Open letter to a friend whose heart is battered….
I remember that you were there for me when I was going through a lot and had no one. So I will do my best to be here for you, now.
In this life, you have to separate your mental and emotional things, your habits, your beliefs–like laundry. Whites over there, colors over there, delicates there. You can’t throw them all in together or the colors will bleed and what was once pure and white is now sullied. Some things must be kept apart, some things put together, and you always have to cleanse them on the proper cycle and temperature.
My first concern is how you can miss someone who treated you so badly. What do you miss? Missing someone implies that there were good things big enough to erase the bad things, and from what I know of her, there was little that could be strong enough to erase the damage she did to you physically, and emotionally, the betrayal she brought. What is this power she has? Please bottle it for me, it might come in handy. ;0)
You say your biggest fault is opening yourself up to everybody…that you give your all to anybody who needs help. And you just kind of shut down after being hurt so many times.
Well, Honey, I have been hurt a lot too…but look, here’s the deal…Since moving here, I found that I didn’t initially spend much time looking for a quality circle of friends. I’m looking for that, now, yes. (And I believe I have a few). And I’m looking for someone to date regularly, yes, even if it’s not serious, and just companionship and affection. But ultimately, I want a life partner. I don’t do well single. I like having my person to talk to everyday, to share those moments with, to nurture and support and have that returned, for once. I’ve been primarily single for 7 years, with short interruptions of heart-wrenching sadness and betrayal. So I get how that feels. But I won’t let it steal any potential happiness, because life is short. I just know that when you close a door to keep bad things out, you also block the good things from coming in. I don’t want to be that person.
You say you have tried so hard to open yourself up but feel you are so weird about that. You are terrified of feeling that hurt again. You speak of how your ex was the first person you ever truly opened up to…and you wonder for what? To be hurt?
You’ll never be able to open yourself up until you feel safe. So you don’t feel safe yet. That’s okay. I just hope you won’t close off so much you miss the good ones that might be out there…I know what you mean about the hurt. I felt that way the first time I got my heart broken. (And there have been plenty of other heartbreaks along the way). But that first one was the worst. I thought I wouldn’t survive. I began to feel hatred for all women, unfairly applying a blanket pre-judgment to every person of the female gender. But luckily, during my darkest hour, there was this cutie who thought I hung the moon, and she was right there waiting to pick up the pieces by telling me how wonderful I was, that I was her dream woman, and then it didn’t hurt so bad. I could see things in a different light. I realized I DID deserve to be loved and treated with respect and kindness, even though I had just been given an overwhelming example that I didn’t. Even if there are plenty of people out there who are willing to savage your heart, there are good ones too, they’re just fewer and farther between. Believe me, I have lost hope and then tried again over and over. You’ll see that if you have kept up with my blogs ;^)
I’m not sure what it is that keeps me trying. Maybe just that I know myself, know what I want and need, and know that I won’t ever be completely happy until I find that other person who will show me love again. But I won’t settle. I’ve learned that I’m capable of being blinded by that need and I can’t let it control me. But I know it’s there and it’s strong, and all I can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other and surrounding myself with as many good people and purposeful things as I can.
If you believe that every woman hurts more than she loves, then that means that everyone is bad. And I hope you don’t believe that. You are just sensitive. You feel everything all the way to the bone, as do I. You’ll have to learn some coping skills or this world and the people in it, will destroy everything good in YOU. So, I’ll be your friend.
I know you will, you said, and part of that scares me….. You said that you were used to proving yourself to women…But you don’t have to prove yourself, just BE yourself. Yet you feel that who you are isn’t enough, and I would ask you– do you LIKE who you are? You say as a lesbian, Hell yes!! but internally…It’s an ongoing battle. In your eyes, you say, Women are evil…They hurt more than they love...
Lesbians are defined as women who love women. You hate them. Maybe you’re not a lesbian. LOL. I’m just kidding. But really, what about being a lesbian do you LIKE? And then, what inside you is the battle about? What are you fighting? The need to protect your heart at all costs?
Yes…you say. It is my heart I am protecting… I LOVE everything about a woman!!!
Boy, do I understand that. I have moments when I think I’m just afraid of everything. And then, when push comes to shove, I somehow manage to survive. It’s all those horrible moments of fear that taught me more about myself, and the strength I have inside. We can’t know light without darkness. We can’t understand pain without joy. And we can’t have love without anger. There truly is a yin and yang to the universe.
One of the most poignant and pivotal moments of that learning about myself came when I moved here…you might recall what I went through to make it happen–many days of hard labor and stress and obstacles, and then 30 hours on the road, and then when I got to the end of that journey, driving into Denver, overwhelmed, exhausted, and irretrievably LOST, I panicked. I came apart at the seams. And there was no one to help me. And in that moment I made a decision. I realized I simply had no choice. I had to find a way to get back on track and find this place I was about to call home. And I did it. Tearfully, shaking, and near insane. But I did it. And because of that, I know that no matter how lost I am, how hurt, or exhausted, I really can find a solution, because inside me is an inner core of strength. You have that, too, my friend. Maybe you just don’t know it yet.
You say, Every part of me wants what you speak of, what so many others want…
I know. And fear can be powerful. It’s even more so with highly sensitive people. And perhaps, as you say, you are the most highly sensitive person I will ever know. Maybe so. All the more reason to launch a mission to find some ways to cope, so that you can be happy and fulfilled. You shouldn’t have to say no to yourself and what you really need.You don’t have to. But it IS a process. I know you know that, but you think it’s hard to find a woman willing to work through your “demons”.
Most people don’t have that kind of patience, it’s true. Our society has trained us in recent years to rush through everything. I’m guilty of it sometimes too. But first, you have to feel safe. And I see you arranging your life into little walls of safety. Boundaries of okayness…but it’s important to be able to discern what is safety, and what is hiding. I think you hide, mostly…and I guess my wish for you is that you can learn to feel safe without hiding.
This song speaks to that in a most poignant and profound way…
listen to it…
I did, and just made myself cry. That song just screamed in my head to play it for you.
You say, I’m not ready to give someone my all. That’s okay. But realize that dating isn’t ALL. It’s just dating. Personally, I wouldn’t want to get serious with anyone who gave me her all, upfront. But no, you say, I’m not quite ready to give myself up again… A healthy relationship doesn’t require that you give yourself up, either. You answer, You don’t think? I beg to differ…. But you should never have to lose yourself, is what I mean. It should mesh naturally. But you think you have to be willing to give your all. And I tell you, that’s not something you decide on the front-end. There’s time, and you should be allowed that time to know what you feel, and why you feel it. You are under no obligation to jump into the deep end of the pool, especially after you nearly drowned the last time.
But you’re guarded right now. I can see that. I was hoping you weren’t, since you said you’d worked through it. Maybe you still have work to do? Maybe this is the lie you tell yourself. You still say it’s an ongoing battle…but I’m not sure it has to be. Yet, you can only do what you can do.
I know, Honey. I have felt that way too. There are few things feel worse than that. When T. left me, it was like she reached into my chest, yanked my heart out and tossed it on the floor, still beating, still bleeding. Here’s one of the songs I wrote about that…see if it speaks to you.
…so I know what you feel. And I know how powerful it can be.
But you can get back up again. One foot in front of the other. Keep passing the open windows…
…and I’m here to jerk you back if I see you put your foot on the sill.