The first person I fell in love with broke my heart.
In a different way, the second person I fell in love with also broke my heart. I’m not sure which was worse.
Even though it wasn’t exactly their fault (I’m still convincing myself it’s not mine), is it any wonder that now, the thought of falling in love terrifies me slightly? I’m not saying that my experiences were terrible, but they did leave a mark that’s now made me, unconsciously, try and guard myself against it again.
Love finds you in the most unexpected ways, and you often can’t stop it or prevent it. I know that, and next time I DO fall in love, I’ll be very happy and temporarily forget the pain I often associate with the emotion.
That’s the thing, though. I don’t think I CAN forget, and that’s why I’m scared of it. The simple, solid truth is that I’m nervous of getting hurt again. As with falling in love, you can’t stop yourself from getting hurt, but in the times before it’s hurt so much that I’ve sobbed on the floor.
I don’t want to hurt anyone else, either. In the last three months, I’ve sometimes felt the lowest since Ash and though it’s getting better, I still have moments where I think of the love I lost and feel cold inside. I mutter to myself that it’s alright, that I’ll be okay, but then the fear kicks in again.
Letting someone hold that emotion, from you, is petrifying. Trusting them is even more difficult, because I feel like – perhaps irrationally – people would just hurt me anyway, based on the two experiences I had before when I loved people. Is it stupid and not based on actual fact? Yes, but that doesn’t matter. It’s how I feel, and my feelings ARE valid.
Giving so much emotion to another person is the main thing that makes me wary. I hate feeling so drained, when I feel like I’ve given so much to a person – a little piece of my heart – and then have that shredded. God, I wish I wasn’t so paranoid. All I want to do is to be able to look at love and feel the solid assurance in my chest that I USED to feel, to be happy at the prospect of it and not nervous. Because of this weird fear I have, because of the way I’ve built up love to be this HUGE thing in my head, I can’t.
I’ve been known to rush into saying ‘I love you’ to people I get into relationships with, either because I’m scared and I don’t know how I feel so I try to set it in stone too fast, or I do know how I feel that early on. In either scenario, saying it and meaning it makes me shake; I can’t fake love but I ALWAYS get nervous it’s not really how I feel, or I do feel it but I don’t know. I never know my emotions well enough to judge, and I’m worried I could potentially put a label on something that isn’t right, or not assign a label at all. You can’t define it with certain categories, and they say “You KNOW when you love someone” but do you? Will I EVER know someone so deeply that I can trust them completely to love me?
Next time I say those three words to someone, I’ll mean it. I’ll THINK about it. Last time, I did both and I was happy, so surely it would apply next time I fall in love. Don’t think about how it’ll go wrong, or how it will never last forever. I have no illusions of permanence at all.
Love has become a massive deal to me now. People know that; people understand that I can’t throw that emotion around but I’m scared I will. No longer do I associate it with happiness, but I want to remember that feeling rather than the terror. I just need more people to understand, to listen to me open up my heart on the subject of the walls around it.
One day, I’ll learn to love the idea of love. I’ll teach myself to smile at it, to have that overwhelming feeling in my chest and not want to cry about it. I’ll remember that not everyone has another motive, not everyone will abandon me, not EVERYONE will break my heart.
For now, I’ll carry on with what I’m doing. I’ll just wing it.
From Elm 🙂