Spring loaded. I push away from anything that might hurt me eventually. Wrap up in myself and say it’s for the best. Try instead to salvage open wounds disguised as relationships. Tell myself I am not deserving of the goodness of being safe and loved.
But sometimes I learn to grow instead.
So I drive back to Andrew’s house and tell him about who I am. How I get scared and run away instead of facing it. How I always pick the biggest shift available instead of working on the small things. How I seem to always choose wrong when it’s flight, fight, or freeze. He follows up with me.
Surprised, I listen to him describe the kind of person I am. He unearths the flaws in my system with delicate precision, but lacking accusation. Does not leave me with instruction on how I can be different. Not even the hint that I should be. Instead, his voice is doused with a tenderness that says he understands it, it’s okay, he loves me.
“Everyone gets scared sometimes,” he says as he curls his fingers up in mine. I plant my trembling feet next to him and together we continue putting down roots. Interwoven.
“You have to entertain the idea that maybe you were wrong.”
Not that I did anything bad. Not that I misheard or acted incorrectly. But wrong in the sense that the things we used to do did not mean what we thought they did. That those same things did not make us who we assumed we were because of them.
Our brains make the same patterns over and over again. Connections reinforced our entire lives. Neurons working like muscles in groups. The most often used pathways become stronger and the others wither. Rivers cut so deep into the earth we assume they will never reroute. But they are. With time. With practice. With interference. Continue reading →