Wednesday, March 19, 2008

losing the game - losing self-trust

In the previous post I told myself some memories, but without actually understanding the logic behind them. Because it seems - as I just revealed to myself in self-forgiveness I was speaking - that it all have much to do with feeiling a loser, believing I am "a loser". Now I am writing about this I am - again - so amazed at how I hid my self-experience from myself over the years. Because this had been so prominent - this me-experience - it had been all over the place for, what it seems, the most part of my life. I had appatently supressed it completely. It is interesting it just came back to me as I was going over my fears relating to the Portal-stuff. Because my attitude was: "Nah, I'm not even gonna go into that, because I'm gonna lose this anyways." I hadn't put it in these terms, however, but that's what it revealed itself to be. Its strange writing about this stuff, because I hadn't consciously defined myself in these terms.

So first i feel like giving some overview. Things that just all came back to me very quickly the one after the other. As a child - when being in primary school especially - I had... an inferiority complex with regards to seeing myself as a loser. Now, this is all pretty heavy stuff that I haven't even considered for A LOT OF TIME.

But anyways, when playing chess with my father I would allways lose. And I remember we played quite a few times. To him the game was deadly serious and he would just go for it - or at least thats how I experienced him, being merciless. Everytime I began the game I believed it to be a natural possibility that once I might win too. But I never did.

Something else, when doing sports at school, I'd allways be the slow one the last one. when doing Gym, we'd often start the hour with running a few rounds around the playground. I'd allways end up as one of the last, even if I was relatively tall and a good runner, because I experienced this stabbing in my side after running a long time and it would just kill me - but the teacher would force me to continue running. So I ran with my hand pressed aginst my side, being the last in the row together with my friend W. who didn't have a good running condition asswell. I didn't understand why I had this killing pain, because I knew that without it I would be able to run much faster and be among the first. And because the teacher seemed to believe it was just a matter of "running through this pain/ignoring it", I would believe it was my own fault, that I had somekind of weakness inside me. I started getting used to being the last, to losing - because even if it wasn't a contest, but a "warm up", all the children took it deadly serious, no one wanted to be last. Everytime we started running, I believed this time it wont happen. This time I will be able to run amongst the first - because I had the speed, and I was actually able to keep up with them - but unevitably the pain would kick in and it would force me to slow down everytime as this pain was unbearable. Why was this pain a part of me?

My father used to play tennis with an ex-college of him from work and this college had a son of my age. Therefore, my father would take me along so I'd play tennis with his son, Glen. It's strange I actually dont remember ever having enjoyed playing tennis, except a few times when I managed to hit the ball right or score a "nice point". The thing was tis Glen was much better at it than me. So, obviously, what happened is I lost every time. And again, every time i would start the game with the conviction I would be able to win this time, while after a while the obvious outcome would allways start to shwo itself and I would feel desperate inside. Why am I losing, how come I cannot keep up with him? What is wrong with me? The anger and frustration were extensive. Once I quit the game in tears, because I couldn't "take it anymore" and I hated Glen and I blamed him of taking advantage of me.

Then when playing 'Vampire' - a game I had invented myself, wich involve much running aswell - there was a boy in my class, Way. And any time he was the Vampire, he would come after me first. This was particularly frustrating to me - why allways come after me, it was no fun anymore. So, once after he had caught me - I was already exhausted by the running - I asked him immediately: "why do you allways need to get after me first?" And he answered: "Because you suck the most at this." He said it laughingly - because to him it was so obvious. I asked him this question because I actually just wanted to make him aware of "this injustice" so he'd go after someone else for once, and also, because me and him were the ones who spoke french together, when we were alone, I considered him to be a friend and so it didn't make sense he do this to me. What surprised me was apparently the honesty of his answer. So, if Way say this to me - then I must be really bad at this indeed.

