I am still heavily invested in and attached to "what happens next." I want to know, with some degree of certainty, that I'm not going to lose my job, my boyfriend, my health. All 3 of those things are by nature impermanent. At some point I will "lose" them or willingly give them up. Yet I feel better when my boss seems to see me as indispensable, when my boyfriend says he loves me, because those things shore up that sand castle of security I've built in my mind.

"He says he loves me... that MEANS something... that's something I can hold onto, that no one can take away from me..." I struggle with this so much I'm sick of struggling. I make myself vomit. It's this attachment that pushes away the very thing I want, because when he fails to end a phone call with "I love you," the alarm bells start ringing. The castle walls have been breached! It's that panic that makes me cling more tightly. The more tightly I cling, the more he wants to let go.

My fallacy is that it's HIS fault: if he only gave me more security, I wouldn't feel so panicked. I struggle with balancing my need for security with the pain it causes me. Of course, it doesn't cause me any pain when my needs are met - only when they're not.

What, exactly, am I afraid of? What am I trying to protect? Who is this scared little unloved child lashing out at anyone who dares IGNORE her?

Sometimes life seems to ask me for too much. It finds the one thing I feel I can't bear to be without, and rips it away from me. I suppose this is some sort of karmic lesson in non-attachment, and I suppose this is finally my opportunity to learn it. It's definitely been a long time coming.

"Letting go" sounds so peaceful, like dropping a leaf into a placid pool, but in reality it's as if someone were tearing your limbs from you. You may have no choice, but that doesn't make it pleasant.

I have tried over the past several weeks to expand my mind to accept any possibility, any outcome, and I thought I was somewhat prepared, but I wasn't. The inevitable still comes as a shock. I'm cold and dead inside, like someone forgot to turn on the lights this morning.

I suppose I am looking to "what's next," looking for an answer as to what I should do or say. Looking for the piece of tape that will patch together the situation, however temporarily.

I started reading Thich Nhat Hanh's book Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames awhile ago and put it down in lieu of another book (Pema Chodron's When Things Fall Apart, which is excellent). I suppose I was looking for an "answer" in either book to calm my raging psyche. I haven't found one. I have learned that it's okay to feel anger, and that trying not to feel it is just like a double dose of punishment. I've never been much of a yeller/screamer, so I didn't have to learn how to avoid hurting others with it, thankfully. My specialty seems to be hurting myself. Emotional masochism.

What I find difficult in the Buddhist approach is that sometimes it seems like we're supposed to be doormats. We are supposed to look at WHY a particular behavior upsets us, and work with that. We are supposed to let other people do what they want, and only look at our own perceptions and faults. It seems sometimes that if I stand up for myself, and the other person takes offense, then I feel selfish. I realize that we cannot control other people, only ourselves, but I don't know where to draw the line between selfishness and assertiveness. I'm not at the point of letting go of desires, and sometimes I just want what I want from people.

At the moment I'm full of righteous anger and fury. I have not had an opportunity to confront the person yet, and I've spent way too much time plotting what I will say, what he'll say back, how I'll respond, etc. I have these imaginary arguments in my head. I perceive the ultimate uselessness and unreality of it, and I see how it causes me more suffering, but letting go of the feeling that I'm right, he's wrong, and he's going to have to do it my way or else, seems less likely than cutting off my arm. Him, he is not suffering due to my anger. He's probably sleeping. So all this angst on my part is wasted energy. And yet, I feel it so intensely.