Stayed

Woke up this mornin’ with my mind stayed on what it means to move into the future. Eighty times a day, I find things that I want to tell Argo and Dana. And all of those eighty times, I have to remind myself not to do it. I could, but it wouldn’t hurt anyone but me. Sending a letter into the ether with no chance of reply is something I just don’t want anymore, especially when I might get a reply that is just damaging and not fruitful. I am all about the fruitful these days. I would rather focus on the friends that will reply, that will give feedback, that will love me despite all my enormous flaws and failures… thinking that I am smart, kind, funny, etc. All of the things that I am that don’t send me to a negative place. I have to watch how I feel about myself, because most of the time it renders me incapable of seeing myself for who I really am, and when that happens, I don’t even want to get out of bed. I don’t want to let how others see me become the way I see myself. It hurts to contemplate, and I don’t want to do it anymore.

When I do, I fail to see how successful I am, how this move was great for me (or at least, it is *now*), and the fact that I am truly dedicated to self-improvement one day at a time… mostly by putting my feelings here so I don’t have to carry them around with me all day long. It’s like, “I’ve thought about that already. I don’t need to think about it again.” There are some mind worms that won’t go away, but they will as I get further and further away from them.

I am only a year and change out in terms of an enormously damaging divorce and a friend who made this move all about her, even though it was completely unnecessary and caused me to believe I was this horrible person for coming here, when in reality, all I wanted to do was change my life. It was my dad who said, “do you really want to remain in Houston?” And no, I sure the hell didn’t. I couldn’t create an emotional boundary with Dana to save my life, so I wanted a physical one until I could cope with the enormity of loss. She was my world, in the very best sense of the word… and it is only now that I can picture a future without her.

A lot of puzzle pieces had to come together for the move back to DC, and I am grateful for them. It was my idea to move to DC in the first place, and I never should have left. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking except that I wanted to get away from Kathleen, not the city itself. And, in truth, September 11th scared the everliving hell out of me, and that went into leaving as well. I remember the pictures rattling on my wall just as clearly as I can see the coffee cup in front of me right now. I remember ExxonMobil getting a bomb threat a few days later, wondering if Kathleen was ever going to come home again.

It was out of fear that I left. Fear of Kathleen, fear of terrorists, fear that I really didn’t have many friends outside of Kat and therefore, a very poor support system. I wonder all the time if terrorists are going to hit DC again, but at the same time, I’ve lived enough not to be scared of it. I have to trust that intelligence and the military are doing their jobs, and just like then, they”ll start the fighter jets flying over my house every ten minutes should something actually happen. Better to be in the place with the fighter jets than no fighter jets at all.

And as I have said before, I wanted to go back to a setting I knew. I wasn’t just going to take off for Minneapolis and hope for the best… the exception to that being that there’s a great seminary there and I would have found a way to be happy in the way that I always do… by being malleable enough to accept the circumstances around me and just go with the flow. I would not have been unhappy moving to a place I didn’t know, but I did want to feel secure in a setting where I felt comfortable.

When Argo absolutely flipped her shit, it was when I was just looking for a job here, and I told her that wherever I got a job was wherever I was going to move and WHAT IS YOUR DEAL? The city was big enough for both of us to move in the world without crossing paths, and because I’ve never seen her in real life, I doubt I’d recognize her, anyway. I internalized her flip out and I felt about thisbig, even though nothing that she said was reality. So I ended up coming to DC just about as broken as a person can be, and it was through the grace of God that I ended up at the Nasser’s, who loved me until I could stand on my own.

My family has visited me since I’ve been here, and that’s really helped. My cousin Nathan lives here as well, and that was another factor in deciding to move here as opposed to anyone else. He’s a psychiatrist, so I figured he could help me get set up with services in Virginia, but as it turns out, Maryland was the much better choice, although I didn’t know that until I got here. Nathan and I talked about Montgomery County services, and I realized I had hit the jackpot.

I only wanted as much contact with Argo as she wanted with me, which at that point was none and I was okay with that… which should have said “calm the fuck down.” But it didn’t, because the way I’d pushed her away in the past said to her that I was dangerous… when anyone who really knows me knows that I am way too meek and mild to want to cause anyone fear… plus, I’m little. She could take me. 😛 However, how she feels is how she feels. Period. She can believe whatever she wants, but it doesn’t mean that I have to participate…. anymore.

The point is that I was going to move here with or without her support, but what she thought of me resonated hardcore… and now I’m really quite tired. I said some things that were absolutely beyond the pale, and I greatly underestimated how much words could hurt… on my end, as well. For every crappy e-mail I sent, I got one in reply. Why I kept reaching out is beyond me… probably because I didn’t want to end in enmity and anger, and wanted to keep making it right. But then another fight would start, and I’d start apologizing all over again. We’d just gutter snipe each other into the ground, and I can’t believe I was willing to do that to myself for this long. I feel like I should have known there was nothing I could do and to leave well enough alone. In a lot of ways, I feel so stupid. Not for moving, though. For not being able to just walk away. We can play each other like violins by now, knowing just what button to push to get the desired reaction… mostly on my end, because I have trouble walking away from a fight. There have been a lot of times that a fight has started over one line in a page of words. I’d write a page intending to be thoughtful and truthful, but if one line came across as negative, it would escalate. My fight-or-flight reflex is so entrenched that I’d just lose it and pop off, because I haven’t really gotten the “flight” part through my head.

It’s trauma and self-preservation all rolled into one… stuff I haven’t dealt with that needs to go away but I’m just not there yet. I learned that in this last go-round, because every single time Argo starts in with her stalker shit I get so angry that I can’t even breathe, because if there’s anything I hate, it’s injustice. I might be a judgmental dickhead, but that’s about it. I have a huge bark and no bite… because if the bark is loud enough, you never have to use the bite… or so I thought.

Because words bite. I should know that by now, and I do know it logically. In the moment, though, it’s quite different. Cortisol and sin race through my body in trying to survive… because that’s how deep I feel threat… not by Argo. By anyone. Anywhere.

Words bite.

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