After years of avoidance, logical approaches, analytic systems to avoid this exact situation, IT happened:
I met someone.
In Second Life.
That I like.
An awful lot.
And that I am falling for like a ton of bricks. *sigh*
Most people would be happy and enjoy this feeling. But apparently I am not most people. Sure, I am (kinda) happy and I (kinda) enjoy this feeling. Yet, experiences from the past have made me extremely… wary. The level of cynicism is very high in me. In every day situations, I take people at face value. But as soon as “matters of the heart” come into play… BOOM! Shields up! Load photon torpedoes! Damage reports! “She cannae take much mor’, Capt’n!”.
Every. Single. Time.
Each word said (or typed) is weighed for validity, inclination, hidden messages, warning signs and what not. Every gesture is scrutinised for sincerity, potential manipulation, purpose. In short, I turn into an analytical machine. Always checking for signs of bad intent. And at the slightest hint of perceived trouble, the shields are raised higher. And it is so very tiresome.
It never has anything to do with the other person. It is me trying to find fault or insincerity. Pick it apart until nothing is left but burned debris. And the other person thoroughly pushed away. And more opportunities missed.
Perhaps I am influenced by my RL last name, which translated to “vulture”. Maybe this causes me to peck at the flesh and bones of everything, until there is nothing left but a vague imprint in the dirt.
Granted, I have been in (RL) relationships that needed this kind of scrutiny and where I failed to see the signs. Some really bad things happened, which caused me to literally flee a country to escape in order to survive. And yes, the signs were there from the beginning, but I choose not to see them.
But not this time. Or any time since really. No bad omens, burning bushes or plagues of locusts. This time it is “just” a very nice, sweet and gentle man, who is showing an interest in me. Yet all lasers are aimed at him to strike if maybe potentially possibly he says a perceived bad thing.
Why? Just why do I do this? Is it because I am shy? Because of my low self-esteem? Perhaps my deep-seated insecurities? I suspect it is all of the above. A need to protect myself from any harm. A not understanding how anyone could in the slightest be interested in me as I really am. A fear of not living up to expectations. And above all, the fear of hurting someone.
Somehow, somewhen, I have taken it upon myself to protect other people from me. “Oh you like me, do you? Well, let me show you what damage I can do to you! En garde!” I have come to see it as a challenge to make someone dislike me in the shortest amount of time. And I have gotten too good at it over time.
This realisation is a very bitter pill to swallow. Because, like everyone else, I want to be happy too. Not just content, but happy. And the past days, I have been happy. I am re-discovering things, that I thought were lost in me. I have also been able to, so far, not slip too deep into my shields-up mode or taken up the challenge of The Massive Push-Away.
But secretly I am petrified that I will manage to fuck it all up again as usual…