Insecure? Be Aware.


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I have a lot on my mind today-because of a serious (not enjoyable) conversation with Maca last night.

Maca has a lot of insecurity issues-they all boil down to one (details for him to share not I). But they manifest in all different areas of his life.
Unfortunately-most commonly they manifest in a mistreatment (by proxy not in the form of abuse) and unrealistic expectations, requests and requirements for me.

We've gone over, under, around and through so much of it over the last 11 years that I could never write a post and express it-maybe a good long 1000 page book, but not a post.

The things that keep coming back for me-in clearer and clearer detail are starting to be clear enough to put into words (good and bad thing I guess).

When he's in an insecure moment-he presumes it's all about HIM and his feelings. But the truth is every word he utters is being expressed to someone else (usually me) and are often painful to hear not only for him-but for the other person (people) as well.

(disclaimer: yes there are times when those feelings we get are telling us that there IS a legitimate problem. But in this case I'm talking about feelings that are not based in truth)

When he starts telling me of his insecurities and asking me to help him work through them (whether he is functionally trying to work through them or asking me to avoid situations that bring them to the surface) the result is that he is accusing me of hurtful behavior.
EVEN if I didn't do anything wrong. Particularly if he gets defensive and starts defending his insecurity.

I likened this in our conversation to HE has a demon inside that HE does not like, that is making HIM miserable. He has asked me to help him do battle against said demon. I point out the weaknesses in said demon and he defends it. When he does that he is in effect asking me to fight against HIM first, so I can then (having won against him in theory) fight HIS demon, so that he can be secure againjafter I've already slaughtered him. (So peace and security in death?)

But that is like sending two men to war as comrades and expecting one to kill the other prior to taking on the enemy. It will only result in the one who "wins" being less likely to defeat the enemy then if they had both fought the enemy together.

Eventually that (even unspoken) assault begins to erode MY sense of purpose and causes a further breakdown between us. For I can no longer trust my "comrade in arms" for he is now an additional enemy.

Recently he was very upset by a friend who called him upset, hurt, emotional, in need of a friend and an escape from an abusive thought pattern and lifestyle. He was frustrated, angry and defensive with her. By continuing to bring this issue of hers to him-but also refusing to actually deal with it and do something to fix it, she was in essence telling him (with her actions) that his advice was wrong (no matter how sound it was) and that she didn't care for his help (even as she continued to ask for it). Her actions were saying that she wanted him to be HER punching bag because someone was emotionally punching her and in her actions she was passing it all on to him and letting him feel the full thrust of those punches-over and over.......

Ironically I found this upsetting enough to tell her what my dad said (hopefully in kinder words) "shit or get off the damn pot".

But less than 48 hours later I found myself watching him do the SAME thing to me that he was complaining of her doing to him! I was pissed and I did NOT say things in the best possible way. I did tell him he was acting just like her and it was disheartening at best and completely infuriating at worst.

But as I thought on it Ceoli's thread about the thirdness of being third came to my mind.

Now I'm not a third-and that part has no bearing on this situation-but what she was talking about, well it's true for ANYONE you love.

People deserve respect, and care of their feelings and needs.
No one person deserves to have ALL of the attention, ALL of the love.
No one person deserves to have their issues override all of the needs of another.

We often think of the insecure person as the one who needs the support and their needs need to be prioritized. We show this when we say that a relaionship can only move/change at the speed of the slowest partner. Or when we say we need to allow the insecure person time to process their feelings, issues and find solutions.

While those things ARE true:
They are only PART of what should be said.

Yes to those people struggling right now with insecurities,

YOU DO have a right to your feelings.

You DO have a right to be given time to process and work through them.

You DO have a right to be able to freely recieve acceptance and love in spite of your current weakness.

You also have a RESPONSIBILITY to remember and respect that sometimes your feelings unfoundedly suggest wrong-doing on someone else's part and THEY deserve your acknowledgement of how this hurts and discourages them.

You have a responsibility to take care that your insecurities are expressed as YOUR issues, not theirs.

You have a responsibility to ensure that you do actively work on resolving those issues-because it's unfair to expect another person (any person) to deal with your issues for undetermined ongoing time with no resulting reprieve.

You have a responsibility to ensure that while you deal with them, your insecurities are not allowed to create an unsafe (emotionally or physically) environment for others.

You have a responsibility to ensure that while you deal with them, your insecurities are not used to put unreasonable limitations or expectations upon others.

