I’ve always carried a sense of creativity ever since I was a kid. I used to love writing short stories in elementary school for the class to read out loud. Throughout the rest of my school years, Art class was by far my favorite outlet, followed by Creative Writing to release my sense of quirkiness and ambitious imagination. Fast forward to adulthood and I chose the road more travelled, becoming a scientist, or more precisely a Food Developer. It’s an enriching career filled with rewarding experiences, learning the science and development behind food manufacturing that most of us take for granted. But, after long days of repeated trials, I go home and relinquish myself of the title, “certified Foodie”, devouring my microwaved dinner with great ease.
Then, as the evening wears on, I gladly turn to my true passion; learning something more about who I am. The artist in me. The creator. The writer. The True me.
Facing our fears is perhaps one of the most terrifying experiences a guy can have. Why is it so painful and daunting to look deep into that abyss? Is it because we’re afraid we’ll discover things about ourselves that we’ll reject? It’s painful enough if the World rejects you, so why would I delve deeper into myself and run the risk of rejecting myself? Why would I walk straight into a burning house?
I recently did some reading about different forms of attachment styles in relationships. I’m fascinated to learn more about myself as part of my ongoing personal development journey. Basically, what I’ve learned is that there are 2 attachment styles: Secure and Insecure. I dug deeper to determine what my attachment style has been in past relationships, determined not to repeat the same pattern in my current relationship with Annie. Based on a checklist of the behaviors, I fell into the Anxious Attachment Style.
In the last several months, I’ve made a conscious effort to put myself out there to broaden my peripheral view on life. I not only feel a boost in my self-esteem, but I also feel that I’m socially more comfortable in my own skin than ever before. I’ve attended a number of social functions where I knew very few to know one at all. I’ve gone to business seminars and conferences that I normally would have turned down the moment I heard they were taking place, and I went on a number of dates just for the hell of it. A dear friend once told me that going on dates is like going for a series of job interviews: you gain practice and experience hoping someday for that perfect match. As it stands right now, I remain unemployed.
Is it even possible? How does one regain their self-esteem lost from childhood abuse and trauma?
What I’ve learned over the years is that low self-esteem in social situations can be common for childhood abuse and trauma survivors.
I feel judged and begin analyzing what others might be thinking of me. I feel a discomfort in my breathing and suddenly my mind no longer pays attention to the social interactions going on, but rather on what my exit strategy is going to be. Perhaps it’s a mild case of agoraphobia, the fear of feeling unsafe and trapped. Or maybe it’s a trigger from my past.