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fit to be tied (from mirim to perse; unfinished short story)

Taylor P.Comment

Sometimes we, as people, have to place ourselves in isolated situations to gain some sense of perspective in a world gone awry. At times, we may alienate ourselves to become more introspective

and retain our mental aptitude. I have spent the past few months alternating between being sociable and isolating myself from the world, trying to find answers to some of the questions that plague

my mind and heart. If I have isolated myself from you or caused you any grief whatsoever, I am sorry. It is not that I didn’t want to be around you, but simply that I couldn’t until I formed some

stratagem.

It has been almost a year since the bottom fell out and I find myself not much further than I was before; only wiser and obviously more vulnerable than I ever could have imagined. I am still in debt;

I still make mistakes with people/relationships intentionally and spend too much money on things I don’t need. I still feel like I am in limbo between where I want to be and where I am. There is so

much uncertainty in my life right now and I think that is what haunts me the most. It seems like the scales can tip one way or another and I could find myself in the affluence of wealth or in the

depths of despair. I think stability is a good thing for most people, but it is something I know I would not be satisfied with long-term, if I could be at all. In truth, if life were stable and uneventful, I

would be bored. I keep doing foolish things hoping to counteract my dissatisfaction with my life, but in the end I simply become miserable because I lose friends and the things that are most

important to me. I am happy with who I am, at the very least, but I feel like I should be doing more than I am right now. My friends who have been in this situation tell me that it simply takes time to

move past everything, and not to close myself off from life and love, but I am afraid. I want to run away to the hills of Oregon. I want to disappear into antiquity where no one will ever know my

shame or my wounded pride.

So this time is a time of reflection for me. I have begun to reevaluate every facet of my life and who or what I want to be involved in it, if anyone at all. It is a growing stage for me but also a chance

for me to realize where I purposely am sabotaging situations or relationships. What I have found, thus far, is that fear is my greatest motivation for self-destructive behaviors. I know how to push

buttons and get reactions from people; I know I purposely push people away because of my fear of attachment to them (and worse yet, I fear their attachment to me, if applicable). I have always

felt like I am temporarily here so forming friendships and relationships has been particularly stringent to me. Knoxville has always been a big part of my life, but I feel like I am just a visitor here, for

the most part. That is something that hasn’t changed since I came here. If it wasn’t for my home, I probably would not have stayed, honestly. I haven’t had a real home since the loft in Dayton all

those many years ago, so it is easy to see why giving that up is such a difficult task for me. I haven’t had a real relationship since my marriage ended, if that even counts as a relationship, and I

fear getting involved with someone because I fear losing myself again in them. I have hurt people these last few months, people that now I would have probably loved to be involved with longterm,

but was far too jaded by my failures to see this. My independence is necessary for me to be truly happy and although I know I will love and support whoever crosses my path, I don’t want to have

to answer to anyone for who I am, or change who I am to please someone. I have a zest for life and can be rash and impulsive at times and tend to keep myself extremely busy and these attributes

tend to be problematic for anyone I associate with. What I feel one day may be entirely different the next until I make up my mind officially, which usually involves many tests on the merits of people

and space to leave some rationality in perspective. I have been so scattered the past few years and am in constant motion that I don’t know if things will ever settle down again. I think settling

scares me, because I would much rather run away from my fears than to face them head-on. I am afraid of love because love equates suffering to me. All my life I have never been loved without

experiencing some sense of loss or pain. Even with my own family.

I habitually take on more burdens than I can manage, the burdens of others, because I sincerely want to help them find happiness. I have been doing this since I was a little girl, and I realize now

that this is an issue for me. In the end, though, I feel laden down with the weight of so much sorrow and animosity and this causes me to become greatly unhappy or irritable. These are two things I

don’t like, because I empathize with people and feel negativity very strongly (to the point it can make me ill- I do NOT like negativity in any form unless it is constructive). I overextend myself and

end up spreading myself too thin, or get too involved with the affairs of others, and then I have to take a step back out of the situation just to breathe and regroup (or risk losing myself again and

becoming severely melancholic). I wish it were only a boundary issue, but people will weasel their way in and suck the life out of me, and I let them do it because of this great love and compassion i

feel towards all things, despite all of the horrors I have witnessed.

