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I am moving out of my house on Tuesday, November 2. Election Day. I elect to run away from my problems. Again.

The House on Morrison Street still has my name on the mortgage, so I’m going on faith that Mark will do his best to try and make the payments. His mother, Rene, will still be living with him, and he’s seriously considering inviting his best friend and the friend’s girlfriend to move in.

The new house is only three blocks away. I would have preferred more space between us, but only to help sharpen my perceptions of how clean the break is.

I discovered that Mark remains in the conversation if I talk in terms of moving out, and not in terms of breaking up. “Breaking up” is too big; “moving out” is easier to negotiate. It’s been the most respectful, adult form of separation I’ve ever experienced. So in that way I see that my own partner choices have improved. Thank god this hasn’t been full of screaming threats and raised fists and me having to sneak around to conceal my plans of escape.

And besides, I don’t know for certain it’s a breakup. I just have to go. This house is like living with Jupiter’s gravity, or living inside of giant magnets or something. It’s so heavy. Truly, truly, I am a person with an inner buoyancy. When left alone, I bob back up. Sadly, I connect too tightly, too empathically to those I love to remain buoyant when they are not.

Additionally, I frequently reach toward others hoping for their magic to fill my cup of need. I keep ending up with partners who can’t manage my weakness well. They are confused and emasculated when I beg to be saved. I need to be told: “Knock it off! I care about you and I see your pain and you’ve got to fix it for yourself.” I wish for the perfect dose of arrogance in my partner who can say to him/herself: “Crystal is in a sad state, but I’m fine. Hopefully she pulls out of it soon.”

Rather, my weakness and my partners’ weakness twist into knots, feeding off each other, and gathering dark strength from outside attacks (bad jobs, financial stress). Yuck. I just want to go back to that light heart of twenty-something and start over with the knowledge that I now have. I had hope, hope, hope then. Now… not so much. I am losing faith in myself. Why can’t I learn to be strong with a partner? Why do I sink as though I am rescuing someone who can’t swim? They never asked me to come, why do I still feel their frantic struggles and dead weight?

And what is up with my desire to run? It’s always easier for me to take off and nurse my wounds in solitude. With enough time alone, I come up shining and new. Perhaps I can make peace with my strength as an individual, as a friend, a mother. And give up on thinking I should try a romance.

One of my many guises

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