Painful Vulnerability

Nothing triggers my emotional insecurities like a pretty girl who appears disinterested in me. There’s one such girl in my Toastmasters club. Let’s call her Liz. She’s extraordinarily pretty, intelligent, slim, shy and endearing. Shy and endearing look pretty attractive on a girl. When she turned up to a club meeting a few months ago, I fell for her the moment I met her.

So I went along to Toastmasters last night. I’m president of my club, so I always feel a tiny bit extra special there, and it’s usually an enjoyable evening. The role of the president is to learn the skill of delegation, so I actually do the least work of any committee member. Last night I sat next to Liz. We ended up going head-to-head in the impromptu speaking debate on whether long or short hair is better. Having just had my head shaved, I spoke for short hair. She won. I even voted for her.

Liz is sweet and friendly… but I think disinterested. I occasionally thought I was getting some positive vibes from her and have made a couple of attempts to connect with her outside of Toastmasters meetings. When she split from her boyfriend late last year, I thought I might get to know her better. But when I recently invited her to come to a musical with me, she said she was “busy that night”; as opposed to “busy that night, but could we go another night?”. I know she’s not the most assertive person (that’s why people go to Toastmasters!), but I figured if she was interested she’d be giving me a few more positive signals.

I tend to get stuck on girls I really like who don’t seem interested in me. Perhaps there is something in me that likes a challenge. Or maybe it’s just my subconscious desire to endlessly reproduce the emotional abandonment of guess-which-parent. Either way, I feel really drawn to Liz, and keep thinking I should invite her to something else or trying to connect… while also thinking to just play it cool. I know I’ll be disappointed if/when she hooks up with someone else. I’m still working on developing my “abundance mentality” when it comes to appealing women, a.k.a. plenty of fish in the sea. There are several attractive girls in my acting class who I get to interact with at rehearsals, who also seem really sweet and appear more interested in being friends with me. I could just hook up with one of them. Somehow the thought of rejection by someone I really like causes this sick-in-the-stomach feeling for me. I know all the theory of handling rejection by not taking it personally, but when it comes to putting it into practise with a girl I’ve fallen for, it’s a different story. And a guy in my class who bought my book on attracting women sent me an email asking how to ask this girl he’s interested in out… I totally feel for him, much more than he realises.

I feel really envious for other guys who don’t seem to have this same painful vulnerability. They seem to just go through life without being affected by this sort of shit like I do. However, I’m getting to see in my acting class that other people have the same insecurities as me: the method we’re learning is totally self-exposing and based on being very real. It’s not actually “acting” at all, so I do get to see what’s going on for other people. And at the meditation retreat last week, it turned out that everyone was struggling but we just didn’t know what other people were going through, because we weren’t allowed to talk to each other. It’s a bit similar in our society where guys aren’t allowed (or rather, don’t allow themselves) to talk to each other about what’s really going on in their lives. So we don’t know “Oh, you go through that too eh?”

Last night I had a dream that Liz and I were at this huge nudist event, giving each other a big, close, naked hug. No doubt the scene was inspired by my memory of the recent Spencer Tunick shoot I participated in, but god that hug in my dream felt good. Not so good after I woke up and realised that it wasn’t real. All of this stuff goes on in the emotional centre of the brain, so I have no idea what impact it has on my CFS symptoms and the whole amygdala retraining recovery process. Should I abstain from any thoughts of emotional involvement with women? Or is it actually better for me to be feeling and expressing emotion? My exercise from acting class is to practise becoming more emotionally effected by things, not less. At the moment I’m a bit of a robot. Always have been, and I figure this internalised stress is what’s caused the illness in the first place. It would be nice to have a supportive partner but I dunno about the whole relationship thing. And I need to find a girl I like who also likes me; that’s always the dilemma.

I felt exhausted after breakfast today, and went back to bed. I remind myself that if my body feels exhausted, then rest is the top priority. It’s not a bad thing to spend a morning in bed; thus I avoid the anxious thoughts about it. I’ve been feeling less exhausted than usual lately and mainly just having the nasal drip and cough symptoms. They get worse when I don’t rest. I have to constantly remind myself not to take on new stuff, and to say “no” to things I want to do that will over-stretch me. I felt good at Toastmasters, and thought “maybe I will do those story-telling speeches I had planned after all”. But then I end up committing to things that don’t go so well when the time roles around and I’m exhausted.

I watched Session 2 again today, and got back into the meditation CD. I think it’s all working. Slowly. If you’re reading and have comments, I’d love to hear ’em.