Saturday, March 24, 2007

Free Fall

How could you possibly trust anyone? I was asked the other day.


I don’t know. I don’t know what it looks like. Can I free fall into groups’ waiting arms? Sure. It’s not about trust. I assume people will try their best and ultimately? The floor is not that far away. I believe there will be an effort. I’m healthy; I don’t think anything will break. I have an escape route planned already- I anticipate the pain and plan for it.

Can I open up sexually? Sure. I love having sex. I’ve had the same partner for almost 16 years. What’s the worst thing that can happen? It’s already happened to me. I’m not afraid to let go- there’s a huge benefit on the other side. Like the freefall question, I know there is no malice, no real harm that can happen. I can say no and no is respected.

Not that I ever say no.

I don’t walk around paranoid and afraid. But I find myself coming up against walls in my marriage. I see that I don’t trust Jeanine.

If you asked me, two years ago, if I trusted her, I would have said yes, absolutely.

Yet there was a great deal I held close. As much as I can talk- and I can talk- I kept a lot back. Like how our decision making made me feel cornered. I was afraid. Afraid she’d leave me. Afraid I was not being good enough.

Something shifted last week.

I don’t know why. Part of it was how clear I was about my motivations. My unconscious suddenly didn’t hold the upper hand. I knew what I was up to and stopped it. And with that shift, there was an opening.

I explained to Jeanine what I was doing around the decision I was accused of being manipulative and power hungry. I was ashamed and miserable. She didn’t hammer on me, she simply said, you’re figuring this stuff out, Sara. I think that’s great. It takes time.

It was like I moved a giant rock guarding my heart. It wasn’t an act of faith. It was recognition. Her response made me realize she is on my side and won’t berate me. She can and will hold this with me.

I spent the day yesterday at a conference talking about Racial Justice. One panelist, Angela Glover Blackwell, talked about how there must be two solutions for racial justice- one that identifies the issue and corrects it and the other that deals with the reality that racism is ‘baked in’ to our society. It is hardened, layered and will not go away with a simple policy change.

I feel like I am trying to get at what is baked in- it is one thing to identify why I approach the world the way I do, to understand it, and to learn how to see the world differently.

It is another to address the way in which my every muscle, my core moves with a level of anticipation for the next hurt to be inflicted.

To learn how to fall into waiting arms without an escape route planned.


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