King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat
gkr

Fear, before or after

So I wrote a letter last weekend, and mailed it off to a lovely person. I kind of thought it would be romantic and very personal. Basically, I put a lot of myself "out there" so to speak. I'm not going to get into what I wrote, to whom, or any of that stuff. Not really appropriate for a public entry, but feel free to think what you want.

So we talked about the letter. Her first statement about this was "That was very brave. I would have worried about it for days afterward." That's a paraphrase. But for me, all the worry and agonizing happens before I send the letter, right up until the time I dropped it in the mailbox and it became irretrievable (short of a sitcom like attempt to open the mailbox). She and I have very different reactions to such things like this. I am almost paralyzed with fear before hand often failing to act. But once something is done, I am at peace. She blurts out what's on her mind, and then frets about the reaction afterward.

Way back in the winter of 1993, I had a huge crush on this girl, Christie Goff. From Thanksgiving until early February, every day I would resolve to call her up and ask her out. But I never did that. Fear paralyzed me. I would call up Tina and she would talk me into asking Christie out. I would be full of purpose, but as soon as I got off the phone I would lose it all. What might happen? Will she say yes? Will she laugh at me? And on and on.

What ended up happening is that my old sponsor Steve moved back into town, and not knowing that I liked Christie, he asked her out. I him and her hanging out that night he asked her, and I had that sinking feeling. Christie had been my ride over to Pullman for my home group, and when she drove me back, I broke down crying about the crush I had on her. Strangely, or not so strangely, once it was no longer bottled up, I was at peace. I worry about her reaction, because there was nothing I could do about it anymore.

It's not the point of the story, but I'll let you know how it ended. Steve and Christie went out for about 5 months. About a month into it, Christie joined a relatively fundamentalist church. Steve is almost atheist, but he was in love. It ended relatively badly. It was the first of 3 or 4 times Steve and I "competed" for the same girl. In each case, it was the one of us who got the girl (usually Steve) who ended up paying the price and I ended up dodging a train wreck. Hell, if I had gotten together with any of them I would be a worse head case than I am now.

So now I am at peace with all this. The letter was mailed Monday. At that point, all my cards were on the table. I had nothing to hide behind anymore. Perhaps this is why I became so calm. Because I had no secret anymore, nothing pent up inside me. I have known for a while that I cannot keep my secrets. My life is really an open book, although I don't necessarily broadcast it. But if you ask, I will tell you anything about me. Until just this minute, I hadn't connected this fear with what I already know about my secrets.

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