The Truth Is I’m Afraid To Heal

A. Venning

I say I’m afraid to get hurt so instead of going for relationships that are right for me I pine after the ones I know aren’t. I cling to people I know are bad for me. If I know how something will end then it won’t surprise me as much.

I give too much sometimes to people I know don’t deserve it because I’m afraid of finding someone who does. I overcompensate time and time again because people have led me to believe I’m the one who is flawed and it’s never been enough. And I’ve begun to see myself through lenses I know are skewed but I’m afraid to take them off.

I’m afraid people won’t like me if they know everything about me. So I try really hard to get people to like the version of me I wish was the full truth sometimes.

I’m afraid to care too much so I keep people at arm’s length.

I’m afraid to grow used to someone. I’m afraid to watch them become part of my routine. I’m afraid to wake up next to someone and like it a little too much. I’m afraid of being every first conversation. Be the one who is more invested.

The person who will get hurt for having the type of heart I do. So I hide it behind this wall that very few get through.

I know it’s a form of settling when I succomb to casual relationships when you don’t believe in it but I feel something at least for a little bit. It’s that high off of something you know isn’t good for you but you don’t walk away from it.

I’m afraid of losing my freedom that I don’t do much with in the first place. Because even when opportunities present themselves I do go home alone. Because I know the only thing worse than heartbreak is using people like bandaids to cover wounds that haven’t healed properly. It’s easier to sleep alone.

I’m afraid of doing every wrong thing so I apologize for everything.

I’m afraid of looking at my phone and waiting for someone to answer and coming up with a hundred reasons of why they probably didn’t. Each scenario ending with goodbye or I did something wrong again.

I’m afraid of thinking too much about one person so I try not to.

I’m afraid of knowing what it’s like to get used to someone sleeping next to me. So instead I sleep diagonal.

I’m afraid of making memories in certain places with people so I go there alone because I don’t want to see the ghosts of people’s past haunting me because I never forgive myself for things.

I’m afraid of being the one who talks too much, cares too much and overwhelms a person if I ever do decide to care. So I pull away myself sometimes out of fear of others leaving me. Out of fear of other’s rejection.

I’m afraid to realize maybe I’m the problem here.

I’m afraid to take things slow so I run a little too fast sometimes ruining things before they begin.

I’m afraid I’ll always be too much for someone to handle. Because that’s what a lot of people have told me.

So instead of focusing on relationships I focus on a hundred other things that divert my attention.

But most of all I’m afraid of the person who is going to challenge me with all of this. The person who will stay when I’m difficult. The person who will pull me closer when I pull away. The person who looks at me sure when I’ve never looked at myself that way. The person who talks about the future while I’m sitting here taking a deep breath just because we made it through another day. The person who wants to stay. The person who sees right through me and sees through the act I’ve seem to master. I pretend I don’t give a fuck. But I do. I’m afraid of the person who will take the time to read me like the books I’ve memorized. The one I get lost in. The one who takes the time to learn me and listen to me and care about me.

I’m afraid to heal because all I’ve known is pain. Maybe it’s pain I didn’t deserve but it’s pain I’ve worn comfortably. I’m afraid to let that go because I don’t know who I am without it. TC mark

Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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