Essays

A collection writings and thoughts by artist Gary Llama.

On introverted relationships, closed doors, and feeling unlovable

I like to keep to myself. Or atlease that is what I tell myself. The truth is, I love both seeing friends, and being by myself. But when I’m with friends, I use sooo much energy. And when I’m alone, I rejuvenate it.

It’s called being introverted.

But on top of this, I have another few issues. One, I like routine. I depend on it. Seeing folks to me, is not routine, so it can stress me out, even when it’s a great interaction. Still stressful.

And two, and I’m not proud of this:: I have this tendency to compartmentalize times, places, and people in periods of time, and then when the door shuts on that time, I tend to feel like I’m not allowed back to interact with any of these things. Part of that is normal, I think, but it’s the ‘Any of these things’ part that is fucked up.

For example: Lets say I’ve had a friend for 20 years. And then we live together. If I move out, closing that part of our relationship, even though we may have only lived together for two, I’ll treat the friendship as being closed as well.

And it goes on, for jobs, relationships, bands. And it doesn’t matter what intimacy, or how much I like the person: it’s pretty much the same for best friend or aquaintance. It’s really, really odd. And it’s not something I want at all.

I think it comes down to this. When I was a kid, I was different than the other kids. And somewhere along the line, I became afraid of investing emotionally in other people. I guess because I had some friends take advantage of me very early in life. And since then, I’m scared to be the one extending my hand, when it’s not obvious that the other person feels the same. And the reason these social cues may not be obvious to me may be because I may be autistic. I need to be tested, but when I read the autism diagnosis of my daughter and her symptoms, I realized I share many of these traits with her.

And it sucks. Because it means, in relationships, if a hand is gonna be extended beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s gonna be by the other party. Which puts an unfair burden on them, and cuts the number of relationships that I continune down to people who are confident enough to extend themselves, which, is probably not all of the people I’ve had relationships with, which means, I’ve prevented some from existing myself.

Anyhow, I had been talking with my therapist about it, and today I explained it to my friend Tim. That though I love him, he’s my buddy, that for some reason when I moved out of his house, I guess I just compartamentalized it.

And I think deep down, it’s because I think i’m unlikeable, and unlovable. And again, that comes from a deep, early place in my life. And i’ve been working hard on digging up that unloveable sentiment and accepting myself as a likeable and loveable person, basically, taking the same courtesy and benefit of doubt I extend to others, and extending that to myself.

So as I move forward, I’m gonna be trying to open some of these doors that I closed for non-obvious reasons, and see what lay behind them. Maybe some needed to be closed, but I’m betting, there are some folks on the other side that don’t understand why I shut those doors, and might be glad to see me, and I will be glad to see them!

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Llamatism is a collection of things, a cabinet of curiosities, and reports from explorations on things, by Gary Llama.

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