Oracle ✥ Artist ✥ Author ✥ Time Traveler

Leaving (…not on a jet plane)

broken-womanI am a bad, bad person. Bear with me here, I can hear your thoughts. Stop saying in your head No, Talyaa, you’re not bad! and just let me have my belief, will you? Bad, bad, bad. Why bad? Because I am a Leaver.

When things get tough, the tough get going. Going far, far away. I am not tough. I am a coward. Hence the leaving. Leaving is easier than staying and facing the hard things. Let’s talk about why this is even a Thing, why the Leaving needs to be written about.

Number One, I am making amends to my soulmate via this post. More on that in a bit. Number Two, this Leaving is a Thing, and I would like it to not be a Thing, because I think it is one of my defects. Writing about my Things helps me see them more clearly. I cannot lie on paper the same way I lie to myself.

Back to Number One and amends. Soulmate and I make agreements in our relationship. Everybody makes agreements in relationships (closing the shower curtain; leaving shoes near the door and not just wherever; all areas of conduct and behavior are subject to agreement, otherwise there’s freaking chaos everywhere and you can bet your sweet bippy that chaos in relationships is not pretty), and we’ve brought a lot of our agreements large and small to the surface and actually talked about them to avoid miscommunication and oogy feelings. So. All goes smoothly. But! When someone breaks an agreement, amends need to be made. Maybe someone gets an extra foot massage that day. Or cooks a meal. Or maybe the amends are a bigger thing to match the bigger whatever-it-was that was broken in the agreement.

Soulmate and I have agreements about our communication. One of them is that when we are in conflict, we talk about the conflict so we can clear it and go on loving each other again. That’s the theory. Sounds easy, right? Putting it in practice is harder. Conflict opens a door and Mr. Surly walks in. I do not do well around Mr. Surly. He scares me and when he comes around I turn into a little girl who does not think clearly and who just sits around in total Freak-Out Mode. She just wants Mr. Surly and all her self-judgy feelings that show up when Mr. Surly comes to just GO THE FUCK AWAY. But Mr. Surly does not go away, so the little girl does the going (aka Leaving). Preferably by hiding under a bed or in a closet. Sometimes literally. Freak-Out Mode is not socially acceptable. No one should see me in Freak-Out Mode.

Hence the Leaving. “Go the fuck away” translates loosely to “Please don’t look at me I’m clearly too hideous to look at and hence to even deserve to be alive and everything you say right now get automagically transmuted by the evil elves who dwell in my brain and therefore feels like thousands of white-hot poker jabs in my eyes, so please please please GO THE FUCK. AWAY. BECAUSE THIS HURTS OW OW OW OW WHITE HOT POKERRRRRS OW.”

I think Leaving keeps me safe.

The thing is, it does not keep me safe. No, no, no. When I Leave from being all scaredy, Mr. Surly just gets more angry. His soulmate has left him, he thinks. He’s been abandoned, he thinks. I might abandon him again at any moment, he thinks (is death the ultimate abandonment?), and his Fear goes deep underground to be covered by (to keep him safe) Anger. So Little Scared Leaving Girl just gets MORE of what she does not want — anger and Not Being Loved.

Little Scared Girl mostly just wants to be held and stroked and told she is not bad, bad, bad. But her only source of comfort is now an Angerball who wants nothing at all to do with her unless and until she walks through the fire of Resolving Conflict With An Angerball. So, I’ve successfully avoided anger (yay) by walking away from a heated conversation, but what I get in return is MORE of exactly what I do not want, and I can’t have the hugs and unicorns and butterflies I desperately desire until I sit next to and hold fucking hands with what scares me the most.

[I am pretty sure this last appears in the dictionary under the entry for “Fucked”.]

Why do I dislike Mr. Surly so much? An astute observer might tell me it’s because I have all kinds of undealt-with anger floating around inside me and it’s eating away at me and I have no idea what to do with it, so being around an angry person just brings all my balled-up black angerball ickiness to the surface. To which such astute observance I might yell a big FUCK YOU and turn my back but don’t take it personally, because my back is still listening. So keep going (she whispers a tiny “please” under her breath).

