I stayed up all night, anxiety gripping me tightly, whispering, “You have to go to therapy at one.” in a rough, cigarette-harshened growl.

My therapist is nice. I don’t know why I am worried. Except that I’m always worried. It’s habit, superstition, and duty all rolled into one. Like, if I let go, and just let what comes come, I would surely die. Death is something that I’m always terrified will happen when I least expect it. Be prepared for the worst so it will never show up and make a fool of me.

Know what the worst thing is about sitting up all night grinding my teeth and listening to The Art of Asking? I checked my calendar and my appointment is TOMORROW. Yep. Pointless anxiety.

I tried to get all worried about Saturday, about the birthday party. But at five am it hit me- I’m not really worried. Not because I think it will be good. I couldn’t place why at first, poking and prodding at the possibility.  Two truths came. Alicia would have at least mentioned, “Hey, just so you know, they’ll be here.” She’s known me long enough to understand that I’d need to be prepared, or even choose not to go.

Which led to the truth i didn’t want to face. The reason I always dreaded the end. The reason I took every moment he offered. When it’s over, it is forever ended. He won’t call. He won’t write. He won’t wonder about me. He wouldn’t put himself in the position of facing me after everything he did. He’s not the hero in my tale. He’s just a man. And he’s a coward.

It was hard to face. Which is why I’m still mulling over it five hours later. I’ve made him the hero who was led astray, and I’ve made myself the villain who has to pay for all the evil temptations. Both the Serpent and Eve and Lillith all at the same time, and he, Adam, trusting, pure, better. He the Light and me the Magdalen, the whore he was kind to.

It’s a fucked up kind of narcissism.  And it’s so hard to get out of that way of thinking. That’s the way I’ve always thought. In all conflict, I am wrong.

How do you rewire 36 years of automatic thought?



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