I am the kind of person who tends to close doors behind me. Out of courtesy, out of a general sense that other deserve their privacy. While I love open space, I also like my privacy. I have been doing a lot of internal review these past few months. A lot of inventory and introspection. It has been worthwhile, I have been able to change some patterns of conduct that have been problematic for me...and others. I have been confronted with some foundational dishonesty I have allowed to exist in my life, first with myself and then with others. I have seen the errors of my ways, and am taking corrective action to change that so I don’t do it again.
My most recent reveal is that for some reason which I am still unpacking, I have this tendency to allow doors to remain open in relationships, especially with men. And while that isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, I can see where there were and are lots of times that conduct perpetuated warranted a closing of a door, but I didn’t. I left it open, allowing for some future traipse through the inviting door when all indications from the past, tell me that there is nothing there I want, need or desire anymore.
Why do I do that?
What is it about my nature that feels this compulsion, and it is a compulsion, to stubbornly prop open a door that circumstance has closed?
Why would I find a reason to take my leave of someone and still keep the door open in the future when at some time in my past, I walked out?
It is perplexing to me.
I do not have a good answer.
Any of the above could be applicable depending on the situation...but I don’t think any of them really get at why I have allowed there to be a somewhat permanent revolving door in my life, granting people I have left, or have taken their leave from mine, an avenue to sashay back into my life.
What I have come to is that it is about control. If I leave open the door, it gives me a feeling that I am in charge. And that is what I have always wanted. To be in charge. To not be powerless. To have some agency over my life and self. I think when one has personal control taken from them at a young age, there is this tendency to spend the rest of their lives trying to get back what was taken. Only that intent, while earnest and forthright, only sets the person up for a life perpetuated in a power struggle against themselves. Oh, I might know something about that...
I think, and again, it is only thinking, that leads me to conclude that perhaps my unwillingness to close doors that have remained too long open, is really about me playing God and thinking that I know what should or could happen in the future. I refuse to take a stand because that stand could limit options down the line...options I might want to explore later. What I see now is that my failure to have my own back in firmly shutting doors on people who are not welcome in my life, has only perpetuated more misery and heartache. I can clearly see now that I should have closed, locked and barred the door on Lane six months into our relationship. I should have closed that door and maybe moved. But I didn’t, I allowed the door to remain however cracked for a very long time which only brought more pain every single time.
I know that I got the lessons I needed by choosing that course of conduct. And I am not regretting the past, well maybe a little. More so, what I think I am doing is seeing that there is another option for me. If someone does something that causes me to want to leave their company, I can try something new and just shut the fucking door and walk away. I do not need to wrap it up nicely with a warm explanation and tiny crack in the entry way to my life, allowing them to push their way back in whenever they like. I could decide to appear like an ass, or whatever adjective they might like to apply and be my own gate keeper and just slam the door shut and move the fuck on.
This would be new behavior for me. Making a decision to close doors that have remained open for far too long. I thought it would be scary, hard or regrettable. But it wasn’t. This past weekend, I closed a door that was open for the last four years. It felt good. I do not regret it. I do not wish for any reason to open that door again...and now that it is firmly closed and locked, should that person come a knocking again, I don’t even have to answer.
I can see that in my need and desire to control, I was the one actually controlled. So needing to appear different, so needing to be sure that I am not misinterpreted, not misread. I think a door firmly closed is a pretty clear indicator of where one stands...which is why I have always left them open...I had no stand. It was always up for interpretation.
This new awareness brings a hint of sadness and a touch of remorse...that I didn’t do it sooner. That I wasn’t more able to be a stand up person for myself. I can see that now so I can change it now. And for today, it means shutting all the doors I have stubbornly left open and vacant, and trusting that God will open them when and if it is ever time.