“That’s what happens,” she said. “You let people in and they destroy you.”
(Random quote seen on Pinterest.)
This is my biggest fear right now: The fear of letting people in.
What happens if I let people in past my walls and they reject me or hurt me?
What if they get to know me and don’t like what they see in me?
What if life gets complicated and I become an inconvenience or disposable to them?
What if I go through changes and they stop loving or respecting me?
What if I confide in them and they laugh at me or berate me for my choices?
What if I’m kind to them and they hurt me or use me in return?
I fear these things because I’ve experienced them- and not just once or twice. I’ve also seen it happen to so many people I care about.
When I start to see patterns or attitudes in people that remind me of how I’ve been treated before, I want to either run and hide far away from them, or I feel the urge to forcefully push them away before they can hurt me? Sometimes those fears are legitimate and I should listen to my intuition; other times I’m just reading too much into things and am letting my insecurities get in the way. But after a while of being hurt and seeing others get hurt by those they trusted, I start to feel like I can hardly trust or open up to anyone. And not just with intimate or romantic relationships, but also with friendships and other platonic connections. Even family. Maybe especially with family.
Some days the thought of taking risks in opening up to people I’m not sure about is overwhelming. The “what if’s” never end. At times our intuition protects us from people who are not good for us. Other times we misjudge a good person because we’re afraid or have unrealistic expectations. How do we figure out when we should trust and when we should keep our distance? I’m still trying to figure that out. I have a feeling it’ll be a lifetime learning curve.
We shouldn’t live in fear. We can’t shut out the whole world- at least not for long. Not without destroying ourselves in the process, which defeats the purpose of shutting everyone else out to protect ourselves. Life comes with risks. If I never let anyone in, then I’ll never open myself up to the opportunity for beautiful, meaningful connections. For everyone out there who is hurtful or would throw me away with little thought, there’s someone else who would respect me and even treasure me if given the opportunity. Fear robs us of the chance to grow and experience life to the fullest. I try to conquer my fears because I don’t want them to rule my life.
But damn it’s fucking scary.