i can feel my heart gaping wide, stretching in every horizon, pulled thin by its capacity to want to hold in its palm as much love as it can grasp. it is so uncomfortable, this space, the exposure. and just as suddenly, my heart will slam shut, guarding its own, taking stock of what remains so it does not feel depleted. this can be once or several times per day, hour, minutes. it is the constant yearning to know the joy that only comes with the discomfort of laying my emotional self, and all its trappings, bare for the taking, sidled with the consistent fear that it will only burn me to ruins.
there is something that breaks when you love someone who teaches you to distrust your own heart. i can’t shake his voice in my head, the one that time and again makes me feel unworthy of what should be as natural as breathing. i watch other people and wonder how they manage to trust themselves, and the compass of their emotions, because mine always feels broken. i can never tell if affection is given out of obligation or admiration, or withheld out of spite or fear. i never know if what i imagine i feel is requited, because to know that would indicate that i have known love that was given without a price. the cost has always been my confidence, and a way of navigating the world of affection with security that i’m not sure i’ll ever taste.
i want so much to feel the grace that comes from letting down my guard fall to the ground so that i can let another touch my soul in its most tender places. i long to not agonize, my mind spinning in circles, analyzing every word, touch, or exchange. it makes me feel fragmented, the constant thoughts and doubts that rise to the surface gasping for air, convinced that they know we are destined for destruction. and so i lock up the gates, securing my heart in tight, so that if nothing else, i know it will survive another day, even if it does so alone.
i had thought the worst was behind me, that the scars from the emotional turmoil i survived would evaporate into dust, blowing into oblivion, freeing me from feeling like a stranger to my own sentiments. instead, left behind is the unceasing critic, the one that whispers how undeserving i am, simply because i was so naïve to trust and love another who made me question how i could allow myself to be treated as if i were inconsequential as a human. it’s an endless commentary that only serves to force me to doubt if i will ever be worthy to know the sweet bliss of affection that comes without the cost of feeling as if i am less than deserving, as if at any moment i will reach inside my chest and discover my heart was never there all along.
Reflections of a woman spawned in a cement cocoon...