“When I was a child I made up my mind that no one loved me — that life may not be worth it and that love was a conditional transaction between people. When I grew up, I soon learned I was wrong. Children learn wrong things about the world; about life; about love, but I promise you that children don’t think that way without good reasons.

Fortunately, I did learn people do love me and life’s worth living. But I felt that second learning developed much later than early on, because I know when I’m stressed out, when I’m hurt, when I feel betrayed or when I’ve really screwed up something or hurt someone, I relapse into being that little child who believes there is no love in this world.”  ~ Jee Hyun Kim

Heightened sensitivity has occupied a prominent place in my head and heart.  As a boy, I’d often gaze at the reflection in windows or mirrors to look at my face. Although I could vaguely recognize or detect it, invalidation permeated my environment. Little by little the emotionally toxic world sowed self-doubt within my sensitive nature. I tried to decipher what triggered the contempt. Why were only some children targeted while others favored? Was it my dark skin, my slower speech or my hesitancy?

When growing up, resources about emotional issues were scarce. Internet was still in its mother’s womb. In order to survive, I grew up out of touch with my emotions. By example, I learned to express pain as little as possible. To complicate matters, communication was minuscule in my family of origin. Thus, I felt unworthy, though I pretended none of the antagonism was having any effect on me.

Self-esteem comes with healing. A background full of pain, anger and sadness often creates dependency without realizing it. When Christ’s love becomes a reality, you begin to feel less compelled to seek approval, and yet it takes time to process insecure attachment, especially when it is the driving force behind all your endeavors.

~ vincenzo ©

Although writing usually helps clarify my thoughts, sometimes it clouds me over with angst. I not only encounter complex issues that resist translation, I come into collision with my own perceptions. No matter how the words arrange themselves, they look back at me with trifling glances. The deeper I excavate, the less justice accorded to the lived experience. I tackle it in bits and pieces – save it to draft, then return to it another day. I find I can only devote so much time before I’m consumed with heartache and fatigue.

When we believe we are undeserving, we can involuntarily open ourselves to unsuitable company without understanding the damage it may cause. These unsuitable personalities have abilities to decode susceptibility and hoodwink others through false assurances. While being charming on the surface, they are volatile, combative, and disrespectful of boundaries. They maintain a persistent self referential attitude and suck away energy like vampires.

Abusive episodes operate within cycles and begin with measured doses of seductive sweetness, followed by days of increasing tension, then finally erupting into violent verbal and/or physical attacks. They’re called cycles because the sweetness, tension and acting out become a recurring pattern played over and over again like an endless loop cassette.

You come to a startling realization. What seems real is imaginary. You hold on tightly, only to discover it brings instability, desolation and untold stress. This kaleidoscope of emotional upheaval erodes the soul with unpredictable bouts of dissonance.

You let go. You move on. You grieve. You open up to others. You isolate yourself. You realize many are called but few confidants are chosen. In real time grief is too alien a subject. Society at large fails to acknowledge or comprehend it. There is an unspoken aversion to it. Online, writers convey their thoughts through a generic-sounding-scientific lens. Cold and sterile. Colorless depictions.

Grief is an inner work. I came to realize I needed God to give me a new viewfinder, for mine was passed broken and looking through it, I only grew more anxious and fearful, even when reading the Scriptures. It was when I was at dead end of myself with no sense of direction did Christ answer my prayer.

~ vincenzo ©

*parentheses mine

How do you come to terms with the way it was — the way you wished it had been?

Some losses are beyond recovery, because you seek qualities in another he or she never possessed. You hold on tightly maybe for years, only to discover it brings you instability, desolation and untold stress until you can no longer hold on any more.

Grief appears and reappears when you least expect it. Wherever you go, it is a subject too foreign for the general public. Reading about it online only magnifies the pain as most websites approach it through a generic, scientific lens. It looks nothing like the dark forebodings gripping your heart.

Although writing helps to clarify thoughts, you often collide against your own perceptions, unable to trust your senses. No matter how you arrange the words, they look back at you with trifling glances. The deeper you excavate, the less justice accorded to the lived experience. ~ vincenzo ©

“Being a low-maintenance child or partner (a nice word for self-neglect) is idealized as a valuable attribute.” – Charlotte Z. Cavatica

Many children who cannot rely upon their immediate environment to meet their needs, become as low-maintenance as possible. Some refer to this as an avoidant personality. Beneath their tough exterior, some develop exaggerated fears of letting others down and feel acutely responsible for others’ disappointment and anger. ~ vincenzo ©

The ruling majority is rationally driven. It ignores emotions as if they didn’t exist. This makes life challenging for artistic temperaments who filter thoughts through their feelings. ~ vincenzo ©

Throughout youth, many children seek to fix or “unbe” themselves. Their social role call them to adopt a highly charged, extroverted front — to cover their highly sensible, introverted nature. Regardless of their true temperament, they matter to others only to the extent they reflect the resilience and tough-mindedness of the high school jock or spirited cheerleader. ~ vincenzo ©