Mental Health Quote of the Day: (me to my therapist) “Sometimes I actually think you really like me instead of just giving unconditional positive regard because I’m your client.”
Yes, this made him laugh. Yes, I was only about 20% kidding.
In truth, I’ve seen a fair number of psychologists and counselors, but my current trauma counselor is certainly unique. And he does seem to genuinely enjoy interacting with and listening to me–to the point that he almost fawns over me at times (in a sort of big-brotherly way). I find it a bit daunting to be genuinely liked by anyone, especially someone I pay for services.
I suppose that’s the true issue–I find it odd to be genuinely liked. I get nervous anytime I find myself at the grownup version of the cool kids’ table. I’m amazed when I learn that total strangers are reading and liking the things I write on this blog. I’m not used to being popular, and my inner introvert pulls away from public accolades at the same time as my inner performer craves the spotlight. (I’m not sure if this is just part of being born a Gemini or a symptom of DID. I do know I have struggled with this dilemma all my life. I’m the only person I know who hated being popular in high school.)
So although I try to live my life as though people are watching, I find it disconcerting to discover that not only are they watching but they also like what they see. Eeekkkk! My inner introvert goes running to hide under the covers in a dimly lit room. My inner artist craves constructive criticism. My observers are of no use if they don’t give me tips for improving. Screw this unconditional positive regard.
Then it dawns on me: Sometimes the very thing one needs the most, even the need one seeks most to fill can be the need most uncomfortable to satisfy.