My world is very small; i have very limited control over the scope of my life; i have created and curated a very small, densely populated life; when i cannot wholly respond to the variables within that environment i over-react to anyone looking in; rather, to anyone looking in, i appear to overreact - but in a densely populated world, you need to pivot to stay alive; cba's are helpful to me because they help me to retain perspective in the midst of constant pivot-points and revaluations
I remember the phrase "get a life" from when I was young. That being a "loser" in cut-downs meant that you were either not living, or not living very much. I am was plagued as a kid with being cut down. I had awful self-esteem, came home crying through elementary and grade school, and most times when I rode the bus. I lavished the people in my life that didn't treat me in the most barbarous of ways with adoration. I easily construed acquaintances as deep, meaningful friendships; conflated people not being mean with being good friends. I married someone who didn't really like me for who I am (I think may have been okay to her as a person, but certainly not her idea of a mate).
Recently I came to realize that I don't have a very big life relative to my circumstances. Having this relationship to other people, I have dwelled very much in others' expectations of me. I have allowed those expectations to constrain my behavior and shape my existence in the world. It is only when you are not shouldering the weight of those expectations that you feel some kind of freedom.
Almost universally, shaping life to meet your own hopes and expectations is an arduous task. Not only because it requires so much effort to evaluate your environment, and effort to affect change therein, but because it requires that you try to be honest with yourself so much of the time. For me, dealing and coping with the weight of others' expectations drove me to do regretful things, both of consequence and inconseqeuntial outside my life. Disembarking that exptations train was liberating, but I didn't realize that was what had happened until fourteen months later.
Expectations can be invisible and smothering at the same time. Dealing with someone else's needs can be incredibly stifling and pointless and it may seem like you are on this constant wheel of suffering where you push resources into a system and it never gets straightened out. Worse, you may be unaware that this is happening.
Once you have experienced both the full weight of others' expectations, and the liberation thereof, it is hard if not impossible to ever consciously decide to sacrifice any part of yourself to met the needs or expectations of another person. A Pavlovic response to external needs and expectatoins develops that actually tries to punish you for doing something that you might otherwise enjoy. It does so by tearing you apart between the thing you have sacrificed yourself to do, and the perceived/anticipated return on investment of [whatever-the-alternative-is]. And obviously, the life unlived is always better than the circumstances of the one you're in.
I don't drive.
I had a learner's permit for about a year during the course of not having seizures; unfortunately, in light of a seizure a little while back, that can just got kicked a few months down the road again. This has led to an intense amount of pressure being heaped up around having control over my environment. The degree to which I have freedom is restrained by the weather, condition of my bike, and the extent to which I feel like pedaling.
When it comes to visiting family, seeing friends, going to dinner beyond a half mile from my house, seeing people in general, and getting to work, I have precise controls in place that try to maximize output. As such, they are very sensitive controls whose malfunction have very serious, if not regularly dire implications. While that's not exactly true, that is how it feels.
You see, whenever I wish to do anything, I must rely on other people. Christmas time at mom's? Not on my own. Family reunion three hours away? Can't make it. I have established a thousand touch points wherein I can send out a call to a vast network of resources to make it happen, I just simply don't have the independence to make it on my own.
As a result, I have to limit the scope of my life. That said, I have been terrifyingly diligent in ensuring that it is a densely populated world. There isn't much room for redundancy. I did that once, relying on someone else and likely dispossessing her of much of her own freedom and ladening her with my expectations insofar as I assumed they lined up. At least, that was my conscious intent. What was likelier happening was I was forcing my expectations on her, and the bleed-over (in addition to other factors) drove her away.
The mission critical way in which I have lead my life is terribly problematic and creates very tense situations for those around me. Aware or otherwise, to them it must feel like some pine coffin of an overcast sky.
Growing up, I couldn't healthfully rely on anyone; this was my failing, not due to some lack of network. When I did rely on someone, it was hard and heavy. I need to break this pattern for my own good, as well as all those around me. It is likelier that the pressure I feel to live up to others' expectations is neither anticipated, understood, welcome, appreciated, wanted, intended, or otherwise acceptable to the inadvertantly issuing party.
For me, when I know I am probably putting pressure on someone else, it just looks like they don't value something the same way that I do. It seems to me like I don't need to necessarily get them to do what I want or wish they would, but it seems like like I should at least get to a point where I can be sure that the know where I am at.
There is a very pernicious and problematic passive-aggressive tendency in that. If I can get someone to see why I value something, how could they not come to the same conclusion on what they too should be doing? The logical problem with this is that it falsely equates behavior with understanding. I.E. They don't actually understand what Iam valuing, or moreover the how and why until they do what I want them to.
This stubbornness I think I learned from people around me. The kind of obstinate brain it requires is what makes everything feel mission critical. This is not a happy story. I am at a loss as to how this would otherwise be. The input problem is my experience of pressure from other people. Which I then replicate and push onto other innocent people.
To say that someone else not only needs to understand my values, but also to (perhaps but not necessarily, adopt and) live in accordance with them is bullshit. To understand someone else's understanding based solely on the terms of their conformance with my assessment of a situation is bullshit. I know this. I just need to know what to do when I feel like an actual thing is worth pushing out the notification to the other person.
Most of the time I try my best to stifle any expectations of other people. I try to submerge my anxiety about the people in my life enough that, while they may experience weird or disembodied behavior from me, they won't be able to necessarily guess the reason why. I don't have great tools for talking about anxiety with others. So why should I trouble them with those anxieties?
When asked if I am anxious, if I look inside and see that I don't know how to talk about it, I normally try to just say no. It still seems an undue burden to put inarticulate feelings on other people. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I have done my best to try to address articulating those feelings when I am emotionally available and then addressing them directly. When I do this, they normally fluff away like feathers and I come to some greater understanding of myself.
If I do voice a raw anxiety it is normally only for some functional or operational effect. While you should always be vigilent both of not disowning your emotions (no matter how seductive or repellant they are), it seems you should also avoid introducing possibly coercive information.
Because the emotions of others impact me so dramatically, I can typically only view my own emotions as having the same general through-put, and thereby typically omit them from conversation.