxiety. It doesn't matter, in the grand scheme of this whole thing we call life and yet, and yet, and yet.
I could write a thousand more words about the reasons for why I am this way, but I am not sure what good that would do.
Instead, all I can do is exhume the demons of yesterday and be more aware of my own tendency toward this Hearing The Opposite thing, whereby I look for the secret subtext of people's praise or emotion rather than taking them at face value.
And also note, without judgement (impossible) what might exist underneath this belief, and that is a feeling of superiority, a feeling that I know better than others what their true feelings are.
Which creates a truly befuddling paradox: a superiority complex that makes me know what others refuse to admit - my inferiority.
Freud would have a field dick.
Get it? I slipped.