I talk a big talk.
I’ll tell you all about this wall I’ve built around myself. I’ll tell you about how I use humour as a defense mechanism, and how I don’t let people get past my armour. But on the other side of this wall, I’m just a giant pile of mush.
Wow…that’s some really fantastic imagery there.
I am way too sensitive for my own good; I always have been. The second someone raises their voice towards me, I cry. It doesn’t matter who it is: it could be a parent, a friend, a random customer from my retail days…they get mad, I cry. I can’t control it.
I care way too much about what other people think. I want to be liked; we all do, to an extent. I’ve tried to teach myself that other people’s opinions of me are none of my business, but it still hurts me so much when someone dislikes me.
And behind the wall I’ve built I have a giant, raw, fragile heart. If I decide that someone is worthy of getting to have a look behind the wall, I give them all of me. This doesn’t just extend to romantic partners. My closest friends have seen that once you’re in, you’re in: it’s a front row seat to all the emotions, whether you want them or not.
I am an extremely emotional person, I just try to hide it from most people. I try so hard to pretend that my skin is sandpaper, but really I’m just flesh. I feel everything so much and it’s overwhelming. There’s an Anna Nalick song… “But I think too much / I love like I’m dying / And I come and go like the moon, like the moon / My face shows when I’m lying.” I let people’s words and actions hurt me way more than they should. Someone at work with whom I’ve had little interaction has the power to send me to my bed with covers over my head, crying into my pillow. A friend with whom I’ve shared no intimate, personal details of my life can say something cruel about me and I physically feel the pain of their words. How is it that I let strangers have such control over my emotions, when I work so hard to have none at all?
What I’m struggling with currently is what to do when someone I’ve let in is the one to cause the hurt. I’d like to think that I’m fairly selective with who I allow on this side of the wall. I mean I definitely make the wrong decisions at times and bring over people who don’t deserve to be here. But what happens if someone I’ve chosen to love hurts me so much I can’t breathe? And further still…what if I still want them here with me on this side? How do I do that? Is it even possible?
Along with my big, bleeding, raw heart…I forgive. I forgive too quickly and too easily. I’ll psychoanalyze myself here and say that it’s a result of being in an abusive relationship for 11 years. You have to forgive easily, or it just makes the situation worse. Once the conflict is over, the abuser wants to just continue on as if nothing happened. And if you resist that, the conflict comes back and gets way, way worse. So as the victim, you just suck it up and move on. It was your fault anyway, right?
But this comes with a caveat: once that trust is broken and that pain is felt, I may forgive but I will distance myself. I will push my emotions away and push you away right with them. I will build up my wall, stronger than before with steel reinforcements and barbed wire fencing. I will cover myself in new skin, to try to protect myself from more hurt.
This time…I don’t want to do that. I feel like a fragile little bird. I’ve been hurt but I want so badly to heal, and to heal with you. I don’t want you on the other side: I want you beside me. But the thought of opening back up to you…scares the shit out of me. The more layers of skin I peel back, the easier it is to hurt me again…and the more painful it will be.
I guess I just need to time hang back here and lick my wounds. Proceed with caution. I am surrounded by shattered glass and I just need to be careful for awhile. Even if you think you’ve picked up all the pieces, there’s always a few shards left behind.