One of my biggest fears, which I’ve only come to realise in light of recent events, is that no one (who meets me, gets to know me and sees both the good and the bad in me) will decide to stay in my life. Maybe this is a fear that a lot of us have deep down, even if we’re not always willing to admit it or say it aloud. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t one of those people.
I know that it’s normal and common for our past experiences to influence to the way we perceive and approach new relationships with new people in the future. How could it not, when our lives are full of the unpredictable? I believe that everything we’ve gone through, the good and the bad, the big and the small, changes us as a person, regardless of how major or minor those changes are. They also change our views, our wants/needs, our perspective, our outlook on life.
Would you be surprised if I told you that I’m twenty two years old and have never been in a serious relationship before? Maybe, or maybe not, depending on how well you know me. If it were up to me, though, I would have been in more serious relationships than I could count. Unfortunately the people who have walked into my life and the circumstances surrounding them have not been right and have not lead me down that path. We have always wanted different things or been focused on different goals, different outcomes. Romantic feelings have never been mutual, only one-sided and un-returned.
My desire for anything serious has always been unmet, despite my best efforts to achieve something great, worthy and long-lasting with the individual. As have my needs, mostly to have someone who cares about me stand by my side through thick and thin, to have someone support me and who brings out in the best in me, even when I’m at my weakest. The truth is I don’t know how any of this feels, because I am yet to experience it. While it seems that many people around me are finding the one they love and want to be with, I remain by myself, whether I want it that way or not.
The fact that I have, in fact, always been alone, has lead to me to develop a kind of self-reliant independence, which is probably the biggest silver lining I can think of to come from it. The problem is, because I’m so used to depending on myself, I don’t know how to depend on anyone else or what that even looks like. I’ve never been able to depend on anyone but myself, and this isn’t a lifestyle I have chosen but one that seems to have chosen me. I lack any kind of knowledge and experience that you gain from a serious relationship or partnership.
I wish I could be one of those people who got lucky in finding someone who was serious enough about them to stick it out. I think, for them, that even if it didn’t work out they would still have plenty of hope of finding someone else who will decide to do the same because they’ve experienced it before and they know that since it happened once, it can happen again. They know how it feels to have someone see all sides of them; the good and the bad, their flaws, their strengths and weaknesses, at their best and worst, and still be there at the end of the day. They haven’t done a runner or been fazed by anything they’ve seen, because they love that person regardless, for everything that they are.
One of my biggest fears is that no one will choose to stay and I will end up alone, just like I have been thus far. One of my biggest fears is that if someone truly gets to know me, they won’t like what they see and will leave in search of something or someone they consider to be better. I’m not denying that I have some amazing qualities that someone will love about me, but it’s the other side that I’m worried about. I’m talking about the side of me which I don’t necessarily like but is still a part of me nevertheless; the ‘bad’ or undesirable parts of me I guess you could call it. Sometimes I can’t help but feel like that side is what lets me down, because people get one glimpse of it and seem to run for the hills, deciding they don’t want anything to do with me anymore. It always seems to faze them, even when I’m just being my imperfect, human self.
I know that many people say things like “you’ll find that person who loves you for everything you are and all parts of you; the good and the bad”, but when you’ve never experienced this and you don’t know what it looks like, it can be pretty hard to believe at the best of times. It can be pretty hard to maintain a sense of hope that I’ll find myself with someone like this one day.
I guess that’s why I started making it harder for people to get to know me. Somewhere along the line I became incredibly guarded and learnt how to keep people out. I figured, “if I don’t let them truly get to know me then I’m sparing myself the hurt feelings and rejection when they up and leave in X amount of time”. After all, if everyone has gotten to know you and decided to leave anyway, then why bother letting others do the same? I realise it’s a negative mindset to have, but it’s about the only one I have after how things have turned out for me. I gave up hope that anyone new would be any different to the people of the past. I got sick of ultimately ending up alone, sad, hurt and confused so I tried my best to do something about it that would spare me from going through the same thing in the future.
But now someone has come along, walked into my life. They want nothing more than to get to know me, but I find myself so worried and scared that they will turn out to be the same. That I will take the time to open up, become vulnerable and let them truly get to know me – the real me – only for it to not make a difference in the end. I don’t want to look at another person’s back as they walk away from me and out of my life for good. I don’t want to be disappointed and let down again. After being this guarded for so long now, I don’t know how to even begin to let them in and bring my own walls down – even if just a little bit for them to get a glimpse as to what’s inside. I’m scared that they might see the very core of me, my heart; the one part of me that has been bruised, battered and broken more times than I can count.
Lucy Rebecca x