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On Ask Polly: My Boyfriend Thinks I'm Clingy and This Terrifies Me

@paddlepickle Oh, I'm so glad to hear that! Do you also do the self-disclosure fakeout (in life and in therapy), where you talk about a lot of personal things and feelings, but instead of being your actual feelings, they're more like what you WISH were your real feelings? Maybe empathize with/ confide in someone about a personal struggle, but stick to a surface level version and secretly keep the "real" significant to yourself so you can keep inquiring minds away from your deepest insecurities?

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm 0

On Ask Polly: My Boyfriend Thinks I'm Clingy and This Terrifies Me

@540033485@twitter Gah!! So many typos! Oops.

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm 0

On Ask Polly: My Boyfriend Thinks I'm Clingy and This Terrifies Me

@540033485@twitter ok I did ramble. A lot. But I should add...I am seeing a therapist and doing the same shit to her, a fact which I've attempted to admit.

An ugly cry feels basically impossible.

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm 0

On Ask Polly: My Boyfriend Thinks I'm Clingy and This Terrifies Me

Oh wow. Our life circumstances may be different, Letter Writer and Polly, but the core of this is so much a part of the deep, inner self (that I yearn to protect and set free all at the same time) that my heart is racing.

I'll do my best not to ramble. But anyway:

1) Like me, you seem very self aware -- you know how to figure shit out and you'll be damned if you can't take the skills and natural drive to learn and use it to figure yourself out. Part of my core identity is being a great problem solver -- the only difference between me and the expert is that they've learned the process already.

2) Being the self aware, independent problem solver that I am goes hand in hand with my identity of being The Supportive One. It's a role I really like! I'm there when other people need things figures out. I'm open minded, non judgmental, practical, and great at guiding others to answers or automatically assuming they want my advice. Because I feel like I have a particularly high sensitivity to these things compared to my friends and family, which I work hard to cultivate, I reason with myself that I just can't expect the same from others. I'm lucky that I can do this better than other people, who have other skills to bring to the table. So I keep things to myself because I don't feel confident that my friends can give what I'd need. It's natural and easy for me, but a lot to expect from them.

But I also had that "ah hah" moment where I realized that I'm not being a good friend when I don't do my part to be open. Part of being a good friend is showing others that I trust them, too.

3) That little inside vulnerable part sometimes feels like a little keepsake that's just for me, so I struggle with the idea that I have to allow others access. Though I know I should be open, it feels like I'm taking this sacred part of myself and treating it carelessly.

4) I've never been in a relationship. I'm CRAVING the opportunity to deeply and intimately connect with someone on that level, but I am so focused on assessing whether or not the men around me are available to someone with Outside Me's on paper qualifications (looks, weight, intelligence, hobbies, strengths, etc) that I have absolutely no idea who I am actually attracted to. If I feel certain a guy can do better than me (which is a good indicator of someone I'd want to date), then I can't even entertain the notion of being them being available, or allowing myself that desire. Plus, even if I fooled them with my looks or conversation skills, they'd eventually find out how lame/weak I really am.

5) I've spent SO LONG playing the roll of the "confident, tough, independent, creative, smart, motivated, strong, happy, easy going (etc)" person that I've been told I am (and that I convince myself that I am) that I am terrified of telling people they're wrong about me. Guilty that all the good things they've said about me (because they care) aren't important enough for me to have listened to. And then convince them that I'm not just saying that to fish for compliments.

How on earth could I tell my parents I feel so unattractive and unworthy of love when they've poured everything into raising a woman who believes that she is?

How can I tell my best friend that I've been a total hypocrite all these years -- keeping secrets when she shares so many of her own? That the disordered eating I've alluded to is much worse than she believe, because I've been lying to her all these years about what kind of person I really am?

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm 1