I Say I’m Not Defensive But My Hands Are Always Up
Do you ever think to yourself, “I can’t trust women because they have always let me down…I can’t trust men because they always hurt me…But, really, I just can’t trust myself?”
Not until recently did I begin to understand the extent to which I was keeping people at an emotional arms-length. I had no idea how my actions not only affected others but also affected myself. I knew that I had a lot of guy friends but I had no idea about the reason behind why I had more guy friends than girlfriends- why each of my relationships were in limbo. Part of me thought it was because girls are catty and I’m a tomboy but then I realized that I’m not at all a tomboy and that girls aren’t always all that catty.
Because I’m human, people of all shapes and sizes have hurt me. My brain has been set up over time to categorize people under titles such as “Irrelevant,” “Friend,” and sometimes something a little spicier. I guess my reasoning behind this is that if people I care about can’t get close to me, they can’t hurt me. If he was never with me, then he can’t break up with me. If we were never together, then he can’t cheat on me. If she doesn’t know me, then she can’t hate me. If they don’t know, they won’t care. All of these things and more are subconscious ways that I justify distancing myself from emotional intimacy.
Although there’s nothing wrong with boundaries, walls, protection, and fear, being unable to address what has been going on within only hurts the relationship I’m trying to foster with myself. Finally, I am able to realize why, who, what, and where I’m using these protection mechanisms and have become more self-aware and willing to change my ways.
“Protection” can mean different things to different people. But, when what’s supposed to be protecting you actually starts to hurt you, it’s time to take a look within and start learning how to be open to love.
From friend-zoning guys to not reaching out for help when I’m in need, my life needs to change in some regard.
My friends often joke about how if I don’t change my ways, I’m going to end up old and alone and with 15 cats (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but-how cliché, right? One of the things I do way too frequently to protect my heart is by becoming close friends with people that could potentially be great partners. I keep them in a state where, no matter what, they know that we will always be “just friends” so they don’t even attempt for anything more. From my past experiences, the competition that exists between girls always heightened my insecurities and made me more fearful of making girlfriends, when girlfriends are extremely necessary for me to have. Things like this have not only isolated me from everyone else but also from myself.
What I need is to take myself out on a date. I need to get to know myself and to find the little things about myself that make me happy. I need to have a honey-moon phase with myself that many people have in the beginnings of the relationships they have with their significant others.
Ultimately, If I want my hands to come down and I want to be able to say, “I’m not defensive,” I need to fall in love with myself and stay in love with myself until death do us part.