Monday, March 2, 2009

In sickness and in... defensiveness

Dear Me,

Just remember: I love you, but you're soooo not perfect...



One of the interesting/funny/strange things about feeling relatively happy in the present is that you're prone to realizing your own significant flaws. Or, rather, I am. Perhaps because its so easy for me to blame others for my unhappiness. Because things aren't usually MY fault.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

I'm defensive.

I have a difficult time separating criticism from constructive criticism.

I have a victim complex.

There, its been said. People don't often bring these points of my sparkling personality to my attention. Maybe because they know I'd be defensive? They're right; of course I would be.

So, first, a bit of the why I am the way I am: From the ages of 8-18, I constantly had to stand up for myself. If I didn't, I would have spent much more of my life than I did thinking I was stupid, whorish and, overall, useless. So, as a defense, I developed the victim/"I'm perfect and you're wrong" complex.

But this isn't meant to be about excuses.

Maybe its not surprising, but, its the dudes in my life who are usually the ones to point this out to me. (Are girls too polite?) In my last relationship -- maybe because from beginning to end it spanned five years of substantial adult growth -- I learned a lot about who I am and who I am not. I am defensive. But I'm not unwilling to listen and adjust my attitude - particularly if you're not just being an ass and you have a valid point.

But being defensive and reactive are things I just am. It can be especially hard for me to keep it in check at work. Explanations are often out of my mouth before I know how unfounded they sound. But I. Can't. Shut. Up. Someday somebody's going to kick me in the face or fire me. Let's hope that day isn't tomorrow on either count.

What is it that they say? The first step to solving a problem is blogging about it, right?

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