This Is Core To My Behavior Around (RL) Women Over The Last Few Years

This is a post that needs to get written.  I'm trying to get under my feelings and behavior to what's really going on with me. 

It’s hard for me to know where to begin this story.  I am a kind-hearted, sensitive man who practically – though not foolishly, I hope – gives everyone the benefit of the doubt.  The world as I perceive it starts with my own values of honesty and trust.  I want to believe that most people are nice at heart and will treat one another courteously.  That hope is probably more foolish, I know.  I pride myself on being a nice guy and gentleman.  Regardless of who you are, I will always treat a person pleasantly when I meet them, smile, and engage in a moment or two of idle banter. 
From there, it isn’t hard for most readers to understand that I’ve been burned more times than I care to recall.  I’m not asking for sympathy, either.  Many, many people have experienced far worse than I have, I’m sure.  Despite being fairly emotional and sensitive, nature and genes have granted me the privilege of having a tall, bulky semblance.  Those who don’t know me – basically everyone – generally don’t take the chance of messing with me.
Despite having developed somewhat of a thick skin over the years, it still doesn’t take long before I take ridicule personally.  This was a huge problem during school, and I eventually built such impenetrable armour against inevitable ridicule that I couldn’t trust anyone.  It’s also happened in the workplace, where the sting was so raw I’ve had to excuse myself a few times, find someplace private, and just cry.  My caring nature is close to the surface, but so are my feelings. 
Somewhere along the way, probably when I was eight or nine, being ‘kicked’ so many times left me with a lot of insecurity.  I came to believe that something inside of me wasn’t good enough, and that whatever that was caused my peers and others to simply reject me out of hand, regardless of what I was. 
Fast forward a couple decades.  As an adult I am confident and self-assured.  The insecurity I just wrote about isn’t too far below the surface, though, and it affects me in my daily interactions.  How?  While I like giving people the benefit of the doubt, I don’t extend the same courtesy to myself as much.  I don’t trust I’ll be welcome by co-workers and peers.  I lose out on opportunities for friendship and companionship by not selfishly asserting my own needs.  Put another way, my best foot only goes so far forward.
In another way, I take too much responsibility for everything that goes on around me.  If someone in my presence misbehaves or someone feels hurt or shorted, I worry about what part a played in causing that to happen rather than accepting that it’s entirely their issue and out of my control.  I extend my best foot so far forward that I can’t help tripping into and trying to resolve problems that aren’t even my own.
I’m not going to delve into my dating history.  Everyone has a past that has hurt us at times.  Once again, I know I have not been as ‘scarred’ by relationships gone wrong as many other people have.  When my marriage broke up in early 2007 I was completely devastated, and didn’t trust my own feelings towards other women for a long time.  I was too fragile and needy to trust becoming intimate again.  As the years have passed, I have dared to fall ‘in love’ with a few women, mostly people I hardly knew, with typical results of not going anywhere with them.  I’m not surprised by that.  In fact, I realize that any one of those situations might have ended miserably had we jumped foolishly into something before knowing one another.
Those who have followed my contributions over the last couple months know that I developed sweet feelings for a woman during a five-week class we were in.  Being around her day after day, I soon found her very attractive and a really nice person to be around.  Foolishly or not – and I suspected myself of being foolish – I let my feelings get carried away much too soon.  She did not feel the same way, however.  It took me a few weeks to get over it, but we’ve remained friends nonetheless.  I owe her a lot of thanks for trusting me that much.
EP has been my primary journal during all this.  I also joined several categories recently, including:
I want to ask you to stay with me
I need to get over it or let go
I love you just because you’re you
I want you to know you’re very special to me
I want you to come to me in my dreams (she has, by the way, more than once)
I can’t even find the words (I tried to once, and made a damn fool of myself!)
I like to be with you
I want to be the one she needs
I just thought of you and it made me smile
I don’t think she knows how truly beautiful she is
I don’t know how I got so lucky to have you in my life
I can’t make you love me
I haven’t added a story to most of these yet, but the list speaks for itself, doesn’t it?  There’s a gap in me that’s agonizing to be fulfilled.  I have told myself over and over to let go of everything, let events take their natural course, and trust things will turn out as they’re supposed to.  But, man, that’s a tall order.  I don’t trust that being my best self – being myself – is good enough.  I want to nudge things here and there rather than “letting go and letting God,” as they say.
I don’t think there’s anything peculiar about all of this – except, maybe, that I’ve laid it out for all to see here.  I don’t have anything to lose by being honest about it, at least as far as words can portray.

UnderEli UnderEli
46-50, M
3 Responses Jul 31, 2010

Thank you so much for sharing, I hope you found someone great!

Thank you so much for sharing, I hope you found someone great

ahahahaha I was ready here with my coffee, ready to read a man's mind and got me!