Some may consider me selfish, changeable, or unreliable right now, and maybe that is the truth. I certainly feel this way. Many of you that have known me for years know that this isn’t who I am

right now and probably won’t be who I become, either. I have come to the realization that right now I haven’t the emotional clarity, dedication, or the drive to be a good friend, girlfriend, etc. Nor do

I have the time or patience, honestly, to put effort into what I feel are potential one-sided relationships. This has nothing to do with any of you and is purely my vehicle for transformation and

something I personally have to evaluate. In retrospect, I would say for the most part I am happy-go-lucky and enjoy life, but there is that 20% or so of my life that seems much unfulfilled or

dysfunctional and this is what I am reflecting on now. I am taking time to look inside myself and really find who I am and where I want to be, at least for the next few years.

I guess everyone goes through this stage of life in their 20s, when they recognize that they should have done more or been more in the first part of life. I feel like I made many, many errors,

whether professionally, financially, or emotionally, and that is something I am suffering for now. My greatest regret is not taking the full scholarship when it was offered to me in 2004, because I

would have finished college last year and not be having to wheel-and-deal just to survive a semi-comfortable life. I like the stability of having a home now but in the end I don’t like being tied down

by so many responsibilities and am always the eternal opportunist. At best, I feel I have accomplished more than many people my age. At worst, I feel as if I have alienated the very people I

consider valuable because I have taken my failures out on them or detached myself from them entirely, although I know they are not to blame for my unhappiness. If I have pulled you too close at

times, it is because your presence has caused something to change in me and it has caused me to panic. If I have pushed you away, it is because I am afraid of one or both becoming too attached

only for me to leave again. If I have done both, it is because a big part of me can’t imagine life without you and the other part of me is afraid of what that means. I’m afraid to fall in love again

because I am afraid of being hurt again and so I put up barriers or scare people away with my emotions. This is because I don’t want to look back in another 6 years and realize I made the same

mistakes again, or worse. The only difference is that in another 6 years, I will be much too old to pick up the pieces once again and regroup.

There were and are so many things I simply can’t talk about; So many secrets and dreams and ideals hidden in my mind that I can’t put into words. So many horrible, horrible things that

happened that fucked me up for such a long time. The abuse that went on for years is still with me and alters my perceptions greatly, much to my dismay. There are things that still bring

tears to my eyes; things that still sting and wound, years after they occurred. I can be so excited about the world in one moment but as soon as something changes for the worst, I become

frightened and immediately retaliate with force. My insecurities, my fears, and disappointments are so clearly evident on my face at times and the worst part is that I cannot handle feeling

vulnerable. Writing this alone makes me feel vulnerable, but I know the only way I will ever find some sense of inner peace is to develop a tougher skin. And because I think I owe all of you

an explanation for my frequent disappearing acts or occasional harsh criticisms and my coldness. It isn’t a bipolarity, so much as at times my life seems like a balancing act and I can’t keep

all the pieces in constant motion without losing some here and there. I do FEEL, I do care for you, and I don’t want you to leave because of my unpleasantness and aloofness. It is a mask.

In truth I am still a little girl, scared out of my wits, afraid of being abandoned and hurt yet again.

Because, in truth, I’m just not sure how I feel. When I see you, I can’t help but smile. I enjoy our time together and I truly want you and want us to be happy together. I think fondly back to

when we first met, the kindness you showed me, those long nights where we would talk for hours, airing our dirty laundry, and fall madly to the floor in a sea of arms and legs. I think of the

fights, the kinetic energy that runs between us, the loyalty, the love. And then I panic. I want to be free! I am single and want to stay that way! I don’t want to settle down, even if I would be

happy! It’s not even that I want to see other people, because my feelings for you are stronger than anything I could feel for them, but I don’t want to lose my freedom. I don’t want to lose

who I am in someone else, someone else. I don’t want to get hurt again or be vulnerable again, and so I shy away from you despite how much I want to be with you. It’s too soon, I keep

telling myself. I don’t want you to be my rebound. I want to fix what is wrong with me and then come back to you so that we can have a good life together. But I don’t want you to wait on me.

I want to see where this goes with you, but I don’t want to be tied down again. I don’t want us to fail and hate each other. When you yelled at me the other day for giving you the runaround,

it really hit home. I haven’t been very fair to you and I am so sorry. My feelings for you are true and valid, and my ambiguity is simply because I am afraid of everything. Out of the numerous

people i have dated or been involved with, no one has known me as well as Chris did, and now you. No one knows me inside and out, and it frightens me that you see through the veneer.

