Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meet my Inner Saboteur

I can't make the noise in my head be quiet.  I have this little inner-Melanie that does nothing all day sometimes except drive me crazy with stupid thoughts, doubts, worries and frustrations.  Nag, nag, nag.  This is probably a sign of a much larger problem (big fan of self-diagnosis), but sometimes she's my worst enemy.  She doesn't stick around for long, but she's definitely here today.  Let's call her Meanie.

Meanie is creating two main battles in my brain right now:  first, she's telling me that I'm going to settle (I'll explain in a minute...the definition here is a bit different from the mainstream) and second, she won't let me let go of the past (which is obvious, since we've addressed this topic several times before and it still keeps rearing it's ugly, ugly head). 

Today, she's winning the first battle simply because she makes me unable to trust myself.  As I meet more and more seemingly eligible bachelors, I tend to "like" almost immediately.  To put it lightly, that scares the crap out of me.  I can't possibly be meeting man after man with all of them reaching date-worthy status.  The odds of that have got to be astronomical.  I worry that I'm liking entirely too quickly and that it isn't real.  I wonder if Meanie is making me confuse my desire to be in at least one quality relationship before I begin menopause with actually desiring the human being for their individual characteristics.  I worry even more that I may actually find a guy who is in this same, weird head space, we'll convince each other that we're in love with the other, get married, and wake up one morning with stunned looks on our faces wondering "Who the heck are you?!"  What if my Meanie meets someone else's self-inflicted, inner-saboteur and they bond?  Do I just like the thought of liking?  Am I in love with being in love?  Luckily, there is no specific guy on the receiving end of this confusion right now, but I can see Meanie easily coaxing me to fall into it.  At my age, watching seemingly everyone around me have what I'd like to have one day, she points her finger at me laughingly and asks "Wouldn't it be easy just to grab it as soon as it presents itself?"  How will I know that I am actually in love with any specific guy for all of his wonders and fabulousness and not just with the concept of Coupledom?  Maybe I've just solved the riddle of the ridiculous American divorce rate.  I hope and intend to only marry once for all the right reasons, but I worry that Meanie might make me sabotage myself with (oh God, I'm going to say it) desperation.

I think the second worry goes hand-in-hand with the first worry.  Meanie has convinced me of this idiotic notion that my past lack of real relationships (or insert "lifetime of pseudo-relationships" here and the sentence reads the same way) is somehow a reflection on who I am and what I have to offer.  As I read the words on the screen, I know how ridiculous they sound, but Meanie can override that sensibility with no problem and reminds me of all her "reasons" that I sit here today alone.  She tells me that all of these men before who have either rejected me or wanted to be "just friends" were on to some character flaw that I haven't noticed yet, and that all of my future attempts will be futile and end in the same result.  So, she continues, why don't you just throw in the towel, be happy with what you have, and become that miserable, old, celibate lady who lives alone and all the kids in the neighborhood are afraid of?

I have to kill Meanie; that's all there is to it.  Or at least shut her up permanently. For too long, I've let her ruin things for me, and it's high time I take matters into my own hands.  I've tried to reason with her; I've tried to tell her that I can't let her win, but she keeps on and on and on.  Her incessant negativity must be stopped for everyone's well being. But, how to do it?


  1. I've always thought that a certain amount of self-criticism can be a good thing. While it feels good to think "I'm Awesome!", criticism (whether it comes from ourselves, or someone else) gives us the chance to reevaluate what is going on in our lives from a different perspective. The trick is to not let the "other" you cripple yourself with worry and self doubt. I know, I know. Easier said than done, right? I struggle with it myself, but I think we all do.

    I'm generally an optimistic person. I try to take the good with the bad. I want to learn from my mistakes, even if its hard to admit to myself that I was the cause of something. And sometimes, I get to realize that some bad things are not my fault. Yay me!

  2. Oh, Nice Guy. I'm glad that I can count on you to help me see the upside of things on the rare (but seemingly increasing...?) times that I'm on the downward curve of the rollercoaster. The plus side of being a fan of self-diagnosis is that I'm also good at self-medicating. ;) So, I'm sure that, after an evening of homemade spaghetti, chardonnay, good pillows and an even better book, I will be right as rain in the morning. I'm thinking it will be the chardonnay that shuts up my inner saboteur. LOL


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