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What If

I was talking with a friend yesterday. He and I were discussing why I sleep with a bat in the bed with me. And one in the bathroom while I shower. And one by my couch in the living room. And why I keep a taser on my night stand. And why I have a knife in my purse.

I need them to feel safe. Safety is my primary concern. I know I am getting better. For the past few nights I have even been able to fall asleep with the bat on the floor next to the bed instead of in the bed beside me (for the first time in over a year). And I even recently gave away the bat in the living room.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to give it all up. Especially the one in the bathroom. I hate taking a shower. I feel so vulnerable. I am naked. I can’t hear over the water running. I’m blind since I have to take my glasses off. But I am trying.

During the conversation, he asked if i would ever use my bat on him. I didn’t even hesitate or need to think about my response. Of course I would, if I had to. I would not hesitate to use them on anyone ever, if I felt I needed to.

We had a whole conversation about trust and violence and responding to abuse. And I told him that he hadn’t done anything abusive to me, yet. But that I thought he could.

He froze when I said that. I could feel him trying to process it.

I held my breath as I waited for an answer. I expected an angry outburst. I expected him to yell at me, or stop talking to me. I always expect the worst from people. I guess because that is what I usually get.

But he instead responded in a very calm and quiet tone. He was totally reassuring and understanding.

We spoke for a time about one of my favorite subjects. What if.

One of my exes used to say that I could hypothetical him to death. I love what ifs.

I told him that I had already thought about what I would do in almost any situation. I am always thinking about that. All the time. I never stop to relax. I feel like my brain works on multiple levels and one of those levels is always considering; what if.

And then we talked about that. And the more kind he was; the more adamant I became. I am the expert on my life. I know what I need to do to be/feel safe.

He never even argued with me. He just disagreed.

Later, I lay awake in bed. My heart pounding. I couldn’t understand why it was bothering me so much. Why was I so upset by our conversation?

And then I realized why. It had forced me to vocalize a feeling I hadn’t had to think about in a long time. I hadn’t even really known I had felt that way in the past. And I didn’t know I no longer felt that way until the words were out of my mouth.

The truth was, I wasn’t sure how I felt anymore. And that made me upset. I wanted to know how I felt. I wanted to take our conversation back. I wanted to suck all the words back in. But I couldn’t.

Instead I woke him up and explained it all to him.

Just admitting that I didn’t know how I felt anymore made me feel better. I still don’t know how I feel about that subject. But I will eventually. Maybe the next time someone asks me, it will just come out.

But he is right about something else too. I don’t need to sit around making myself decide how I feel.

My feelings will come to me. Just like they have been. I am always evolving. I am always learning. I am always tweaking and adjusting myself.

It’s how I came to be who I am. And it’s how I’ll come to be whoever I become.


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