Monday, February 25, 2013

dating.

Divorce has left me afraid.

My ex-husband has left me afraid.


Afraid of being vulnerable, afraid of letting someone in. Really letting someone in.
 

I want love. I love Love. But I don’t want it now, and I want it now. I don’t want it like I thought I had it. I want it how it is supposed to be, how God wants it for me, how it will be healthiest for me in the long term. How I want it for my daughter.

I suffer from amnesia. It is amnesia induced specifically by attraction, by butterflies, by that feeling we are all searching for, running after; by enthusiasm and newness and promise. The promise of a new relationship: something beautiful, and meant-to-be, out of a dream. No matter how many times I tell myself not to fall, no matter how many times I try to temper my emotions, this amnesia kicks in. The amnesia gives way to idealism and excitement and suddenly, out of nowhere, opens the trap door as I am about to take a cautious (well, let’s be honest, I don’t do much with caution. Haphazard, maybe?) step forward and BAM! I fall. I fall hard, and fast, and unexpectedly. I hit the ground running sometimes, but it never turns out the way it should. You know why? Because that trap door, I knew to look out for it.

I am idealistic, we’ve covered this. I want so much to fall. I want to fall hard, and fast, and with my whole heart. And as much as I hope that one day someone will want me to fall hard, and fast, and entirely, I don’t know that it will ever be the easiest or best thing for me. That amnesia, it not only prevents me from seeing and learning from past mistakes, it prevents me from seeing danger when it’s there. It leads me to making the wrong choices; choices fueled by impulsiveness. Choices where my heart goes and my head stays.

I’m not saying not to fall, I’m not saying not to take the next step, but what I have learned is that I can’t just forget it is coming or leap blindly. I can’t let go. Not now, not yet. I need - in order to trust and believe in myself, for my own self-preservation, for my daughter, for my heart - to watch out for that trap door, avoid it for the moment. My heart, that little girl in me that has been hurt so many times, we are working on falling in love with each other again. We are building a relationship, courting each other, and I want them to fall for me. The only way I know how to do that is to care more about fostering that trust, about nurturing that safety, between them and myself than I am able to for someone else. I have never allowed them to trust me as much as I have now, it has never been as vital as it is now. I want them to trust me, I want to trust myself, I want to believe in myself, more so than I have ever given myself permission to, and my gut is telling me that, in order to do that, I have to prioritize myself more than ever. More than I have ever.

That sometimes includes disregarding others’ advice and going out on a limb.

But, if that limb is my own intuition, my own opinion, my gut…it is about God-damned time.

It has taken me 33 years to want to take care of myself more than anyone else. And it feels scary, and self-indulgent, and simultaneously justified and deserved and just like what that little girl has been waiting her whole life to hear: that she is safe. That I am going to do my damnedest to show her I am the luckiest girl in the world to be dating her. That I will never again take her for granted. Or that at least I will try.

So, yes. Divorce has made me afraid of letting someone in. Except that it has also taught me to let in the one person who I tried so hard to shut out for so many years. It has given me the opportunity to date the person I should have been courting my entire life, for the first in a decade.

I am letting myself in again. And it feels so good.


It is about time.


Oh how I wish I were a trinity, so if I lost a part of me
I'd still have two of the same to live
But nobody gets a lifetime rehearsal, as specks of dust we're universal
To let this love survive would be the greatest gift we could give
Tell all the friends who think they're so together
That these are ghosts and mirages, these thoughts of fairer weather
Though it's storming out I feel safe within the arms of love's discovery

Indigo Girls: Love’s Recovery