double negative

In ALL, INTROSPECTION by Stephanie Klein17 Comments

I’m needy; it’s the worst thing about me.  I’m dressed all in blue today, knowing I deserve happiness but fearing I’m going to be lonely for the rest of my life.  I’m a Rhett Miller song, and I

I know it doesn’t happen over night.  “It” being change.  Change takes will, determination, and a modicum of patience.  Currently, I’m under construction, but I really do look wretched in orange and just want to be “fixed.”  I don’t know how to get rid of the orange sabotage cones I’m placing strategically along my path.  They’re like oompa-loompas, raising their white eyebrows at me, singing pesky songs.

My whole life, I’ve learned I could get my way if I worked hard at something, if I wanted it enough.  But relationships don’t work that way.  You can’t make someone do anything, and trying leads to catastrophe for all parties involved.  But I want it, and I want it now!  I’m not worth Veruka’s salt.

I punish when I don’t get my way.  We’re not talking whips or “have you been a naughty boy?” methods here.  I’m talking the subtle ways in which we punish those we care about when they disappoint us.  While I may not have a temper, I’m proficient with the tantrum and an irrefutable authority when it comes to the pout.  I realized this about myself over three years ago, when I pushed too hard for something that was important to me, only to actualize the catastrophic effects of my needing to get my way months later. When I don’t get my way, no one does.  It’s what I hate about myself.

I’m not talking what type of food to eat, which movie to watch, windows up or down.  When it matters, when my heart feels it, I throw a sophisticated tantrum involving shoulder shrugs, a pursed mouth, and silence.  “I’ll show you,” echoes in my head, but soon, there’s no “you” to show for it.  I don’t know how to not get my way or not use a double negative.  I don’t know how to change, to not feel insecure or terrified.  I’ve tried empathy, to understand just how his shoes fit, but at the end of the day, even after I admit, “well, I guess I can understand,” I’m a brat.  “How could you leave my side when I have important things going on? When I want you there.  When I need you.  I really didn’t know until now, but I do need you.  My life is more colorful with you in it, especially on overcast days, and I want to share it with you.”  But now I lock him out, using the chain-lock affixed to my red pumping organ, because if I can’t get my way, he can’t either.  I jump right to “Screw you. Go enjoy spending your time with all the extraordinary people on your enlightened path,” instead of, “I understand” because I really can’t live like that.  It makes my heart too nervous, my brow too furrowed.  So I punish because I want and deserve by-my-side, all-the-time.  I wish there were a needy pill.  I’d take a double dose, and save one more for Linus.  While he licks my new blisters because they’re salty, this is a salty wound he can’t reach.


  1. If only working hard, wanting it badly enough could make it work. It seems the more I want it, the more I work at it, the more disastrous the relationship becomes. But then again the ones I've let glide along never interest me for very long… someday I'll find that middle ground between too much and too little neediness and interest.

  2. I used to be the same way, but I realized that at some point I have to learn to give a little too. I met someone who understood my neediness and he knew exactly when to leave me alone and he knew when to give in. I miss him so much. We broke up for other reasons, but I miss someone knowing me so well.

  3. couple of lines re-written from another rhett miller song in this entry. eww.

  4. Couldn't decide if this post ought to have been titled, "Veruka's Salt," "Double Negative," or "Rhett Miller said it best."

  5. Perhaps, if you truly loved the boy (selflessly), you wouldn't be so selfish. You might want for him what he wants, too. When a couple wants different things, they can compromise. However, your wants are more like needs, and there's no negotiating needs. Needy leads to selfish, and there's no room for selfish in love.

  6. That's familiar – I jump right to "screw you" pretty quickly too. I find deep breathing sometimes helps stem the tantrum tide.

  7. The foot-stomping chic from Willy Wonka is a perfect example of what you are being like right now. and I love that u know that, atleast that's half the battle.

  8. Stephanie,

    Really enjoyed this post… on a different note (or maybe not so different), have you read the book "Why Men Love Bitches"? Hilarious, entertaining read.. most of it you may already know, but I've found it really works and is completely worth checking out the next time you're at a bookstore… just a recommendation from a loyal reader.

  9. If you're serious about dealing with this, then consider going into psychotherapy–rather than just blogging about it. Use part of your book advance to pay for treatment. You need more than sympathy from girlfriends, readers or advice from self-help books– and i say this with all due respect. You are smart enough to make good use of psychotherapy. Seriously.

  10. I discovered your blog only this weekend, and have read many of your previous posts since then. I have to say — I do not think that you are needy at all. It is not unreasonable to require affection and adoration in a dating/married relationship and I cannot imagine a relationship surviving without them! I guess there's a fine line between what we truly need, and what makes us appear too needy, but consistent, daily attention from the one we love is definately something to strive for (note: I don't mean he has to cater to you 24/7 but definately give some sincere attention on a daily basis). However I do agree that you can't make someone do so… if it doesn't come naturally to them, then maybe it's time to move on (too bad I don't listen to my own advice though!)

  11. I'm so needy. Whew, there I said it. Or typed it rather. I never admit it to myself, I tell myself it is that I love him so much that I feel this way. I just don't know.

    But, thank you.

  12. Is it really needing or wanting? I think they are two different things. Personally, I don't think you need anything. You do fine all by yourself. It is wanting and everyone wants. That is human nature or NY's nature or Capitalism's nature or whatever, but you get my point and I am sure everyone else does too.

  13. I read this post earlier in the afternoon, then I was walking home from the train and on the MP3 player came the Tragicaly Hip song "Grace, Too". The line, "The secret rules of engagement are hard to endorse. When the appearance of conflict, meets the appearance of force." I was reminded of this post at that time again. Good, honest. Needs are fine to have, natural. The desire behind the need is what should probably be examined.

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