Survivors often develop an exaggerated need for control in their adult relationships. It’s the only way they feel safe. They also struggle with commitment-saying yes in a relationship means being trapped in yet another family situation where abuse might take place. So the survivor panics as her relationship gets closer, certain that something terrible is going to happen. She pulls away, rejects, or tests her partner all the time.

Today I wore a pair of faded old jeans and a plain grey baggy shirt. I hadn’t even taken a shower, and I did not put on an ounce of makeup. I grabbed a worn out black oversized jacket to cover myself with even though it is warm outside. I have made conscious decisions lately to look like less of what I felt a male would want to see. I want to disappear.

So what did you do when death came to your house? We continued in the same way as before. What is that, a failure of the imagination? Are you in denial? This is not wholly true; we continue in the same way as before but in parenthesis. My thinking has switched its grammar. The present continuous is its single operational tense. Uncertainty is our present and our future.

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