I told someone recently that I have walls and doors around me. My walls are six feet thick and ten feet high. It takes a determined person to climb over them and most people aren't that determined. I have doors that I sometimes unlock to let someone in for a brief time, but when that time is over, I lock it behind them.
I'm afraid to let people in. Let me back up - I'm afraid to let men in. And yet...I have derived the majority of my comfort from men lately. Safe men.
What exactly is a "safe man?" He's the man that I have no chance in hell of interacting with in real life; a man I tell clearly and specifically that I won't be able to love - and he doesn't run away because of it; a man who only ever sees a small piece of who I am.
I talked with a good friend tonight, and after a couple of martinis, I was willing to talk to her about my grief and my fears for the future. I allowed myself to touch my grief tonight, and I wish I hadn't. But I have been unable to pretend that I'm ok for several days now.
Wonderful, beautiful people who seem to genuinely care for me on some level can't bust down my self-imposed walls or beat down my locked doors.
I admitted tonight that I am fearful of one of two things - that there are no second chances in life...and that I will never come across another like him. And of course, the pragmatic among you will say that it's okay if that doesn't happen. I will meet someone new; I will meet someone different and different does not mean worse; I will get over it eventually.
All I know is that behind my walls and doors, I am hollow and empty. I'm afraid to trust. I can't love. And I hide behind what feels safe rather than even attempt to believe I should have anything real.