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Why am I scared of the things I want most?


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I want to talk to girls, but I'm scared to approach them.  I want to be in love with a girl, but I'm scared of becoming emotionally attached to anyone.  I want to be open with a girl, but I'm scared of revealing my true self.  I want to be naked with a girl, but I'm scared of nudity.  I want to be intimate with a girl in every way possible, but I'm scared of all forms of intimacy.  I'm afraid of expressing myself, expressing how I truly feel and what I truly want.  Why am I like this?

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Wanting something is a pretty scary.

 

Wanting means that not getting is a source of pain. Wanting means you are somewhat visible to others in terms of your wants. Wanting something means you have to look at how possible it is to get that thing. It might mean that other people judge your want or chances of getting it. You're not going to get exactly what you want on your terms on your timescale and if you don't feel confident you can cope with that, then the alternative might by to try to not want. But not wanting is not easy, simply dropping out and numbing out often doesn't make the want go away.

 

I'm trying not to go all buddhist about this, but wanting is a state that can cause pain. Wanting can also be a basic motivator to carry on living, if we didn't want for food or water or social interaction then we'd have died out pretty early as tribespeople. Wanting something means being able to create something or obtain something, which most of human society is founded on. So wanting is not good or bad, and wanting something and not getting it is not a pathology or sickness.

 

I am a girl, and we just interacted and talked about some emotions quite personal to you. Not only could I understand them and feel empathy for them (which is a kind of intimacy) but I also felt a sense of affinity with what you bravely talked about. It turns out that I have much the same feelings and fears you do, I'm not an exotic girl creature from another planet, I'm a person, like you.

 

All girls are people. All girls want, all girls fail to obtain some of what they want and all girls can relate to what we are talking about. This is stuff you have in common with everyone alive.

 

You just started to learn how to talk to girls. Didn't hurt much, eh?

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You are so not alone dearest. I am the same way, when it comes to things I want desperately yet also am deathly afraid of, they are similar: unconditional love, intimacy (physical and emotional), a healthy functional relationship, a stable career, a sense of real independence and belief in my capabilities.

I want these things but the thought of taking the necessary action to attain them makes me nauseous from fear and dread.

I think a big part of it is that I still buy into the idea that I'm "broken", irreparably flawed and could never handle so much responsibility. I fear failure, letting myself and people around me down. And the last biggie, I am so frightened of allowing myself to be vulnerable with a partner. Letting my walls down and resisting my urge to sabotage relationships would leave me susceptible to being hurt, to possible abandonment.

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Wanting something is a pretty scary.

 

Wanting means that not getting is a source of pain. Wanting means you are somewhat visible to others in terms of your wants. Wanting something means you have to look at how possible it is to get that thing. It might mean that other people judge your want or chances of getting it. You're not going to get exactly what you want on your terms on your timescale and if you don't feel confident you can cope with that, then the alternative might by to try to not want. But not wanting is not easy, simply dropping out and numbing out often doesn't make the want go away.

 

I'm trying not to go all buddhist about this, but wanting is a state that can cause pain. Wanting can also be a basic motivator to carry on living, if we didn't want for food or water or social interaction then we'd have died out pretty early as tribespeople. Wanting something means being able to create something or obtain something, which most of human society is founded on. So wanting is not good or bad, and wanting something and not getting it is not a pathology or sickness.

 

I am a girl, and we just interacted and talked about some emotions quite personal to you. Not only could I understand them and feel empathy for them (which is a kind of intimacy) but I also felt a sense of affinity with what you bravely talked about. It turns out that I have much the same feelings and fears you do, I'm not an exotic girl creature from another planet, I'm a person, like you.

 

All girls are people. All girls want, all girls fail to obtain some of what they want and all girls can relate to what we are talking about. This is stuff you have in common with everyone alive.

 

You just started to learn how to talk to girls. Didn't hurt much, eh?

 

 

I think it's somewhat different online than in real life.  The way I am in an anonymous Internet community is completely different, and I'm completely open in places like this.  For example, I've posted nude pictures of myself to DeviantArt (I'm an aspiring artist and I was drawing myself to improve my figure drawing skills), and I'm planning to post more in the future, complete with genitals and facial features; I'm perfectly fine with strangers on the Internet seeing my naked body; but I wouldn't let anyone see me in that state in real life.  This isn't due to body shame; I actually love my body and I love the way I look naked; it's just that if I allowed someone else to see me naked in person, I would be revealing a part of myself that I had kept secret, and that would make me feel exposed and vulnerable, like that person would know more about me than I wanted them to know.  I don't even like to be shirtless most of the time.  It's hard to explain satisfactorily the type of anxiety that I'm dealing with.  It's like I have a door that's perpetually closed and I'm afraid of anyone else opening it, afraid that they'll come into my house when I don't want them there and (God forbid) be intimate with me in some way.

 

I also think that I have it worse than other people, even if this is something others experience to some extent.  Maybe everyone is somewhat afraid of their own desires, but my anxiety problem caused by autism, OCD, and social anxiety magnifies it to the point where the fear is crippling and utterly prevents me from moving forward.  For example, there has never been a time in my life when I've said "I love you." to someone, not seriously anyway, even though I have felt that way towards some people.  I said it in my mind countless times, but never with my lips.  I don't think there are many other people who can honestly say this about themselves.  When my first love and I were working at the same job together, I developed a cognitive dissonance towards her.  The more she expressed affection for me, the more I feared her, even hated her.  I wanted to avoid her, to get away from her, but even more than that I wanted to hold her in my arms, kiss her, and be naked with her.  This has actually happened to me six times in my life - a girl started showing an interest in me and I felt the same way about her, but I was just unable to express myself, because I was so scared.  So here I am, seven years later, and I've still never been intimate with anyone.

