I’m quite a stoic person. I rarely show vulnerability or emotion. I can count on one hand the amount of times in my twenty years of living that I’ve told someone I love them. That’s not to say I am completely devoid of emotion, or that I am not an emotive person. I oftentimes find I have to keep myself at bay when it comes to my feelings. I fall in love with a stranger at work who compliments the colours of my eyes. I can’t stop talking about how much I love the colour of that coat I saw in David Jones. I talk to a person once and immediately call my mother to tell her I have a new boyfriend.
My ability to fall in love is my weakness.
Why, then, do I find it so easy to withhold myself from the conveyance of the simple three-worded phrase? I’ve been in relationships where I’ve definitely felt it. I know I feel it in a familial way towards my parents and siblings. And yet, despite both my best efforts and my best knowledge of the subject, I can’t quite seem to let my pride aside and utter those three simple words. I’ve allowed relationships to simmer away into nothing, I’ve made meaningful moments with my parents less so, simply because I am too afraid to let those three words linger in the air, unanswered, or worse, unreciprocated.
I have a fear of being vulnerable. I’ll always wait for someone to make a move before I do, so I know the scene is set and so I don’t look like a fool if the other person doesn’t reciprocate what I believed to be appropriate. I can understand and unpack this fear, yet, I can’t quite troubleshoot it. I think I have every intention of remedying this issue, to make myself more available emotionally to others, yet I can’t quite seem to just swallow my pride and do what it takes. Which brings me to my next issue.
Why, then, do I feel only apathy when I decide to cut someone out of my life completely, and why a tremendous amount of self-pity and heartache when the situation is reversed?
A year ago now, I experienced a couple of heartbreaks. The first of the two being the end of my first relationship. It was a gut-wrenching experience that saw me left feeling as though I had lost an entire year off my life, as well as a person that I had believed would never be absent. It caused me much melancholia, and my friends, much glee. In hindsight, my friends were gleeful because I knew they only wanted to see me happy and this would, ultimately, make me happy. At the time, however, I had surrounded myself with a group of girls whom I had thought to be loyal, kind and thoughtful. The second heartbreak came from this group of girls, who cut me off completely, and moved quickly on to become friends with my ex-boyfriend. It didn’t hurt for long, largely because I knew I always had a much stronger bond with my best friends from school, whom had been there for me pre-relationship. However, I was still hurt nonetheless.
In both of these situations, I knew I had not done all I could to secure the relationships. To tell the people who mattered the most to me how I felt about their companionship. I was emotionally absent to them and it worked to my detriment, as it conveyed me as lacking in emotion. In the latter scenario, this wasn’t so much the case as I knew the girls were just nasty and for some reason developed a set against me that now I couldn’t care less about but at the time (for about 5 minutes) was all consuming.
So, if I am so hyperaware of my self-destructing tendencies and apparent lack of skill when it comes to simply telling someone that, yes, I do love them, why do I feel so distraught and heartbroken when someone does not pick up on the glaringly obvious cues I so willingly leave out and tell me they love me? Or, even worse, why do I feel so hurt when someone simply stops talking to me?
Well, my friend (me), to put it simply, you (I) are a human being, prone to the condition of feeling emotions. A shame, I know. And although you (I) do not seem to, at the current moment, possess the capability to verbally express the seemingly-most important emotion there is, you (I) still expect others to have the decency to do unto you, what you cannot seem to do unto them.
Some things I want to tell myself are:
1. Please stop being so apathetic and expecting emotion and fairytale and romance in return.
2. It makes you look like an emotionless and shallow bitch.
3. Stop it.