Thursday, July 19, 2007

Confusing Pleasure and Pain: VII

The thing about abuse is that sometimes you meet someone who is intriguing for all the wrong reasons. Maybe that person feels dangerous, exciting, scary, secretive, different, or unusual, and all that is very attractive to you. Not because this is the beginning of a good relationship, but because they remind you of something very familiar about how you understand relationships to work.

And the very qualities that make you feel instantly at home with this person make you also uneasy and unable to trust them. Because you know that the magnet that pulled you together really can be dangerous, just like it has been for you before.

But the lure of the familiar, no matter how potentially destructive, is incredibly powerful. And safe, secure, wholesome, and nurturing somehow seem too boring. And you consider that your ability to withstand so much turmoil and emotional discomfort to be an indication of some mature experience.

It isn't though. Your ability to withstand so much discomfort is just a sign that you've learned to ignore your own feelings, even at great peril to your well-being. It's nothing to be proud of. Just one more indicator that things have gotten mightily messed-up along the way.

And that it's time to step back from all the stuff that makes you feel so bad until you can learn some new ways of doing and being that won't keep causing so much pain.

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