Friday, May 18, 2012

“Baggage” and how to lose it…

Hey there friends! 

Long time no see… we hope you missed us J cause we certainly did! Sorry we don’t have time to blog anymore but know that we will always come back from time to time with things that concern us, you, the globe… you know!

Soooo…. Let’s talk about “baggage” and NO… we don’t mean the baggage you pack for that trip you planned for so long, or the business meeting you have next week…


Prattle: I’m going on a trip!?!?!  Yay!!  Oh, damn..we’re talking about feeeeeeelings.
Scuttlebutt: Yes my dear… We are talking about EMOTIONAL baggage…

First of all, let’s see what emotional baggage is!

Wikipedia: “…Emotional baggage can be defined as 'Painful memories, mistrust and hurt carried around from past sexual or emotional rejection”

How can we understand if we do carry emotional baggage around?

1.     You're projecting. Those with baggage can oftentimes be riddled with self-doubt. What makes this self-doubt even worse is that, as you see the worst in yourself, you also begin assuming the same of others.

2.     You're paranoid. We don't blame you for being a bit suspicious about infidelity, especially if you've been burned in the past. But in order for a relationship to work, you have to trust each other. If you don't fully trust him—or even if you do, and are just being cautious—your paranoia can manifest itself in some extremely unattractive ways: clinginess, neediness, breaches in privacy...

3.     You're comparing him to lovers past. This goes beyond simple paranoia. It's more subtle and insidious. If you see him smile in a certain way—or utter a certain phrase—and you immediately think of your abusive ex-boyfriend, or that immature idiot you rebounded with, or that unfortunate one-night stand, you're letting your past drag you unnecessarily down.

4.     You're throwing up walls. In order to fully commit to each other, you should also know each other pretty darn well. Holding back on emotions, or reliving painful events from the past in ways that affect your present, can keep a relationship stagnant. So ask yourself: what have you been keeping from him, and why? Chances are, he can tell you're hiding something, and we're sure he'd rather hear about it than be stonewalled.

5.     You're holding back from commitment. OK. So commitment-phobes are everywhere, and some of them aren't carrying an ounce of baggage. But in many cases, the fear of tying oneself down can be indicative of a deeper problem. If you're not giving any of your relationships half a chance, it's time to do some soul-searching. Does any of this ring a bell to you?

The “Walking Wounded”


Let’s see what a man’s magazine has to say about this…

Prattle: Do we have to??
Scuttlebutt: Um… we don’t really “have” to but some would say we should look at if from that angle as well…

“…these women are still reeling from a nasty break-up or a recent negative experience with a man; sometimes the hurt is worse -- the aftermath of abuse.”

“…they live in worlds of chaotic emotion where logic has no place. The best of them need time to heal and regain their equilibrium and trust; the worst are experts at self-deceit and self-sabotage, often absolutely blind to their behavior and its consequences on their lives.”

1- She's on emotional roller coaster
One day she's your best friend, the next she won't even speak to you; one night she's a sexual animal, the next she's as cold as January in Siberia. And all -- from your point of view -- for no apparent reason.

2- She constantly evades you
With women like this, it's always one step forward and 10 steps back. She will show interest -- even extreme interest -- and then suddenly and inexplicably become unavailable. No matter what you do, no matter how often you call her, she's gone -- and you won't see her again for weeks or even months. 
Then out of the blue, she'll reappear with a big smile on her face, ready to go. And the whole vicious circle will start all over again, leaving you perplexed and bewildered.

Scutllebutt: May I say that this (see point 2. above) behavior is absolutely reminding me of … *cough* the very recent ex? Hey ex! Do you read me?? If you do… you might as well deal with YOUR baggage as well… over and out!
Prattle: Drop the baggage…move it move it!!  Don’t make every guy you date into *points to your comment* him.
Scuttlebutt: *drops the baggage and kicks it* 

3- She wants what she can't have
She reacts emotionally to the hurt in her past. She has all the normal biological urges to be with a man, and genuinely wants to have a successful relationship, but the very second her emotions are aroused, the lurking demon of her buried hurt rears its ugly head and she runs away.
In her psychology, relationships equate pain. The sad fact is, the nicer you are, the faster she'll run. This is why many of the Walking Wounded seek out emotionally unavailable men.

