Veni, Vidi, Vici

I'm trying to break a really bad habit that I have of clinging to the past and being frozen in terror by the future.
I am a naive person and for so long, I just flat-out trusted that "bad things" wouldn't happen to me. At the same time, I lived in house where things were not always "good things" and where I was somewhat, whether intentinally or not, singled out as a bad thing. There was this weird disconnect of what was labeled as awful (me) and what in the world awful really meant (not me).
There's too much water under the bridge and too many things that have built up for me to blame any one person or event for the fact that I had a harder time than the other kids in my socio-economic group. It's just not worth it to go back and walk through the traps that I learned how to build and set; or go research the traps that I walked into and lost limbs to. They hurt the first time and they left scars.
Somewhere very early on, I caught a virus known as Failing. It was easy enough to live with - the faster people understand that you are a fuck-up, or a freak, the quicker they leave you alone. I carried the expectation of my failure with me into everything that I did. Sometimes people didn't get frustrated and didn't give up but most people quit on me, just as I wanted them to. There were sme people for whom I would perform and there were more than a couple who I wanted but who didn't understand that my singular obsession with prooving my inadequecy was just an act.

For most people, frustration set in early and hard and they wanted to shake me. Shaking the baby doesn't work. For the frustrated people, I made up an intricate series of paths in my mind and with my actions. I wanted to throw them off of the trail as quickly as I could so that they wouldn't take my my failures personally. As soon as they got tired, I'd slip off into my own place: I could live in Failure, with a mortage and everything. I know all of the street signs, have shopped all the cute stores, and I've spent hours lying on that hill on the western edge of Failure, day-dreaming.

The almost total lack of self and the void of sucking at everything I did was the preferred method for me. Trying to be devious and failing, trying to work hard and failing, trying to have friends and failing... pretty early on, probably after my dad died and with him, the slight cushion that I was counting on to come through for me just ONE TIME, I knew I was sucking on purpose. My choice to not have opinions and concern over my ethical and physical health caught up to me in the form of two men from my mid-late twenties.

One of those men was representational of a number of things. Although I am embarrassed that I was ever as associated with that man as I was, I understand and I am grateful for what he did to begin patching me up. Sometimes, things happen in relationships that only the two people in them can fully understand. That particular relationship was highly focused and private and even the people who know me don't know everything about it. They never will, either. From the outside, he was an idiot-mess. But for whatever it is worth, he happens to be the person who got me up and running. He woke up a dorment part of me and I'll always have respect for him in my own, private way.
Grudgingly, of course.

The other man, who came before the first, loved me in a way that felt like there was nothing holding us on this earth except for the bonds of the other one. He loved me desperately and crushingly. I think that if I had stayed and cancelled my plans to move to Arizona, or if I had moved back to his house, one or both of us would be dead before 20 years had passed. He was abusive, I was advatageous and we both we consumed by this weird, fucked up passion for each other. I've never held onto anyone like that He wrapped my arms, bound my legs, took away my voice, and cut up all of my clothes. There was a tragic beauty to it but it hurt too much for me. I feel like if I hadn't left the state and gone very far away, I would never have split from this seething creature that the relationship had become. It's not uncommon for me to wonder if I could have tamed the beast, had I stayed as I was asked to do.
I can't say for certain but I can say that choosing to abandon it for something almost completely unknown - Arizona - was biting off more than I could chew.
Slow down, I'm not going back to Illy.

It's taken me almost two years to understand that I made a choice. Nobody thought leaving was the right thing for me to do and maybe at the time, it wasn't. Nobody thought that staying with him was right, either and I couldn't understand that there were other options. It was very black and white for me: Stay and marry him, or go and find out what is on the other side of the mirror.
I had NO CLUE how lonely and hard it would be to do something that was supposedly going to broaden my horizons and help me to discover the best Sarah. Sometmes, it's been dreadful here. After enough time though, I think that there was no other way to get me to be responsible for my actions besides moving way the fuck away from everything that I know and moving in such a way that I knew I would ultimately be completely alone. I didn't count on the resulting hysteria of being completely alone. I did know that by forcing myself to be terrified, I would finally be able to understand the stupid choices that I sometimes make and I would maybe get a chance to finally learn how to be myself - not his girlfriend, not the nickname that he gave me, not the black sheep of my family. I knew that after mastering what I had sought so ineffectually - essentially ALONE - I knew that I might have a chance at a life that doesn't include alcoholics, four-door sedans, and cabin fever.
It's taken me a very long time to get used to not being watched and critiqued and I think that because of how I grew up, I sort of miss it. Classic cliche, right? If you take a canaray out of her cage, she'll die because she won't be able to fend for herself.
I didn't know how hard it would be find the things that I needed and I had no idea how much I took for granted.
Sometimes I feel like everyone should experience something that leaves them totally at their own disposal.
Other times I think that I was a fool to think that I could be a bigger and more fulfilled person. Why would anyone CHOOSE to leave the familiar albeit cold comfort of Springfield?
Thinking about the two sides of the mirror is great and all but obviously, there's not any reason to dwell on the Springfield side. I lived, I loved. I left.
The Tucson side?
I lived.
Parts B and C are still forthcoming.

arizonasarah at 1:11 p.m.

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