Now that I gave the title (always a mistake, better to write first, caption later), I feel somewhat like a kid about to write the "what I did last summer" essay. But I know I have changed a great deal. Recently, I have been using HIV forums a lot, where I get get pretty much instant feedback and respond to others. But there is a limit to the amount of self-centeredness that these forums can take I guess. And I guess me realizing that is also part of the change.
I used to be very self centered. I based my whole image and worth on how others percieved me, or rather, how I percieved others to percieve me. I objectified myself, I objectified others. I was always calculating, subtly, who had the upper hand. My relationships were based on my needs and my needs only, and for that reason, ironically, they didn't fulfll them. I was constantly hungry, for appreciation, for praise, for gratification, for sucess, for sex (that is not to say I was a 24/7 nympho, but I couldn't go through a day without thinking about sex; I know sex is a biological need, and in that sense I haven't reached my prime, but it was not about that, it was about the same instinct that tells women that they are nothing if they are not sexy and sexual).
There is one word for how I was: egocentric. I still am, but less. You only miss it when you lose it, you only realize you were not seeing others when you start seeing them, and, ironically, this leaves room for you. In the space between you and the others, who are finally Real, there is room to breathe, to operate.
I could write more but I have to rush to work and to a meeting with T the social worker.