Here is another thing [see: Fucked]. I KNOW there are metric tons of anger and shit inside me. I feel it oozing out of my pores. I do everything I can to stop it. Turn it inward! Hey, that’s a solution! (if you want cancer) Because someone told me, long long ago, that Anger is Bad. So I know it is Bad. Also it scares my soulmate. He told me so. I scare him. This is unacceptable to me. I know what feeling scared is like, and I don’t want anyone to feel that way around me. Anger = Bad. Anger = Scary. I have Anger. Ergo, I am Bad (and Scary, unless I turn anger inward where no one can see it). See how this works?


I am all out of answers. But I needed to tell you this. Otherwise nothing will ever change.


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. SOH

    Anger is neither bad or good. Anger is — like a smoke signal. The trick is to find the time & awareness and courage to walk into the fire that generates the smoke signal so that you can decode it and then deal with it. Ideally, in a rational and healing way. Even if the “deal” is to set it aside until you have the resources to deliver a more therapeutic remedy at a future time. If you can’t extinguish the fire, then you bank it and keep moving into your path, knowing it will flare up later and you’ll deal with it again. Signed, Scarlet O’Hara, fellow Leaver with thanks to Pr. David Lien for teaching me the truth about anger…

  2. Kersti Abawi

    I believe that as soon as you both can express your fear which underlies the anger, you will reconnect. You are afraid of being judged (bad, not good enough). He is afraid of being left alone, abandoned, rejected. You both need the same thing…hugs. Love. Mr. Surly is just a suit with quills, like armour. To hide in. For protection.
    Get naked, get vulnerable. Trust.
    Easier said than done. <3

  3. reshasabre

    SOH (Scarlet O’Hara): So you say, “The trick is to find the time & awareness and courage to walk into the fire that generates the smoke signal so that you can decode it and then deal with it.” Can you please say more about this? Specifically, what does it mean to ‘decode’ it. I think you and Pr. Lien are on to something here.

  4. Angela

    There is a huge difference in how you run away. It sounds like you cutoff. A cutoff is an abrupt disconnection, and in it there’s a message to the other person of “you’re bad! you’re doing bad things! it’s you’re fault!”. An intelligent boundary is “I’m sorry, but this is too much for me – could we find another way to communicate”?.

    Cutoff blows things up. You can imagine what it’s like as a child to have abrupt cutoffs from parents when something wrong is done. Everyone, especially angry people, carry legacies from that. Hence cutoffs can make the angry angrier.

  5. Big Sis

    I am just too tired to think (or write) intelligibly, but based on my experience (which is the only knowing we can ever count on, right?), I hear/feel/sense a bit of a raucous childhood in your past. Perhaps a father who yelled … or hit … too loud and too hard … or both … (Or worse.)

    Or perhaps it was a brother, or neighbor, or teacher. Lord knows, for many of us, our childhoods are full of too much of the above, with escape found, as a universal thing, in running, hiding, leaving.

    I love the imaginative and fanciful wordplay in your writing, that speaks (to me, anyhow) … of a little girl who escaped untold monstrosities with one of the only, and perhaps the best escape route there is … imaginative play and intelligence spun inward … and then up and out, into the etheric realms (of rainbows and unicorns, and different kinds of energy balls and resources … our Earth, sometimes, being too flat, and hiding places, too limited).

    There are things both messy and charming in all of life, and in this writing you do for all your own clarity, you provide clarity for the reader, as well, in phrasing things that are common to ALL of the human experience (expanding the limits of language to give word to things we didn’t always have words for).

    We are all … good … bad … fuckers … and fucked … well-meaning … and ill-intended … hardworking … and shallow … deep thinking … and lazy … not understood, most of us, while so desperate for understanding. It’s all spiraled into strings of diverse and opposing things as part of our emotional DNA, but in the end? Self wins … and truly, all Self ever was … is love.

    So there.

    You may be a leaver, but beneath … beneath even that … you are love experiencing life in all its messy iterations.

    Big Sis

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