I woke in the night in a mad panic. Breathless and absolutely petrified I retreated under my quilt to try and hide from what had woken me. I dreamt that Tom had a large spider on his hand, he was putting it near my face and I was screaming, “Don’t show me, don’t show me.” Spiders represent my biggest fear so to me this dream is self evident. Once again, all the fear I have surrounding Tom is resurfacing and it’s not something I want to see or face. The panicky feelings haven’t left me all day. I feel sick, restless and desperately wanting the closeness and comfort of Phil, but am holding on tight to my need not to become dependant on Phil to ‘fix’ me and yet I know if I were to see him, I would feel okay again very soon.
Sasha said to me yesterday that I am damaged goods and she’s right. What happened with Tom has damaged me and I suppose my biggest fear is that I will never ever recover from that. I’ve almost come to accept that the old me has gone for good and I just need to get to know and accept this new me, even though I don’t like her anywhere near as much, this is the ugly me I spoke of recently. The new me lives in a constant state of anxiety and fear. I live a secluded life, so scared am I of letting anyone in. Every day I retreat into my home where I feel relatively safe, if only I could retreat from my thoughts. I’m scared that I’m going to stay this way forever and that I’m eventually going to send myself insane.
Underlying everything is the realisation that this is how things have always been though. On Monday I went shopping with my Mum and it was such a struggle. I don’t enjoy her company at all, she is negative constantly, does nothing but put herself and others down and then tries to laugh it off. Physically, I am uncomfortable in her company, I cringe at the thought of her touching me, of her injecting me with her poison. How intricately combined are the experiences I’ve had with Mum and Tom? I think probably a great deal. My biggest fear always used to be that I’ll turn out like my Mum, what if that is becoming a reality? Tom always says I’m just like my Mum, and he means it negatively. Of course, I tell myself that he would say that, he knows that is a fear, he is always going to use anything he has against me, to belittle me, to break me back down, that is how he works. I still can’t help worrying that it could be happening even though subconsciously, I have followed in my Dad’s footsteps in a lot of ways; an inappropriate sense of humour, photography, an interest in spiritual matters, in psychology and personal growth. I share no interests with my Mum and for that I am glad. I don’t want to be one bit like her, ever.
So what is going on with Phil? I think I love him, I want to be with him yet I’m holding back.
I allow Tom into my home most nights of the week to see Annie and yet I’ve now told Phil that he can’t come round. Why the fuck would I do that? Why am I choosing a fucking arsehole over Phil? Is it because I’m used to it or is it because I’m scared to stand up to him? Could my biggest fear be that I’m too scared to tell him to fuck off for good? I want to. I don’t want him coming round here, I want what I have with Greg where he picks up and drops off the girls at the door with very little interaction with me. I know I’m scared to stand up to Tom, I just don’t know why. I guess though that when you’ve been bullied and belittled non-stop for 9 years, it’s very hard to stand up to the bully doing it. I know if I say it to him he’ll call me a psycho, tell me I’m stopping him seeing Annie, tell me he just wants to see her for a few minutes. He’ll go on and on, manipulating me until I break and let him have his own way again. I’m scared that it’s going to be this way for the next 10-15 years. Do I even have a biggest fear or do I just have a ton of big fears, none of which I want to deal with?
Of course, what about if Phil turns out the same? I can go to his house, it’s safe, I can walk away whenever I want to. If he comes here, I can’t make him leave. He’s invading the safe space I’ve created. If I move in with him, I’ll have no safe space, nowhere to hide. I like that we have blissful unions every other weekend, it’s not enough, but at least every time is a happy time. If we move in, there will be arguments and disagreements. He may be lazy and expect me to do everything, like Tom did. He may take me for granted, the way Tom did. He may grow to hate me, or worse, I may grow to hate him. He may change and start to be nasty to me. The stress of how his life will change with me and the kids may make him change. He may resent me, take it out on me. Worse than anything, he may withdraw from me, stop loving me and I don’t think I can risk that. At least by only seeing him once a fortnight, our love is fresh and safe. Maybe my biggest fear is losing Phil’s love?