January 14


How Past Relationships Protect You From You

I haven’t lived with my parents in over 30 years, but I, of course, still have a key to their house.

A couple of years ago (or more since time flies), I lost my keys. That included my house keys, the key to my parents’ house, keys that I didn’t recall what they belonged to, and all those little pass thingies for when you go shopping and such.

After losing my keys, I struggled to keep up with new ones. I hope that’s not a sign of my mind slipping. I’m too young to be so absent-minded, right?

Anywho, I started carrying my house keys separately from the keys to my parents’ house. That’s when the problem began.

What problem, you ask?

The problem of getting to my parents’ house without my key to their house.

It does not seem like that big of a deal, especially if my parents were home, but over time it became a big deal.

Just when the COVID lockdown hit the tri-state area (NY/NJ/CT), my dad went into the hospital with kidney failure. That left my mom home alone.

Mom has bad knees. Like, can barely get up and down the stairs bad knees. So if I forgot my keys that meant she had to climb those stairs to let me in and out of the house. See the problem?

My dad passed away in June. I became responsible for my parents’ affairs so I am at the house a lot. I get really frustrated with myself when I get close to their house, then realize I forgot my key, again.

Now my mom is in the hospital so I run (drive) to the house to get the mail. Well, I was already doing that since April, but if I forgot my key, mom would not be there to let me in.

Recently I headed over to the house to get the mail. I pulled into the driveway, got out of the car, and as soon as I was about to close the door, I grunted and said some bad words. “I forgot the fucking key, again!!”

But, I hadn’t.

The night before I put the key in my coat pocket. I’d just forgotten at that moment.
You see, There, the night before, I remembered to protect myself from myself. I knew there was a high probability that I’d leave the house without the key so I put it in my pocket.

I know it’s weird, but at that moment I also thought about you. Why?

Because it hit me that the situation in my love life, which, before Kelly, was not much of a love life, turned around when I protected myself from myself.

What does it mean to protect yourself from, well, yourself?

It means putting into place barriers, thoughts, and/or processes, that will keep you from repeating what you’ve done when getting into or during a relationship.

When you don’t take stock of past relationships, it’s like me constantly leaving the key to my parents’ house at home. There’s continued frustration, heartbreak, challenges, and lack of confidence.

So, right now, at this moment, what is going to be your version of protecting yourself from yourself before going into a new relationship or while you’re in your relationship?


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