I find it hard to trust people these days. Before I used to trust too much and got hurt all of time from the people who used that trust to get what they wanted. Thanks to them I don’t let people in anymore. It’s not like I find it hard to make personal connections, I have plenty of close friends who I care about and vice versa.
Something in me has changed recently though. I have plenty of close friends from before a certain time but now I seem to have trouble connecting with new people. I even find it hard to open up to my therapist at times and tend to hold things back from her. It’s hard for me to pinpoint the exact time that the change happened. Perhaps it was gradual, the pain from people using me building until it was an impenetrable wall.
I do know it happened very recently though- in the last year maybe. It could’ve started the day one of my close friends passed away last fall. I have had deaths in my family before but I was never very close with them so it never affected me that much. This time, with a close friend who I saw as a little sister, was different though. It was in that moment that I realized how scary and permanent death was. I know almost being 20 means that I should have realized before then and I did but I had never felt the true impact of it so strongly before. After that tragic incident I kept my friends closer and started shying away from making new friends. Maybe it was due to the fear that they too could die and hurt me as much as my dear friend.
Plus the whole parental abuse really impacted me to say the least. I should’ve known I was going to grow up with some trust issues thanks to that. Maybe I’m dumb for thinking this but aren’t your parents supposed to be the one thing you trust the most in life? That’s how I think it should be. Sadly, my parents failed me in that category.
Another possibility is when my first boyfriend broke up with me this past spring. That was the first person I ever loved and was completely vulnerable to. I told him everything about me and I gave him every part of me. He had me in the palm of his hands and I would’ve done anything for him due to the amount of pure, unadulterated love I had for him. I honestly believed he was the one which makes me feel like I sound insanely naive due to the fact that he was my first ever relationship. However I was convinced we were soulmates considering the fact that we just clicked perfectly. Our personalities complimented each other and we had similar enough interests to hold interesting conversations. Then one day he told me he never loved me; he told me he thought of me as just a friend. I was broken. He broke me. The person I gave everything to, the person I loved so deeply, was just giving up on me. Now I find it hard to open up to people in a romantic sort of way and push away anyone who seems interested. It’s because I am scared to let someone back in and then have them walk out.
Maybe I also have commitment problems that walk hand in hand with my trust issues. That makes a lot of sense. I wish I trusted people more though. I hate being so closed off. I want to be like the old me who wanted to be friends with everyone and who thought everyone was good. When did I become more cynical and jaded? Why did I become the way I am? I guess that’s what I’m trying to figure out through this whole thing. Hopefully I’m closer to finding the answer.
I’ve known you for a year and a half, we worked together in the same store. I hated you at first. You were so loud, narcisstic, and obnoxious I could hear you across the store.
Then one day I didn’t hate you anymore, I don’t know what changed my mind, but I looked forward to hearing your loud voice booming over the other noises and I silently begged for you to come over and hug me. Then when my close friend passed away you were the first person to ask my parents if I was okay because you were genuinely concerned about my well-being.
After I quit I didn’t talk you until I ran into you at a bookstore a few months later. You seemed surprised to see me and hugged me even though I was soaked from the rain outside. You asked how I was doing and I told you I was depressed and suicidal, again you were there for me and said you were always available to talk to. I never reached out to you though since I feared that I would be a bother and you actually didn’t care.
A few more months passed and I started working in the same store again. You were one of the first people to talk to me again. Like always you hugged me and we talked. When you walked me to my car after work you asked me to kiss you and I was taken aback by the question. I never assumed you showed any interest in me. I just thought that you treated me the same way you treat everyone else so I said no and drove away. You asked every day after work after that. Your dedication was charming and I found myself wanting to follow through with your request. So I did.
Kissing you felt so good. Maybe because it was because I hadn’t kissed anyone for months after my breakup but I never wanted it to end. I felt your hand desperately grab at me trying to pull me closer to you. I never felt so wanted in my life. I went to your apartment that night. We didn’t have sex because I was too nervous but we cuddled and kissed and it felt so good.
