Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.
– Anais Nin
I am in a relationship. A great one. We absolutely love and take care of each other, but we both have flaws and fighting is inevitable. But, for me… being in love is complicated.
Take away my anxiety, and focus on my past experiences. As someone who has been abused and never healed from it, and as someone who has been sexually violated and never healed from it- there was only a matter of time before my old problems morphed into new ones destined to destroy my future relationships.
But then, add my anxiety back into the equation, and suddenly love becomes an uphill battle.
As as anxious person it is very hard to ever feel truly secure. My monsters don’t only hide under my bed or deep inside my closet, they piggyback me to the mall, they hide in a bowl of cereal, they run through the soap in my shower. They haunt me. And when you don’t feel calm, you feel out of control. And when you aren’t in control, you doubt your strength. And once you doubt your strength, you begin bullying yourself.
The result? A pretty little package filled with guilt, fear, low self-esteem, and constant stress. And who falls in love with something like that?
The worst part of all of this is that I didn’t enter it as someone with anxiety. When we met I was a decade free of anxiety. I had beaten it as a child. And somewhere, at some point, it charged its way back into my life. Changing who I was. Changing my relationship. Changing the person he fell in love with, completely.
I struggle between blaming my partner for not proving his love to me, to blaming myself for not being the person he fell in love with, to avoiding sex for weeks because of negative self-talk, to hating that he isn’t more involved in my recovery.
Honestly, it is all so unfair.
My mood swings are enough to drive anyone crazy. But I have someone who moved 1400 miles to help alleviate my anxiety, and I question how he feels about me constantly. Pretty soon, he will get tired of having to prove it to me time and time again.
I can’t decide what is better.
To handle this on my own and not drag him down with me.
Or rely on him for strength and compassion which will likely speed up my healing process.
He freezes when I panic. He is quiet, stoic, poised.
Meanwhile I am curled in the fetal position, crying so hard that I can no longer catch my breath.
How do you ask someone to sit there and watch you wither away?
But then I find myself struggling with the fact that he just stands there, like a deer in headlights. I just expect him to understand what I need from him, when he has never experienced anything like this before.
As an un-anxious person, you just can’t understand the turmoil.
I sometimes get so angry over my situation, that I blame it on other people. You never hug me. You don’t care. You think I’m making this all up. And then sometimes I feel so guilty that I loathe myself. I isolate. I check out.
That is when I realize that I can’t expect him to know when I want a hug and when I want to be alone. I don’t even know what I want.
I wake him up in the middle of the night, drag him out of bed when he works 50+ hour weeks, and force him to sit in the bathroom while I throw up. And between every catch of breath, I say I’m sorry, over and over and over again. And I watch him struggle to keep his eyes open as he sits there trying to make me feel better, and then I have the audacity to question his love day in and day out?
I don’t know if this is fair to him.
On one hand I feel like he is a caged animal.
On the other hand I sort of expect it, because he loves me and this is what people who are in love do for each other.
And I am conscious enough to know I am the ringleader of this circus.
My relationship is my biggest motivator for getting better. I have to do it for him. I have to do it for me. I have to do it for us.
- Quote for Today: Anaïs Nin (lavenderturquois.wordpress.com)
- Tired and anxious (meanxietyme.wordpress.com)
- Transforming Panic Into Peace: 3 Steps to Relieve Anxiety (endlesslightandlove.com)
- My Best Frenemy, Anxiety (playfullytacky.com)