"Trust Fall!"

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 4.824% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

He sags backwards, boneless, so beautifully certain you will catch him before he hits the floor. And when he falls into your arms, it feels like fate; you are strong for catching him, he is brave for trusting you completely, how could the two of you not be together?
That’s the beauty of the trust fall. Someone you love going limp, allowing the universe to brutalize them, knowing that only you will interpose yourself between them and the the skull-splintering hardness of the cement floor.
And when it is done, you have been forced into a hug so intimate it feels like no other will do. His smile, so grateful. Your body, bearing weights you didn’t think possible.
You used to be helpless and weak. Now you are the rescuer.
How could this be anything but love?
You stay together, and still the trust falls continue. Aren’t you taking your medications? Trust fall. Shouldn’t you be looking for work? Trust fall. Where did you go last night, can you just tell me who you were with? Trust fall.
Every time they tumble backwards, blissful in the comfort of your catch, always so certain you’ll snatch them up before their staunch passivity smashes them into that cold, hard cement.
They keep falling backwards, and you come to realize: it’s not you they’re trusting, it’s the universe. You find them flopping into someone else’s arms, anyone’s arms, and realize the intimacy you thought belonged to you and you alone is just transactional. You lecture them on the need to stand up, to build their own strength, and –
Trust fall.
You catch them before they break themselves in hospitals, in the hands of angry police, in the hands of owed bankers. And you come to realize that what you’re doing is not strength, not really; it’s being held hostage by all your most protective instincts. You can’t bear to see anyone hurt, because you got destroyed so thoroughly by the malicious work of bastards and you have vowed inside you’ll never let anyone endure that again.
Yet you know there’s a difference. You got hurt because of what others did to you. He’s getting hurt because of what he’s doing to himself. And you make excuses, listing all the reasons he can’t help himself, but fall after fall he doesn’t take the slightest effort to better his own situation, he’s a crash-test dummy flung down a flight of stairs with you flinging yourself after him, and –
Trust fall.
Is it strength you have now? Would strength maybe, possibly, be walking away? You’re weakening now, missing work to help him, forever paying bills, losing the social support you desperately need because your friends can’t pretend he’s good for you any more. And even his gratitude at you catching him is thin, now – he yells at you for daring to ask anything of him that might make your life easier, he doesn’t have *time* for that bullshit, don’t you understand his life is –
Trust fall.
Every fall is in slow motion. You can see him tumbling down. You can practically hear his spine snapping as you imagine his head hitting the pavement. You have plenty of time to envision how horrible this will be if you don’t catch him.
He’s going to hurt himself badly. So badly.
You have so much time to walk away.

1 Comment

  1. TheFerrett
    Apr 30, 2015

    Two notes:
    1) Yes, this could either be a man or a woman. I went with one gender this time to tell a specific story. Don’t take that as proof that only one gender does it.
    2) No. I don’t have a good answer for this. If I did, it would end much much stronger. It’s all about what you can live with.

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