I’ve never thought of myself as the type to categorize people. I never imagined myself grouping…until a few days ago. I do categorize; and for what reason? I’ve always hated, okay hate is a strong word, disliked people who use cliché grouping because I feel that it’s discriminatory and belittling. It’s unfair to the person being categorized. I was always grouped in with the “nobody really wants you” group. Growing up, I wasn’t the most accepted kid, some reasons out of my controls other due to actions. Through Jr. High I was labeled, “unfortunate, loser, freak, bully, outcast, etc” and at that time every one of those labels fit me. I wasn’t ever grouped with the preps or the jocks or the inbetweenies. I was always an outcast. I remember I was sitting in class one day with my best friend and one of the most popular girls in school turned to her and said, and I quote, “Why do you hang out with Ruby? She is sick and filthy and you are going to be covered in her unwanted germs. You could do so much better! You could hang with us!” It was hard…that day I told myself that I would never label or categorize anyone. But I have. I have learned, as a survival mechanism, to categorize people ranked by safety. I don’t consciously do it, it’s done more unwillingly and unrecognisable–by me–but I do and that’s not fair to others. I realized this the other day during a therapy session with Bailey. My therapist asked me to tell her one thing that I appreciate about Bailey in the last few weeks, because we have been seriously struggling. My response to her was: that she is trying her hardest and doing her best to stay connected and love me. When my therapist asked how that made me feel I said something like: It makes me feel good because I know she’s not giving up yet. Bailey immediately interrupted, and was pretty much in tears, to let me know that it really hurt her to know that I’m still not at a point where I can see she isn’t giving up. I’m not. I have seen so many of the same “signs” as I saw in all the other people before they gave up. Too many things have been triggered, in both me and her, to strain our relationship. It’s not that I don’t have faith in our relationship growing, it’s just that I’m not at a point that I can believe she will not give up. This is where the grouping comes in. Something Bailey said was, “It makes me feel really sad that I am being grouped in with those kind of people, the people who don’t stick around.” That really hit me. I know what it’s like to be categorized because I know how deeply it can hurt, and now I am doing it. I group. I have two main categories: The ones who give up and walk away and the ones the who stick around. Out of all the people I have ever met, I can count the number of stick around’s on one hand. I know that’s not okay, but it is MY reality. I don’t like having Bailey categorized in the give ups but everything in me fights to let her move to the other side. I see the tale-tale signs and, honestly, everything in me tells me to run. I’m disappointed in myself for allowing myself to group but it’s a survival skill. It’s something I do to keep the emotions I have for people separate. It’s sad for me to know where I am and what MY reality is right now but it is what is keeping me safe in a difficult situation.