So, what does it feel like to be commitment phobic?
First, it’s lonely. I have lots of friends, a great job, and wonderful co-workers, but no matter how much I share with them and how close we are, there’s always some distance between us. The distance is something I impose on all my relationships. It’s not malicious or even necessarily intentional. I can’t help it.
I’ve never been a fighter – probably because of the horrible fights I witnessed between my parents when they were separating and the fact that I was so shy as a child and young adult. The smallest sign of tension can send me running for the exit.
When people get too close to me emotionally or begin to have expectations of me, I start to get claustrophobic. I feel like everything is closing in on me. When I feel claustrophobic I become restless and an undercurrent of fear runs through me. My immediate response is to start backing out the door. I try to just disappear – to become invisible. I try to make others believe there’s nothing wrong – I’m just busy. I can always find a legitimate reason to put some distance between me and whoever’s getting too close.
In me there’s a profound sadness always lurking just below the surface.
This doesn’t even begin to describe what happens when I’m with a man and it looks like there could be a potential relationship developing.
But that’s a story for another day.