The amount of power someone can have over you is just plain wild. And vulnerability sucks. As a consequence, I choose to stay reserved for the most part. I can say three relationships where I’ve broken that, this being the third, and here I am again, sitting in a room with the blinds drawn and lights off. Is it me? Is that something you have to sacrifice to enjoy the monogamous company of someone else? Because I don’t like this feeling of emotional nudity. I feel like I should be able to keep what I want to myself to myself to protect myself. So I don’t end up feeling how I do now… Yet I am characterized as closed off. I sacrifice my sanity and open myself to a person in order to give it to them. In essence, it’s just me putting others before myself….. again. Maybe it is me. Maybe I don’t share as much as I think I do but I feel like an open book. But I understand, love is a give and take. It’s necessary to sacrifice something in a relationship, right? So I receive your love and affection until you don’t want to give it to me anymore and where does that leave me? Vulnerable. Open. And with each time I’m left like this, I feel myself retracting more and more in accordance to the situation. Believe me, if I felt secure that I could open up without it backfiring on me, I’d have no problem. But of course, that’s impossible… for me at least. Does this happen to other people? Cause I feel alone. I don’t know if I’m being emotional or maybe I’m just crazy. Either way, I didn’t start out like this. I’ve endured the short end of emotional manipulation for the past three years and it’s probably safe to say I’m damaged goods. Damaged from past relationships, experiences even within my family. I’ve seen my family members hurt and miserable so their significant other remains content. I refuse to be that, unnecessarily unhappy at 30,40,50 years old at the expense of someone else who isn’t even considering me. So I close myself off. I put up my walls and barricades because I rather unhappy alone than unhappy with someone who cares more about their happiness than my own. It may sound selfish but I want to be in a relationship where we give and want the same things for each other. You prosper in your own individual ways as I in my own. Like, is there no equal give and take in a relationship? Because every time I think I’ve found it, the rug is inevitably pulled from beneath my feet.