You’ll Regret It, If You Hurt Her.

Know she thought you were different.
She thought you were one of the good ones.
She thought she could trust you.

So as apprehensive as she was, she took one step forward.
Then two.
Watching her back with every move.
Carefully analyzing everything.

Caught somewhere between her heart and head.
She had to repeat over and over again.
Don’t fall too fast because he might not catch you.

Before you lead her on, know this.

Know how many guys did before you.
Know whatever she might have given you, was her best
Regardless of how she got hurt.

Know that when you told her everything she wanted to hear.
She believed you.
And she was honest.

Before you text her when you’re bored, know this.

Know she’s happy to hear from you.
In fact, it probably made her day.

When she’s asking you questions and keeping the conversation going,
She’s remembering the little things you say.

And she might answer too quickly.
Or care too much.
But it’s a flaw in you for not seeing that as her strength.

Before you cancel on her last-minute, know this.

She’s probably already dressed and ready.
She’s probably been looking forward to this all week.

She’s probably reminded herself don’t get your hopes up yet.
Just in case.

But hoping you might surprise her.

Before you make up some excuse, know this.

She’ll believe your excuses because she wants to be right about you.
She’ll give you a second chance to prove maybe you’re worth it.
She wants you to be worth it.

She’ll say it’s okay, when you say I’m sorry.
But what she isn’t saying is, I’ve heard this before.
I’ve seen this play out.

Before you ignore her, know this.

Remember how she never ignored you.
Even when she was busy.

She’ll stare at her phone every few seconds.
Wondering what she might have said or done wrong.
She’ll contemplate sending another text, even though she won’t.
She’ll try and keep busy just to keep her mind off it.
But it’s consuming her.

Because when the only attention that matters
is from the person you’re not getting it from,
it sucks.

Before you use her just for sex, know this.

So many guys have before you.
And when you’re done she’ll lay there hoping this time it’s different.
Hoping maybe this time it’s more.
Hoping that when she leaves, she’ll hear from you again.
But she won’t expect to.

Before you ruin her day, know this.

Whatever bomb it is you’re going to drop on her, she doesn’t deserve it.

Know she’s going to reread what you said over and over again.
Holding back tears.
She’s going to analyze it to the core trying to see where you came from.
She’s going to talk to her friends and feel horrible for days.
She’s going to blame herself.
She’s going to say sorry.
She’s going to try to make it right.

Without realizing at first you were wrong, not her.

Before you end it, know this.

If you end it with an explanation.
Or not explaining yourself at all.
Whether you tell her to her face or not.

She’s not going to hate you for it.
She’s not going to say anything mean back.
Even if you deserve it.
But she’ll accept it.

And in time, she will get over it.
She might crawl up into a ball and cry.
But she will get over it.

She might hold back tears at work
Pretending things are fine when they aren’t.
But she will get over it.

She might turn red when you run into each other.
Trying to play it cool.
But she will get over it.

She might want to text you.
But that feeling she’ll let pass.
And she will get over it.

And she might want an explanation.
But she knows sometimes even when you deserve it.
She won’t get that or the closure she needs.

Before you decide you made a mistake, know this.

When you decide enough time has passed and she might have forgotten.
Know she hasn’t.

When you’re bored and alone and you miss her.
Wondering if she feels the same way.
She might have at one point.
But she doesn’t anymore.

When you run into her and she looks prettier and happier.
And you suddenly want her.
Don’t.

When you meet someone else and you look at them and see her.
Realizing how different she was.
Don’t tell her that.

And when you get drunk and you draft a text and contemplate sending it.
Don’t.

Because you left her analyzing every mistake she could have made.
Only to realize she really didn’t do anything wrong other than care.

You’re the one who made the mistake, not her.

And she’s going to walk away not remembering you at all.
Just add your name to another list of people who wronged her.
But remember how you were exactly like everyone else.
And she was made the fool for thinking you were different.

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The Girl Who Fixes People.

She sees the good in everyone.

“I can see beauty where others see ugliness. That either makes me an artist or a person with very poor taste.” – Unknown

She’s always going to look for the best in people. She’s always going to swear she sees something under the surface. And sometimes she is true. Sometimes she tries to pull it out of them. But when you have to try that hard, it isn’t that the person isn’t worth it, but these people end up draining any light and all the good energy from the best parts of her.

She likes the challenge.

She gravitates towards these people because she likes projects. She likes complexity. You give her a guy who is simple and normal with no baggage, she’s going to get bored. She likes the people who have an edge and chip on their shoulder. She likes people who are guarded. She likes people who push her away. Because when she finally earns their trust, love, and loyalty, she knows it wasn’t easy but worth it.

