Deer-in-the-Headlights, a short poem

surprised fawn with eyes and ears fully directed toward the viewer: a deer in the headlights

You know the feeling…


– a poem about overwhelm

My girlfriend’s expression means I just did a relationship faux pas, but… I don’t know what I said or did.

It doesn’t look like it’s okay to ask, so I… can’t really think straight right now, let alone recall what just happened and make sense of it.

This is a bit jarring, actually, because I actually thought everything was okay, so I’m alarmed to find we’re not okay… or I’m not okay…

and apparently, I’m on my own here. Alone in my alarm.

(And at fault for her alarm??)

This is too complicated. I need to… go away…? Yeah, actually. I need to go away now!

How? I’m stuck!

All in a moment, all at once.

No one swerves.

— Briana Jacoba, confidante to therapy-averse men who don’t want to have to talk about feelings in order to be loved.

surprised fawn with eyes and ears fully directed toward the viewer: a deer in the headlights

Before you go thinking these situations are unique to you, remember: “feeling like a deer in the headlights” is a saying! But even when it’s specific to relationship stress and feeling at a loss for words, anyone who’s not a yeller has felt like a deer in the headlights at times. Share this post on social media, and tell me how many people “like” it or said said they can relate!

Now, for some of us — maybe you — these situations can be EXTRA painful. Untennable. Scary. In fact, they can be so jarring, that, once you escape one by the hair of your teeth, you probably never want to think about it again!

Sadly, that can actually make it more common (not less.) And more painful, because on top of it all, you’re angry at not having found a work-around or plan that actually works. Unaddressed fear of those headlights makes it worse every time.

Luckily, the inverse is also true: preparation is actually preventative.

Avoid pain, not relationship

In my next 5 blog posts, I’m going to

  • hand you a “Get out of Jail, Free” card to help you escape those headlights on the very short-term, but also
  • help you tolerate this stress better, and
  • learn how to avoid it — as best I can over a blog.

So please forgive me if my blog post titles act now as if you currently have a girlfriend. Just delete anything you don’t want to read.

I do intend for my compassion in each and every part of this series to equip you for better relationships – and feel more lovable to yourself.



PLEASE DO share this post on social media! Many will relate! And it really helps me serve. <3

surprised fawn with eyes and ears fully directed toward the viewer: a deer in the headlights

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