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A Few Things The Next Person Who Attempts To Love Me Should Know

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Hernan Sanchez

There’s a few things you should know about my past.

And before I tell you, I must break the “no talking about your ex on the first date” rule. It’s the only way you will understand some of the struggles that you can’t see. I wasn’t always a whole person, I’ve been insecure with no direction, I’ve felt entirely small and I have met a few people who have made me feel even smaller. I can’t pretend my heart is cold, maybe it’s because of my zodiac or maybe it’s just because I’ve worn it on myself my entire life and it’s always been warm. I’ve always been warm-hearted, I’ve always wanted to fix the broken ones. I failed miserable every time, and then broken ones broke me. I’ve been ungrateful and because of that I’ve turned people cold, I’ve been paranoid and scared of abandonment that wasn’t even happening to me. I’ve lashed out and said cruel, hateful things because I didn’t get what I wanted. I’ve been spiteful and I’ve held grudges and I’ve been knocked down in a way that isn’t metaphorical.

There are so many things I never knew how to do but tried to do anyway; I beat myself up when I failed. The first time I thought I was in love I gave myself away for a reason I still can’t figure out to this day. There are a lot of names for the way I’ve acted. The most common, however, is crazy. I can admit to that – most of the time. Other times, I think it’s crazy how people can sleep at night knowing they’re taking advantage of you. Or how they are totally fine with lying straight to your face, even after you’ve begged for the truth. It’s crazy how they think they’ve done nothing wrong, even though they pretended to love you when it was convenient for them, knowing the entire time that you would drop everything just for a chance to be there. I could’ve been a little colder, I could’ve kept my mouth shut and never spoke words that were the exact opposite of the way I was feeling;

“I hate you” and “I love you” became synonymous.

And it took years and years before I learned that neither were a permanent feeling. Your hatred will disappear and love eventually becomes a choice. I don’t feel sorry for myself anymore, instead I observe before I act but this is so bittersweet when I wish I could just act freely and not second guess anything. I don’t know what it’s like to have someone take me for drinks and hold every door we walk through. I don’t know what it’s like to be complimented in a way that isn’t selfish at all.

Up until this point, I had given up on the fact that I would ever find anyone that was worthy of having me. I never even knew how to feel worthy of anyone – until now. But with every solution comes a new problem and now I am terrified that anyone I am worthy of will take my heart and tie it up with strings, doing whatever they please and not caring that it’s attached to me and that I feel every push and pull, every compliment and insult, every single ‘heart-in-your-stomach’ feeling. I’m scared because I know what it can do to my head and I don’t ever want to be that far from reality ever again. I’m scared because

I have no time to deal with a broken heart, and I can’t stand the fact of my son meeting another man that is going to walk away from him, it doesn’t matter if you are his father or not. Who will he trust if all he knows is people turning their backs to him? You don’t see it, and I won’t ever show you that I am terrified every time I send a text message, I will get no response. You won’t ever see the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I worry that you cancelled plans because you found something better to do, because I wasn’t convenient for you at that time. You will have no idea how slow the clock moves when I am waiting for you to show. You’ll never know how many times I’ve thought of sending another text message asking if you’re coming or calling you to see if you’ve even left yet. If I was being honest, I would tell you that I’m basically one hundred percent sure you were some place else, that you felt bad knowing I was at home, and you waited until the last possible minute to ask me if I was still awake so you could come over. You’ll never know that I’ve already developed a script for what I’m going to say when you try to get closer than just my skin.

I don’t have a trusting heart anymore but I do have courage.

I must ask you to please take that into consideration. Every day, I am trying to learn to do things right, to be an adult, to follow the rules. If I don’t know them, I seek out direction, and I set myself free. I’m not going to tell you how scared I am, or how sure I was (and still consider) that I might not even be worthy of anything other than what I’ve already had, even though I know I am. What scares me the most is that even the smallest gesture, like holding the door, makes me realize that and I don’t want to settle for anything less. I’m asking you to be careful with your intentions and your words, because I’m already second guessing them both. I’m already waiting for that one text message I send that never gets returned, that one dinner plan that falls through and never gets rescheduled, that one time when I realize I’m just one out of a few girls to make you feel secure and not so lonely anymore.

It’s all I’ve ever known. Please forgive me for not giving you the benefit of the doubt. I finally decided to stop being angry and enjoy my own company, I finally decided that I can sit at home and watch a movie or sit outside and feel better than I would sitting at the bar making decisions I’ll probably regret. I finally love myself enough to appreciate it, to know that I don’t need anybody but myself and depending on anyone else is just reckless. Between my son, work, school, and family, I don’t have time to live like the bachelorette like my friends. I don’t have time to deal with a broken heart or toxic people. Truth is, I was ready to commit to someone long before I was a single mom. It just never worked out. I saw a future in so many lost and hopeless souls but none of them could see a future in me. Other people validated my existence and my future – until now. I have a future now, I created the path to it, I know where I’ll be. It’s busy, it’s responsible, it’s what I want to do and it’s life. Look before you leap, and if all you’re looking for is a safe space, the best advice I can give you is to find it in yourself; do not look to me.

If you want to be fixed, I can’t do it.

I’m not looking for my next pathetic drunken phone call from the bar bathroom. I can’t remember a time when my intuition has been wrong – but the more you’re burned you start to realize that your heart has scars and you never know if they’re being brought to the surface because it’s what you’re familiar with. I’ll be the first to walk away and admit defeat if you aren’t looking for the same thing I am. If you know you’re going to waste my time, I am asking to please do it sparingly, if not, not at all, because time is something I don’t have a lot of – but I’m willing to share the tiny amount I do have for the first time in a really, really long time. TC mark

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