“Why is it so much easier to be angry and hateful towards something/someone than it is to admit that you’ve been hurt?”
I never thought much of that quote, until I was in such a situation myself. Thinking more about it, I realize that despite technically being an adult, I still have not learnt to communicate past the kindergarten stage.
Let me explain. Maybe it was primary school and all the fighting, where to admit that you were hurt was a sign of weakness, and ‘taking control’ by turning into the incarnation of the Hulk was seen as strength. I don’t know if anyone of you feel the same way, and maybe some of you can relate.
Somehow, that carried over with me till today. I always saw myself as the rock that people could depend on, the tough guy that could never possibly falter. Maintaining that image gave me strength, and an ego, an image that I could rely on to overcome life. Infallible, I couldn’t possibly be wrong, and with the expectations of being the oldest sibling placed on my shoulders, it only reinforced that mentality even more.
My first break-up two years ago changed it, and till today I occasionally question my self-worth in those rare, private moment when I’m alone.
A part of me knew that no matter what, I was still that wounded boy in the drain on my second day of primary school.
I find it difficult being vulnerable and frank with my closest friends and loved ones. I don’t have problems being so with complete strangers. Maybe it’s because they don’t judge as much. Your loved ones will say things because they care about you, that much I know because I would do the same for all my friends. Maybe it’s because there’s an expectation that those closest to my heart would know me best, and know how to help/comfort me. And when that expectation is not met, well, there’s a disconnect.
One thing leads to another, and it spirals into a widening gap between you and your loved ones. I might be hurting on the inside, they might not know. I EXPECT them to know how to help/comfort me, but the disconnect leads to a widening gap and I’m left angry and confused.
I now understand why the lone wolf is called such. No one that could possibly hurt you, reinforcing that infallible image, but also no one that could relate or connect with you, and therefore, by your side when you need them the most.
Ultimately, I think this could be traced back to how we dealt with our childhood trauma, but then I could be wrong and this thought experiment was a waste of time. The resulting outcome was an infallible persona that couldn’t afford to be vulnerable, and as a result folks don’t know how to comfort or help us when we needed it the most, spiraling into the persona that is the lone wolf.
I don’t know if I articulated my thought process succinctly enough, but I hope it resonates with some of you who go through this process, and encourages you to dare to be honest and vulnerable when you would otherwise be arrogant and invincible. I’m struggling to be more honest and vulnerable myself in an attempt to connect with others, especially with my loved ones.
I hope it’s the start of better communication.