Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-02-12 Entry: "Running Away"

Dinner conversation yesterday left me thinking. I have a tendency to avoid conflict of any kind. I try not to do anything that's at all threatening, or argumentative. I'd prefer not to have to make a fuss.

This all came to a head as my parents wonder why I'm not pushing the Phone Company harder to get some firm commitments on my US transfer. Other than the end of April commitment, nothing's really been mentioned. I have no idea what I'll be doing, where I'll be going, or even exactly when. As such, I really need to start pushing them to sort things out.

It's not even as if it's all that difficult - a quick email to the Human Resources girl should at least give me a progress report. She only sits about twenty meters from my desk, so I could even wander over there. But I don't...

I've got a vague inkling of why this is. I don't want to cause them to think ill of me, to reject me as a friend (or at least, as someone who could potentially be a friend - I don't have to be all that close to them; all this applies equally to complete strangers). I've probably got abandonment issues.

The two instances that my fear is founded in are fairly obvious: Being rejected out of hand by the bunch at Cambridge who I thought I was friends with. To this day I don't really know what the root cause of that was; it wasn't as if we'd had any major fight. The second is the death of my mother - losing a parent at age 11 tends to have something of an emotional effect on a child. For instance, before she died, I was life and soul of the party; I led in most things. Since, I've been a reluctant follower - I can still put my foot down if I have to, but I'd prefer to avoid the conflict.

And I'm not entirely sure how I can break this cycle. Take charge more. Make more decisions and follow through with them. All easy to say, but much more difficult to carry through in person.

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