Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Losing Myself Around Others

Amazing how many "personal issues" are related to being adopted (which I will explain in next post). Like this one: Losing sense of myself around certain people. Strong people. You know the type. The kind who take up a big space. Doesn’t matter if they are 5'1" or 98 pounds. Sometimes they talk a lot. Have strong opinions. They aren’t afraid to tell you they are right and you are wrong. Or maybe they are the strong, quiet type. The kind who specialize in disapproving glances and withering silences. Whichever. When confronted with an uber personality, I feel myself fading. The edges blurring. Subsumed.

It happened just last weekend with a relative of the in-law variety. One of those strong women who have even stronger likes and dislikes. German cars are the best. Organic is the way to go. Discount shopping is for slobs and poor people. Most workers (dry cleaners, handymen, gardeners) are incompetent. Which, of course, is nonsense. But instead of my position and self solidifying in the face of such an inflexible world view, I’m pulled into her energy field where I swirl around. Lost. I allow myself to be pommeled by the onslaught of the uber personality.

Except this time, I am aware that it’s happening. It takes 48 hours to "get back to myself." I finally grow tired of listening to her go on and on. With great effort, I sternly remind myself of my values. I like cars that are solid and a good value. Organic isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. I love discount shopping and hate paying full price. And, dear relative, I’d be more impressed if you took me to a great bookstore instead of dragging me to Escada. By the time we say good-bye, I have regained my edges, my boundaries, myself. I don’t like this feeling. This losing myself around certain people.

It isn’t the first time it’s happened. It’s something I’ve experienced throughout my life. It’s not the other person’s fault. They are who they are. But my reaction is strange. Off. Being "subsumed" is exhausting. Uncomfortable. I have finally outgrown this "issue." Where does it come from? I vow to figure it out.

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