I learned fairly early in life that vulnerability can be dangerous. You leave yourself wide open when you – even for a moment – relinquish your power to other people. It’s a risk, and nine out of ten times people will take advantage. If you let people in and allow them access to who you really are – your weaknesses and fears – you’re basically inviting their rejection.
When you trust people and NEED them, they own you. Then, when the relationship inevitably heads south, you’ll be trapped; unable to escape.
I have always kept score, and worked overtime to ensure the stakes are always in my favor — even when dying and desperately needing connection. Even while hanging on by a very thin thread, control over a situation has imitated safety.
When relationships get tough, I throw up my hands. “It’s not working,” “Relationships shouldn’t be this much work, ” or “It’s not me, it’s definitely you.”I’ve set unrealistic expectations for everyone involved and then refused to budge. I never put all my cards on the table or show my hand… just in case.
When friends seem distant, I immediately assume it’s because they’ve realized I’m not worth the effort and want out — so I’ve saved them the trouble and left first. I thought as long as it’s on my terms, I wouldn’t be caught unaware and wouldn’t get hurt.
Thinking back to many of the relationships in my past, what strikes me is how many of them I never thought of again a week after they ended. How easy it has always been for me to cut ties and move on from even the most inseparable and intimate connections. How I have had the ability to seem ALL IN one day, and then completely over it the next.
I just simply moved on without question; rewriting the old script to erase all evidence that the relationship ever existed.
Bye, Felicia. Consider yourself blocked and forgotten. That’s what you get for taking a whole day and a half to text me back. ✌????
Over the years, I have identified many causes of the black/white, hot/cold, all-or-nothing ways I’ve behaved in relationships, and it has taken a very long time to find the “right” kind of friends.
These women have denied my right to dictate when and how they can love me. They have taken time to – brick-by-brick – very gently help me dismantle the wall it took me decades to build. They have been brave (or foolish) enough to stand up to the voices in my head. They have walked through the fires and over the coals, and have proven themselves worthy of my trust.
Trauma messes with our soul’s ability to connect in the ways that are vital to our existence. It screams leave where we should stay and lays down roots where we shouldn’t. It eats away at our confidence, makes it difficult to stand tall, and then convinces us it’s never safe to lean. For if we do, we will fall, and the fault will be ours – for trusting in the constancy of anything.
These women speak my language. They are never baffled or fooled by the woman trembling behind the curtain, because they identify with and understand her well.
We have committed to navigate this uncharted territory together – to challenge each other’s fear and desired isolation. “I’m done with this,” is honored for what it truly means.
I’m afraid to let you love me.
I’m afraid of what you’ll see.
I’m afraid of how much I need you… but I do.