A letter to the next person that thinks of loving me

Let this not scare you, but be a symbol of my trust and openness. There is no point in keeping closed doors. Life is too short not to love wildly and fiercely when the opportunity comes. I don’t do casual meaninglessness, whether platonic or not. Time is a precious and non-renewable resource. There are a lot of people in this world, too many to waste time on if they don’t make you feel right. I put my shortcomings out early, so that they are not a shock. 

I do not remember a consistent period in my life in which I have been truly happy. This is not to say that I don’t look for happiness and cherish it when I find it. I am always open to it. This is just to say that it tends to slip through my fingers before long. I was a lonely child and I am a lonely adult. Understand that happiness is a new concept, and I cling to it when presented with it. I was an only child. I was a child with trauma. I did not make connections, could not make connections, and I sought the friendship of those older and wiser than me. I did not “hang out” with people. My few friends were often people that liked me well enough, but did not know what to do with me or how to talk to me. I have very few friends these days too, but the ones I have I try to keep close. Schoolyard drama mattered so little in the scheme of my childhood, which dealt with very real, very scary, and very pressing situations. I was told I was intimidating. I was always on the periphery of socialization. Starting in the fifth grade, I became closer to my teachers than I was to any students. I’ve known, my whole life, that I am different in this way. I’ve never met a soul like me. There was never anything particularly strange about me and I was not particularly liked or disliked. I am just, from what I’ve been told, intense. 

I became deeply acquainted with poverty, abuse, and death before I’d even left high school. I often don’t think of myself as having had a childhood. I don’t mean to sound melodramatic. I was born to a young mother in a bad situation. I grew up with primarily adult interaction, since I am the first-born of my familial generation and my mother’s friends did not have children until years after I was born. I grew up quickly, to the point where I don’t remember ever being a happy-go-lucky little girl, though I’m sure I must have been. I don’t have memories before schooling age, but I’ve been told I was always trying to keep the other little kids safe. I was the mother hen. I do remember afternoons spent battling my own demons and making excuses to organize bookshelves instead of going to recess. I have no memories from my youth in which I was just a happy little kid. I do not know exactly why I became a worrier, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. The point of all this is to say that I struggle to connect, because to me, friendship and romanticism can only come on a deep emotional level. Those that have little trauma in their lives cannot understand, relate to, or handle me. I am intense because I know how quickly life can stop, and I refuse to settle for lackluster relationships. Love should be grand, even if it’s private.

I spent so much time alone and in my own head growing up that I am extremely self-aware, to a fault. I ruminate and obsess over rationalization. I cry when people treat me badly and there is no reason. But this means that you will never find someone more understanding than me. You will never meet someone who wants so badly to feel whatever you feel, to understand you at your core. I am the truest definition of an empath. To share a romantic life is to share experiences, even the bad ones, even the ones that make you cry. To be vulnerable with a partner, the most vulnerable possible, is vital to me. Trust, love, and understanding come from putting your guard down. Deep love will never find those who think they cannot accept it. If you choose to love me, I will ask you to lay down your cards. I have been hurt by more people than I can count. If my guard is not up to love, yours does not have to be either. It is brave to be vulnerable.

I am sensitive. I am insecure, in many ways. I require more validation than most want to give, but if you get to know me, truly, you’ll understand how to comfort me. I have baggage, but I know my worth as a person and as a partner. The only thing in this world that truly matters to me is finding someone who recognizes that despite the trauma and pain that linger within me, there is an immense amount of love and passion and caring that makes up for it all. I show my love easily. As long as I feel it reciprocated, I will love you more intensely than you have ever been loved. You will never, for a single second, question my intentions. You may not like me as much some days, but you will never be able to deny how good my heart is.

I am a homebody. I like to cook new meals, I like to binge-watch TV, I smoke pot to ease my tensions. I like to read and knit and cuddle. I am witty and clever and like to be silly. So I am not a gargoyle, but I do take life seriously. In my loving and excited moments, I am genuine. I like to adventure, with notice. I love traveling with others. Spontaneity doesn’t often work well for me unless I trust you to know what you’re doing. I am a planner. I would like to be an easygoing girl but I am not, though I have loosened up a little. I am so used to disappointment that I brace myself for it, and it comes off as hesitation. It is difficult for me to feel safe. I have anxieties and fears and worries and I am human for them. My anxiety and depression are very close at hand to me. But if I know I am loved, truly know it and can feel safe, I can light up your life when given the chance. I do not enjoy my sadness and my wallowing. Sadness is a shield against unknown hurts. But it prevents unknown joys too. I would so much rather love with everything I have, but you must protect my heart at the same time. I cannot do both.

There are many people for whom I am simply too much. That’s okay. I am not for everyone, by a long shot. You take a risk with me and I with you: handling my baggage safely will grant you the purest, most passionate love. Some have cried at the sweetness that still seeps from my pain, and they are the ones I miss the most. No matter how badly I am hurt, I don’t stop trying to love. All I ask is that you are true and that you are open. This has not been a favorable description of myself. This has not been an easy letter to write. This is simply my way of clearing the air ahead of time, so that I won’t shake the first time I see you, and you will know who I am. 

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