“People are afraid of you. Who? Oh, you know… people. Everybody. Everybody’s afraid of you.”
I am told that this is who I am, that people dislike me, that people hate me.
I’ve always expected people to dislike me, and when I was a kid I would often do things to purposely sabotage my relationships. I’ve since learned that many adoptees expect that their relationships will fail, that their friends and loved ones will abandon them, and that self-sabotage is pretty common. We view ourselves as discarded, cast offs, unlovable, and we buy into the self-fulfilling prophecy.
Relationships are really difficult to navigate when you believe your efforts are futile. I’m very lucky to have found some very tenacious and patient friends who gently, and sometimes not-so-gently, remind me that I’m worth their efforts and patience.
But then there is that one person who feeds the lie; the one person who should probably be my biggest cheerleader, who instead seems to find satisfaction in taking me down a notch or two or fifty. They know where I am most insecure, and they find the mark every.single.time. They casually tell me I am the source of problems, I am frightening, I am too much, I am hated.
Hated? Really? I know I am flawed, but to be hated for being myself?
Hyperbole (and possible gaslighting) aside, I really do hear what this person is saying. This person says that *they* dislike me. This person finds me intimidating. This person hates who I am, and the person I am becoming. I am too much FOR THEM. It’s a painful realization for me, and it’s difficult to understand. I have to accept that this person has a really negative opinion of me, and figure out how to go on from here.
It has been two years that this person has been telling me how the world sees me. I’m ready to be done with that.