dark patterns

there’s a term in my former field of work called dark patterns. darkpatterns.org describes it like so: “Dark Patterns are tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn’t mean to, like buying or signing up for something.”

I have dark patterns in my day to day life, and in my relationships with others.

somehow i have developed habits that condition me to do things i – in a more collected state of mind and heart – don’t mean to do. i detach from myself when i feel threatened. i analyze and rationalize when i want to avoid emotional pain.

when i reflect back on my relationships and friendships that have left holes in the tapestry of my life, i find that i have reinforced those tears in the fabric so they won’t get larger, but I have a dark pattern of not restoring the fabric to wholeness. i have accepted them as necessary fact and left them without a desire to mend or patch them; i don’t even want create something new out of the brokenness that is there. ignore it and hopefully it will go away.

i only have a handful (and that’s a generous estimate) of friendships that i would consider deep. i tell myself that i prefer to be alone. i think i actually believe that too. yeah. i do. people are troublesome. they are unpredictable. they approach you at the most inopportune times when you’re busy doing something else that’s more important. attach yourself to others and you give them license to abandon you. you give them opportunity to betray you. you give them power to hurt you. you abandon me? i’ll abandon you back! you betray my trust? i can outlast you in stubborn willpower. i can. and i have. to my own undoing.

it’s unfortunate that i can’t “defend” myself without also injuring myself and distancing myself from what i really need.

i reached out for the first time for external help via (possibly) a counselor who may be able to give guidance in my current dangerous line of work. waiting to hear from that. i’m nervous about this. i’ve never done something like this before. it strikes at all my pride in self sufficiency. inside i have mixed feelings of freedom and ugh. but mostly ugh. hopefully i won’t be waiting for too long…