For those, like me who have histories of bad relationships and sexual trauma, being in a good relationship can be terrifying. Hypervigilance makes us overanalyze every interaction to keep an eye on possible dangers, and we may disproportionately believe that the bad is likely to happen to us. When my intimacy skills have been developed for withstanding and defence, I assume that every interaction requires them. And leaving a relationship that kept me with the sticky glue of messages about my unworthiness, I have had to actively discover that I might be allowed to experience true, healthy love.
I will outlast you.
Everyday you may show up
to tell me his momentary silence is a sure-sign eviction notice,
saying “He will leave you”.
But, how could you validate yourself with statements of certainty?
The proportion of pessimism and horror behind your stories
are your tickets to get into the door.
“I’m one of you,” you say to my trauma gatekeepers.
You carry thoughts to prove the present is just as bad as the past.
But everyday that you make it past the flimsy guards I work to develop,
and begin broadcasting your insturctions
for self sabotage,
I will show up.
I will not leave myself.
I will sit beside the man I love (who you say I don’t deserve),
and accept the risk, the vulnerability, the me.
I will withstand the doubt.
Living everyday of this good life,
in spite of your soundtrack playing,
turning the tune of impending doom
into a groove of progress.
Even as you warn and worry and protest,
I keep growing.
Yelling “imposter” will no longer
keep me from sharing.
“High maintenance,” will not separate me from my desires.
A past of trauma will not keep me from a future of joy, and I will move out of depths with courage for having fallen to them. Stubbornly, I will remember what I lost as proof of what I need not fear to lose.
I welcome you to tag along doubt, but I am not prepared to let you take over.
We are safe now,