10/17/2005

Hiding Places

Over the weekend, my significant other and I had an argument. First you have to know I hate to argue. I'd much rather stomp off and be angry for an hour then to try and resolve the issue, that usually never works. So anyway, we're fighting. What we're fighting about is really not important, what is, is the fact that when I decide to stomp off, my boyfriend comes chasing after me. I say chase because he literally came running down the hall and blocked the doorway so I couldn't make a mad dash outside. "Why do you always do that," he says. "Do what," I ask. "Run away instead of staying and working things out," he answers. "Um, because it's what I do," I respond. What a lame answer. The fact is, I don't know why I do that. It's what I have done for thirty some years. I must have learned that somewhere. Later on, after I've gotten my way and dodged the fight, I think about his question, "Why do I do that, run away." I remember when I was a kid, if I got in trouble I'd go and hide under my bed, or in my closet, or any place I thought I couldn't be found. Strange thing is, my parents never came looking for me, they just let me hide. When I did finally come out it was as if nothing had happened. Maybe that was it, maybe them pretending that nothing happened started me down a path that I would follow for a lifetime. In my teen years when I would fight with a boyfriend, I'd usually hang up on them the minute we started to fight. If we fought in person, I'd pretend to not hear them or I'd just walk away. Now that I think about it, they never came after me either. No one ever confronted me or made me listen. I learned that avoiding a conflict was a solution to having to 'feel' anything. What was I afraid of? Why did I hate conflict so much? The more I thought about it, the more I remembered. It's scary you know, remembering things you never thought you knew. What I remembered was watching my mom run to her room and lock the door every time her and my dad fought (which was very often). I remember my mom pretending not to cry every time she found out that my dad was off with some other woman. I remember my dad pretending not to notice that my mom had run off and locked herself away. What I remember, is pain, every time I watched my mom close herself off. It's what I remember, it's what I learned, it's what I became - someone who runs away. Eventually my mom left my dad but I think it was too late to change what I'd already become. She showed me how to run far enough away from something or someone, so that you could avoid feeling things that were unpleasant.

So now I remember why I run away, but how do I stop? How do I keep my feet planted firmly in place and face whatever unpleasantness may come? How do I teach my own daughter that it's never ok to run away, because whatever you are running from - will surely follow? I guess where I start, is right here on this blog. It's writing down the things that scare me, making them real, then figuring out how to 'feel' them and let them go. I think that's the trick - letting them go.

At the end of the day yesterday I went back, I returned to the place that I ran away from. "I run away because I'm scared," I told him. "What are you scared of," he asked. "I'm scared of feeling things," I answered. "It's more scary not to feel them," he said. I guess he's right, after all, that never works anyway.

A new road to follow.

14 Comments:

  1. k o w said...
    You know I'm much like you. While reading this I realized I do the same exact thing. In order to avoid conflict I just turn waway from it and shut it out. If that means leaving a building, closing a door, or hanging up that is exactly what I'll do.

    Is it a fear of feeling? I don't know. I had always thought that I had a pretty thick skin but now, upon some real quick self reflecting while tyoing this I'm not real sure.
    Violet said...
    How cool that he chased you. I thought this was a great post. : )
    NewYorkMoments said...
    It's amazing how we unconsciously mirror, accept and adopt behaviors as a child. I also learned to fear feelings from my parents. So, networkchic, if you figure out a way to fix it, let me know!
    Networkchic said...
    It seems there's a whole lot of running going on in this world...it's probably why this world is such a mess.
    kimmyk said...
    I'm the opposite of you I think. I'm a "let's get it out on the table and talk it out and get past it move on" sort of girl. I don't like confrontation by any means, but if I'm left to simmer and think about it-it only makes me angry. Now my honey, he's a "go away and we'll talk about it in two days" sort of guy. Odd how that is. You are with someone totally opposite of you in that respect and me the same. Maybe thats how we find our balance so ta speak.
    check said...
    what you said about yourself is pretty much what i do too..although not in all situations..happens with some friends or when i just dont wanna get into the whole mess of singling out the details and seeing what went wrong where...but im workin on it..slowly..its a little difficult but you should try to make a conscious effort to break the habit..it'll take a bit of time but ul get there
    Blueprincesa said...
    I know how you feel, Networkchic, but I don't know where I learned it. It helps to be with someone who will ask you things like, "why do you do that?" Fighting can be really healthy in a relationship if it means working things out and always fighting fair, not bringing up old stuff, not hurling insults, expressing your own pain instead of trying to hurt the other person back... it's tough. I'm only just learning it.
    WDKY said...
    I liked the answer you were given at the end of your post. And I always think that if you can identify an issue you're already part of the way to dealing with it.

    Funnily enough, one of the true gender stereotypes that I see a lot is the one that involves talking issues to death. There's a balance, like in all things, and finding it is the key.

    Oh, and I'm prone to walking away/hanging up/etc etc too, but I've been fighting that instinct for a while now.
    ~Moi~ said...
    great post. VERY insightful!
    2 thoughts:
    1) I thought that it was normally a mans personality to go off in times of arguing, think about it and then come back. Its usually the women who always want to talk it out in the heat of the argument. BUT this is neither here nor there. We all deal with things differently.
    2) I think that its a balance of these two kinds of personalities that make a relationship work. one can retreat, the other wants to stay and talk. And in the end you both bring out good things from one another and learn. that was very nice of him to want to talk it out!!! :) I hope things work out for the best!

    ps -is it me or are these word verifications getting longer and longer?
    ... jacek ... said...
    Holy shit, a healthy relationship where people talk! Seriously, good for you that you can see that, that he made you think about it and that you're resolving this ting. I havent had a normal relationship in... well... years, and all I can say is kudos!
    NML said...
    It is lovely that you turned back and explained. Mant people don't. I used to have a tendency to run off when the going got tough and I didn't want to confront things. One day I was mortified when my aunts described me being upset or angry with them when I was 4 or 5 years old and that I would pack my mini suitcase, put on my 'coaty' and head off. Fortunately they would come after me, but I must admit that even as an adult I have to force down the urge to run off when I'm upset. I have no idea where I got it from but I must have learnt it from somewhere.

    Anyway, the good thing is that you know why you are how you are and you are handling things differently and ultimately that brings about positive change :-)
    k said...
    Running away has made me who I am today. Had I not "run away" several times, I wouldn't have landed where I am and eventually figured out that you really can't run away from yourself. No matter how far you go, you'll see yourself in the mirror every morning. I'm still learning to stand and speak. Sometimes though, it's tough to find your voice. If you don't though - who will speak for you?
    forgive and let go said...
    No gimmicks--just a powerful free tool to use when forgiving at www.innertalk.com
    forgive said...
    Some say forgiving is Divine--but now-a-days it's almost essential unless we want to live in fear and anger. There are some absolutely free programs (subliminal and hypnosis) available from Eldon Taylor's site at www.innertalk.com/ They helped me.

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