10 Things I’ve Learned about Myself by Loving Others

1. I do not feel safe when someone yells uncontrollably at me or angrily demands immediate answers. It feels like an interrogation and it triggers my memories of growing up with domestic violence. If this is your kink then please play that game with someone else. You can totally scratch me, bite me, tie me up, pound hard on my chest, and even choke me but don’t fucking yell at me.

2. I freeze emotionally and physically when someone sobs hysterically, especially in public places. I want to be that person who provides comfort in this situation but I don’t know why loud crying (as in the sound of someone getting tortured) brings me to a stopping point.

3. I need extra time to process my feelings and thoughts on major issues. I often wage war with finding out HOW I really feel and expressing feelings I think the other person wants or that I aspire to have. It turns out that I excel at self sacrificing. I think I’m genetically modified to be a martyr. It runs in my family.

4. I don’t do sudden change well but I have the courage and strength to eventually adapt.

5. I’m afraid of spontaneity. See #4.

6. Shame is my dark passenger. It’s like a giant beast strapped to my back that I try not to feed anymore but it happens. I’m a sucker for animals of all types.

7. I don’t know how to naturally ask for what I want or need. Sometimes I only express them after an unsuspecting victim tramples on them and I get my feelings hurt. I’m working on imagining myself as an organic garden and remembering I still need sunlight and water to grow into the best me possible. And I’m also working on being ok with needing things.

8. I need to share my feelings once they hit me like a wrecking ball or fester in my anxious, lying mind. I fill in gaps in communication or knowledge with irrational doomsday overthinking. In the same week, I can think I’m a horrible failure at life or work and then also win three awards. It’s perfectly ok to call me out on my craziness and tell me to calm the fuck down. Sometimes I can’t even tell I’m in this dark, dank dungeon of a mind space. Please help me help myself.

9. I can’t and don’t want to meet all the needs of one person ever again. I don’t believe love and/or sex are confined to just one person. I think this is an unrealistic request and it sets people, especially romantic partners, up for failure.

10. I do well with regular check-ins and communication, even if it’s hard for me as an introvert. It helps me know what someone else is thinking and feeling. It also helps silence my anxiety-fueled gremlins.

10 Things I’ve Learned about Myself by Loving Others

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