I’m staring at the computer screen, clicking on my friends’ Facebook walls, and continuing conversations. All the while, I keep on thinking about my relationship status. It says “complicated”, and although I know that my relationship is complicated, I also know that it’s real and serious. And I know that labeling it as “complicated” stops most people from giving it the respect it deserves.
The thing is, I’m afraid of saying out loud that I’m in a relationship. I’m afraid of letting people know that I’m committed. It’s an irrational fear, I know. But it’s there. It’s strong. And it haunts me.
A few hours ago, I watched my mom as she scavenged through my father’s belongings, intent on finding some kind of evidence that he’s been cheating. The whole time, she’s telling me that she doesn’t care that he cheats on her, but she’s still doing it. Still rummaging through his drawers and his bags. Still opening up receipts and letters. Her face is contorted with anticipation. Of what, I don’t know. Does she want to find incriminating evidence? Does she want to find evidence that he still loves her? It’s all so confusing, but she’s searching with fervor. That much is definite. All the while, she’s still insistent that she doesn’t care.
I’ve watched my mom cry more times than I’d care to admit. And what’s harder to admit is that it’s really shaped my idea of relationships. I always have to be in control. I always have to feel dominant. I can never feel like I’m giving myself away. Not all of me, anyway. I have to keep the real me intact and hidden; anything less, I believed, would lead only to a fate similar to my mom’s.
Recently, I’ve felt these fears and doubts and insecurities creep up. I ask Rob if he’s cheating. I draw conclusions from things that don’t even make sense. I make unfounded accusations and throw around my meanness. It’s safe to do because I’m pregnant and hormonal, and I know that he won’t hold it against me. But I can’t help but wonder: How much of my insecurity really can be attributed to hormones? And how much is just insecurity?