“I think he really messed me up,” I say, avoiding his eyes.
“I didn’t want to say anything but you have. You weren’t like this before him. He did a number on you.”
Sometimes, it takes someone reflecting a truth back at you to realize how much it really is true. Sure, I’ve noticed, but until I heard it repeated back at me, I had no idea how big of a difference it was. I’m not that girl anymore. I’m not the optimistic girl who thought finding a stepdad for Jude and husband would be so easy, because my own was so great. I don’t believe any of the crap anymore. I watch movies and laugh at the romantic stuff. I treat guys like their meat or their a wallet paying for my dinner. It isn’t something I wanted to happen, but my ex broke me. He made me start over from rock bottom (in the dating sense) and instead of building with optimism, I’ve built a whole new wall that no one can penetrate. I’ve become a feminist without even realizing it. I’ve become less of a Carrie, and more of a Samantha. Feelings be damned.
The minute someone wants to get close to me, I either freak out and disappear, or I do something to intentionally fuck it up. Because then, I’m off the hook. I don’t have to feel. I don’t have to feel the pain… but on the other hand, I won’t feel the pleasure either.
I met a guy Saturday that has me so very confused. I haven’t found something to focus on and talk myself into not liking. But I haven’t been able to really put the guard down, either. It’s impossible. And, I mean, I’ve been dating for a while now… how is this guy any different? How can anyone be sure?
I think my biggest problem is sex. How do you make it mean something after months of it meaning nothing at all but a cheap thrill? How do you build that back up again? It’s hard to look at it the same again. It’s hard to remember what it was even like to be in a relationship, and where all the pieces fit together.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can’t get out of my head. I can’t just let things happen because I’m so unbelievably terrified of making the same mistake a third time. I can’t let another guy lay his hands on me. I can’t let myself become inferior again, or become weak. Weakness is power to those kinds of men. I’ve seemed to attracted them in the past… who’s to say that I’m not still attracting them? And how do I even tell until it’s too late?
I hope I can get there someday. I hope I’m not the girl who doesn’t want to get married, forever. The man who finally decides to take a chance on me is going to have to be very patient if he doesn’t want me to freak out and head for the window (because the door is too obvious, of course). He probably is a unicorn though. Nice idea, but doesn’t actually exist.