When I am the center of attention I feel like I am a distraction. This is why:
Aria quite innocently and nonchalantly told me this morning when I came in to the bedroom while she was meditating “You are distracting me”. She did not mean any harm by it, but to me it seemed cold and dismissive. It hurt me way more than it should, and only after “sitting” with it for 20 minutes or so (I am getting much quicker at this!) did I figure out the reason why I took it personally.
What happened is that her phrase “You are distracting me” meant something completely different to me as it did to her. Objectively, what she said to me was “You are distracting me from what I am doing in this moment,” but to me, it meant:
“I AM a distraction.”
So why the disconnect? Why did I interpret her message in such a twisted way? The answer is I have a trauma from childhood of being distracting, and many situations that I come across in day to day life reaffirm my self-image that I am distraction incarnate.
As a child, I have been told I am a distraction repeatedly by my parents when they were busy and I wanted their attention. What does it tell a child when you push them away constantly? As stated before, what something means to someone means something different to another person. To the child, it does not just mean “you’re interrupting me”. No, it means “I don’t love you. You do not deserve my attention.” This ends up making the child consider their opinions, their ideas as worthless.
How has this come up in my life until this point? Whenever I become the center of attention, I feel uncomfortable. In why I could not commit to life I mentioned I fear making speeches. I wanted to get out of the center of attention as quickly as possible to not waste people’s time and to get to the main event; somebody else. In social situations, my ideas often go by the wayside as I myself believe them to be unimportant, so of course others pick up on that and also think the same.
Yesterday I made an idea for a little game in another discord, and people did not understand the idea at first. Instead of just explaining the idea, showing an example of how it works etc, I panicked. I ended up diverting the whole conversation to something else to take the spotlight off the idea, off me. This ties into another trauma; I am terrified of being socially awkward. This is because if I make a mistake, I will be rejected, ie what happened when my parents pushed me away.
If I do not see myself as important, nobody will. Sure, people may like me, they may even look up to me, but my ideas are often forgotten in favour of someone who does not consider themselves to be a distraction from more interesting and important people.