Sober Dating, Distinguishing Reality from Crazymaking
The Inner Workings of a Sex and Love Addict Series
Today I’m crying on the inside where no one can see the black mass of nothingness that is my self worth. On the outside I look happy, put together, and even told living a life of envy. Would they still envy me if they knew the never ceasing mental war that goes on in my head? Would they relish the tennis match in my brain between reality and my irrational fears caused by unfounded insecurities that leave me mentally exhausted? Would they want a life of craving love but constantly pushing it away?
Last night I texted with a guy I’ve been seeing for a little over a month now. He sent me a text that was meant for someone else. It wasn’t explicitly sexual in nature but I took it that way. I mean, let’s be honest, any out of context text is meant to be sexual, right? I never asked who it was really meant for and why. I didn’t feel it was my business because at this point in our dating we have not had the exclusivity talk. He is still free to date, sext, and have relations with whomever he chooses. Though in all honesty this text could have simply been a response to a buddy of his trying to get him out for a beer. I’ll never know but the catastrophizing part of my brain believes he was sexting with a woman.
That one text sent to me but not meant for me was enough to send my fear of abandonment and rejection spiraling out of control. I woke throughout last night from nightmares poking and prodding my deepest fear. I dreamed that I left my garage door open at night and all my tools were stolen, symbolically recreating feelings of loss and being violated after *I* left my personal space open and vulnerable. More directly I dreamed that I received a text from him that was meant for another woman where they had made vacation plans to go to Costa Rica together. It’s not enough that I torture myself during the day with my unfounded fears so my subconscious takes over with the self-inflicted abuse when I should be restoring with sleep.
I had lunch with him today. I apologized for my funky mood. He said he noticed I was preoccupied and asked what was on my mind. I decided to feel the fear of intimacy and tell him my fears and thoughts I had been having. He seemed to take it well and said that he was glad I trusted him enough to tell him. But do I?
I don’t know if I did the right thing. Maybe it’s too early to give him such a personal glimpse into my psyche. I really like this guy. He’s nothing like I’ve ever dated before, the complete opposite of the selfish, narcissistic men of my past. He’s attentive, open-minded, kind, generous, funny, smart, and emotionally open. The passion is there but not dangerously blazing ready to set my world on fire. It’s more like a passion that is meant to deepen with time, a feeling I’ve never experienced before.
It’s this man whom I have so much in common with, that I love laughing with, who I love going on adventures with, who turns me on with his charm and take charge attitude that leaves me feeling so naked and exposed. I’m vulnerable to being hurt by him if he chooses not to be with me. He could crush my heart, rip it out of my chest with his bare hands. I believe I couldn’t bare that pain but I can and I have. This pain I fear compels me to throw up a wall to protect myself. If I can feel it surely he does too.
I fear intimacy and I know he senses this in me. When we are together I feel secure. It’s in the texting everything gets lost in translation. It’s the time apart, especially after sex, that I become insecure and unsure of my place with him. I want to be intimate and vulnerable with him but it also terrifies me. What if he says it’s too soon? What if he doesn’t want to meet me there? What if I tell him more of my past and he can’t handle it? Then my fear becomes truth. Yet I’ll never know true love, true vulnerability if I don’t let go and take the risk of putting my heart in this man’s hands.
I want to be exclusive with this man but I’m too afraid to discuss it with him. Maybe it’s too early in the relationship and it is coming more from my fear of abandonment than the natural progression of our relationship. Maybe I am giving him too much power by waiting for him to decide. Maybe this solo road trip is exactly what I need, to get away and clear my head. Just maybe when I come back I’ll have a better grasp of reality and less lies chattering in my head. Maybe I won’t be frozen with fear. Maybe then I can get out of my own way of preventing a good thing from blossoming into something beautiful. Maybe this one time I won’t push love away.