“I think you don’t want to date anyone because you think you’ll turn back into who you used to be.” I had just said I didn’t want to date him. He had just told me why.
Sure, there were a lot of other reasons why. And a lot of other responses that would have made me feel less small as he put my fear on display before me. But regardless, he was right.
Sometimes, when I drink too much coffee, jitters get misattributed as panic. I can’t tell. Was it the coffee or do I need to run from something in my life? That fear he mentioned so cooly while sitting across from me at a coffee shop feels a little bit like that. Is it THIS person, is he not right and I need to leave, or am I just jittery? Is it the possibility of any relationship that makes me want to bolt or is it the person I’m sitting across from?
I had told this man my history. My propensity to rearrange myself to fit neatly into someone else’s life. No wonder I always existed in those relationships afraid to be found out. I couldn’t possibly be me while trying to be their someone else. This pattern of mine is conditioned. Muscle memory brings me back there whenever I start to get close to someone. Who do they need me to be?
Lovers for me, the men who have come in and out of my life the last few years, have in part been safety measures against my natural tendencies. They only see a small part of me, so there’s no need to rearrange all of me.
How we break a habit is great and necessary until we continue to do it not out of growth, but out of fear. Until it too becomes habit.
Lately I can’t stop wondering, what am I so afraid of?