“I thought you knew how to be scared…”


The irritation began with his qualifying me: “You don’t do that, do you?”…”because I could never be with someone who…” and he would fill in the objection of the week (dark painted toenails, too skinny, etc, etc…) Apparently I had just reminded him of something he did not like. My response was always the same, “I am not someone. I am me.”

He didn’t get it. So he’d have to find another way in, another way to trigger my insecurities…perhaps he could find me jealous…it would be really convenient if I could be jealous…that’s such a needy insecurity, and easy to trigger…

The recent ex lived nearby, and they shared custody of the dog.  So when his family and I flew in from Michigan to visit, she naturally hoped to join the party. And I was fine with her being invited. But wait! She didn’t want to meet ME! Perhaps…if I could leave the party for an hour or so…

Well, I refused. Had I agreed to leave the party, I’d have walked to the corner Starbucks and called for a cab to the airport…”Well, I told her I’d ask…” was his explanation. That way, he didn’t have to take any responsibility for hurting anyone’s feelings.

I wasn’t about to let him off that hook. What was I doing with someone so emotionally immature, anyway? I just excused it…and did what any loving Mother would do with her beloved child: I held my own healthy space, and let him feel uncomfortable at not finding a solution equally suitable for all. I figured the awareness would benefit us both in the future.

But the awareness didn’t happen! A few months later he planned a necessary trip to England, and a side trip to Spain. He would stay with an old girlfriend in Madrid. “Does that bother you?” he asked. “No.” “May I ask why it doesn’t bother you?” Apparently it bothered him that it did not bother me.

I don’t get jealousy, I admit it. I never have. If HE chooses HER, how does that diminish ME? That’s an adolescent set-up if I ever saw one.

We are all so insecure, for so many convoluted reasons. I wish we could all just be honest about that instead of defensive. The world is so scary, life is so scary…I wish we could all learn how to be scared together.


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