Too readily and eagerly I give people power over me. Readily, eagerly, and yet unwillingly. Too often the awareness of what intangible contract I am entering into is accompanied by a sinking despair, sinking as it comes from so high above, drifting down through all the layers of sky to rest on my shoulders and confirm that, yes, that was not wise, and no, they will not acknowledge or respect the power you have given them, and no, they have given you now power in return, and yes, you are a silly girl.
That's okay. I'm used to it. Perpetually exasperated, but used to it.
Just as quickly I recognise the imbalance and while I have no control over gut reactions to throw away comments, I am badhorse at seeing it goes no further. No stewing. No seething and brooding. No wringing and twisting and choking. I'm the little boy with his finger in the dyke, stopping the sea from ruining the town.
This is also an exaggeration. There is seething and brooding galore. There are leaks my other fingers can't reach. But. You know. The wall is holding.
Minutes ago, I read something that kicked off a gut reaction. I sat there, just observing that kick-in-the-guts sickness and unworthiness ripple out through my limbs, and didn't immediately stick my finger in the dyke because that's just fucking ridiculous. Why the fuck do I still let them effect me so? It isn't as though I have not accidentally on purpose given other people power over me since then, people who do acknowledge and respect that, people who in turn have given me power over them, people who drive me to giddy distraction and are not just good to me, but good for me.
Thinking on it, I don't believe I've ever successful taken back power once given.
It would be nice if I was more discriminatory about who I let effect me. It would be really, really nice if I had any sort of control over that. But, I don't think that is likely to happen. If I could change my willingness to give pieces of my vulnerability to others, I don't think I would. I suspect that would only result in never letting anyone in, and I would rather suffer the hurt and damage that others, unwittingly or not, inflict upon me than what I do to myself.
I'm not putting my finger in the dyke. There should not be a sea behind the wall.
(And just like that, there was not.)
(A magic trick she will be forced to perform on herself again, and again, and again, and she will, she will, she will.)
ETA: Bizarrely, not two minutes later the internet threw this in my face:
"Love" means many things.
There are probably people reading this, thinking "You do this to me," at me.
I am sorry.
None of us control our hearts.
And only some of us control our heads.