Raft your heart out.

On stepping out and moving forward

I have been focusing this week on my inability to let people go. Often in my adult life I am confronted with the fact that I feel close to people who do not feel close to me. My mother talks to me about this sometimes. She says that even as a child, I would instantly attach myself to people and not let them go.

This week I have been having that issue with my ex-partner. It has been an interesting experience because my heart and head are not on the same page. I will have jealous thoughts and have to put effort into taking a step back and think, “you didn’t want to be in that relationship. You literally hated your life, why would you be jealous?” As soon as I think the thought, the feeling goes, but the urge to keep ownership never fades. I do this with male friends also. Whenever one of my male friends gets a partner, I’m always defensive. That’s my friend. Don’t take them from me. Again, I have to take a moment, “you can’t date them, and you want them to be happy, why would you be mad?”

Yesterday I had the thought, “I think I’ll stop taking partners with me to important events. I don’t want them to be in my best memories when I grow old.” As soon as the thought was complete, I realized what an unhealthy tactic that is. Self-isolation while still asking another human to participate. I have no doubt that I engaged in such behavior with my previous lovers.

While I enjoy all the introspection, I have also realized this week that when I go too far into myself I start to feel hopeless and lost. Will I ever overcome my PTSD? Will I ever believe it’s worth loving another human again? Will I ever trust myself not to hurt the people I love? In my last relationship I became very close to his family and to this day the loss of them is what hurts me most. Do I want to risk that again? Do I want to experience again the pain of having someone you loved for years completely ignore you in public as if you never were? This week I learned that the remedy for this emotion is to look at the world. Does it matter if I ever love again when there are children suffering IEDs in other countries? Does it matter if I get hurt again when some people in my own town do not have homes? Looking outward is now my coping mechanism for being trapped inward.

My coping mechanism for my urge to claim ownership over the friends in my life is going to be, and I can’t pretend I don’t struggle to say this, I’m going to try to start hugging people and being more open. I’m going to try to stop self-isolating. I’m going to give the world a chance to show me that it won’t hurt me, and I’m going to try my best to not hurt the people who come around. Hopefully my honesty will help with that. Hopefully if I am honest about being in a PTSD state, people will respect my needs. And I have to say, Medium, it’s the support you’ve showed me that made me think that this is a possibility. There is a possibility that as long as I’m open with my needs, the world will be just with me.

September 23rd is coming up. I’m horrendously nervous. I had planned to barre myself in my loft and mope, today I decided that I will raft. I will be around humans, I will embrace my new life. I will appreciate the independence that I had to completely uproot my life to get. I will celebrate my freedom, independence, and victories. Hell, I might even throw a party. I do not want to drown in poor coping mechanisms any longer. I’m going to step up. I’m going to wake up.

Always survive; never surrender.