That you not only haven’t given up on me, but take my contradictory behavior with so much strength and compassion. You call me out for my transgressions when a weaker person would

simply vanish. And you vanishing from my life in these next few months, as I become more and more vulnerable to you and work through the hurt, is something I don’t think I can handle

right now. As independent as I am, and as much as I love my freedom, I can’t forget you. No matter how angry I am at you, or how much sense you make when I am acting irrational, at the

end of the day I don’t want to lose you. You have had such a profound effect on me in these last few months. You asked me the other day to be faithful to you, and I panicked. It isn’t that I

don’t want to. I keep telling myself, “It’s not going to work out, it’s not going to work out!” but I know in my heart it would work and I could potentially be happy with you for a long time.

The problem is that I convinced myself that I don’t believe in marriage anymore; don’t believe in relationships. I just believe in a self-sustained life, where I only have to depend on myself

and no one else. I don’t like being held accountable for my actions, I don’t want to be responsible or have to answer to anyone, and the trappings of love are less suited to me than lust,

which is fleeting. You keep telling me that I am simply afraid of being hurt, and hiding away because of these fears of my newfound freedom being stripped away. I think it is a fear of

loneliness that makes me prefer to be alone, you’re right on that. I just am so happy being by myself, because at least I am responsible for my own self-destruction in this way. It took my

trip out to Oregon’s wilderness to make me realize how much you mean to me, and even then I still can’t get past my own fears. I was sitting in the Columbia Gorge, it was pouring rain and

the light filtered through the douglas firs so vividly, and all I could think of was that you should have been there with me and not sitting back home, licking your wounds. Everything happened

so fast with us. I question “fast.” I have a hard time trusting to begin with, but I question “us” because I don’t know what it entails if we fail. Everything in my life that is meaningful falls

together very quickly but not always seamlessly. I used to think that if there were some hiccups that meant it was wrong, but despite the last many years of a failed marriage, I can say that

the first two were worth all of the pain and ultimate loss because it made me a better person. I don’t want to push you away, but I am. It is not a reflection on you— you probably are the right

person for me, but I am so blind right now and so jaded by love. I know I have told you that I am over everything, but in truth I am still well under it.

I guess what I am trying to say is that please just give me time. My feelings for you are valid, and despite my roaming around and experimenting to get it out of my system, if you are still

around in a few months and still want me, hopefully I will be in a better place so that we can give things a try. It has never been that I don’t want things to work out with us— we have such a

strong connection and mutual appreciation (and great sex, to boot) it would be foolish to throw that away. I just don’t trust myself right now, with you or anyone. I am still hurting and still

working through things, and I don’t want to drag you down with me if I fall apart again. But, conversely, I can’t seem to completely let go of this. So if i disappear for a while, it is not because

I don’t care about you, but because I don’t want to hurt you. I want to be ready for you. And most of all, I want to be ready for myself. I can’t heal myself if I am burying all of my energy in a

relationship, and it isn’t fair to you to make you wait on me to heal, because I’m not sure how long that will take. But please don’t give up on me. I realize I keep going back and forth on

everything, but it is only because I sincerely like you and I have faith that once I work through this, it will be good for us. So I want us to get to know each other, to test the waters of

vulnerability, but if I pull away at times it isn’t a reflection on you or our future. It is because I’m not ready yet. I don’t want to be without you, but I know the more I am around you the more I

will want what you want (and what I want with you but am afraid to try because of all that happened), and until I feel prepared enough to be there, I won’t be good for either of us. I’m not

trying to downplay my feelings for you— I just am saying that please don’t expect much from me right now. You have been putting a lot of pressure on me, and I realize I have brought that

on myself by the way I have been acting toward you, so believe me when I say i completely understand your frustration and impatience with me right now. Everything you have said I

completely deserved and I hope you can understand now that I keep pulling away BECAUSE I have strong feelings for you and not the other way around. No joke. I’m terrified because it

opens up hopes that I am not ready for and fears of idealism and mistrust that I haven’t worked through yet. I adore you and want this to work— so please just take everything with a grain of

salt right now. I haven’t treated you very well, have ignored you and said mean things, avoided you, and for that I am so sorry. Truly, I thought I was being strong, but I shouldn’t have allowd

my self-preservation to hurt you like I have. Being away from you is harder for me than you will ever know, but I HAVE to do it right now because I can’t get attached to this yet on the level

you deserve. And I hope someday we get the opportunity to do so, when I am better. Now I hope you understand why I have done all this, and hope you don’t judge me too harshly for it. I

am not in my right mind right now and you don’t deserve such ambiguity. And this is coming from a “glutton for punishment!”