There was a time in my life that I wasn’t so guarded with my heart. A time where I could genuinely love, fully and completely. I was young, and hadn’t had a heartbreak yet. At that time I didn’t have walls up to guard my heart. I just lived and felt emotions as they came. Of course, I was young.
Over the years I did endure a broken heart or two and learned to protect my heart. I built walls like a lot of us do, to make sure the pain of losing someone didn’t sear through me like a hot poker. It was during that time I became harsh and mean. I wasn’t mean to everyone, just those who hurt me or hurt others. It was like I was on a mission to give back to others what they dealt out. I was very good at it, and left the heart breakers and bullies wishing they never crossed me. My own personal mission to dish out what they gave out. I guess I assumed I was other’s karma. It wasn’t a nice thing to do, but I wasn’t trying to make friends.
I’ve been asked if I ever truly loved. If I have ever openly loved and felt without being guarded. It did happen once. To be very honest, I had buried those memories pretty well. After all, the memory of it was painful. The memory of the end of it that is. So as with everything else that hurt, I hid it even from myself.
It’s come back into my life again. Maybe because I sent the question out to the universe and the universe answered. I wrote a post here on 7/20/11 titled “Heart In Jeapordy“. I asked if I could at least try to love and be loved. Another post on 7/18/11 titled “Unrequited Love” posed this question:
Could you imagine if you wanted someone so badly, kept it to yourself and in some fairy tale moment your knight or princess shows up to tell you their secret “they’ve loved you all along”. Great ending for a story, don’t you think? Reminds me of first love.
I had no idea how close to my future reality those very words would come to be. I had no idea that something I considered “in some fairy tale moment” could actual happen in my life.
I’ve wondered what is wrong with me. I have wondered this for the majority of my life. Why can I love my family and children 100% with no holding back, but when it comes to the men that I enter a relationship with I won’t fully truly love. Now, I wouldn’t have imagined that I was holding back at the time. When I married I knew I loved them, but I didn’t allow my heart to be 100% open to either of my ex-husbands. I didn’t realize it until after the marriage was over and it didn’t hurt. How could it not hurt? Why was I not devastated over the breakup? Because it didn’t truly hurt. I was at peace with both divorces. Now that’s not a bad thing at all, but it also means that I never gave myself to either of them completely. There was no feeling of loss. I feel very ashamed that I didn’t realize that. Now I know.
There was a first love for me. It was in Jr. High School – at the age of 14. A boy, about my height with thick black wavy hair and eyes that were so intense I had to look away. I would try to look at him without him noticing, only to see him sometimes looking at me. I don’t remember everything, I’ve blocked it all very well. What happened was described to me by him. I only have some memories of it yet, but what I do remember is the feelings associated with him. There was this “pull” to him. This feeling like I wanted to get closer. It was unnerving really. Butterflies in my stomach and I remember not being able to breathe when I thought of him. At 14 I had found someone that made me daydream in class and at home. What would it be like to be in his arms? Or to kiss him? At 14 there was no inside voice saying “let him come to you so you don’t put yourself out there to get hurt”. The voice inside was saying “get closer”. So I did.
He was leaning against a wall with others near him. I walked up to this boy, grabbed him with both hands chest level and pulled him to me (a bit harshly actually), then proceeded to kiss him full on the lips; and then push him back into the wall – and walked away. Yes. I kissed this boy and then walked away from him to leave him thinking about it. At 14 apparently I had no fear, or at least didn’t allow it to stop me. Much bolder than I am now. I guess it was that pull to him that made me feel that I could do as I wished, no matter what the end result.
He and I became boyfriend and girlfriend. I remember a few things. One, was the sound of his heartbeat. When I was in his arms, I would place my head to his chest and just listen. It was so soothing to me. I also remember the sound of his breathing. Again, pressing my head to his chest and just listening. When he held me I felt protected, loved and “at home”. An amazing feeling – he gave me such happiness. I remember thinking how lucky I was that at such a young age I had found my true love, the man I would be with for the rest of my life. I thought I was so lucky to be so young and never have to search for him like other girls would have to.
Then, everything changed. My life was thrown into the air, and I ended up crying myself to sleep night after night. He had been pulled out of school and had to move. It was sudden. He didn’t know it was coming. Suddenly, the boy I loved and had planned to marry and spend the rest of my long life with – was gone.
I still remember the feeling of panic when I was told he was taken out of the school and moved away. I remember going home and laying in bed crying, not wanting to eat or go to school. I remember the deep pain and wishing it would go away. It hurt so badly. I remember the feelings of the young romance. The love and the pain. If I am right on the timing, that was the last time I allowed my heart to be open and risk that kind of pain again.
The boy did come back, but not in time. I had already entered into a different relationship with someone I had known for years. So his heart was broken on his return. Neither of us said anything to the other. We didn’t confess how much we cared about each other or how much pain we were in. We just built those walls and kept on going. I went through relationships after that guarded and I guess over the years it built into a very thick protective wall.
Fast forward 30+ years to now. We’ve found each other again. We are older and able to speak what we feel and told each other what we felt back when we were young. I feel like we were cheated out of so many years. But I have him now, and I am not ever letting go. He has my heart and I can’t imagine life without him. My true love. Amazing.
(… to be continued …)