So recently I encountered someone from my past that I can't say I remember positively. But it's been about 6 years now, and I've put everything that happened behind me. Or so I thought.
For some reason he kept wanting to bring up the past and what had happened, I think to make himself feel better. He kept saying how sorry he was and how he wishes he'd handled the situation better. Maybe he just wanted me to say it was okay and that I was better for it, but I didn't. I agreed with him; it was shitty. But I had put it far behind me and moved on with my life. I didn't want to revisit old shit, it was done. What good did it do bringing old wounds back?
The more he pushed and kept talking about it the more the old feelings came back. I was getting angrier and angrier at him for what had happened. I felt like I was 16 all over again, hurt by the actions of this petty boy. In the end he finally dropped it, and conversation moved on. Or, more accurately, I just went and talked to someone else.
But since that night it's gotten me thinking. What happened between the two of us was ridiculous, barely a thing at all. He kept referring to it as a 'relationship' which, quite frankly, is completely ridiculous. He would walk me home and we would chat for hours. I do that with my best friends. But he insisted that night that was what we had. And that's what started my mind thinking; is he the reason I'm fucked up in that department?
I was young and inexperienced. I had no experience at all with boys and charm and certainly had never gotten attention from guys in that way before. It was novel and it felt good, so I fell for it. Maybe at the time I did think it was a relationship. But then all the shit happened and I ended up hurt. And mad at myself for being naive and gullible. Old friends had already given me trust issues when it came to getting close to people, I was usually so well guarded. But no, I had let this guy in and I had ended up unhappy.
And so it began. My foray into 'relationships' and partners and all of it. A few months later I found myself in my first proper relationship, with a guy that certainly wasn't intelligent enough to try and screw me over. And for 8 months I really was happy. But it took me at least 4 of those months to let him or anyone else use that word. Relationship. Even using it now in an abstract context makes me feel uncomfortable.
I can't say that ended well either, but somehow for the complete opposite reason. This time it was him that got in too deep. There was a lot of other shit that went with that, but that's a different story. The fact is that this was my second attempt at being with a guy and this time had not ended well either.
It wasn't long until I found myself in an arrangement with another guy. This time, casual. That was definitely the only way I felt comfortable anymore. After the situation previously, I certainly didn't want that connection. The word 'relationship' was taboo the entire time we were together, even when it turned from friends with benefits to what everyone else would use that word for. The term makes me want to jump up and run away and never speak to the other person again. That didn't end well either.
So now here I am. After all that I stayed away from any of that for almost 2 years. Certainly not looking for anything, and with nothing really falling into my lap in that respect (figuratively and literally). I certainly don't want a relationship, I'm still completely repulsed by the word.
And here's the thing I've been thinking. Was it his fault that I can't handle closeness with someone romantically? I know that I don't ever tend to let people I'm with in that way. I make sure I'm always the one with the control. The one who cares less is always the one with the control. So I make sure that's who I am. With my first relationship it was because I made sure to convince myself it was going to end at a certain date, so after that I could pull myself away. I was the one there that was least involved by the time it was over. Even at the beginning, he was the one to push for it to become a 'thing'. And the second, I made sure everything was on my terms. Again, he was the one asking for us to become 'exclusive'. Everything, including our friendship, fell apart because he said he always felt like he was more into than I was. In the few casual scenarios I've had since, I've made sure not to let on how much I may or may not like the guy. Make it all about the temporary gratification. I have very little patience with them, and it tends to be very easy for me to just drop them from my life if necessary. I certainly don't rely on them for anything.
I was recently told by a guy that liked me that he was fed up of everything being on my terms. He was sick of me seeming like I didn't care and him seeming "like a nuisance". This is a pattern I've been carrying out since 6 years ago. I always considered maybe it was because I just really didn't care that much. I was picky with guys and very good at moving on. I was getting with guys that just didn't understand me, so there was no connection. But I wonder now if this is just a defence mechanism. An automatic response to make sure that I don't get hurt again. Don't leave myself vulnerable. Always be in control. Be distant.
I know it's getting worse. I'm far more guarded now than I ever was before.
And it's only romantically that I'm like that. With friendships I'm clingy as fuck. I definitely have none of the power there. I definitely leave myself open to - and more often end up - getting hurt.
Maybe it's also the reason I don't let myself have feelings for people, either. As soon as I feel like I'm getting attached to someone I try and project it onto someone else that I don't think about that way. Get rid of the feelings, quick, before they manifest. Stay protected.
But back to the point. I've been spending a lot of time by myself this past week, so I've been perhaps overthinking this all a little. But whether he is wholly responsible - which seems unlikely - or just that first switch that got flicked, I think it's safe to say he fucked me up somehow. And I didn't even realise it was him.