I am afraid you will find out how bad I am.
There is a part of me that wants and is insatiable.
It wants more food, more sex, more power;
It wants to dominate;
It wants to be dominated;
It wants to win at all costs.
So I cover it up. I pretend I’m not jealous of your sudden success. I pretend that I don’t want more peanut butter cookies or a closer look at his body.
I pretend to be civilized and to a degree it’s a healthy choice. But then sometimes it’s not. Sometimes I’m in a power struggle but pretend everything’s fine. This ends up being painful for both me and the person I’m secretly competing with.
Recently I was about to leave on a trip and trying to figure out when I could see the person I’m dating before I left. I wanted to hang out on Tuesday but he wanted to watch baseball. He wanted to hang out on Wednesday but I had my dance class and needed to pack. My flight left Thursday morning.
I saw it as a competition of whose time was more important. I was mad but instead of being explaining my frustration, I said that Wednesday would work.
Thirty minutes later I couldn’t live with myself so called back to say I didn’t know if it would work after all. I needed to pack and clean my apartment.
When he suggested that he could pick me up from dance and simply drive me home so we could see each other at least for the car ride, I said “I don’t know… Let’s play it by ear… I’ll text you…”
Instead of explaining, I was punishing him. He didn’t see the situation as a competition, and so was confused about why I was suddenly acting aloof.
And to be completely honest, I was so far deep in my pattern of pretending that I’m not competitive that I didn’t even realize what I was doing. It took a couple of days and talking it out with a friend to figure it out.
But I am starting to see it’s destructive when I pretend my “badness” is not there. I want to begin acknowledge it more.
I want to say, yes, I am human. Sometimes I am scared. Sometimes I am angry. Sometimes I am jealous. Sometimes I am greedy. Sometimes I am cruel. I’m not perfect and that’s okay.
And I want to say if you’re any of these things, you’re okay too.
We try. We mess up.
And when we can own our mistakes and learn from them, that’s when life can really blossom.