We all like to be liked. However, with abuse survivors this desire to be liked can be dangerous and almost pathological. I certainly know that when I was younger I would do whatever I could do to please anybody just so that they would like me. It never occurred to me that I may not like them.
For me not being liked represented danger. If you didn’t like me you are likely to harm me and so of course I did what I could to make you like me. This led me to be a chronic people pleaser and led me to very humiliating situations.
Mostly this situation has changed as I have and I no longer fear not being liked though this is not always the case. As with any recurrent illness I very occasionally become scared of people when it is apparent to me that they do not like me especially when I have had no dealings with them and when I have gone out of my way to have dealings with them it has not gone well at all. Not only as fine a completely humiliated myself but have never once felt goodwill toward me from them. This has nothing to do with friendship. It was purely to do with fear. In my mind they didn’t like me and they were therefore a danger to me. One of them had already shown on more than one occasion that the fear was realistic at least from her I have thought of little else but I do realise that all of this with regard to another couple has been in my head I think. I do not think that they have goodwill toward me but I also do not think that they wish me any harm either and that is the part of the child Colin that still feels that not being liked means danger. Now that child Colin wasn’t paranoid. He had every reason to believe that if he wasn’t liked he was going to get hurt and that is exactly what happened every single time. Hence I have spent a lot of my adult life being afraid and being especially afraid of people. I have some very good friends now, most of them women. It is obvious that my relationships would mainly be with women as it was men who harmed me (or boys at school who bullied me and where I humiliated myself the most as I would do anything to prevent being spat on, kicked and punched, called shit as my nickname and often in class where the teachers did nothing to stop it. I was completely friendless at school and fully expected that that would be my life. So it is now no mystery to you why I am so surprised with my life and so clearly shows you where the fear comes from.)
And this has not been a problem for many years now especially for the last 10 accept it has reared its ugly head again this last while. Adult Colin accepts that for whatever reason I am not liked and that is perfectly okay and does not mean that I am in danger. Child Colin of course believes that it is danger. I have just realised something I’ve never realised before. This is the situation where the adult Colin can parent the child Colin and explained to him that not being liked by these people does not mean they are going to kill me in my extreme fear or just do me some damage in my less extreme symptom.
I have never written about this before because once again it is something that I am terribly ashamed of. In the recent situation I humiliated myself deeply. Who would want to admit to such a stupid and illogical well I would because I’m keeping to my promise of being authentic.
I can feel that I am very close to being able to close the door on this without anybody else needing to do anything. Now that the adult Colin understands that the child Colin has had the upper hand in this situation for quite some time. And now that I am aware of this I can do what is needed for the child Colin and the problem will resolve itself.
Often we dislike a person just because they remind us of somebody in the past who made them feel uncomfortable or frightened them and all of that can be totally unconscious. as an example there was a man at the dog shows who still is at the dog shows whom I did not like at all. I wouldn’t show under him and I avoided him. One day I happened to look up as I was knitting in my wheelchair and I saw him walking towards me and I felt tremendous fear and I suddenly realised that this poor man that I had judged as being a bad man had only reminded me of the man who had hurt me seriously when a child. Once I realise this I always responded to his hello and have shown under him.
I hope for my own sake that the other situation is resolved very quickly in my mind t