4- She doesn't do as she says
She'll tell you she loves you and wants to do everything in her power to make sure the relationship lasts. Then she'll start treating you like crap. She'll tell you she's wants a commitment, then she'll cheat on you.
Don't take her at her word; instead look at her actions and judge her on that instead.

Prattle: No. 4 sounds like several guys I dated in the past..
Scuttlebutt: I know, right??

5- She's angry at men
Many of the Walking Wounded are extremely angry at men. They blame us for all their problems. Men are "jerks" and "users." They will deliberately get a man sexually aroused and then walk away, just to punish him for owning a penis.

6- She has a history of abuse
Untreated victims of any kind of abuse are often emotionally unstable and harbor lots of inner pain, which manifests itself in their romantic lives. The Walking Wounded are frighteningly erratic (often through no fault of their own) -- you just never know what you're going to get. One minute they love you and the next they're picking fights or screaming at you for some imagined transgression on your part.
They are often unsoundly jealous, and will accuse you of having affairs without any evidence. Sometimes they're overly sexual, but many times they're not sexual at all, or certain sexual behaviors remind them of the abuse, making them freak out during lovemaking. These are women in dire need of professional therapy.


Is there hope?

Is there anything you can do to help a member of the Walking Wounded and establish a successful relationship? It really depends on the severity of the damage.
First, throw logic out the window -- it just won't work. You have to find a way to reach her at an emotional level.
Listen carefully to her when she expresses her feelings -- the Walking Wounded will often verbalize a lot of information about what's happening inside their heads. Be careful not to interrupt her with logical advice -- it's best to be a sympathetic ear.
If her case is mild, time will be your ally -- just treat her kindly and build up her wounded self-esteem. Be patient. What she needs is to learn how to trust men again.
If her case is severe, gently steer her towards getting some therapy -- the damage is sometimes very deep and there's just no other way to help her.

Bottom line: is she worth it?

Above all, keep it in your pants for a while and be willing to be her friend. Give her some space and emotional breathing room. This is not say you should turn into a wussy-boy eunuch and cater to her whims -- she might not be ready to be sexual with you yet, but she needs every ounce of your male strength and sexuality to lean on.
And make sure you don't take any abuse from her -- set those limits early on and often because she'll test you mercilessly.
Only you can decide if she's worth the time and trouble. If she is, you're probably in for a wild roller-coaster ride. But if you can help her to get her life back, there may be a great reward for your constancy and friendship.

So… what the heck can you do about it?


Step one:  Identify blind spots
This step requires complete honesty, a willingness to dig deep and a trusted friend (other than your partner or spouse) or therapist/counselor. Openly face your issues. Whatever it is, you must be able, willing and ready to face it head on.

Step two:  Stop the blame game.
It’s so much easier to go through life blaming our problems on mom and dad, an older brother or the girl/guy who broke our heart. But eventually you have to take responsibility for your life, your actions and your emotions. The blame game doesn’t change anything. And this includes blaming yourself. If you are stuck in this cycle—snap out of it!  Your life will never get better and you will never move forward until you break the blame chain.

Step three:  Forgive
It is crucial that you reach a point where you can truly let go of the hurt that you have experienced. “No matter how violent it was, how deep it was, how prolonged it was, no matter how much affect there’s been on your life, if you do not extend forgiveness, you are the person stuck with the bitterness and revenge,” said Dr. Dave Currie, National Director of Family Life Canada. “A bitter person cannot effectively love others. Letting go is not easy and a person may not deserve it and may not even ask for it, but you should extend forgiveness because of what it will do for you.”  Again, this includes forgiving yourself if needed.

Scuttlebutt: Um… I’m sorry but I don’t see any similarity in all that and my behavior! Do you???
Prattle: Well…I think all of us at some point react some of the ways described.  Mostly I want you to read and reread the last sentence of Step three..  *hugs you*
Scuttlebutt: Oh… *sighs and hugs back* I know… I know… and so should YOU all my friends… so should WE all.

Sources: Wikipedia, Your Tango, Ask Men, Two Of Us