I liked a guy for the first time in a long time. You know when you start to wonder what they wonder about? That’s how I knew. So naturally I had to destroy any chance of it being more meaningful than late nights wrapped up under pink cotton sheets.
Because my history forces me to create a problem before they see the real problem—me.
And this stems from something bigger than having my guard up. My past left third degree burns on my heart that I haven’t taken the time to heal yet, and the ashes show up on men who have nothing to do with it. Thick and black—smudging any redeeming quality I may have conjured up with them the night before.
And the ironic thing is, I know this is what I do. I hurt men before they have a chance to find out anything real about me. I place blame on a kind face and strong hands that don’t deserve it. I can destroy mutual respect with one text message. I give someone I’m falling for a reason to want absolutely nothing to do with me.
And I know it isn’t right, but I am messy at my core. It’s all twisted up and broken. Nothing makes sense and anxiety fills the spaces that were once open to love. And maybe I’m afraid he’ll see those messy parts and run, so I cause chaos that forces him to run first. But I still recognize the parts of me that were once easy to hold. I still try and make a home in my arms for men who want to be there. And we can’t expect an “I’m sorry, I’ll do better” to wipe away the “fuck you” we hurled at someone hours before.
But I am working on change. And it may not always look like it, because I’m stuck in this cycle of wanting someone to stay, but forcing them to go.
The problem is I don’t know how to love anymore. I know how dramatic that sounds, but it’s honest. I don’t know how to open my heart up to another person because I don’t want to.
I am scared. Scared to let go, scared of change, scared to see if my heart can handle another blow. I know I’m not alone in this.
And it’s the fear that closes us off in these situations. I recognize that. We have to sit with this fear and challenge it. Let it pull the growth from within us.
We have to do it.
Because we will never find peace in the arms of another. Even if they have a grin that makes your knees weak, and a voice that makes your heart race. It has to start with you.
So don’t dwell on the fact that you blew something up with someone who felt special. He is special. But so are you. So give yourself the time and space to know this. Put in the work. Learn to stop acting on impulse and find out who you really are. Express it eloquently, the way you once did when you still felt whole. It’ll come back to you. Be alone.
We all know what we deserve. We just have to be willing to do the work within to go find it.