Every relationship has milestones, a collection of firsts on the way to building a life with someone.
I’ve had a few serious relationships and a lot of firsts but in my varied and sometimes sordid past affairs I’ve never before made it to this one.
The first shared home.
I’ve lived alone and with friends, I’ve lived with strangers and colleagues, family and pets, but never have I lived with a partner. Not alone with one anyway. Wok and I have been sharing an apartment with my platonic life partner/best friend for almost 6 months now but with her (now ended) Military commitments that had her far from home for weeks at a time and the room she kept on base, combined with the share house vibe that always comes from living with friends, it never felt we were really living together.
As such the low grade panic attack I’m stuck in was never an issue, and conversely after technically living together for so long already, not something I was expecting or prepared for.
Honestly I’m not entirely sure why I’m having it at all. We’re stable, we’re happy, we’ve been together for over a year now. We’ve survived the injury and long recovery that led to her Medical Discharge and her struggle with having to give up on her dream. We’ve survived the difficulties thrown into light by my mental illness and the aftermath of my own (continuing) struggle with addiction. We’ve survived long distance and a forced lack of communication. We have weathered and we have endured and we have come out stronger on the other side. Stronger and somehow still head over heels in love, butterflies and all.
I know this. I know that at this point our relationship could pretty much survive anything and yet still there’s this little bubble of pure dread floating around my stomach. This sick mix of anticipation and fear and what if’s.
What if it doesn’t work out?
What if we can’t live together without other people as diversions?
What if we need those long gaps apart?
What if she somehow hasn’t realised I’m totally neurotic?
What if I can’t handle having someone in my space all the time?
What if we become one of those ‘WE’ couples?
And the worst of all…
What if I drive her away?
What if I relapse and it’s the one thing she can’t handle?
What if I can let her be the other half of everything and she leaves?
What if I’m left alone and heartbroken with a half empty apartment I can’t afford?
It was just a background buzz of insecurity for the last few weeks but now, with the new flat found and the moving date set, it’s all I can do not to scream. Everyone in my life is so excited about this, like this is proof of my recovery and handle on my illness. This is the real beginnings of my adulthood. This is Ryn, settling down and becoming a real person, actual and whole.
I think this is about half of why I’m so afraid. I’m not just moving in with my girlfriend, I’m also moving in with the hopes and expectations of everyone whose opinion matters to me. I don’t want to let them down, I don’t want to let myself down.
I’m pretty damn sure that this woman is the love of my life, that she is absolutely the best thing to ever happen to me.
This is the other half of my bone deep terror, I don’t, do not, in no way, have a great track record with things that are good for me. When it comes to creative and all-encompassing self-annihilation I’m a pro. It’s a compulsion I’ve raised to an art-form. I systematically attack everything on the basis of ‘you can’t leave me if I drive you away first’.
I’m working on it. I am a work in progress. I will probably always be a work in progress. I guess I’m just afraid that’s not enough.
It’s too late for second thoughts now and I don’t want to be having them anyway. It’ll be okay, it’ll be spectacular, it’ll probably be a total clusterfuck at times and I’ll probably still have random panic attacks over everyday things. I just need to figure out how to rely on the fact that she loves me. She loves me. Difficult, neurotic, socially awkward and emotionally unavailable as I can be.
I can do this, I want to do this.
The lease is signed, the boxes are sealed and now all that’s left is for my fluffball and I to be delivered.
Just as soon as I remember how to breathe.