Why Love Is Maybe Not For Me

I’ve been in reciprocated love once before. Twice more after in one-sided delusions that were a manifestation of my states of mania and psychosis. During these two altered states I did crazy things to ‘prepare’ for when my ideal relationship would begin; I went on diets and got an expensive gym membership with a 3x/week trainer. I went on expensive shopping sprees for clothes and accessories that I thought looked worthy of a ‘mogul mom’ and purged of everything and I mean everything else: clothes, everything in my kitchen, furniture, books, jewelry, very personal and deeply sentimental belongings including yearbooks, journals, and photographs all either sent to donation sites or put straight in the trash.

By the end of it I was left with less than 30 articles of clothing, one duffel bag, an alarm clock, a cell phone with charger, toothbrush and paste, other hygiene products, and my bed and bedding. When the authorities came to knock on my door through concerns of my family, they thought I was preparing to flee, or worse, kill myself. These thoughts never even crossed my mind. I just wanted to humble myself before God and the higher power of love. There were many benefits to this; no arguments about what furniture to buy, we would just buy new stuff. No fuss about packing boxes and boxes to move, I could fit it all into a weekender bag. I was a modern-day nomad.

During this purge I divested myself of everything that was the very definition of me. All my belongings that reminded me of who I was, and what I liked were gone. I wanted to be a sophisticated, mature, career-driven woman. Not the clumsy, mistaken for a 16 year old, career-confused girl I was. After when I was trying to rebuild my life I had a real identity crisis. I didn’t know what clothes to buy to fit into my wardrobe because I didn’t have a wardrobe. I lost parts of my past, and memories dear to me in letters from friends, writings of my deceased mother, and my own scribbled-down thoughts. After the hospitalization in psychiatry where I was moved from anti-depressants to an anti-psychotic, I moved in with my dad up north. I tried to rebuild my life there but soon after I would be diagnosed with leukemia and have my life uprooted once again.

Eventually I moved back to the city, this was some 3 years later, and after a year in a miserable retail job, I decided to go to school and get my administration degree. But a second purge would come soon after, again for the delusion of a promised relationship. They say you are not what you do for money, you are what you do for love. And I have done more for love that wasn’t even guaranteed than most are willing to consider sacrificing for a tangible, long-term, committed, and promising relationship.

It comes as a surprise to me that I don’t want to fall in love again because I am such a hopeless romantic. I love love stories. I love love in general, but I never want to be put in that position of vulnerability again. That all-consuming feeling of being totally enthralled in someone. That all-encompassing feeling of being engulfed in caring for someone, and wanting nothing else but to spend every moment of the rest of your lives together.

Maybe this is just me putting on a front because I’m scared love won’t happen for me again, or maybe I am so jaded that a love like that can’t happen again. This doesn’t mean I can’t still have valuable and important relationships in my life. There are many ways to love and I feel this for many people in my life. I’m just not sure that a romantic relationship is in the cards for me. I am just so full of fear to be crushed again. Rejection is one of the most difficult emotions for me to get over — not that I am a people-pleaser — but when when you treat someone the way you want to be treated and that affection, or respect, or kindness isn’t reciprocated, it can be very hurtful and harmful to one’s self-worth.

Anyway, you know I’ll always have love for you guys, right?!

xo

Ashlinn

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