Thursday, June 12, 2008

Space...Cheekie's final frontier


It can mean many things.
Outer space, office space, loft space, myspace....
but is there any other word when dealing with relationships that invokes more fear,
more paranoia or more insecurity then that one little word?

'Just please give me space'
'I need some space'

We have all heard it.
Some of us have even said it.

There are many reasons to need it.
There are many excuses that get covered up by it.

Cowards use it to avoid situations, confused people use it to figure things out, and sometimes, well, you just need it.
Maybe there are things you have to deal with, physically, emotionally.
You could be in a really rough place at work, and need to focus, and in order to do so you have to have space to deal with it properly.
Emotionally speaking, sometimes people need to step back, figure out what they want.
This is especially true if you have had bad luck in relationships before and are trying to change that. You need to focus on you and not get swept up too readily. 

And sometimes, people have a really hard time breaking concentration from a priority.
Be it children, money woes, etc.
These people need the space to hunker down and deal with the big life issues at hand, without distraction, without having to worry about someone else. Temporarily. So space is a necessity.

So, what do you do when you are asked to give space?
Natural reaction is a defensive one. Natural reaction is to take it personally.
Freak out. Doubt. Feel insecure. Think all kinds of horrible things.
Even if you have nothing to base it on, you suddenly think negatively.
You could have been reassured to the nth degree that it has nothing to do with you at all, but you don't hear it.

How's that working out for you?
Sounds familiar doesn't it?
I've done it. The freaking. The panic. 
The constant and repeated phone calls asking 'why?', which of course is an invasion of space and completely counter-productive to the request.
I have also asked for space, been on the other side, and I know how it feels to be mistrusted, to be accused, to be the one having to reassure someone - someone who you care about a lot, someone you have no intention of losing, someone who you wish would respect you.

Of course, what's the alternative?

Give them the space.
It's really the only option.

If you force the issue, you can pretty much garuntee that it won't end well.
Either they will be manipulated by your pleas, which will leave them resentful - not healthy.
Or, they will run. Like the wind. As far away from you as possible.

Giving someone the space they need, the space they request is the most respectful, caring, loving thing you can do.
Of course, this runs against my natural instinct to hunt them down with assorted weaponry.

But. I am growing up.
I am learning from my past mistakes.
I have never done this before, to be honest.
And you know what?
It doesn't feel that bad.
It feels a hell of a lot better knowing that someone I care about knows that I care enough and respect enough to honour their wishes.
And to know, in my heart, that it isn't because of me. It isn't because they don't care. It isn't because they don't want me. I am not being lied to. I am not being 'abandoned'. 
I am not being made a fool.
Only I can do that to me. No one else can make me feel small.
If I even thought, really thought, for one second that I was being mistreated in any way shape or form, of course I would not be this patient, understanding, goddess before you. :-)

So, I am being a bigger person.
In my heart.

And you know what?
I got the reassurances. 
I didn't even have to ask, or whine, or wheedle them out.
I have already received more caring and acceptance from him than many others in my life.
It's my turn.
If you want respect and trust from another person, you have to be willing to give it too.

This is huge for me.
You have no idea.
Really. You don't.
Ok, some of you

That's the funny thing about belief.
It's easy to believe when everything is rosy and good.
But real belief comes from maintaining it even when things aren't.
What other choice do you have really.
If you decide to disbelieve, you will not only drive yourself batty, but pretty much drive the other person away. Jadedness and bitterness are just a hairsbreath away.
With believing, even if things don't work, you know that you did the right thing.
You know that you will always respect yourself for it.
And so will the other person.

And who knows? 
The future, my dears, is unwritten.
But every good writer knows, you have to have an outline of how you would like your story to go.

Now, to find a cute spacesuit....



lisa q. said...

"And to know, in my heart, that it isn't because of me." Bingo! That's the hard one because it's when we know that we don't feel the need to freak out. You've come a long way baby!

cheekie said...

Oh I'm trying...everyday. Every minute. It isn't easy. Especially when your pre-existing patterns and the advice or words of others are only negative. Sometimes you have to block that, which is the hard part. Negativity is easy, cynicism is the cowards way out. It's all pride. But, it's also trusting yourself, you have to believe in what YOU believe in. Forget what others say, forget what their 'looks' say. The last thing any of us wants is to be thought of as a fool. But, how is it being a fool to believe someone? Really. Unless they are purposely hurting you, causing you damage, and you blindly ignore it, how is it a negative to trust your gut?
I am still struggling, trying, but my past behaviour where belief is concerned certainly has lead me here. Cause that plan wasn't working out for me. Sometimes, you have to put yourself out there. And just remain hopeful that one day, it will work....


Craze said...

Great post, I think many of us struggle with these same exact issues. By giving someone space we allow the issue to be about them instead of us, which is huge.

cheekie said...

It is huge, isn't it?! Our own little narcissistic fears come out rearing their ugly heads. 'How dare he treat me like this' 'What do you mean space, asshole, I'll give you space...' or just sitting there believing that it is all about you, something you did wrong, something you weren't, something you were, that all of the thoughts come back to you and how you made this happen in some way shape or form. Even when told, point blank, the complete opposite, we still bring it right back to us.
I try to remember that it isn't all about me, it isn't how I am feeling, it IS about someone else and how they are feeling and how they need to deal with that. And as hard as it is to grasp sometimes, maybe, just maybe, I didn't do ANYTHING