Too often we allow our insecurities or those of the people we care about to control and manipulate our lives. This is severely disfunctional and while it may seem for a time to be a loving way to show we care for that person and their issues, it in truth is harmful not only to the people around the insecure person-but it is harmful and damaging to the person who is being allowed to inappropriately cater to those insecurities within themself as well.
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Oh man, as most of you know, or might not, I am friends with LR and Maca. Boy does this hit so close to home. I am not sure how much I would like to open up about myself right now, for certain reasons (mainly to protect my daughter) for right now.

But I should say things hopefully like this will be less frequent. Again I am not the best person to sit down and write. Even though a college student I have the hardest time writing, or getting my feeling out.
I am not sure I entirely understand....

To clarify as best I can, and please tell me if I am correct:
Maca has stuff he is working on and gets demanding about it and a bit beligerant. This you find disrespectful and hurtful and it makes you feel that you are unable to help because of this (I'm wondering if some of his issues started in his teen years as this would indicate a block of some kind during that time that kept him back from moving forward in communicating efficiently).

You would like to help him work on stuff more but feel unable until he stops this kind of behaviour.... he seemingly is unable to as he has always dealt with things this way and doesn't know how to deal with things differently.

If I am getting it then I suggest that you tell him exactly what you want to hear. Leave nothing up to his guessing, imagination or expectation. He can't read you brain and you can't read his, so perhaps saying things in the moment about how things make you feel and what you would like to hear would help....
I'm talking about the very words you want to hear.

My husband and I do that often as we are very different thinkers. I fly off the handle easily, he harbours stuff... we don't work well in the communication department so we hand it all to each other on a platter.

Hope this helps,,,, let me know if I am even remotely close?
Well I guess I can answer this:)

You are close RP. I was 10 when my life crashed around me.With out going into a lot of detail my mother F'd my father over and I was first hand witness to it. 14 years latter she F'd me over also. I dont have a lot of trust for women. ( thats not the only one but that is the most important one to me).

LR is a brilliant and loving person but she is ( dare I say) over educated...She gets into a conversation with me and it feels as though ( with the tone she uses) that she considers me a little child that just dosent see how things are supposed to be.Im not very receptive to being treated that way so I get defensive and fight to be the winner. I dont see things the same way that she does so we clash.

The communication skills we are learning are helping but when she gets on a roll I have to remember to put those skills to use . Shes not good at slowing down and seeing the need to change HOW she is talking to me. To her credit the reason she has difficulties slowing her communication down is because she was rasied much differently from me and to her these concepts of love and relationships are like breathing. So she gets frustrated.

Im going to post my thoughts about this more in depth but not tonite.
:confused: :eek:I know Maca is in process of a reply.
Yes some of what you say is close.

I don't think I would say he gets belligerent though... he's... hmmm how to put it. he tends more towards the little boy side and it seems almost whiny to me.

Maca isn't a Yeller (that would be me) and he's not one to do the "I"m a big bad guy" thing either. He isn't the ultra macho type (he can fake it in certain circumstances, but not in a deep conversation). He's just easily hurt.

Right now the demons he is facing are from so far back. But even though he knows this and even though he knows that in order to really deal with them he has to face them, he tends to jump on the "but you said.." or "But you did..." train. All of the buts are true, BUT they aren't the REAL issues.

Does that make sense?
I'm truly looking forward to his reply... I've been waiting on pins and needles all day for his reaction to my new threads. I just really needed to get some thoughts out and I thought (went back and reread later) I did a decent job stating my thoughts without being a bitch. But I hope he thinks so too!
Funny that we both used that term "child" for different reasons.

He's right-sometimes I do talk to him like that. He talks as though he is a child when he's hurt. I think I do too actually-but I don't get hurt as easily as he does-so it's not as often...

It's something we've been working on-(communication) as he said-but it's a work in progress. While we've made great progress, it's hard.

Mostly-my biggest frustration is that if you (general) have a personal issue that you want to deal with-and you ask someone else to help, then you need to allow them to tell you the truth, and it's LIKELY it's going to hurt.

There is still so much about me that Maca doesn't know. He's afraid to. I understand. His mom was cruel in how she dealt with him, both the first time when he says she f'd his dad over (she f'd his dad AND him over) and when he says she f'd him over (she f'd him AND our son over actually). But as f'd up as I am (aren't we all to some degree) I am not his mom and the worst of the things she did-I won't do. He knows that, but he can't force himself through the fear to FACE it.

I don't know-it's just become clear to me recently that it's a two sided thing. You can only help someone who is WILLING to take the heat of being helped. It's all good and well to say that we (the more secure) need to be gentle with them (the less secure) but the truth is that even as the more secure in this relationship-his actions, his words and his refusal to face them (not always true now) hurts me too and I think those who are more insecure owe it to their loved ones to consider how THEIR actions damage their more secure loved ones as well.
Hi again...
Well, once again this thread hits reallllyyy close to home for me. This is so similar to what I was dealing with in my marriage.

