An Inner Conversation about Relationship

Dear adult person who always does what she’s told,

This is your inner rebel speaking.  Let me explain some things.  You are playing with fire.  You are getting too close with people.

You are letting people in.  Don’t you understand what that means?  They will stomp all over you.  When you try to do what you want and express who you are, they will be right there to insult you, ostracize you, treat you like a worthless piece of shit.  Don’t you get it?  It isn’t safe to let people in.  It isn’t safe to commit to people.  It isn’t safe to get excited about being with other people.  You don’t know them.  You don’t know what is in their heads.  You don’t know their motivations.  What’s going to happen when they figure out who you are?  What’s going to happen when you stand up for yourself or speak your mind?  Disaster.  It is best to go it alone.  It is best to avoid commitments to others.  It is best to avoid closeness of any kind.  Avoid the inevitable disaster.  Be safe and walk through life on our own.  I know what you want and you don’t need anyone to squelch it.

Sincerely, Your Inner Rebel

Dear irresponsible person who won’t listen to me,

This is your controller speaking.  And for once, I agree with the inner rebel (although not for the same reason).  It is best to play it safe.  It is best to keep people at a distance.  Keep life small.  Keep life simple.  If it isn’t complicated, bad things are less likely to happen.  You really don’t know who to trust out there.  Do what you need to do to make a living, but don’t connect with others outside of that.  Why would you want to let anyone in?  They might create chaos that you have to clean up.  They might be unpredictable or mess up your schedule, your house, your life  Let’s just sit at home and watch TV.  If you feel like there are some emotions coming up, that’s fine.  I have all sorts of ways to numb those out.  I have been doing it for years.

Sincerely, Your Controller

Dear adult person who is listening to the other parts way too much,

This is your love seeker and you are driving me crazy.  I am so lonely.  I am so alone.  I want connection and these people seem nice.  So what if I have to give a little?  I know I have a habit of giving too much.  Maybe I get a little lost in people sometimes.  But for goodness sake, this life is meant for connection.  This life is meant for love.  This life is meant for much more than this.  So we might get hurt.  So what?  I’d rather take my chances on love and lose a bit of myself along the way.  Honestly, I’d rather lose a lot of myself than live like this.  Forget the others.  Listen to me.  Take a chance on others.  Take a chance that there are some good folks out there.  They can’t all be bad, can they?

Sincerely, Your Love Seeker

Dear Inner Parts,

I hear you.  Honestly, it is impossible to drown you out.  I get your fears and I get you goals.  And while your goals are admirable, your methods can be a bit concerning.  I need you to recognize me for who I am.  I am an adult who can make good decisions.  I can allow people to come in to my life without losing myself.  I can let people in, even partner with others, and still be authentic.  Will it be easy?  Of course not.  There’s too much relational trauma.  You guys will be there to tell me what to do and how to act, so I might make some wrong turns.  I might pull back too far sometimes.  I might enmesh too much at other times.  But I will learn and I will adjust and I will never let myself get lost again.  I can remain authentic even when the pressure to be someone else is very high.  Why?

As an adult, I have learned some things that weren’t true when I was a child.  I have learned that I can survive without anyone who rejects my authenticity.  I have learned that while there are people who won’t respect my boundaries, there are people who will.  I have learned that the universe is not punishing me.  I have learned that the crazy people from childhood are not representative of the entire planet.  And I have learned that I am resilient.  I can adjust when I need to adjust.  And if I am vulnerable, people will respond with love and encouragement – not every time – but many times.  So let’s take a chance just like the others we have taken.  Let’s get a little more real and a little more connected.  Let’s take it one small step at a time.  And let me show you what I have learned.

Written By Elisabeth Corey, MSW

An Inner Conversation about Relationship was originally published @ Beating Trauma and has been syndicated with permission.

Photo by erix!


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