Who Gets You, Baby?

May 16, 2011
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I ask you this in all sincerity because it’s important that somebody get you; understand your special crazy shit, your neurotic tendencies, your failings, your successes. It is psychologically beneficial that somebody, somewhere knows the you behind the facade.

So, who gets you?

Who Gets You?Usually, this other person is a mate, otherwise why would somebody be so foolhardy as to hook up with you if they didn’t know what it was they were getting themselves into? Short answer: a whole hell of a lot of people marry people they know little to nothing about. They are usually attracted to some aspect of the person, hoping that all the rest of it will fall into place and, while it always falls, it’s not always into place.

In the days when I was doing psychotherapy (just in case you thought I was well-adjusted) there were therapists that I could manipulate with such ease into thinking that my issues were minor and my self-knowledge was all encompassing that they were of no use at all. Even when it was their job to see through my BS they were woefully inadequate at outsmarting my defense mechanism and I was able to divert their inquiry so well that one guy decided all I needed were some relaxation techniques.

I’d done such a masterful snow-job that there was no point in ever seeing him again.

We want to be seen for who we are but we don’t want any prying, if that makes any sense, so we create a persona to do the work. In casual life, that’s a given and a necessary protective procedure. Before I eventually moved to New York City, during visits I found many random encounters with people to be chilly affairs and this idea that most New Yorkers were curt and unfriendly. After living there for a time, I began to see that it was the circumstances of crowded living that created this impression and, really, I befriended some of the most warm and wonderful people I’d ever met. However, it took an understanding of the environment for me to understand the people and, I suppose, you could say that I more or less got them…at least, in a social sense.

When I eventually found a therapist that was my intellectual equal I was relieved. Yes, I’d have to pour out the truth, talk about uncomfortable things, own up to my shortcomings…do actual work to improve my life, but for all the discomfort there was a comfort equivalent that made me feel safe and secure knowing that someone understood the real me.

This is the problem when no one gets you or you don’t allow yourself to be gotten. It’s very, very lonely in that little cavern on your shoulders and why people would want to hide out in there is beyond me. I’ve likened it to someone standing at the bottom of a well and pretty much all they see are the walls of the well and it’s comfortable in that you know your surroundings but it’s also a dead end and nothing comes in and nothing goes out. Now, if by some wild chance you get a boost (or the right medication) and are able to see up and over the top of the well, you might find things you never even imagined and that would beat the hell out of the bottom of the well.

In my personal life, my wife has the most substantial portrait of me. I know this because she calls me out on things that I know other people miss and she praises things that other people miss. Even though there are days when I want to go running for the psychological Kevlar vest, I also wouldn’t want to be without this person who knows me so well. As wonderful as it is that someone lauds your attributes, you’d be surprised (for the most part) how loved you feel when someone knows what an absolute idiot you can be.

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