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Defense Mechanisms; Fear of the Uncertain



I spent a lot of my life hiding from myself, in more ways than one. Psychologists say that the mind and body each develop certain defense mechanisms to make it through the stresses in our lives. As with all things with me, this is rather complicated.


It seems as though the defense mechanisms I developed were in place for so long that I fear now they have grown to become and are more a part of me than what they were defending. I don't understand the how and why of it, my only explanation is that they were in place so long that "real" me ended up shoved so far deep inside that there are now several aspects of me, each with a different take on a given situation, arguing with each other over what is right, what is the right thing to do, what I've felt, rather or not I should have felt it, and even rather I had any right to feel it. None of them are distinct entities, I'm not cracking up into multiple personalities, but one thing is certain - I'm not nearly in as good emotional shape as I thought I was. There's part of me that wants to jump in, embrace the good fortune that I have found over the course of the past month, but there's also the part that says "hold on there, Demetz, you're setting yourself up to get hurt, and this is what you need to do to stop that from happening..." I've listened to that part of me for so long, and while its often kept me from getting hurt, its also kept me from being happy....


Don't get let yourself get emotionally involved, don't let yourself get attached, that's how you keep yourself from getting hurt.... You're getting too close, back away; push them away if you have to, that's what will be best for them and for you because if you get too close they'll be hurt too, so back away.


These thoughts have gone through my head in every romantic relationship I've had, and every relationship I've even thought of having. But while it kept me from getting hurt in one way, I've ended up hurting myself in the long run, much more than any one break up could have lead to. I wouldn't let myself close enough to someone to chance feeling sad in or about the relationship - this had the side effect of me not getting close enough to really be happy in one either. That's something I'm trying to change.


There is another part of me too, different from the defensive part, different from the part of me that longs for happiness. A part that sometimes wants to just cry. More than any of the others... that is the part of me I know the least about, and hate the most in myself.


The thing about feeling is, as should be self-evident, you just do it. Letting myself feel again... Its different. The stoic will is something I kept up, not even knowing why, really, for so long. Having a reason why is different. But I find in having a reason to want life... I don't want to carry over the stoic mentality to it. Its not an unwanted burden to struggle through... its life, and what problems come with it I want to meet head on instead of pretending they don't exist.


The emotional mess I effectively hid from myself, and probably still am to a certain extent... was dealt with on a daily basis in several ways, which over the years became so familiar that they became... normal. A constant feeling of stoically carrying on in spite of all the crap is one of those defense mechanisms. Its one I want to get rid of. The problems and the joys that are in my life and coming into my life, I want to embrace them, not categorize them as I have so much else - as just more burdens to wade through.


There is a lot of happiness from my relationship with Silven, but there is also a lot of stress. Much of it comes from me, worrying about the future... something I haven't ever done much of before because I never really expected to have much of a future. No... no, thats wrong. I expected to have a future, I just didn't care because I expected it to be much the same as the past. My future now is something I never expected, both in terms of what's possible to be in it, and the fact that I really do care, really have an emotional investment in it.


I worry a lot about that future. Much of my worry stems from my fears about our child and the possibility that Heidi will attempt to keep it from us. I want to raise this baby with Silven. It is sooner than I expected it to happen, but I do want this child... our child. I know it would be difficult, figuring out how to raise the child here, but I love Silven, and raising a baby with him isn't something I fear, but something I cherish the thought of. What I do fear, however, is what will happen if we, or he, does not get custody. If Heidi insists on keeping the baby for herself, and then the courts side with her and she ends up keeping the baby that way... I'm afraid for the baby, how it will be raised, torn between its mother and two fathers. I'm also afraid for me and Silven. I don't want Silven to have to choose between living with me or living with his baby, but with me going to USF for the next two years and Heidi being in PA, if she gets the baby, that's where it would be, and that's where I think Silven should be, too.


If it came down to it... I would rather he choose to live with the baby than with me. I would still do whatever I could to be in his life, and whatever I could to be a positive influence on the baby... I would move there when I finished my degree... but the two year gap during that time, and all that could happen up there, or down here... I fear we'd grow apart, and that when I did move up there I'd end up being a destructive force in all our lives. I don't know that it would happen like that... don't even know yet that it will happen at all, but I fear it.


A good friend told me last night that I'm worrying too much, that I can't do anything about these problems right now and should just let myself be happy, dealing wth the problems when they actually come instead of trying to deal with problems now that may not even come up at all. At the time I told him that the problems would come up eventually, and I wanted to be emotionally prepared for them when they did, that to do that I had to go through this. He's right, though. Its a cross that bridge when you get there situation... Its just hard, when you can see the bridge coming and don't know what's on the other side.


All I can do, for now, is hope that she decides to give us the child no matter how much I fear she won't and what will happen if she doesn't... I have to push that fear aside and grab on to the hope. The fear will still be there, but I will do my best not to dwell in it. Neither will I let myself fall back into the stoic's mentality. I won't let myself treat this new relationship... this new life, like I treated the old one. I will let myself feel, the good and the bad, and I will live this life without shoving it all away.


That's enough introspection for one entry... thanks for reading, friends... I'm sorry this is as disorganized as it is, and hope it wasn't too hard to follow.

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It always seems that when a person opens the emotional door, life just rushes right in. And that is not a bad thing, it is just a hard thing. Just try not to close it again

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