Friday, September 28, 2012

Scaredy Cat

I haven’t written about The Runner lately. I told myself that is because everything is going so well - which it is. Yet I’ve noticed my anxiety increasing incrementally over the last 2 weeks. I told myself it was from a variety of sources - work, Stella, general life upkeep.  But it finally caught up with me last night - I’m scared.  Really scared.

The vulnerability from my developing feelings for The Runner is growing at a fast pace.  In simpler terms, I really really like him. He is amazing, inside and out. And each day he says something that amazes me even more. He has a unique humanistic take on daily experiences that others would take for granted. Noticing and appreciating small things that others would easily overlook.  

This week he was sick, as was I.  We talked on the phone each night, and each night he relayed his daily stories, pointing out the interesting, sweet or rarely appreciated moments that would go unnoticed to most.  As each day passed I felt more and more lucky to be spending time with him. And as each day passed that we weren’t spending time together in person (as it was all via phone), I became more and more insecure that he would realize that his life is just dandy without me and would become uninterested.

This anxiety continued to build until last night when I was distant while on the phone with him. Not because I was disappointed that he was still sick and we couldn’t hang out (which I was) but because I was scared that he was going to disappear.  People keep saying to me that a person does not just stop liking someone else and bounce. But my perception of the end of my marriage is just that. He stopped liking me and bounced.  Even after months and months of work to rebuild my confidence in myself, I still have the pangs of wondering if there is something terribly wrong with me that will turn everyone who comes into my life off at some point and they will bounce.  Was this week’s illness just the opening that The Runner needed to realize that he was tired of me and ready to hit the road?

During our conversation last night, he provided the right reassurances at the right time. And after we hung up, I thought about why I was so distant on the call and realized it was just my fear and that without being asked, he made me feel comfortable and secure that he was still there. So I called him back and thanked him for that. We talked about why I was scared and he compared it to a race car driver getting in a car accident - he doesn’t drive the same the first time out after the accident, he needs time to be comfortable again.

The Runner’s understanding, patience and most of all lack of judgement was very touching.  We talked a bit more and hung up. At which point I broke down crying. And cried. And cried. The sharp pain of fear, fear of that he will leave, fear that there really is something wrong with me, fear that I will never find lasting joy and contentment, fear that I’ll self sabotage anything good in my life.  I cried for the fact that the pain was so pointed, even after all of this time.  And that though I thought I was through the worst effects of the divorce, I’m still faced with the consequences.

With her usual impeccable timing, Little Buddha sent this to me earlier this week. Very fitting.
It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. Another word for that is freedom—freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human. (From Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change)

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