So I got this message from Facebook:[br][br]Your friends have voted on your strengths and weaknesses:[br][br]STRENGTHS:[br][br]most desired[br][br]person with the best profile picture[br][br]most punctual[br][br]WEAKNESSES:[br][br]most athletic[br][br]best companion on a desert island[br][br]Now. To start, I\’m not sure how I can excel at desirability, but then not be wanted as a companion on a desert island. But that really is beside the point.[br][br]I\’m posting this because, firstly, it\’s hilarious to me how we live in an age where you can get regular weekly updates on how popular you are from a website you barely log onto anyway, as if that\’s some measure of your worth. But mostly I\’m posting it because I stupidly felt happy when I saw people had voted me most desired. I mean, how pathetic is that? Getting excited at something like that, something I always say is totally dumb and pointless (the Facebook aplication). And here I was reading it and thinking something along the lines of, yay, people think I\’m hot.[br][br]A rare few friends of mine know it\’s a secret, deep-rooted need of mine to be desirable to everyone. I\’ve got some serious issues about needing all men to want me. Mainly attractive men. Intelligent men. (Or boys, when I was in school.) Men whose opinions matter to me in some way. Like an affirmation of my worth. And I know, that\’s all BS, I can\’t judge myself by someone else\’s standards, blah blah, but come on – I\’m self-aware enough to realise this is all because my dad placed SUCH importance on being intelligent, all my life, and because someone sexually abused me for years as a child. So, you know. It\’s kind of hard to shake that need to be seen as brilliant and gorgeous, and that feeling that other people hold your value for you. I can know all this, but it\’s quite another thing to imbed it into your whole being so that it no longer affects you. Trust me; I\’ve been trying for at least 15 years.[br][br]Between you and me, I know I have my ditzy moments but really I AM brilliant. Those IQ tests are meaningless, and yet I\’ve still taken tons of them, and it seems I fall somewhere around 143. But more than that, I\’m well-read, highly educated, intuitive, insightful, amazing with grammar and punctuation, and etymology, and links between languages, etc. I recognise I\’m also very ignorant about a lot of things, and I\’m fearful and anxious and have a lot of mental blocks. But you know. That\’s the price you pay for genius :)[br][br]Okay, so I\’m kidding (sort of). I\’m only saying: I know I\’m not dumb. And I\’ve looked at it every which way in order to prove this to me, because I NEED to be intelligent. I wish I didn\’t feel that need, but it\’s not my fault, it\’s just a part of me, like anything else about me. And I\’m pleased to know I\’ve succeeded on that front. Sometimes it gets me into trouble – sometimes I feel I know better than others, when that\’s really only true maybe half the time, and I realise I have a lot to learn. But really, yes. I\’ve succeeded. Yay, I\’m a worthwhile person.[br][br]But this beauty thing. Now THAT\’S the stickler. Half the time I think I\’m really quite pretty. Sometimes even beautiful. Sometimes even drop-dead gorgeous, if I\’m being utterly honest here. And I believe all of that is down to me. I have the power. It\’s all a matter of: can I be bothered today? And also: do I like myself today? Things like that. When I feel confident, and I make the effort, I know I can be stunning. And I don\’t say that entirely vainly – I say it based on what others have told me. So WHY can I not shut out that little voice in the back of my head (the voice of all my male \’friends\’ back in 9th grade) sitting around the lunch table and saying I have an ugly face?? You\’d think, after all these years, that ONE conversation would vanish. But no. It\’s just like the girl in 1st grade who told me I was boring; it just never goes away. This is the price I pay for having an almost photographic memory.[br][br]Okay. So now let\’s talk about projective identification. It\’s a little phrase someone mentioned to me a couple months ago and now it won\’t leave me; I see it in everything. For those who don\’t know what it is, it\’s a defense mechanism that can be most easily exemplified by the case of a paranoid schizophrenic behaving in the way of someone with something to hide, thereby arousing suspicion in others even if they never noticed the person before – and then they start behaving suspiciously toward the paranoid person, who therefore gets to say, \’See?? They ARE after me!\'[br][br]And now, here is a rather relevant example I thought of today:[br][br]Projective identification: needing someone to desire you so badly that you unconsciously send out signals and manipulate the situation so that they end up falling for you, and then you can pretend it\’s just them, and you fulfil your own need to be wanted, and all the while you conveniently never have to deal with your own insecurities.[br][br]This just hit me today when I was thinking about that Facebook message. I think the thought had been forming for a while, but suddenly it just hit me: \’Oh my God…THAT\’S how it happened.\’ And really, if I think about it further, I believe it was two-sided – double manipulation (though mainly unconscious). And really…well, I\’ll just say that was one of the craziest times of my life. Seriously. I can\’t believe how wrong things went. I can\’t believe what I did to George. I can\’t believe what I did to my friend. I can\’t believe what we did to each other. I can\’t believe I nearly f*cked up everything. And most of all – I can\’t believe I didn\’t know what I was doing until today!![br][br]How the hell is it possible to be THAT unaware of yourself? ME! Me, who is so self-aware – I even said so at the start of this blog! It\’s a joke! And what was all that nonsense about being so intelligent!? It\’s just so laughable. But…incredibly, heartbreakingly sad, too. I feel so dangerous. Unwittingly dangerous.[br][br]And the punchline is…I still think I\’m pretty amazing. Is it madness? I\’m not even sure now. The trouble is: I\’m really not crazy. I just have crazy moments. But then, I have no idea when they\’re going to strike, and sometimes (like in this example) it takes me months to realise they were crazy, or how crazy they were, or in what way. And being obsessive really doesn\’t help any of it, because all that rumination convinces you of some odd, odd things, sometimes.[br][br]I wish I knew how to end this.