Thursday, 1 August 2013

I try to convince myself and others that I'm not high-maintenance.

But it's really a lie; isn't it?

I remember being around the age of 9 or 10 and a cousin I'd never met before of my dad's walking me around my uncle's wedding telling me about the entire concept of high and low maintenance. At the time I was a whiny kid, so I don't really blame her for criticising me on that one, but after that it's been an important thing on my mind in terms of how I judge my own character.

I've tried to change myself a lot and I don't know exactly how much of it is ultimately for the better or just what I felt like at the time. A lot of the time I've failed. But I always know that the version of me I will always like the most is the one I perceive as low-maintenance. I even remember what period of my life it was, since it's been the one I've been trying to get back to for over a year at this point. That time, when I just didn't care about anything. I was emotionally numb and that was exactly the right thing for me at the time. I could just go through life without worrying about being hurt or any of it. And a consequence of that was being insular and self-sufficing. I didn't need anything really from anyone else because I could be content with whatever I had. I don't know how long for, but I imagine it will be my favourite version of myself for quite some time.

But since then I've been constantly struggling to maintain that part of me. It's definitely failed drastically. All I try and do is hold myself back but it's like a badly made dam; it's not going to hold back the current for very long. All too many times I feel myself expecting so much more from everyone around me; expecting an onslaught of attention that, let's be honest, I in no way deserve the likes of. It continues for a while and when I don't get what I want I become angry and grumbly and moany and try to take it out on both them and myself. Of course, what with my passive-aggressive way of dealing with things, it's rare the other person actually notices anything is awry so it just becomes a strange type of self-torture. It's not until I start questioning why I'm feeling so rubbish that I realise exactly what is going on. And I consequently hate myself more in response for not making sure the dam was working. Once I've realised what's going on, I make an even harder effort to hold it all back; rebuild the dam and hope this time it'll be stronger and last longer.

What I think I need to realise is, considering how long I've been struggling with this, perhaps it's a part of me that really doesn't want to go away or be changed. It's so persistent - the current doesn't get any weaker. Perhaps the point of it all is to learn that it's something about myself I have to always hate and not do anything about, because I can't. Even though I find it one of the biggest personality flaws, not only in myself but also in others. It's a quality that really annoys and frustrates me.

Maybe I will just have to accept this part of self-loathing forever. Because trying to change it has gotten me nowhere.

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