While I was there you told me you always thought I was beautiful but you were too scared to say anything. You showered me in affection and compliments and I could feel me being drawn more and more towards you. I hoped you felt the same about me as we shared secret kisses during and after work.
The following week yuou cancelled last minute on some plans we made and I cried in the parking lot for what felt like hours. I felt so betrayed and used. I didn’t want anything to do with you anymore because I thought you saw me as some kind of whore. I even cried about you at work and my manager tried to give me some advice on the situation.
I confronted you about it though and you were genuinely sorry we didn’t go out. You promised me we would some other time and I felt ashamed for overreacting so much. I tried to distance myself from you for a while to try and get a hold of myself. It worked for a bit but then the distance was too much for me and it started to affect my work.
Now we are back to normal and everything seems okay. I can only hope it stays that way as we continue on this weird rollercoaster.
Memories of you haunt me.
Some days I don’t think about you at all or what happened between us and all the pain it brought to me. I can think clearly on those days. I feel like the sun when it finally breaks through the clouds after it has rained for days.
Other days you’re all I can think about. It feels like I’m drowning in my own mind. Drowning in darkness because that’s what you left behind. The pain I felt settles on my chest, the heaviness of it makes me feel like I can’t breathe.
I wonder if you ever get that way too. I wonder if I haunt your mind the same way you haunt mine. Maybe you don’t remember me at all. Maybe you got the pleasure of being able to move past the pain and hurt, to be able to live like usual. I’m not going to lie I hope you do feel the pain sometimes. I know it makes me a bad person but I want you to suffer like I do.
My whole life I believed in ghosts. I never had any experiences with the paranormal but I always thought they existed. What if ghosts aren’t only the lost, tormented souls of people who have passed. What if ghosts are also the memories of people, the memories of what those people left behind that will sneak up on you in moments of weakness. Those ghosts reside in the crevices of your mind and roam the vast emptiness of your heart.
I wish I wasn’t haunted by your ghost and I don’t know how to get rid of it.
It feels as if I am meant to spend my whole life searching for love; trying to fulfill my craving for the feeling. However, how can I crave something I am sure I have never had? In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs it is the third tier so obviously the need for love is embedded into humans.
Growing up I assumed my parents loved me despite the constant physical abuse I endured. Now, though, I am not so sure. The abuse has stopped now that I am an adult but I can’t help but hate them a little bit because of what they did. As a kid I assumed that my parents loved me because I am their child and how could a parent not love their own kid. Then sometime in middle school I started thinking how messed up it was and how you shouldn’t resort to hitting and kicking to discipline a child. Thanks to our past we aren’t as close as I would like. I wish I had a healthy, close relationship with them- like the ones you see in movies or read about in books. Life isn’t a book or a movie though.
Another time I thought I found love was with my first boyfriend. I didn’t start dating until college which wasn’t by choice; I guess no one wanted to date me before then. Anyways, when we started dating I was unsure about everything. I second guessed his motives multiple times and I wondered if he ever liked me. I know my self consciousness played an important role in our break up because, now, I realize the strain it must have put on him on his side of the relationship. After the break up my anxiety skyrocketed- as if it could’ve gotten any worse. I told myself that he never loved me and he was just using me. I told myself that it was because I was so messed up no one could love me. I told myself that I blew the only chance I had at love because that was the only person in my mind to ever actually show interest in me. We are still close friends though and I know for a fact he does care about my well being considering he did talk me out of suicide. A part of me is still broken though from our break up.
There was one more time a little after I tried to let myself be with someone to find love. Nothing ever happened with this guy other than a few kisses here and there and some whispered nothings in the middle of the night, but then one day when we had plans he cancelled last minute and all of a sudden my world came crashing down. I realize that my reaction was a little extreme but in that moment of time it felt like I was being abandoned and used. I hated myself for getting so attached to him and allowing him to hurt my feelings. Oddly enough I am still friends with this guy too. We never talked about what happened that day he cancelled and the flirting came to a stop. My best guess is that he simply lost interest in me.
Now I know that you can also get love from your friends as well and I do have plenty of friends. They always tell me how much they love me and how much I mean to them but after so many people saying things and acting differently I find it hard to believe them. My therapist says it is just my anxiety telling me that they don’t love me and I agree with her. I know how much my friends and I value each other- especially after the death of one.
