When I Push You Away, That’s When I Need You Most

I have this really horrible habit of pushing everyone I care about away from me when I actually need them the most — I’ve always been that way, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s a self-destructive and counter-intuitive urge, I know. What I don’t know is why I do it. I know it’s hard to deal with, but if I’m fighting against you and pushing you away, that’s when I need you on my side and close to me more than ever.

  1. It’s occasionally a passive-aggressive kind of thing. “Occasionally” sounds like a deliberate understatement, but it’s not always a passive-aggressive ploy. Still, it’s dishonest to pretend like the urge to walk away even though I need you in the moment isn’t on purpose. It’s not that I’m playing mind games, not purposely (at least, not usually), but I suppose there’s an element of that to it because…
  2. It’s not fair, but sometimes I want you to chase me. Getting all tangled up in my own headspace is a mess. Why do I need you to give chase? Why can’t I just tell you that I need you? It’s a need to feel cared for and coddled, sometimes, and at other times it’s because I need you to fight for this too. I know it’s not fair, I know it’s irrational, but sometimes the mind goes topsy-turvy and the heart gets all tangled up in feelings.
  3. I have a hard time letting myself be vulnerable. Even with the people I’m closest to, sometimes it’s inexplicably hard to open up and show my vulnerabilities. There’s this fear of rejection, ridicule, and judgment. I know better, I know that you know that I know better, but knowing doesn’t always stop me from feeling this way. I fight it as often as I can, but sometimes I can’t stop myself from erecting a wall between us.
  4. There’s no question that it’s a defense mechanism. That’s an understatement so enormous that it’s laughable. Of course pushing people away is a defense mechanism. Push someone away and you can’t fail them. You can’t disappoint them. They can’t judge you.
  5. I worry constantly about being annoying. This extends to every area of my life, to the point where it’s borderline silly. Like, I even worry about texting my friends first because I don’t want to annoy them. This applies to asking for help too – for an ear, a shoulder, or a safe place.
  6. I don’t want to seem like some huge emotional burden, either. In my heart, I know it’s not true. My head insists that you’ll think I’m more trouble than I’m worth. I say nothing because I know you’ll laugh at my silly worries, but that doesn’t make them disappear.
  7. I’ve been known to blow things out of proportion. Shocker, right? Sometimes I push people away so that I can take a moment to calm down or to seethe and scream until logic prevails over emotion. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the loved ones I’m pushing away at all. Quite often, it has everything to do with me.
  8. So my pride steps in and pushes you away sometimes. Pride is kind of a penis. It never has my best interests at heart. Your ego can be your own worst enemy when you’re dealing with your emotions. I know mine keeps me from reaching out even though I’m crying inside.
  9. I’m stubborn. Full stop. I’ll get mad at some silly thing and go off in a huff. Doesn’t matter if I’m wrong, if I’m being over-emotional, or if I come to my senses before I’m even out of sight. My stubborn streak makes me keep walking.
  10. Part of me is sure you’ll run if you see me at my worst. I know better. You’ve made me know better. I still fear it. I’m 100 percent sure you’ll reach your limit someday and get completely tired of my crap. In vain, I try to cut and run before that happens, but I never make it far.
west virginia native, new hampshire transplant, parisian in the depths of my unimpressed soul. owner of an impressive resting bitch face. writer and reader. fluent in sarcasm and snark. lover of lower case and the oxford comma.