Vulnerability is a Four-Letter Word

Like. Love. Pain. Hurt. Loss.

Those are the words that best describe the flurry of emotions that I’ve been feeling more and more of for the past year and a half or so.

Unfortunately, they’ve been felt in much higher concentrations than normal over the last month or so more than anything, and all because of a boy.

But that’s how it always starts, isn’t it? A boy or girl careens into our lives without us realizing its even happening until we are wrapped in a blanket burrito on our floor with all of our emotions oozing out of our face. It’s never pretty and the only people that seem to have a better view are the people that just drug our emotions through the ringer.

Something happened to me my freshman year of college that completely obliterated my pre-college emotional stability and it took me roughly a year and a half to get through all of the bullshit that it came with.

Long story short; I started dating a guy that I really liked, and we essentially jumped into our relationship and it was good until it wasn’t anymore and I basically carried all of the weight of the relationship for a few months, plus everything else that I had going on. It was NOT a fun experience for me since I prefer to work as an equal in a relationship and it felt like he was taking more than he was giving. So I dumped him and he started to date my RA roughly two weeks after and I had to see them ALL of the time and it hurt.

That summer I fell into a deep and dark depression that I fought in vain to keep at bay so that my outward appearance made me seem okay. Unfortunately that front didn’t last very long because my roommates at the time found ways to coax my problems out of me. Granted, it was a little like pulling teeth to get me to talk, even though they had a good idea of what was going on with me, but goddamn did they work hard. Especially when I insisted on staying in bed all day or going straight to bed and shutting off my brain as soon as I got home from work. Then one day one of them came in while I was writing or reading or something and they forced me to spill, and I (finally) did. I bawled in my friends arms and finally got some semblance of a release that I deperately needed that summer. But something still didn’t feel right after I cried. I still felt the enormous weight of the depression and agony of seeing them together on a regular basis.

I realize now how petty that is to say, but I had invested a lot of time and energy into that relationship and I didn’t feel appreciated on top of everything else. So, my natural response is bitterness followed by a hefty dose of depression.

Unfortunately, depression has always been something that I’ve fought tooth and nail to try and pacify, but it has this awesome knack of always coming back, and usually with a burning vengeance. I think, no, I know that it has something to do how ridiculously sensitive to the world around me that I am. I’m a walking, talking sack of nerve endings and sometimes I put myself into situations almost accidentally that leave me with no other choice than to cauterize my emotional wounds.

Then at the beginning of this semester I met someone that I felt a strong connection to and I somehow let them demolish the heavily guarded walls around my heart with a high-grade flamethrower. We hung out a couple times, intimate things happened and then they dropped a  bomb on me that I wasn’t entirely expecting. Their news was that they don’t want a relationship this year, but I do, so of course my heart started to kind of break in that moment and it has been unfortunately breaking more and more ever since. Mainly because I keep letting them into my life and my room, and they keep doing things that a boyfriend would probably do, like caressing my face, and kissing my cheeks and forehead, and every time they did it I would let it happen because who doesn’t like to be held and have affection when they’ve gone nearly three years without any proper connection and the connection is so great??

Why would you say that you don’t want a relationship but when you get the person that you know has more than lukewarm feelings for you you proceed to drag their heart and emotions through the mud?

 So last weekend I walked up to him one day and announced that we had come to an impasse and I gave him something that signified a white flag. I felt strong. I had prepared what I was going to say to him and how I was going to say it to him in the strongest tone I could muster and I was going to look awesome doing it. Then he hugged me and I melted into him again.

Now I’m currently cauterizing my wounds and I’m pretty sure that if I do it much more that I’ll be completely numb to everything and shut down more and more every time something horrible happens to me emotionally..because that works, right?

Unfortunately, this fiasco happened to me right as I was starting to feel completely healed from the last time this kind of emotional trauma happened to me and I felt like a shattered mirror, seven years bad luck included.

I hope that the bounce back from this doesn’t take as long to recover from as the last experience did. I don’t think that I have the energy for it anymore since it happened the last time.

A person can only take so much.

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3 thoughts on “Vulnerability is a Four-Letter Word

  1. I know this comes a little late, but I could relate to this so much, and have a few words I would like to share. First off, a guy saying he doesn’t want a relationship “at the moment” is saying he cannot imagine a future with you. At all. I know that this hurts and I know it’s not fair, but believe me- I have learned this the hard way. Also, don’t try to think about things that might have motivated him to kiss you, hug you, be with you and yet not committing, not helping you, not making you stronger (like the guy would that deserves to be with you). You will never know exactly what is going on in his mind, and you don’t have to. All you need to know is that he is a danger to your emotional stability and that he’s caused you more hurt than good. And that any guy who deserves to be in your life will not make you feel that way. That you deserve someone who doesn’t make you wonder what you might have done wrong. That you deserve someone who will put your comfort and safety over his own needs and desires. So…rely on people that love you- your family, your friends…and stop worrying about people who don’t. Because life is hard, emotional baggage pulls us all down and because boys take an awful long time to grow up and some never learn to be honest about their motives. You deserve better.

  2. ^Great advice from above commenter, first of all.
    Just stopping in to say I can very much relate to the feelings you describe here, particularly being a giant skinsack of sensitivity and the anxiety about how much I’m getting used to dissociation as a coping mechanism to respond to being completely overwhelmed by various & sundry emotional responses… Your posts are insightful & very relatable, and I wanted to thank you for sharing your experience – it’s a courageous thing to do, and it helps other humans like myself connect, self-soothe, get by.

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