If I’m certain of anything about myself it’s this: I am a fucking nightmare. Anxiety means I am constantly examining every detail to see what might be right and wrong with my life. No – scratch that – every detail of what might be wrong. What’s right gets dumped on the ‘finished’ pile, and rarely given more time than a cursory ‘hooray’ before it’s time to move onto the next thing. Leaving my brain free to focus on unpaid bills, people I may have offended, and a mountain of relationship insecurity on the side.
Why are you with me?
Because I like you.
Because you’re… nice?
Because you suck my dick like you’re hungry for it while I sit at the desk and code.
Because. Umm. Because of your tits.
Less good. What if I didn’t have them any more? What happens when they change as I age?
Because. Oh for fuck’s sake.
And so it goes. An endless circle of navel-gazing prompted by the nagging, obsessive voice in my head. Try as I might to ignore it, I don’t think it’ll ever shut up.
I used to utterly hate it, because it ruined everything. It used to whisper “you’re no good. He’ll pick someone better. What’s so great about you? Nothing.”
So when I look at him and think ‘Christ, he’s amazing,’ I have to deal with the voice. When, with no specific detail I can put my finger on, a sudden or casual movement has me wanting to moan and sigh and bury my face in the warmth of his stomach. When I could list forever things that make him different and special and better… the voice pops up.
His hands, large and warm and strong when he grabs me. His accent and the turn of phrase when he calls me a particular kid of twat, at exactly the moment I need him to remind me of my twattery. His hot breath on the back of my neck in bed at night, combined with a finger or two slipped down the back of my knickers. The neat and precise way he seasons food in the kitchen. The sloppy way he tosses t-shirts and pants to one side before bedtime.
I could go on, and I do. Because that is what I do.
Relationship insecurity prompts a hell of a lot of guessing, imagining, and ‘what if’s. And, particularly in the middle of a heated argument, those intangibles suddenly grow larger and feel solid. Why are you with me if you’re angry? Why are you with me if I’ve done so much stuff wrong? Why are you with me if everything I do makes you cringe and grimace like you’re hearing nails down a blackboard?
I will turn things over a thousand times to examine each detail of how I feel, and ask, nudge, prompt and then guess at how he feels in return.
I know I’m not the only one who has this relationship insecurity. Who wakes up in the morning feeling like the victim of an elaborate prank. We must all, surely, have these moments.
But I’ve learned to like the voice now – to understand what’s good about it and what to ignore. When it asks the question “why is he with you?” I don’t know the answer. And maybe I don’t need to know beyond ‘nice tits’ and ‘blow jobs’ and the other things he says when he can’t articulate the real reasons.
Maybe the why doesn’t matter, just the fact that he is.