I love the things that are terrible for me

I keep thinking about how much I love the things that are terrible for me.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I want to cultivate the things in my life that are healthy, balanced, mutual, sustainable, stable, and minimally dramatic. That is, ultimately, my goal in most relationships and long-term dynamics.

But let’s be real: there is a part of me that absolutely loves the things that are terrible for me.

For me, that translates to the cocky, arrogant, so-sure-of-themselves people. The fast-and-loose uncertainty. The people that make me wonder if I text too much because I’m usually the one instigating conversation. The people that I hold up my guards with, the ones where I fake aloofness, the ones where my intentions are masked because I don’t want to want too much. The ones where I’m not sure if there is a dynamic to define, or if there is, how to begin defining it, and asking feels scary because maybe, again, I’m asking too much and I don’t want to lose the little bit I am given because this feeds something in me and the truth of it is, my heart is ravenous.

In short, I love the people that bring up and feed a lot of my own insecurities about myself.

I’ve been mulling over this the past few weeks, trying to figure out what draws me to these kinds of people, especially when I am surrounded by so many amazing, supportive, awesome folks. What does this type of dynamic feed in me?

There is an element of chaos in my life. To some extent, I acknowledge that this is simply going to be true, and there is a level to which I am able to contain the direction, if not the force, of how that chaos manifests. And yes, there is a part of me that falls for the people who embody that chaos in a way that makes sense to me- even if I end up getting hurt, I still feel safe unleashing that level of emotion.

And, you know, emotional masochist. Which feels complicated because, when I’m actively engaged in something with someone like this, it all kind of feels a little like a scene, some extended, unspoken psychological game. Only, I’m not sure how to safeword out of a scene that has never been negotiated. And how do you tell someone that every interaction with them feels like you’re in emotional subspace because they kind of suck at all the things that make for a responsible person, both in and out of the scene?

God, for that matter, I wonder sometimes, in these contexts, I how I call myself a responsible person in the scene. But that’s a discussion for another day.

But there is another side of it, too, one that I’ve been mentally mulling over. I feel like being around these people forces me to face something in myself- usually some feeling of inadequacy. I do not see myself as equals with that person – I am usually the lesser, usually because I feel like I have more invested and therefore have more to lose. My heart doesn’t do much half-assed, and even if my mind is capable of discerning which people are healthy and which are chaotic, all my heart understands is adrenaline and chemical pull.

But these interactions teach me important things. I don’t actually like playing in dynamics where everyone involved is not ultimately on equal footing. It makes me angry when I realize that there are people that I automatically defer to because I feel inferior in some capacity. And when I get angry, I get stubborn. I struggle and fight and search and do whatever I can do to feel like I am on equal footing with these types of people. It means I have to address whatever feelings of inadequacy come up for me. It’s uncomfortable, scary, nerve-wracking, and sometimes agonizing, but that’s the process of untangling, deconstructing, and overcoming insecurities. I have do to some serious work on my own concept of self-worth and value, some intentional analysis of what I want versus what I am willing to accept and try to bridge the gap between those things.

In order to feel equal, I have to stop seeing myself as inferior and, in order to do that, I have to combat the places in myself where certain types of insecurities reside.

So yes, I love the things that are terrible for me. I love the people that bring out certain responses in me: the ones where I over-analyze everything, the ones where I type out texts and agonize over whether to send them, the ones that are too wrapped up in themselves to actually see and/or appreciate me, the ones that don’t make time but ride convenience. It makes me question my sanity, sometimes, and it breaks my heart, most of the time, and yes, it feeds a certain level of chaos in me.

But that’s not the only reason that I am drawn to these people, these “dynamics,” these personalities. My heart is a stubborn beast, but a bit obtuse at recognizing my own shortcomings sometimes. So I like the people that bring out and feed my insecurities because that has been one of the only ways I have been able to overcome them.

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