|Yes. This sums up me, looking at life from|
round the corner and in female clothing.
|Kuropotkin, whose fear of failure|
led directly to the defeat of the
Russian army at the battle
of Mukden in March 1905.
I knew that the article had me pegged then and I'm even more certain now. I am reactive as a personality type, I rely on stimulus from others to inform my own actions and rarely take the initiative. Take meeting Tilly - this was one of the few times that I took the initiative in that I contacted her. However, once we had regular contact I became almost exclusively reactive (I still have the e-mails) in communication. I arranged a trip to York, initiative, and our first night together as a couple in Oxford. But the impetus for actually having sex that night was from Tilly. I asked her to marry me and to move in. From the point she moved in, though, I became reactive again. From that point until quite recently I operated out of a perverse fear that she would leave me in all operations and interactions with her.
|Not my skirt, but close enough.|
Fear has another effect, however, in that it has prevented me from fully engaging in therapy, of which I have my final session soon, and that has been hard on both me and the lovely CBT professional that has been helping. I disengage and make light and subvert because I'm so darn scared of it not working, of it all going wrong and knowing that the only person who caused that is me. I am scared of responsibility because, in my experience, responsibility means blame and I am scared of making the wrong choices because they tend to have far reaching and unpredictable consequences. These fears make it virtually impossible to engage in therapy properly and they combine with my fear of praise to create a perfect psychological storm. In many ways I need the therapy to work so that I can engage enough in therapy to make it work.
It is fear that dictates how I engage with others too, both online and in real life. The fear that they will think badly of me, that I will not someone that they can like or get on with. I realise that this fear is ridiculous, one cannot be all things to all people and much less can one have entirely positive interactions with people - even, or perhaps especially, those with whom you've been a long time. It's natural that there will be friction, discord and even anger in these exchanges. It is natural that there will be people with whom I cannot get on for whatever reason or with whom I make a poor first impression and thus spend years labouring under that impression regardless of what I do. In many ways it will be down to the person with whom I interact rather than anything that I do or say - they will have their own trials and tribulations and moods and thoughts. Academically, I know all of this, but I still can't shake that nagging fear that I will mess it up, that I will create enemies rather than friends or, at the very least, I will come across as a complete eejit and be avoided politely for a long time. But then I feel exactly the same fear and worry when people are nice from the get-go or when people change their moods and interactions with me. No one can win in this, least of all me, and it's all down to fear.
Wearing what I am, in daylight no less, is part of me trying to take the fight to my fear. We'll see what difference it makes...