LR - I know you want Maca to respect you and your space, and to understand that he hurts you too in all of this. The problem here is that he might not be able to do that. Its hard to say that this is anyone's fault, due to the situation, but depression is really like a demon and it clouds reason. He may really want to, be really aware and smart, but just incapable at the moment. I don't know what the situation is, but I wanted to put that out there. Try to be patient and loving. There might come a point where you can't anymore, but don't stop until you are sure you have gotten there.

And you are right that you don't have to deal with it. It gets TIRING, I know. My ex did not put in the effort and I had to leave because the process was taking YEARS, and was not longer a process, i.e. he stopped really working on it.

I know Maca is probably reading this to. To you Maca I say this: There is no one at fault here. However, the sad story is that you might lose this relationship to your demons if you do not face them. You can't blame LR if this happens, and really it is hard to blame yourself... because it is an illness that is all controlling. I know. Try to get the strength up to do it anyways. The reality is if you don't you will never be happy... you live only once, and so take advantage!!! It will be very hard - but it is easier to confront this by taking actions, instead of talking, etc. Don't hide from yourself.

I know how hard this must be for you too. reading your post brought all those feelings back - feeling like both of you are tugging at the same rope, but getting nowhere... like you want to get somewhere but you are tugging in opposite directions anyhow. That's how i felt at least.

Good luck.
I'm definately not "there" as in leaving. :)
Maca has progressed forward by leaps and bounds.
I don't really expect him to work miracles (sometimes HE thinks he should,but I don't).
I have noticed though that often if I WRITE something-it's easier for him (and sometimes others too) to process it and respond to it from a "right-minded place" instead of from a defensive and "wrong-minded" place.

When we talk person to person often we're too defensive (people in general) to actually LISTEN to the meaning behind the other persons words. We only hear the feelings of hurt or betrayal and we feel attacked.

At first Maca took this post to have been written in anger. When he found out it wasn't he had to rethink it a little. ;)

I'm still madly in love with him and I'm learning just as much as he is-but expressing it here is safer for his fragile heart then if I first say it face to face. Gentle beginnings.
There are many advantages to writing out your frustrations and fears.1) The reader can imagine the tone at which the words are said(removing the condensending or angry ones) 2) the reader can reread the words as many times as needed in order to understand them fully.3) the reader can stop and then return when they are more able to process the info.

The other side of the coin:)
1) The conversation takes longer to get to a completion.2)If some thoughts are just NOT clear its not easy to move forward till you get clarification.

Im sure there are other pluses and minus but the main point is to communicate.

I have decided (and been doing) to use the vast amount of support thats available to me. Im not going to stop talking to LR but I think its only fair to not put it all on her.Besides its helping me learn some humilaty. Opening up to others is part of my growing and for to long I have depended completely on LR for all that support.

Im facing one of my greatest fears head on.Ill let you know how it goes. Wish me luck:)
I'm still going with what I originally thought you could try. That is to catch each other in the moment and re-shape (to use a Monoism :)) the words that the person has said into ones that don't trigger so that you can hear them instead of being triggered and getting angry...

Last night I had a long conversation on the way home from our parenting class with my husband that lasted until 1 in the morning about some issues that came up. I was triggered because I felt as if he was brushing off my hard earned experience of something because he thought he was right... I in turn triggered him because I blew up and stormed off....he was confused and hurt and I was hurt and felt disrespected.

We never figured out how to solve this complicated dynamic that has been going on for years, but after telling him what I wanted to hear and after exploring why I get triggered (comes from a mum who told me and everyone else when I was a child that I couldn't do things because I wasn't very bright) we at least came to the agreement that we would try to acknowledge in the moment that we are triggered so we can change course and explore that in the moment.... then we went on to say that we would ask each other if we are triggered and gave each other the words we needed to hear in order to make sure that the experience didn't get out of hand. For example, I would prefer he say, "could it be that you are feeling triggered" rather than "you are being triggered, I think we should stop and look at it." The latter would make me more angry as it would sound like he is telling me what I should do.

Does this make sense?
It totally works for us and is a skill we learned at a communication course we went to before we got married... hope you get something out of it too.
A bit off topic, but I promised you some book titles Maca of books that changed my husbands life in terms of his self view.

Marsha Sinetar-living happily ever after.
Nathaniel Brandon-the six pillars of self-esteem

He dug them up for me last night when I told them about your situation.
Thanks for the book suggestions RP.LR couldnt find them at the book store near where we live so she is going to order them online.

The triggering communication talk makes sense and as you stated the opening lines to that communication are the most important.( so as to not further an argument) Ill give it a try and let you know how it works. Thanks RP.