Friday, June 19, 2009

Diving In

Dear Bloggers,

There are very few things that scare me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally fearless, and I’m easily startled (my fight or flight reflexes are constantly on alert). But there are two things that seriously causes me extreme anxiety and the thought can bring me to tears.

The first thing is DEEP water. When I was in seventh grade I took swimming lessons, and while trying to learn to do a dive, I started drowning. If you thought that that was the end of my drowning escapades, then you would be wrong. I almost drowned a total of five times. Due to those moments, I have an extreme fear of deep water. So, I stay in the shallow end of pools, lakes, and oceans.

The second thing is dating. Now, I’ve never had this fear before, but after my last relationship (which ended with me having an eating disorder and going to therapy), I’ve also found myself staying in the shallow end of the dating pool as well. But, it’s not only that relationship, but the molestation I dealt with when I was younger, or a HORRIBLE thing an “ex” did to me after we broke up (he was the first person I told about being molested, so when we broke up, he not only told everyone in his class, he also told me that I was “a slut, and that’s why you got molested”). Then, on top of all of that, I’ve witnessed people close to me have their significant others cheat on them, or beat them, or viciously verbally abuse them.

Now, whenever I feel myself becoming attracted to a guy, I feel myself experiencing panic attacks and second guessing everything. There’s a fear of “what type of dudes do I attract?” “What if it’s worse than before?” “What if I can’t get out?”

I stand out on the docks of the lake and life while my friends try to encourage me, with promises of: “This time it’ll be different. Just jump in, and you’ll be fine” However, that fear leaves me paralyzed, wanting to trust them, but still unsure of what diving in would mean for me.

Just like the beautiful HUMONGOUS lake that finalizes the scenery around my job, I look at it and dating with a combination of desire and fear. The desire of wanting to jump in, experience those blissful first days of getting to know someone. Spending time with someone and realizing all the interesting things you have in common. Swimming in those feelings of first attraction and succumbing to the waves of realization that you’re not just physically attracted to this person, but you’re attracted to their personality as well. Kicking through the tumultuous times, and overcoming the ebb to realize that not only you, but your bond is strong than it was when you first started.

Everyday, while I walk to the office, I look at the water, a sense of longing in my eyes, thinking that one day, I will conquer my fear. One day, I’ll be able to let those past incidents be just that, past incidents that doesn’t necessarily dictate my future. In the same sense, I have the same hopes of dating. One day, I’ll be able to dive in, not only in the water, but in love, with the trust that the water/ my boyfriend will catch me, comfort me, soothe those fears, and reassure me that this time, I won’t go under. Until then, I’ll work on moving from the shallow end.


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