Dear whoever you are/what it’s like to love me

Version 2

10/28/16

To any potential partner of mine,

As they say in the movies, I’m like a walking time bomb. Or a complicated labyrinth. A car that needs time in the introverted shop to do tune-ups and recharge my batteries. This means that I need quiet time and headspace to think of things and take care of myself. It doesn’t mean the end of the world, that I don’t like you or don’t want to see you again. Though if that were the case, you would know. It means that I need alone time right now so that I can take care of myself in order to be able to socialize and take care of others. It means I can’t talk right now, but I will get back to you soon. Unless I don’t, then you would know.

I can come off as hot and cold, and have been told that I’m needy and demand to be in control, but if you knew how many times people have taken control of my body, taking my maybes as yes and my no’s as green lights, taken permission to initiate sexual contact when I did not want it, maybe you’d understand. Or at least hopefully realize that you don’t know what it’s like. And depending on your gender and situations, maybe that’s what it’s like to come from a place of male privilege. Though statistically speaking men get sexually abused and raped too. More often than not at the hands of another man.

In other words, I’m a survivor. You might think I’m bubbly and fun at first, but the brightest flames hold the deepest shadows. I can be serious a lot of the time, getting lost in my own head, but can also have the most fun. If your impression is that I have a calming presence and make people feel better, which I have been told in rare moments, know it takes a lot of turmoil and work of me trying to make things still to do so. Know also that if it feels like I can sense and feel how you’re feeling, I probably can. That’s what being an empath and needing a stronger shield is like.

If I was a romcom it would be How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days. Let me put all my “crazy” on the table ahead of time to see if you can handle it. Because if you can’t, it feeds into the belief that I’m too much to handle and can’t be loved, and take a sick satisfaction in proving that. I know that some of my ways of thinking do not serve me, and that I am working on rewiring certain things I have told myself for most of my life. Maybe I’ve missed out on some potential matches. Or maybe it’s a skill I’ve developed to weed out the people that can’t handle me.

Those who stick around will find that I love fiercely, loyally, will always keep you guessing, laughing, keep you thinking, will bare my soul and feel yours in return, and will know what you’re thinking and feeling a lot of the time without you having to say. And if you don’t, I know that the person for me hasn’t come along yet, and I’m working on loving myself because you are the only person you have that you are with your whole life.

Dating a survivor who is also an introvert (and occasional ambivert), has anxiety and depression isn’t easy. But every coin is duel-sided. To darkness there is light, to sadness there is great joy.

To all my potential partners: good luck, you’re going to need it. I will be here to tell myself I’m worthy of love if things don’t work out. And if they do, we could have one hell of a love story.

-Hannah