As I spend more and more time in the army, I start to discover that I am incredibly self conscious. It's just something that I never really observed carefully in myself nor I suppose really want to take notice of, but it now glares in my face and I feel that I really need to talk about it.
The truth is, I care way to much about what other people think of me.
As much as I'd like to think that my preference of spending time alone has to do with introversion, I'm starting to consider if it is quite the opposite, that perhaps my introversion grew out of wanting to spend time alone, which stemmed from other root causes. Which is fine I suppose, I do genuinely like having time to myself.
It's just that, I'm always wondering what do people think about me. Back in my school days, not mixing around with people much, in part because I didn't fit in, in part perhaps because I'm afraid of being rejected. Here in the army, realising that there are certain people I tend to keep away from, so many things I don't want to share about myself. I find that more often than not I'm cooping myself up in this room with my laptop and my books.
I find that when they hold a steamboat dinner and forgot to invite me (well not that I usually joined in so it's not that surprising), I didn't quite want to approach them during their meal when they should be the ones who feel bad for not asking me. I suspect it had to do with the feeling that perhaps I'm not as well accepted as I hoped to be.
I feel most at home amongst Christians (though not only Christians), in particular those from DI and back then those with the primers (havn't seen them for awhile hmm), and I suppose because its really warm and I don't feel negative vibes there, and I can be silly and crazy (which people frown upon as childish else where) and I don't feel like people are going to judge me. I know it shouldn't matter because what matters is who God sees me as but it still makes me feel extremely uneasy.
I come to realies that I yearn for affirmation, for people to want to talk to me. Sometimes some people who are considered more of social rejects like to hang around me. I stuck with them often because I don't see why they should be labelled as thus and do genuinely enjoy and appreciate their company (more so than normal people honestly, these people tend to be more interesting and probably thats what they are hated for). I do wonder though, if maybe it might be because I find that I need them too. I need them to need me.
I know it shouldn't be either, that my value as a person is not dependent on what other people place on me.
I realise that on one hand while I proclaim to be a natural rebel (or hipster or indie or cool or whatever, and that much is true), there are things that I try to potray myself in that I'm not. To try to make myself someone who is genuinely likeable, who isn't defective. Sometimes when people talk to me, I start to feel very threatened. There may be things I don't want them to know about me that may make them see me in a different light. Every time I screw something up, even just something minor, I feel this great sense of shame, not just plain embarrassment but the feeling that I let my inner screwed up self slip out.
I wonder, if sometimes I love because I need to. If I need people to love, and people to love me.
It's not very nice to confront oneself like this, but it must be done. The truth is, I'm afraid of what other people think of me. I need people to tell me and to show me that they like me. That I mean something to them. Deep inside me I know I am hardly an ideal man. Full of flaws and failures, darkness and demons, but I try to make things look pretty. I don't think I'm like some real terrible pathetic person, every person has plenty of faults, but somehow I just really want to pretend that I'm all good.
That is the curse of my pride. I may not display contempt and disdain towards people (though sometimes I think or feel it), but I really need to keep my image, to look good, to have people look up to me, to be well received and to be loved.
I may not be entirely right in everything I said above. For one, I don't really believe that self consciousness is the driving force for me to love, but I won't deny that it plays a part in it. Still, I'm not much. I may admit it here, but I know I'll keep hiding it in my life because it matters to me that people do think I am.
If I trace back, I suppose I could find a point in time when I started to want to hang around people less and how it was during the time of certain key important life events. I wonder if past hurts which have long been put aside really do have the capacity to continue to affect one's life so many years into the future.
While finding a picture for the post, I found this:
I already mentioned in the previous segment about time not healing all wounds, but that was an illustration that time didn't heal behavioural and attitude changes that resulted from the wounds.
I wonder about this one though, I feel I can somewhat relate to it, but I don't agree that it is a matter of not wanting to. Maybe sometimes you just can't, because like it said, it was something truly real that you could never find again.