“I tear my heart open
I sew myself shut,
And my weakness is
That I care too much.
And our scars remind us
That the past is real
I tear my heart open
Just to feel.”
I see a broken, wounded person, and I have this compulsion to help. It’s the damned Disney movies. I have White Knight syndrome. My nurturing instincts seem to override all others. I want to be there for people like no one was there for me. Even in romantic relationships, I tend to take on more than just the role of a lover. And I take on way too much. I go from lending a hand to carrying the world on my shoulders before I even know what happened.
Everyone wants a supportive, loving parent, or another if they already have one. And here I am, just out in the world, and I feel people’s needs without them having to verbalize them, and without even meaning to, I warp myself to meet those needs.
I met my first girlfriend at an LGBT youth dance. She wasn’t dancing. She stayed off by herself, not speaking to anyone. I empathized, and so I went over to talk to her and coaxed her into dancing with me, and we played with balloons and bubbles like we were little kids, and had the greatest time. I didn’t focus on her too much, though, because I was there with friends, and they were my priority. I could tell really easily that she had a crush on me, but I didn’t really think about it much, and I forgot to try to get her contact information in the excitement of everything that was going on.
So, apparently, for months after that, she mooned over me, and I didn’t know about it because we were in totally different circles. She was a senior in high school while I had just started college. However, a friend of hers was in an LGBT support group that I was also in, and he gave me her number and asked me to call her.
Well, from there, we talked for a while online and by phone, and we met in person and there was just a spark there. It was the first time a girl had felt that way about me, my first chance at a relationship, and I just dove into it right away. There were red flags from the start, but I ignored them.
Things started off good. I felt like I was floating in mid-air. I was happier than I’ve ever been. But there were problems. She wanted me to get unlimited texting, but I ended up texting her a lot more often than she was texting me, and no matter how often I texted her or what I said, she still didn’t believe that I thought she was beautiful or that I loved her. Eventually she just stopped listening to me at all, unless I spoke to her in the language of art. So I wrote her poems, I made her videos, and all kinds of things, but no matter what I did, she still didn’t believe any of it. I was determined though, to try to help her love herself, and I thought I could do that if only she could see that someone else thought she was worthy of love.
She was immature, irresponsible, jealous, controlling. She was verbally abusive, emotionally manipulative. She didn’t like me to hang out with my friends but she would hang out with hers on the days we were supposed to see each other. She didn’t tell me before we got together, but she wasn’t out to her own family or most of the world. She felt so guilty about her sexuality, that she could never admit to herself that she consented to sex. She accused me of raping her - something I would never do, and she did not just say that directly to me but to everyone she knew.
What was the final straw for me might seem silly to you in comparison to everything else she did. I shared with her my most emotionally raw, artfully done bit of writing, which I put so much of myself into, and asked her what she thought, and instead of supporting me as my girlfriend, she tore it apart and called it a critique. Now I am fine with criticism, but not only was that not what I wanted when was vulnerable and I shared that bit of writing with her, but that she couldn’t see how something so raw could be epiphanous and beautiful illustrated to me more clearly than anything that we were not compatible. I was dark and morbid and she was horrified by it, though she found it sensual. I didn’t want to be with someone that did not really appreciate the most visceral side of me.