The butterflies are a funny thing you know? It took me some time to feel them. I liked when he touched me. I liked when he kissed me. But the butterflies-they took a while to recognize.
In March he stopped talking to me. This was my first panic attack with him. I didn’t know how to handle it. Honestly it was the first red flag that I should have turned around and walked away. I should have thrown up my hands and screamed that I quit. That I quit so hard. Because my sanity would have thanked me. But I was attached even then and I had no idea. He told me he needed space. Which is the worst fucking thing you can say to a person. Space from what? We don’t live together. I barely see you once a week. How long does this space thing last? Do you tell me or do I give you a day or so and then you’re fine? I still don’t understand space if we’re honest-and he needed a lot of it.
Eventually he didn’t need space anymore and decided he still wanted me. You’ll notice I appeared to have no say in this decision. That’s because, like with every other situation where a decision needed to be made, I didn’t. He made those. I was expected to go along with it. And I did. But at this time the only thing I knew was that I liked the way he looked at me-like he had never seen anyone prettier and couldn’t believe I was looking back at him. It made my knees buckle. I had a hard time looking back at him when he stared at me. Those were my butterflies. They never stopped for me. They did for him if they ever started.
That’s what I don’t understand. Why work so hard to keep me when I wasn’t wanted? Why put in so much effort and I mean some serious effort. I told you how many times I tried to break up with him before he was even here. When he got here my worries may have subsided a little but the massive fear of commitment and the overwhelming trust issues I have did not flutter away. With every bit of space he needed without explanation increased my panic that I wasn’t good enough.
Yeah. That’s right. The entire time he would have me believe that I wasn’t good enough for him. Now he would say things like, “you could do better” etc etc. But I never felt like he believed it. I always felt like he thought that I wasn’t good enough. I was constantly trying to prove my affection. I was constantly trying to show how attracted I was to him. Do you have any idea how exhausting that is? How old it gets trying to reassure myself that I’m good enough? Of course I’m good enough. Have you met me? I’m fucking fantastic.
My friends knew. They knew that I deserved better but I was settling. And part of me was settling because I was terrified that nobody else would ever look at me that way. I still freak out about that. I still panic that this will be the last time I will ever feel like someone finds me completely attractive. Not just physically. Not just finds me funny. Not just. But all of it you know? Like appreciates the intensely nerdy qualities about me as well as how odd I sleep and the fact that I’m always cold. Someone who when I show them a picture they grin and go, “of course you did”. I’m terrified I won’t ever have that again. I’m terrified I won’t ever feel the same way about someone. That I want to consume all of them-I want to know and store all of the information I can about them. I want to be the reason they smile.
I’m not ready to feel that way again. I’m just not.