Back to me, redux – Phoenix Edition

Part of my heartbreak over Zilla is because I feel like the bond between us was broken sometime in the last couple of years, and it wasn’t fully repaired.  I feel the same way about my daughter; we were incredibly close, and during the latter half of my pregnancy it felt like the bond was destroyed and I’m still trying desperately to get it back. Realising this made me take a look at the last few years.

I feel like my bonds with nearly everyone broke, but particularly those closest and dearest to me.  I need to do everything I can to restore them, to make amends and reforge them.  I lost my dearest companion before I could.  I can’t lose anyone else.  I’m terrified of losing anyone else.  The timing seems to have been when things turned bad, when my ex started telling me that I didn’t deserve affection and that I had no redeeming qualities beyond my high standards for my children.  (So, right about when the verbal abuse started.)

I’ve noticed also that, now that I’m being faced with the possibility of new relationships with people who DO think that I deserve affection and that I’m amazing and awesome and perfect, I can’t relax; I can’t just accept things and see where they go when I’m ready.  I’m expecting fights, struggles, having to work at things, that nothing will flow easily.  And it lit on me that maybe that’s not normal, and if I expect that and stress and tense up and throw effort and work into things that are just easily flowing I’ll destroy those good, peaceful, happy things.  I’ll screw up the amazing, awesome, and maybe not perfect but definitely really excellent stuff from these incredible guys and perpetuate the damage I’ve been dealt.

I actually have a way to break this, to reset everything.  It’s conditioned into me, in fact, and is probably a large part of why I’m functional in society.  Conventions.  I grew up going to science fiction/fantasy conventions, and they were the only place I could ever relax and be me.  The only place no one would judge me, where social (and later, romantic) interactions weren’t forced, where I could drop all the shields and filters and dampers on ME and just be myself and the overwhelming force that resulted was at least accepted and usually admired.  They were where I could be Me, and were my sanity.  (When you consider that around the time I was sixteen things went kablooey and by the time I was eighteen there were things going on in my life that started at con that really should have resulted in police reports and prison time for upwards of five people, in retrospect, and cons were STILL my relief and my return to Me it should tell you how strong that is.)

And guess what.  There’s a con coming up.  Otakon, and it’s near a place I used to live so I know the area, and it’s a huge con, and there are people I know and trust and who have a vested interest in keeping me alive/healthy/sane going so I’ll have touchpoints.  A wonderful friend has offered me crash space, and I can just swing registration by the pre-reg deadline.  I have a check coming in three days before it starts that will be as big as I let it be (within reason), so I’m okay for money there unless I shift crash space to splitting a room with someone.  My daughter will be with her father that weekend, and my son with his father, so I can effectively have the entire weekend to myself with only minimal preparation.  When I’m back I’m hoping against hope that I can reforge and repair all that was broken between myself and those I love most.  (And maybe I’ll be on the road to being healthy enough to handle the thought of eventually letting someone close to me emotionally again.)

Brace yourselves.  I’m going to Con.  And I’m going to come back to Me, and once I do I’m older and wiser than I used to be… so anyone trying to tell me to dial it back will be where to go, in detail, and if necessary thrown to the Minions.

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