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  • Writer's pictureKaren Divya Shekar

Running Away

For as long as I can remember, I have been threatening to run away from home, with no action taken so far.

Who was I running from? What did I fear? I really can’t say…

I took a Thematic Apperception Test once. In it the doctor showed me a picture of a young woman weeping by a door. She asked me what the young woman was doing. Without missing a beat, I told her, the young woman was running away from home.

She asked me if the young woman had anyone to run away with. I replied ‘no’.

She then asked why I thought the young woman was running away.

I had no answer to give.

It’s been at the back of my mind…like an escape route… the road to Shangri-La, where I will always be safe and loved. But I cannot understand why I can’t face things.

In my quest to have a relationship with myself, one of the things I have to sort out is why am I timid to face negative and uncomfortable situations. What can’t I handle? The truth? Other people’s feelings? I wonder…

Later, after a couple of months, the doctor showed me the same picture again.

This time I felt the young woman did not want to run away. She was just crying by the door and I could not fathom why.

Somewhere in the interim, that feeling had subsided. The desire to run from home, to run away from school, to run away from people, to hide, to close my eyes, to stop being a coward.

I will never forget the doctor’s words to me. She told me that it was important to make people respect your choice. The way we let the world know that we are a well-integrated person is by saying ‘yes’ to some things and ‘no’ to other things. And by sticking to that decision, we create a personality.

From choices, comes personal boundaries, the rejection of some things and the acceptance of other things and thereby a lovely picket fence is placed between us and other people.

I need this fence. It protects me.

Following this simple rule of placing boundaries and restrictions, one can develop as a person, make close friends, have an inner circle, trust certain people, feel safe in their company, one need not run away from them.

Without these boundaries, you are as dangerous as a loose cannon. You hurtle, you bleed, you leave a trail of destruction wherever you go…

Running away.

Sometimes I still feel that panic though. That this place isn’t for me. These people aren’t mine, this world isn’t safe… that’s when my feet start to wander and I begin to run again.

Slowly, as I keep taking more and more decisions based on my perceptions of the world, I will develop into a person and not feel the urge to constantly run, hide, or disappear.

I well end up becoming a well-integrated personality, who knows when to hold back and when to push forwards.

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