 

My fear of intimacy has interfered with every aspect of my life that involves human interaction.  I can't even join an art club because I'm afraid we'll be drawing live nude models, and seeing a model naked would be too nerve-wracking for me.  I know it's just art and it's not inherently sexual, as several people have pointed out to me, but there's still that deep intimacy.  When someone takes their clothes off in front of me, that person is opening up to me completely, sharing their deepest secrets with me, and I just don't know how to handle it.  But at the same time, I find it very erotic.  If I was dating a girl and she told me she was an art model, it would be a huge turn-on.  I would love to have a private session drawing her in the nude, immortalizing her form on paper, just like that scene in Titanic.  As I said, it's cognitive dissonance.  Maybe there was some point in my life when I was severely punished for expressing my desires or showing my true self, so now I'm afraid to do it again.  I didn't exactly have the best childhood after all.  But I don't remember any particular event.  I really don't know what to make of it.

Edited by LordoftheMonkeys
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I can see why your experiences might feel unique, but the kind of crippling inability to tolerate real life intimacy is something many members here deal with.

 

The fact it centres on intimacy (though you seem to be focusing in on nudity and sexual contact, when actually that's one form of intimacy, getting naked with someone who doesn't give a shit about you is the least intimate thing on the planet, believe me) is not that rare either. The problem with it is that if you leave it out of therapy and don't get help to put it back in a reasonable frame of thinking about it, then you're going to get worse with this whole 'girls are creatures' idea. You're talking about nudity and girls as something to look at, to do things to. That's not actually a kind of interaction is it? it's you and what you wish to do and enjoy.

 

If we're talking about intimacy, and people, we're talking about getting to know them. We're talking about having a real interaction with a girl where she says things and does things that reveal her self and where she takes an active equal part in what goes on. Whether she is posing for art or being flogged or whatever, it involves her as an equal player. And frankly, that is missing from everything you said. You talk about girls like they are dolls or toys to enjoy the sensation of without ever talking about how the friendship and exchange of two people. It's all about you. You've not described what you loved about any of these girls, or who they are. You don't talk about any relationship activities you'd hope to do or the comfort of talking and non sexual affection.

 

Why is that?

 

I don't say this to shame you, I come from a background of kink and alternative sexual experiences and I'm not the least but judgy about peoples odd desires or power plays. But you may be struggling to to the extent you do because this whole preoccupation is missing the humanity of another person. It just puts girls in the role you think up, not actually allowing for them to be real people. And yeah, that does not bode well for your platonic or sex life. Firstly, girls hate that objectification shit, secondly, it will amp up your anxiety because you lose touch with what you have in common and three, it will make the sexual aspect more and more pressing until it doesn't matter what context gets you off. When girls are dehumanized, some pretty nasty sexual abuse and exploitation seems rational. Which it's not.

 

I don't know what happened in your childhood and I'm not convinced there has to be a big shameful trauma for people to have intimacy issues. The combination of some pretty confusing ideals about how relationships work and your own idea that you somehow have this affliction particular to you (making it unsolvable and insurmountable) is going to make this potentially escalate over time. The more time you spend lost in fantasy about life drawing or the girl next door, the less you are actually learning how to interact with real people and tolerate that imperfection.

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I think all people have a tendency to objectify those they find attractive, to some extent.  I don't think that's anything unique to me.  However, I do have trouble viewing other people as conscious human beings; I tend to think of them as just supporting characters in the story of my life, not seeing things from their point of view and only thinking of them in terms of their relationships to me.  It all has to do with this theory of mind thing that aspies like me are incapable of.

 

Are you saying I should learn to think of women as friends first before trying to be intimate with them?  I can see how this would help, but I have some odd problems with this.  When I become platonic friends with a girl, I cease to find her attractive, regardless of how hot she is.  It's like she's down-to-earth and she's no longer mysterious or mystical, and that makes her less attractive, because I can see that she's a human, rather than some supernatural creature.  I guess in a way I don't really want a relationship with a human.  I'd rather date an angel or an elf princess or something like that.  Maybe I'm just spending too much time caught up in a fantasy world.  Maybe that's the main problem - I'm just not living in reality.

 

Whatever the case, there has to be some way in which my problem is worse than what the rest of the world deals with (not necessarily people on here, but people who are mentally healthy), because clearly those people have the ability to establish intimate relationships and I don't.  I know there's something wrong with me personally.

Edited by LordoftheMonkeys
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I suspect that it's easier for you to maintain the fantasy world than to risk the vulnerability of being in the real world. However you are starting to see that fantasy worlds are like cotton candy fluff... a little sweetness but no substance.

Real people have flaws. If you want the satisfaction of being truly intimate with someone, it unfortunately comes with accepting imperfection.

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I'm saying you should acknowledge that women are people with their own identity and personhood apart from whatever it is you are fetishizing about them. Because woman are not fairies or elven queens. They're human beings, as are you. You do have a massive problem if you want to engage in human intimacy but not with anyone who is flawed or to whom you might have to risk yourself.

 

I can't give you an answer on how to fix this, because it's obviously quite ingrained personal stuff that you're not able to pick apart with strangers online. If you decide that your fantasy life does lack any substance, you're going to have to get some therapy for that. There is no reason why you can't talk about the loneliness and pain this puts you in, but no one can teach you how to just make this click in your mind, not here anyway.

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I second the you should see woman as their own people, we have our own minds, thoughts and feelings.

It somewhat annoys me when men objectify woman, when they say things like "that hot girl", they aren't seeing a human being, they are seeing what they want to see. I've dated a few guys like this.

 

Wanting is a part of Human Nature, everyone wants something and it's only natural people with anxiety to be afraid.

 

I want a normal, stable, productive life and this terrifies me.

Edited by neptunesky
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