You pick me up in your car and take me out to dinner. Conversation is lovely and you tell me I look lovely and you, yourself, are lovely. We politely eat our dinners and go through all the motions. We discuss the easy things, like what our hobbies, dreams, and aspirations are. I know my lines in the script for I have it memorized by heart. I search our nuances and rapport for signs that this time it’ll be different, that this time I will be fixed.
You ask me about my childhood and I instinctually skip over the messy parts. It is right there where things crumble around us. How can I possibly explain to you where things went wrong for me and my perspective permanently shifted from being excited about love to feeling cynical. I could pull a laundry list of events that molded this iron-clad heart, but that would never satisfy you. Because the truth is there is no one to blame but myself. I took in what I saw and I processed it in a way that was solely meant to protect me. I was meant to interpret the things I endured in a way that would shield me from ever having to go through the same things those around me did.
Because how can I possibly describe to you what i’m expecting to find out there if I don’t know myself? How can I articulate that I grew up in a situation where to feel comfortable was to be vulnerable. Where to be vulnerable would inevitably lead to crushing disappointment. Where disappointment kick-starts the cycle of pain all over again.
You will call on me and ask me how I am doing. You will ask me if I am free, but I will make sure that I never am. I will want to run into your arms, folding into them and allow myself feel but i’ve been conditioned not to and out of self-preservation, I will let all your efforts go unreceived. I will push and punch and scream out of desperation. Don’t make me feel, don’t let me hurt you. In an effort to break the cycle, I will remove myself completely from it. I will devalue all the kind things you do because it is easier for me to see them as your means to one end. Because physical connection is easy and it is the rest thats the hard part.
And you may think of me as cruel, but It is never my intention to twist the knife or make you feel as if you’re not enough. However, if you do feel that way I hope you understand that there is a deep guilt I always carry with me for that. And when you try to pull me in close, or whisper into my ear- know that I will fight the urge to succumb. I will flee and run and scream when things feel close and comfortable; when for a moment I feel a pull for someone other than myself. It’s all i’ve ever known how to do. One day my wings may be clipped or I may be too tired to disappear right before your eyes, but for today I am gone. For I am a bird of flight, and you will not catch me.