What makes me feel afraid in relationships? Why?
I feel afraid when I don’t have scheduled time, a plan to schedule time, or a definite continued interest in scheduling time together. When this drops off, it tends to be the death toll for a relationship, so I get afraid when it happens in relationships that I am emotionally invested in.
I feel afraid when I realize what will break us up. In the past, this has meant that the relationship has less than 6 months left. And if I’m still emotionally invested in the relationship, then this is painful to my very core. Now, I’m not sure whether this is an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy, or just something that happens to happen every time, but it hurts. To clarify, this is not an “I think this may be the case” or “this may cause a split” because those are usually addressable or short term. When I have this realization, it has been an ongoing issue that seems irresolvable.
I am afraid when people yell at me or corner me with their bodies, especially men and other folks with deeper voices, even if they have no history of raising a hand against me. This reduces me to a gibberish mess of crying and defensiveness. If I’m already feeling vulnerable, I will just curl into a ball and disappear (mentally and emotionally) to protect myself.
I fear being in the position that I have to borrow/take money from my partners. It took me a lot of time and effort to separate myself from my parents financially and, to me, that marked my final step into adulthood, not being financially dependent on any other adult to make my way in the world. So to put myself back into the position where I borrow or take money from my partners makes me feel like less of an adult – when I do, I have to set up strict schedules for repayment so I can control some part of the process.
However, I realize that some of how I choose to live my life depends on other people financially – I live in a house where my rent is income-based, so I depend on people to pay their rent to still have a place to live, and I tend to be the person who pays less often when I go out with my partners because I make less money. I feel better about these because I know that these are adult transactions and that we all entered into them in full knowledge of what they meant to our lives. And they can change if they need to.
I am terrified of the idea of the people I love dying. I already lost Minx and that was devastating to me – there were months where all I could do was just put one foot in front of the other and get through that day. And the next day. And so on.
I am scared when people stop talking to me. I understand and can usually reassure myself if someone just needs some space, but if they just drop off the map or only talk to be about banal things, I feel like I am no longer interesting to them and why are they in a relationship with me if I am no longer interesting to them? And…brain weasel circus!
I feel afraid when a partners’ other relationships are going poorly or they are having conflict, especially if they are relationships that preceded my relationship with them. I don’t want to be the cause of any relationship splitting, even if it is really indirect. And I do tend to personalize this kind of stuff, regardless of whether it makes any sense to do so or not. Stability tends to be better for everyone’s emotional health and I hate seeing people hurt.