Meeting new people and getting to know them is just…horrifying these days. Which is a pretty unerotic sentiment, I know, but it’s just how I’ve been feeling lately. The idea of spending time with someone I don’t know, trying to get to know them, weathering the disappointments of their intellectual and emotional shortcomings – it just seems exhausting.
Sure, I could fathom getting a drink at a bar with some anybody today. That’s fine. But the idea of letting some stranger into my life – that scares the shit out of me. Perhaps it’s because I’m exhausted from hearing people bicker about nazis on the Internet. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve been disappointed fairly frequently in the last year, both by people that I have just met and by people whom I had loved for years and years. It has become easier to suffer in silence and isolation than to dare to let someone scar me yet again. I have no more room for scars on my heart. This thing is all used up.
Yet I go out into the world nonetheless. I do it every day. And I hide the pain that is cradled deep down in my stomach. I do not want other people to see it.
My pain is the reason that people have abandoned me.
I have shown other people my pain, and they have run away from me, screaming. Which perplexes me, because I live with my pain on a daily basis. I sit with it every night and every morning. It is a part of me. It has formed me into the person that I am today. Yet when I show it to other people – they are gone, in an instant.
I wonder if it is because they are weak. Because they do not know how to handle pain. Not even their own pain, which is tantamount to mine.
There is terror in other people’s pain. In seeing it and having to swallow it. How do you reach and touch a person in pain? What is the right thing to say? What is the tender thing to do?
I am not asking anyone to solve my problems. I am working on that right now. I am just asking you to be okay with my problems. I am sick of keeping them cooped up inside my stomach. I would like to let my problems out for just a little bit, so I can breath for a few minutes while they leave me. Don’t worry – they will always come back to me. They will never be your problems. They will always be mine. But when I let them out – please do not recoil. Please do not grimace and walk away. Please do not leave me here, left to clean up this mess on my own. I have been cleaning up this mess for my entire life. I am doing the best I can, but it is hard work.
Life has not left any of us unscathed. Show me your scars, and I will show you mine. These scars are not an indicator of the amount of pain that we will experience together but, rather, a symbol of everything I have survived so far that has made me who I am.