Trust seems to be one of my biggest issues. In the recent past it was an issue that I was afraid to tackle. I did the whole therapy thing. But I too afraid to really open up. Granted, I only saw my therapist for a couple of months. And that really isn’t very long to build up trust. But I never really let the walls come down.
My biggest issues really surround men. I have a hard time trusting women, but it’s somewhat easier for me to interact with them. I tend to shy away from men, even if it’s just friendship. I’ve been working on this over the last six months or so. Not regularly of course. And not in a face to face relationship.
It’s gotten somewhat easier as time has gone by. I still get nervous when talking to these couple of guys. But I don’t let it show anymore. And I’m able to tell myself that what I’m feeling is valid. I don’t automatically beat myself up for those feelings anymore.
In the last few weeks, I’ve taken another step forward in conquering one of my more irrational fears. I’ve briefly written about installing Ubuntu Linux on my fairly new, very shiny laptop. In some ways, it’s completely different from Windows. In other ways, I sometimes forget I’m not in Windows. One thing that Linux tends to require is some work on the command line. One of my most unfounded and irrational fears is that when I’m typing in commands, if I misspell one word or put a space in the wrong place, my entire computer will turn into a black hole and destroy a large chunk of the city. Now, of course, this has never happened. And it’s extremely unlikely that the computer would actually turn into a black hole.
I’ve been doing more and more through the command line. And it gets easier every time. I realized the other day when I went to create another playlist for mplayer that I didn’t even blink. I just changed to the correct directory, typed ls *.m4a > playlist and then hit enter. I didn’t even think about it. I’ve also found myself trying things before I ask about them or trying the things that Eric talks about in his emails.
I also mentioned the help that Eric has given me through out this entire project. I kind of surprised myself in that I didn’t run away or push him away. I’m famous for doing both. Not only have I been working on my command line fears, I’m working on my trust issues. I know two things logically. One is that Eric is thousands of miles away from me. The other is that he isn’t the kind of person who would be mean or cruel or hurtful. When dealing with the intense fear, logical thinking doesn’t always help. But when I started getting scared, I tried to be logical about things. And it did help.
One of the fears I had when I started working under Eric’s guidance was that he would tell me that I am stupid. I heard myself described as stupid so many times growing up that I came to believe it. I still find myself falling into the trap of calling myself stupid when I’m working in Linux. But as Eric pointed out to me, what I really am is inexperienced. And now I see that there is a world of difference between being stupid and being inexperienced.
It’s somewhat amazing how attempting to conquer a seemingly unrelated fear led to confronting on of my most deeply engrained and intense fears. I never dreamed that I would have made the personal progress I’ve made just by loading up a new operating system onto my computer.