I work at a detention center for youth who are in trouble. The other day I saw some interesting behavior from one of the boys. He mooned another boy who had a history of sexual abuse and then he was afraid that the boy was going to press charges and that he would find himself going from juvenile prison to the real thing.
For weeks he was worried that this other boy would press charges. One day as they were passing in the hall he punched the other boy in the face. One would think that if he was worried that he would get into worse trouble and end up in jail, punching the kid in the face would NOT be the most effective strategy. It would be easy to judge his intelligence if I didn’t know that we often do that kind of thing. The thing that we fear the most we tend to bring into our lives.
Here’s an example, I knew a lady when I was a little girl who hadn’t married until her 40th birthday. from the time I remember I was worried that, that would be me. The funny thing is that in a polygamist culture that really doesn’t happen. People just get married. They just do. I went to my dad one day and just wanted to know what would happen if I didn’t marry. “You will he assured me, stop worrying about it.”
But what if I don’t? I asked, “I just want to know what would happen. Say I’m thirty and still not married, do I move away from home? Do I get a job? (Both things that an unmarried girl in my culture wouldn’t have done) What happens then?”
I never got an answer.
As I approached 22 I went to him again. I was concerned because I was bored. I wasnt going to school, I wasn’t working, I wasn’t married, All my friends were married, my sisters were married and having children and I wondered what I was supposed to do.
I suddenly saw the next ten years looming ahead and me sitting at home doing dishes and emptying the trash. I wondered again what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I wanted to know at what point I branched out and did something different.
Still I didn’t get an answer
This year I turned 30. AHHHHHH yep still single
Fortunately for me I am not still sitting at home doing dishes and taking out the trash. I am training to be an EMT. I recently finished my associates degree and am working towards a bachelor’s in Communications. I have a job I love and some great work experience. I have awesome roommates and great friends. No husband, but I’m happy.
But I digress, my point is that I have noticed that I tend to sabotage myself. For example here is a followup to a previous post. If you haven’t read it yet read https://acowintheocean.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/a-clingon-adventure/
I ended up kind of liking Jake. He was sweet and funny and we talked easily and I enjoyed his company. The fact that he was really cute wasn’t lost on me. Better yet he seemed interested in me. I am not afraid to admit that I really blew it with him. It wasn’t until later that I started to see a pattern in my behavior and realized that I was self-sabotaging.
Shortly after our first date Jake and I were talking and he offered to help me study for one of my classes. I went to his place and we studied. He offered me something to eat and drink and I only saw it as a study session.
That weekend he called and asked me if I would like to have dinner with him. I told him no. I could have explained that I didn’t have access to a vehicle to drive to his house, If I had told him about my family, I could have explained that it was awkward for me to admit to my parents that I was spending time with a guy after all their years of teaching that it was sinful and wrong. And that since it was Sunday I was worried about telling them were I was going.
But I didn’t I just told him that I already ate and wasn’t hungry.
Another time after class he wanted to hang out and play the piano, I left him waiting in the hallway for me for over an hour while I visited with a friend. Since the friend happened to be male I am pretty sure it sent the wrong message.
So for those of you who were curious about how things ended with Jake….that’s how. I blew him off over and over again and eventually he stopped trying. Why do we do that? Why do we self sabotage?
One of these days I will see if I can find the answer and then I will post it. In the mean time, feel free to leave me your opinion.
Also Don’t forgot that during the month of February you can email me your story and enter to win the dating story contest. See details on https://acowintheocean.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/valentines-day/