Self-Preservation

***This post was originally posted on December 14th, I took it down feeling that it might be too personal or offend some people. I've since decided to keep it up as it reflects a lot of my learning and growth this past year and what I've been feeling.

Today, I went against all the odds and I put myself out there.  Today, I pretty much asked someone who is not available to choose me.  In freezing cold weather on a lawn with passersby I was out there putting my heart on the line.  As it became clear for like the millionth time that this person is NEVER going to choose me, I decided right then and there, "it's fine.".  Take what you can get.  Any drop of affection this person is willing to give... take it, beg for it.  Pathetic, right?

But the cherry on top of this shit-tastic sundae is that then the person says to me, "Have some self-preservation! You should talk to your therapist about this."

And yes, they are right.  I clearly need to get to my therapist asap (tomorrow at 1).

But there I was on the lawn, in the freezing temperature, begging for love.  Those of you who know me (which I thought this person did) will know that this is beyond huge.  After nearly a decade of practicing self-preservation at the most unhealthiest levels, one could almost say that this was my grinch moment.... you know, "Well in Whoville they say- that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day."  This is the moment in the hero's journey where the revelation happens, the resurrection, the person has become... they learned to love again.

Well... obviously it's back to the drawing board.  But I'm left wondering if this was the closest year in nearly a decade that I got to opening my heart and it is also the worst year since 2008 (the epically bad year where all the bad shit went down)... then is this person right?  Should I be running in the opposite direction? Back into my cocoon?  Back to the lonely nights with the burrito bowls when I didn't know what was out there, I had forgotten what love feels like, so I didn't know any better... but all I did know was that I was safe.  Is that the way I should be living?  In a world that has taught you to self-preserve... shouldn't I listen? Isn't this where the fight or flight comes in to play?

Let's explore how I got here, shall we?  No holds barred.

When I was a kid I was in my room and I could hear my mom down the hall, she was on the phone and I knew she was yelling at my dad.  I crossed the hall and snuck into her room and picked up one of the receivers to listen in on the line.  I heard my dad say, "They are just an expensive car payment that I don't want anymore."  He was talking about me and my brother.  We didn't see him for several months after that.  And no, that's not the only time that I was disowned by my own father.  It even happened as recently as 2013, yep as a 32 year old woman I had to listen to my dad disown me again.  But you learn from these things, right? And I've learned to leave before he's had too many beers, and I've learned that short phone calls a couple times a year are best, and to not wear out my visit.... and as I look at these tools I've put in place, I realize we can't hurt each other anymore.

High School.  What a time.  The time when the boy I spent every weekend with ended up hooking up with my best friend even though they both knew that I thought I was going to marry him someday.

Then the boy I made out with to make the other boy jealous, and then I actually got kind of excited about the idea of him only to find out he's telling all my friends that he only made out with me because he was drunk.

And after a few other incidents like this, I learned to stay away from a certain kind of boy.  Only to wind up in the bed of an older man who borrowed money from me but paid me back with fraudulent checks.  

Then there's the guy that took me to a cheap motel with an hourly rate and when I was in the bathroom, he deleted his number out of my phone... so that once he's gotten what he came for I had no way of ever reaching out again.

And then one day I met this nerdy guy, and he thought I was swell.  And he pampered me, and took me places I'd only dreamed of going.  We married, we travelled, we had lots of sex.  And then one day he calls me up and said he was never coming back.

Preservation. Mode.

Years go by, 

Burritos.

Books.

Burritos.

Books.

I am safe.  Sure I miss waking up next to someone every now and then but for the most part I only focus on one thing: I am safe.  

People tell me, "get over it", "it's been so long", "don't you want to be happy again?", "don't you miss sex?" 

"Take care of yourself. Go to the gym. You'll feel better. You'll attract someone if you put on some makeup, buy a bra, put a little effort into yourself."  

 

Self-preservation- how do we know the appropriate amount?  When have we went over board?

I don't know-- I've been saying it for over a month now.  But my sheets, some books, some oranges.  It all is sounding so good to me.  So safe.