Avoidance coping, also known as avoidance behaviors, and escape coping, is a maladaptive form of coping that involves changing our behavior to try to avoid thinking or feeling things that are uncomfortable.
DrFeelGood : Hello Salt. How are you doing on this lovely spring day?
Salt is Slumped down in the comfy tufted couch seemingly carefree: Hey doc! You know I cannot complain about life, and you don’t really wanna listen! Lol
DrFeelGood : As a matter of fact, you can complain if you like and I do wanna hear what you have to say!
Salt: Ya know doc I was wondering about this “avoidance behavior” that you mentioned. What would that look like? Am I out somewhere and I see a guy that I know, and in a panic I duck down my head while I sneak out before he notices me?
DrFeelGood : It’s not that simple, but that is definitely one way to avoid someone! Salt we will get to that but first, let me see hmm, oh yes! I was needing some clarification.
Salt: Ok! What is that doc? You wanting some dating advice?
DrFeelGood : Uh, no I am fine. You said that you have a dating ritual and I wanted to be clear on the process.
Salt: The easiest way to describe it is I start picking a man apart at some point in the relationship, for lack of a better word.
Doing this pick a part always seems like a great idea. You hear it all the time, “Watch for red flags?” or “Don’t ignore the signs!” No I think my favorite is the one that suggests what you accept (or try to ignore while silently despising) in the beginning is what ultimately brings about the demise of the relationship. It makes a lot of sense, and for a while I was thinking that was what I was doing. Now I am starting to grasp the idea of “triggers”. It’s no longer me attempting to ‘avoid’ relationships because I fear that I will get hurt, but it is me still somewhere in the midst of healing and heartbreak. I recognize myself as a beaten dog who is learning to love and protect herself, but still flinching at the sudden innocent movements of others.
DrFeelGood : Relationship is not the right word?
Salt: I don’t think so. Dating is just getting to know someone right? Relationships requires relations and deep feelings and shit! Right? Yeah that deepness take too much effort. I don’t have time for that. Nope
DrFeelGood : He shakes his head as he contemplates her descriptions and says, All interactions with other human beings are technically ‘relationships’. It’s a state of relating to or with another person. It doesn’t always get deep Salt. Not always involving sexual relations.
Salt: My ritual is the same just about every time. Well I start to like a guy. We are going out and doing things together and I start to notice things.
DrFeelGood : What kind of things Salt?
Salt: Things like lack of dental hygiene, lack of morals and common decency, or just lack you know? Broke as hell. Money move like water through his hands! Yeah that was my ex husbands problem. How do you work 3 jobs and don’t own nothing?
DrFeelGood : Salt what do you think this is really about? Are you doing this ritual to keep a potential mate at a safe distance?
Salt finally sits up straight in the couch. Almost under her breath with her eyes dotting criss-cross across the floor Salt says :
No doc! I’m not doing this avoiding behavior thingy! I just have standards! Why I gotta plan for the future, and be sure we gotta magic bullet so I can purée your food when you’re old and edentulous? Just brush your dang teeth!
DrFeelGood : Well Salt I don’t know what to say? Nobody’s perfect you know?
Salt: Well doc on that note I will just keep doing what I been doing and work on myself. I know what I want from a potential mate so I will become that and hopefully find him in the process.
It’s a process for sure to get over heartbreak, loss, and all the fallout from divorce. I know that it is perfectly normal to have a desire for a partner in life. We are created to do so. It’s a cold world though, and there is so much hurt and pain that is not treated, and dealt with. Many of us cannot afford help, or don’t know that we need it and we continue the search for someone to love and to be loved. We search with damage and brokenness consuming us only to find more pain. I want love and I will have it, because I will love and accept myself as I want another to do. If he comes I will sing hallelujah, and if not I will still sing because this love I have found comes from within.
I gotta shrink myself!! A weekly series (session 6)