I have walked through a lot of challenging things. My health has brought me to the edge, my friends have passed away, and I have been bruised and broken. Here’s a little secret of mine that is so basic and most people have faced in their lives. It’s not cancer, it’s not depression, its not something rare. I am TERRIFIED of romantic relationships. I am so extremely sensitive, and scared and lost in the whole thing.
The older you get, the more you are exposed to, the harder it is. We as humans stop looking at others as the complex, beautiful, worthy people we are. We dismiss others, “ghost” people, and are dishonest.
I am revealing the most vulnerable, disappointing part of my life- connecting romantically with others. For years, I have been ashamed of my body. I have always been overweight and have never really put in the time to do the make-up, nails, cutesy things others might find attractive. Now I am not hating my body so much. I have put it through a lot and it has worked so hard to serve me. My body is a superstar fighter.
Now, as devastating as it is, I have started to see my mind and my emotions as not good enough. What I mean by that is they are not the right kind of thoughts and emotions that fit and successfully connect with people in a romantic way. I haven’t had the confidence to know how. Because I am so open, sensitive, and vulnerable, my heart shatters really easily.
From early on, I had thoughts that I can’t expect consistency in love, that if I make a mistake, no one will give me the opportunity to make it better. They will just give up. It doesn’t matter where these thoughts came from… it matters that I had them. I am terrified of people giving up on me.
In the last few years, I have done some dating. I have met some terrible people who have taken advantage of my kindness, generosity, and vulnerability. I have supported, forgiven, ignored bad things, and always tried to keep the other person happy.
I am also a #metoo who has always been so afraid and disgusted that I never ever want to admit that I let myself be hurt like that- even though it wasn’t my choice. It doesn’t matter if it was a decade ago. It took a hammer to my already cracked and chipped perspective of my worthiness. It gave me another reason to believe I am wrong. I “don’t fit”, I will never get it right.
When you get burned enough, it scars, It changes your make-up forever. You can try to cover a scar, or decorate it, tattoo over it, and tell people it isn’t there anymore. It is always there. You can take it to therapy, wish it away, or rub it in glitter. It doesn’t go away. Those are all great ways to ignore the result of the burn. Sometimes I am so focused on how to cover the scar, or make it look better, that I forget to think about what burned me in the first place.
How did I let myself get so scared, fragile, and utterly terrified? How did I get so uncomfortable in one of the most human things- How did I fail? Was I so busy trying to be a sparkler that I didn’t look where I my flame was? Was I acting like a hero and ran into the fire unprepared? Did I get so mesmerized that I didn’t realize how close I was to the flame?
I have no idea where I lost my confidence. It’s a confidence I don’t know if I have ever had. I know I had to have been taught somewhere along the way… It just didn’t stick. I have a skewed perception of romantic intimacy, trust, and sexuality. I tell myself it doesn’t matter and that I am so extremely lucky to have other close, meaningful relationships. I don’t lie when I say I don’t want kids and don’t think I will get married. To keep from getting hurt, I just look at those things from a practical perspective and don’t think about what I am missing.
I may not believe in soul mates, but I do believe in soul. The soul needs to be fed in so many ways, but I am starving my soul when it comes to intimacy. I am too scared, I have had too much pain. But I never admit that out loud. I think I am staying honest when I say it is not what I want. I think I am ok without that piece of being human. I think I’m probably wrong.