She’s scared to love because she associates it with pain.
Continuing to give and try only to realize it wasn’t enough. But she began to think it was her that wasn’t enough, not the other person who didn’t deserve her.
She became doubtful because every other time she put even a little bit of faith in someone they walked away with the pieces of her heart she gave so carelessly.
She’s scared to wake up one day and just find out something that might not have even begun won’t because it already ended for reasons she can’t even understand.
So she holds her breath, counts to ten, paces around a bit and reminds herself not everyone is going hurt you. And she wants to believe it.
She’s scared of anything too emotional so she settles for physical relationships where she might be close but she keeps herself distant out of fear.
She puts up walls not trying hard or hoping someone breaks through them but doing everything she can to protect herself because past relationships taught her she had to.
She’s scared to care too much out of fear of the other person not caring at all or suddenly becoming uninterested. Waking up one day to a text message or an unfollow and again being caught somewhere between confusion and doubt.
She’s never been that confident in other people because no one has given her a reason to be.
No one has ever looked at her that sure before.
No one has ever looked at her and talked about the future so she dwells in the past.
Fumbling for the right things to do and say she becomes paralyzed overanalyzing everything.
She’s scared of something going right because all she’s ever known are these relationships that haven’t.
People who have taken her for granted and made her seem like she was the problem. People who have deliberately messed with her head, sending mixed signals, like her heart was some pawn in a game they could just move as they’d like to.
So she looks at her reflection analyzing flaws trying to master hiding them like she’s the problem, not them.
She stares at a phone that’s supposed to keep her connected but it just ends unnecessary anxiety to everything. Every delay in a response. Every noise that makes her jump. Every word so carefully crafted. Apologies and explanations that aren’t even needed. Jumping to conclusions without any justified reason. Rereading things and saying to herself, ‘it’s going to be okay.’ Needing so desperately for someone else to say that too.
Waking up taking a deep breath, staring at a calendar, looking at dates ahead and just worrying about the next 24 hours. Because she’s seen people’s feelings change that quickly.
Needing reassurance but not wanting to appear too vulnerable so she stays silent not asking for it.
Needing to be confident in someone but only trusting herself.
Needing love that isn’t one-sided, unsure of what something real even looks or feels like for more than a moment.
Clinging so tight to baggage and pain she doesn’t even know what it’s like to live without it.
Happy almost feeling like a foreign word because she’s trying to manage her expectations.
She’s scared let someone that close so she pushes people away.
The truth is she’s afraid to get anything right because it’s only then she has something to lose.
She’s afraid to fall in love and care too much.
But it’s girls like her whose hearts are painfully on their sleeve.
Girls like her who fear love as much as they believe in it.
Girls like her who need something to believe in other than themselves.
Girls like her who deserve the right type of love more than anyone.
If you come across a girl like this and you can’t love her the way she deserves or be what she needs let her be. Because she deserves someone so much better than everyone she’s settled for in the past.
She deserves someone who makes her realize she isn’t that hard to love.
Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words
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