Hmm... this is a heavy one form me. Ok, when in primary school and in fifth grade, we used to have football every two weeks, with the "voetballopa's". This were two grandpa's, from i dont remember who - that came teach us to play football. actually they were called grandpa's just because of their age, even by the teachers. anyway. Once there had been a more or less great event. To me it was massively important, it was to everyone. Boys from another school - or from a footballclub? (because they wore the appropriate shirts and all) - came to play a match against our school. I was wearing my grey joggingtrousers. All the parents were invited to come and see the game. I think it was after schoolhours... Idont remember, yes I think it was - because the rest of the school was empty. Or no - it was in the weekend ! So, my parents had come along to watch the game, to watch me play. THEN. The other team was playing simply way above our level. They actually had a strategy, them bastards. They played - what looked to me -professionally. They made the one goal after the other. And we didn't make a singel one, if I remember well - or maybe just one, because their keeper had made some mistake, so nothing "to be proud of". For me this was untolerable, this whole setup was of the most unfairness - and the coach of the professional team was even screaming at his team that they should play even with more attention and presicion. yes, they were animals. The sole fact they allw wore the exact same outfits - actuall football-clothing - was intimidating like hell, because we stood before them as a bunch of... well, u get the picture. I was so frustrated and desperate about the situation that when it was breaktime, I dropped myself on the ground, on my buttocks, in complete misery. Then, I dont recall if it was before or after, but I became so angry that I left the football area for a while. My father, now, came after me. We were quite alone on the playground - and he started to make clear to me that he was very disappointed about my behaviour, because according to him I was quitting. I sarted to defend myself and sarted crying and then he said "you're just crying because you're losing," in an angry tone of voice, really like i was a piece of shit to him. What really had triggered my anger was seeing how even our own coaches were becomming aware of the absurdity of this mach - they too felt helpless. I just couldn't comprehend how my father could call me weak, because it meant he was actually supporting the whole setup of this mach - for him I was not allowed to even question it.

What actually killed me was people seeing me lose the game. My parents, naturally. Because I felt helpless as this game progressed and with every 'bad move' I made I felt embarrassed - because of poeple watching. I really felt clumpsy and i hated this clumpsyness - why couldn't I "just be good at it like the others." This feeling of helplessness because I'm losing a game and I cannot in any way change the outcome, that's a real killer for me. To me it was unbelievable I was losing - everytime again, it was incomprehensible: what is it that I have inside me that hold me back, that make me miss the ball or put it somewhere where I didn't want it to go? "Why? Why Why?" I remember in tennis this would be so awfull. Because I knew from myself I had been able - in the past - to hit the ball super-effectively and in full confidence, it had come natural and without thinking. So in the moment of hitting and feeling the wrongness of the touch I would go mad inside and feel desperate - like: "why is not working anymore!!!!" It's allmost like I could feel my mind interfere in the moment of hitting. Once I was playing tennis with my father alone, we were waiting for his friend to join with Glen - and at one point I hit the ball back-hand (that's the harder way, you have fore-hand = 'normal', and back-hand = the opposite arm movement). I had hit it so 'correct' and I felt the naturality of my arm-movement, wich was really enjoyable, completely without thinking about how I did it - in full self-trust- , and I for a second amazed my father completely, he was stunned, because I gave him a ball so fast he couldn't even catch it. It was me letting go completely. So thats how I 'knew' I was actually able to do these things.

Now, this - to me - is getting very interesting, because I see now how things got to do with me having problems with self-trust. In gym, the teacher - who was called Kristien - was kinda onto this aspect of me. Apparently it had gotten so obvious to her that she once let me repeat an exam-test (jumping over a highly suspended horizontal rope, without touching it), because she had seen how, during the year i had performed much better and with much more easy and how I now was falling in the rope out of pure nervosity and anxiety. So - and this was really unique - she said: "no, do it again." Its like she admitted it "didn't count" because it wasn't me. I was very greatfull she said that, because it was like she actually knew and understood me - giving me the opportuntity to prove the real me. So, I jumped again and this time I didn't hit the rope.

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