When I meet someone special, someone I can conceive of being with not just next month, but far, far beyond, the initial euphoria invariably begins to mingle with a morbid fear of capsizing the boat. “Please don’t let me fuck this up” becomes my mantra.
It’s a vicious, vicious circle, because this terror breeds a pathetic neediness. And neediness is the biggest turn off; the thing most likely to send any man/boy running at top speed in the opposite direction. So mostly I try to conceal it, to shrug it off, to pretend that it’s not there. As one of my commenters once said, “you have to hide your crazy”.
But when he shows up, exhausted, and looks straight through me, oblivious to the efforts I’ve made (new underwear, freshly washed hair, discreet make up), throws himself down on the couch and closes his eyes, something inside me withers. “You’ve been spending so much time together lately that look, he’s taking you for granted already,” the demon on my left shoulder hisses into my ear. “He’d rather you weren’t there at all,” he adds for good measure. “You might as well just go home…” My lower lip begins to wobble. I hate myself for being so weak and contemptible.
I have had a stressful day, I tell myself. A procedure at the doctor’s. Some family friction which has been preying on my mind for weeks. A final deadline on my manuscript. So of course, there are other, legitimate reasons why I can, almost should be feeling wobbly right now.
I leave the room, fetch myself a glass of water, stare blankly out of the kitchen window into the night, willing myself to relax, pleading with the demon to leave me in peace. I don’t want to cause some sort of ridiculous, pointless scene. I don’t want to be a neurotic, over-sensitive, nightmare bitch from hell. Please don’t let me fuck this up.
“Honey,” he calls from the sofa, “okay if I play a game on the computer for half an hour?”
Something inside me snaps.