Maybe my issue isn’t that I am not loved but that I don’t allow myself to feel loved.
Over Thanksgiving of 2016 a friend of mine, Marie, had a friend from Michigan visit her. At the time I had just finished talking to some Tinder boy and was ready to stay single for a while to save myself from the stress of trying to pursue a relationship with some dumb guy. However that all changed when I met Marie’s friend, Alexander.
When I first met him I was singing along to Christmas carols at work and had a ridiculous elf hat on; to this day I still do not understand how he found me cute at all but to each their own I guess. After spending 30 minutes with me at work we all finally left to go get dinner and that’s when things took a turn. I was aware that Alexander found me attractive and Marie had pulled me aside and told me that he wanted me to go over to his hotel afterwards. I was is complete and utter shock. This stranger who I had just met not even an hour ago wanted me to go over to his hotel? I was disgusted at first thinking that he was just going to use me as some kind of hookup but after a few hours of convincing from Marie I decided to take the leap of faith and go over.
When I got there I immediately pulled Marie into the bathroom and started panicking. I was afraid that Alexander couldn’t be trusted or he would force me to do something I was uncomfortable with. Thankfully, Marie is a lot like me and spent a few minutes trying to reassure me before she left. She told me that I was in good hands and he is only wanting to get to know me better. So after I made her go out and tell him what I was comfortable she left and I was alone with him.
Not going to lie the first couple of minutes were probably the most awkward minutes of my life. We sat on opposite sides of the bed and didn’t even speak to each other for a while. Eventually one of us broke the tension and we ended up cuddling in bed. I was already feeling like a cheap piece of ass but I let it happen because I was attracted to him. We kissed a bit and did a few things that, looking back at it, I’m not proud I did after I had just met this guy but it was all worth it because we decided to try dating after that even though it was going to be long distance and hard.
Which, by the way, long distance is exhausting. But to me Alexander is worth it because I love him and he makes me happy. There are a lot of times that I think we should break up because it is so taxing but I would be so unhappy if we did that. Love is a choice and loving him is a choice I make everyday-even if I am mad at him.
“How do you know if it’s time to drop someone?”
I find myself asking that question a lot these days. I don’t know if I keep befriending the wrong people or I’m just too blind of their toxic actions until it is too late; the most recent friend was probably one of the worst I’ve had to deal with since it wasn’t just me she was being somewhat abusive to but it also involved three of my other close friends.
For a bit of a backstory, I met these girls last fall in my first semester of college. To respect their privacy I’ll just call them Samantha, Marie, Kylie, and Sharon. In the beginning they all seemed like wonderful girls and I quickly became close with all of them. It wasn’t until my spring semester that I started to realize how awful Sharon was. She would constantly yell at me if I did something she thought was wrong and it finally got to the point that I was too afraid to talk to her because I didn’t want to get scolded for hours by her. Not only did she belittle me but she would do that to anyone who was close to her. I didn’t realize the other girls felt the same way about Sharon until my third semester of college when I finally had enough of the way she us that I ranted about her until 3 am. After that everyone started coming out with their stories about her and how she treated everyone so disgustingly. I was surprised at how we all felt the same way about her but never said anything until almost a whole year later.
Once we all talked it out we decided it was time to drop her. None of us wanted to just ignore her and pretend she didn’t exist anymore because that’s what she would do with people who made her mad and we also weren’t that rude, so we all wrote out a message and created a group chat with her so we could all get our feelings out there. It was sad having to basically tell someone we didn’t want to talk to them anymore but it needed to be done. For months she was emotionally abusive and a horrible friend to all of us. There are plenty of other ways to get someone toxic out of your life but that was just the what my friends and I decided to do. I am a very strong believer of doing what you think is best for you and honestly after dropping her we all have felt happier and that a weight has been lifted off of our shoulders; I feel like as a group we have become a lot closer and also more loving.
A lot of people don’t realize that friends can also be considered abusive so if you or someone you know is being abused by someone in your/their life then please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.