I have trust issues. It's not surprising you might think, given the relationship I had with Conrad.
But, my trust issues don't necessarily stem from only that experience. They arise from my neediness. That place where I feel the need, the want, the yearning for someone else to validate my existence. That place where I do not accept, nor admit, that I am enough. That I am loved. I am love.
This neediness has always been with me. At times, it has triggered my behaviour in ways that are unhealthy, unloving and definitely harmful for me. As I've grown and 'matured', the ability of my neediness to trigger negative behaviours has lessened, but it still exists. Like the tapes in my head that want me to believe the lies I sometimes tell myself, my neediness never goes away -- it's my ability to manage it, to not listen to it, to not be triggered by it that has increased.
Don't get me wrong, neediness is not an awful thing. We all have needs. We all have wants. It is in denying that I have needs that I lead myself into turbulent emotional waters.
Like yesterday. C.C. and I have been discussing what we are doing this weekend and I had promised the friends who wanted us to come and visit that I would let them know yesterday. C.C. is much more flexible and patient than I am when it comes to planning. He doesn't have the same need to have plans made concrete and that can cause some angst as I attempt to hold back my impatience while we figure out what fits. When I called him yesterday afternoon, he was rushed. Busy. In the middle of a hundred and one things. He responded quickly to my Hello, "You called. What is it?" "Just checking on this weekend so I can let our friends know." "We'll leave Friday at noon," he replied and hung up after saying a quick good-bye.
Now, I'm not into long phone chatter, and C.C. and I seldom talk during the day on the phone. But, yesterday his hurried response triggered a tsunami of insecurity in me.
I knew it wasn't about him but I sure wanted to make it about him. "Why can't he chat more on the phone?" my critter mind whispered. "Why does he have to be so abrupt?" Yada. Yada. Yada.
Later in the evening when I phoned to tell him I was finished early from the volunteer commitment I had been working, he was just leaving his office. "I have to stop at my partners office to drop off some paperwork. I'll be at least an hour."
Pretty innocent. But, in my heightened state of insecurity, the critter mind leaped to my defence, fighting desperately to keep me off-balance. "He's lying. He's not going to his partners. He's going to....."
And that's where it gets not so pretty. My fertile mind can create scenes of deceit where none exists. My insecurities can awaken distrust where none is warranted.
I went off to meet a girlfriend for a late dinner and had a lovely evening. But through it all, I was not in the moment. I was not 100% present. My critters mind was whispering in the background, eagerly looking for any opportunity to disrupt my peace of mind -- which was pretty slim at that point of time anyway.
When I got home C.C. was not yet home. I called and he was on his way. When he arrived home I was still stewing in my angst, chewing on my discord. I didn't feel like talking. Didn't feel like being welcoming. I went to bed. Turned on the one device I know will prevent any communication -- the TV -- and watched some mindless piece of drivel.
As we were falling asleep, I commented to C.C.. "Sometimes when I call you, I feel like I'm the last person you want to speak to."
He's not unaware. He knew what I was referring to.
"I was busy, Louise. I'd just come out of a meeting and was on my way to the next one. I love talking to you. Sometimes, the timing is off."
Now, the truth is, C.C. tends to call me more than I call him. While I am prone to not leaving messages about where I'm going or where I'm at, he consistently leaves me messages to keep me informed. He always turns up when he says he will, and he's never been somewhere when he's said he'll be somewhere else.
Where does my angst come from?
Within me. From that needy place that wants to create discord rather than harmony. From that place within me where the critters voice overrides my peace of mind with its ability to burrow into my psyche and make waves. When I give into the critters voice, I am giving up on my truth. I am letting go of my accountability for my voice and my actions. I am letting go of my right to live my life with grace, ease and dignity.
John F. Westfall wrote, "It is important for us to grasp the truth that there is no shame in neediness. For those of us who were raised to appear strong, neediness is a horrible condition from which we turn away. We don't mind giving generously or acting with compassion toward those who are needy around us, but we don't let ourselves get to the place where we must receive help from others. This fear of unmet needs can drive us to acquire, achieve and accumulate symbols of satisfaction...These symbols of satisfaction, while holding at bay our gnawing sense of insecurity and self-doubt, also can cloud our view of what is important. They may also inhibit our pursuing the very things we need most in life: relationships in which we are known intimately, in which we share vulnerably, and in which we discover love and accountability."
Yesterday, I fell into a vat of neediness. That vat wasn't about what I need more of in my life. It was about looking for affirmation from outside me that would tell me, "I'm okay". In my needy state, I wasn't being vulnerable, nor allowing intimacy. I was being insecure, untrusting and deceitful. Because in my neediness I wasn't being honest about what I was feeling or doing. I was playing self-defeating games that kept me from getting more of what I want in my life -- Accountability. Intimacy. Love.
Fortunately, C.C. has learned to weather my storms with grace and equanimity and I am a fearless woman able to turn up for myself and pay attention to where my path leads me astray. In turning up for me, I turn up once again in my beautiful life where balance is restored and peace of mind rises gently with the morning sun.
The question is: Where does your neediness keep you stuck in blaming someone else for your inner angst? Where do you look to someone else to give you back your right to be that which you always are, that which you will always be? Love.