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Guarantees - Another Trauma Response?

Did you know that running away was a trauma response?  Well, good for you.  I may be a little slow on the uptake but it just occurred to me yesterday that I have deployed this particular coping strategy forever.  I am not a stayer.  I am a runner.  And I am quite adept at making it look like I am staying when I have totally and 100% left the building.  See my runs are always mental and they start months before I know they have.  And perhaps years before you know they have.

Intimacy is uncomfortable for me.  Closeness, while something I crave, it is something I can only handle in small doses.  In the end, between your needs and mine, I am going to pick mine every single time and if you have to leave my life, so be it.  And yes, I see that this is supremely selfish.  But, but, it is also how I am still here after everything has happened.

I guess I need a varying amount of closeness.  And those people who have been in my life for a long time, those people understand and get that I need a lot of space and room.  I find it difficult to maintain close relationships because they require so much daily from me and I most often feel like I barely have enough time for myself.  

Lately, I have had circumstances enter my life that are requiring me to look more closely at how I behave and why.  And what has been revealed is that I have this rather nasty habit of having an issue with you, but not talking to you about it. In fact, you will be the last person, if ever, that I talk to about it.  I will talk to everyone else and we will decide why you did what you did, or didn’t, why you said what you said or didn’t.  We will decide our fate and your involvement isn’t really required or necessary.

I have done this for the whole of my life.  You, my most intimate familiar are on the outside of this intimacy I am having, mostly with myself, and I guess a few others, but in our intimacy there is only room for me.  And I see that now, for the first time, this is just another way to run while appearing to be present and accountable and available.  It is not.  I am just outta there, and I have exited in the most discreet and subtle ways, so perfected over the course of my life, you don’t even see it coming.

But I see it now.  And so, of course, that behooves me to have to deal with it and do something about it.  I have to change this about myself.  I have to tell you when you hurt my feelings.  When I no longer find solace in your arms or friendship.  When I just decide that I am out...I will just make my exit one step at a time, one day at at time.

The problem is I am frequently the last to know.  And that has been the bigger reveal lately.  I was never really in to begin with or I was out, getting out, and the last person I told that I was leaving was, me.  

I think the main issue is that I can always create a different future for myself. I really don’t need you all that much.  I have yet to meet the person I can’t live without...I have spent my life granting access and then letting them go.  So today, it seems like a monumental ask for me to believe that any future I could create with you would be greater than the one I can create on my own.  And that is some fucking truth right there.

Leaving is easier than staying because I can always see my future as brighter and more lovely than if I stay with you who is pissing me off, letting me down, hurting my feelings, causing me anxiety.  I think without some guarantee, I am fucking gone, and guess what, no matter how much you love, no matter how much the person matters to you, there will never, ever be a fucking guarantee.

It is perhaps sad when you go through this life relying upon yourself so much that your faith in others is foundering and sometimes barely existent.  It is no joke when you feel like without some guarantee from others, there is nothing, absolutely nothing worth working for or with or against.  Nothing and no one.

It is embarrassing the number of people and relationships I have thrown away.  But even with that knowledge catching in my gut and hurting my heart, I know that there was nothing else I could do but leave when the time came.  And to be fair, I don’t regret the leaving.  I don’t.  I know that perhaps I should.  A healthier person might.  But I am glad that I left everything I left so far and so that works against me when I am presented with hard things that require or request my staying.

I am not sure I can stay without a guarantee.  And I know that no one, absolutely no one can give me a guarantee.  I mean, they can but it isn’t worth the paper it is printed on, or the heartfelt words spoken.  The truth is that everything can and will change.  And that is the most basic and honest truth ever.  People will come and people will go, and that obviously applies to me.  I wonder about all this leaving I have done, and whether there is anyone around that misses me, wished I stayed.  Most likely they, like me, found something better on the other side.  And I guess that makes sense, even though my ego doesn’t like it very much.

I have always been a fighter.  But my sticktoitiveness has foundered in the beckoning coming from the exit sign.  So much easier to exit, lick your wounds and start again for me.  So much harder to remain and do the work and fight for what you need and want and desire and love.  So much fucking harder.

It helps me today to be able to look at this whole concept and ideology of guarantee needing as a traumatic response.  I mean, I think I have built my life around this whole belief that someday I will come to a place, a relationship, a person, a love that will make me feel so secure that I will know that staying is what is absolutely required.  But there will never be a guarantee.  Never.  And so long as I require one, the running is the only game in town.  Leaving.  Running.  And beginning again, over and over again until I am dead.

Or maybe, just maybe, I can let go of my need for certainty in this very uncertain world and begin again today with the courage to walk through the fear of living and losing and loving and hurting and just be open to doing the work in front of me which today feels insurmountable...

But it isn’t.  I know this because I have been here before, many times.  I might even say...



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