Monday, 11 May 2009

I am, it has to be said, not particularly good at receiving criticism without my echidna spikes flaring up. I just did it before, on an online forum, where I wrote something about women in Christian circles and was responded to by a man who seemed to misunderstand where I was coming from - if indeed he was responding to me at all. Perhaps he was just using my post as a a launching off of his own thoughts, I don't know. I am so touchy in this area that I do not trust at all my ways of seeing. But I could feel the resentment and anger flaring in my body, and the hurt spot in my heart. And I thought, when it comes to this area of my life, it is like experiencing everything through haze, through unreality. It is uncomfortable in the extreme.

I did resist responding to him out of anger. I guess that's something.

It has always been a bit of an issue of mine, this defensiveness, especially with men. It is the result of living with a terribly critical father who, I am sure, on at least a handful of occasions must have given me some words of encouragement in my childhood but I remember none of them.

How does one begin to overcome this sort of thing? Well, I have begun, obviously. Very much so. My spikes used to be much worse than they are now. I began observing this propensity to defensiveness when I was about 18 years old. I have a vague memory of talking to Andrea about it at some point and she said that yes, I was defensive, that there were times when she was aware of me overreacting to things. Friends who will be honest with you are like gold in a global financial crisis.

It was a badly constructed fortress, like all self-made fortresses are. They have many holes for dismantlement in them. It's just looking at them that is the painful part :)


Ad break: I just looked at the clock and it is 11 past 11. End of ad break.


Despite the partial demolishing of this fortress, it feels these days like it has returned somewhat. I suppose this marriage breakup has demolished my confidence. In my twenties was the height of my confidence. Not only did I demolish the fortress down to a manageable level, but I learnt by first-hand experience how differently people respond to you when you are open as compared to when you are in self-protective spiky mode. Openness is my actual personality state. Self-protection is a double glazed prison.

All this to say, I am contemplating the idea that part of the fear that makes up my writing block is related to this area. That I resist finishing writing a piece so I don't have to have it published and have anybody criticise it. This makes sense, I suppose.

This fear of criticism is a hindrance and the sooner this is worked out of me the better.


  1. A freeing thing that will certainly be.

  2. Don't you have a 5 point plan for me, Kentster ;)

  3. do you want me to make one up for you? I abandoned the plans myself but I more than likely could come up with a brilliant 5 point one for you follow :)

  4. Nah, it's alright. I'd just pretend to follow it while still thinking exactly the same things so probably not really worth it, huh :)

    Yeah. Abandon plans. They're creeply deeply

  5. I'm waaaay messed up in the head about this. Not only can I not take criticism, because any criticism just means I'm a complete loser and worthless...I can't take compliments either, because they mean I'm a total loser and worthless and someone is only saying something nice because they feel sorry for me.

    Isn't that twisted?

    And I absolutely get this as it relates to writing. I've never finished anything for precisely that reason.

  6. Ahhh, yeah, I understand the twist, Erin. It actually makes a lot of sense.

    But yeah, the sooner this is worked out of you as well, the better. It's really very limiting, isn't it.

    ((Hug you)) Be extra good to you today.

  7. I'll finish something if you will!

    Thanks. I need it.

  8. Let's both try. This is my aim for this winter.


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