He likes seeing how far he can push her and she pushes him too. This becomes toxic when they fight. They are constantly challenging each other like it’s a death match. Eventually, they realize they just keep hurting each other.

She doesn’t give up easily.

Even when it’s someone who might not deserve her effort, she doesn’t give up on him and they run in these toxic circles of him pulling away and coming back and them never really having a functional or stable relationship.

He likes someone who cares that much and she truly believes from the bottom of her heart its love. But sometimes girls who like to fix people, give love without demanding it to be reciprocated, and that’s when it becomes toxic.

She plays the role she needs to.

The girl who tries to fix someone always tries to be what someone may need, even if it means compromising her self-respect to appease him.

And he gets in the habit of using her. Maybe it’s emotionally. Maybe it’s physically. But the girl who tries to fix people, let toxic men get away with it. And in return, she might be what he needs, but he will never be the rock she can rely on and needs herself.

She’ll try and heal him.

But toxic men have things in their lives and in their past they can’t heal from. They just learn to live with what happened to them. They hide the pain like it didn’t happen.

This becomes toxic because she tries to make him address things in hopes that talking about it will heal him. But even he if trusts her enough to tell her what happened, she’ll never truly understand unless she experienced it herself. And that’s where the line will always be with them. She has a heart of gold with the best intentions. And he’s dark and complicated and sometimes heartless when he wants to be.

She thinks she can change him.

You can’t go into a relationship looking to change someone or think you’re the person who has that ability.

While she might have the best intentions. She learns the hard way people have to want to change on their own and the more you try to fix someone, the more they might end of resenting you for it.
This becomes toxic when he claims she’s trying to make him someone he’s not. When he says I can’t be what you need and she truly believes he can be. They end up resenting each other a bit.

She’s not afraid of him at his worst.

She’s seen every dark side to who he is. She’s chosen to stay. She loves him regardless of how bad he might be for her.

But it becomes toxic when the worst part of who he is takes it and projects his anger and repressed emotions on out on her. When he chooses to hurt her because he thinks she’s best without him, she ends up heartbroken and he ends up losing the only person who truly loved him.

While she might forgive him and never give up on him, he believes she deserves better.

These relationships end not because love isn’t there, but because the girl who fixes people deserves more, and even after putting her through the ringer and challenging her every which way and watching her pass, he realizes he does care about her. He cares about her enough to let her go and be with someone who deserves a heart like her.

She becomes heartbroken by the person she would have given everything too. She walks away a little more guarded not trusting people as easily.

He seems to come out of it with the upper hand. He learns that love really can happen in his life. But he has to change if he wants it to. He takes the lessons she taught him about love and relationships, and applies it to his next relationship, and it works.

The girl who fixes people is best at relationships. She’s the one that changes him. The one that gives him hope in a life he thought he’d be alone in. And it takes a really strong person to teach a toxic person that and not be one to reap in the benefits of that lesson learned.

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That Almost Relationship, Wasn’t Real Love.

Don’t you dare let anyone tell you the things you feel aren’t justified or allowed. Don’t let some label or lack there-of make you convince yourself it wasn’t real. Because no one can rewrite the history you have with someone. And when it’s a physical or emotional relationship that has been lost, it’s okay that it still hurts. It’s okay to replay that final goodbye like it was a breakup, even though you were together. Because something did end. Even if there isn’t a name for that something.

When people told me, “well, you didn’t even date…” Under my breath I told those people to go fuck themselves because how dare they tell me how I was supposed to feel, put that in some box.

When you fight for someone for however long you might have. When you pour your heart out to them. When you never stop giving up even when they are the ones who ask you to. When you’re screaming and fighting and tears are streaming down your face because things aren’t good between you and it physically hurts. When the thought of them just makes all of these feelings so simple. Wanting them to just want you. Hoping one day they turn around and say “okay let’s do this.”

When physically, it’s the relationship that ruins you for anyone else who touches you. When emotionally, you look for that familiarity in someone knowing you better than you know yourself. Looking for them in the eyes of strangers hoping you find yourself there. That’s love.

When someone walks away from that and you lose whatever that relationship was, it’s okay to still mourn it. Even if you aren’t those people anymore. It’s okay to still wonder. It’s okay to play the what if game. Because at one point, you truly believed it could have been something more. Looking at them and seeing a future you wanted so badly to become a reality.

Someone who knows you. Someone who knows to call you back when you hang up. Someone who can look at you and tell what type of day you had based on your body language. Someone who can hear it simply by the tone of your voice. Someone who knows when something is off and knows exactly how to respond to it. Someone who knows you to the core of who you are.

They know your habits and corks. They notice little things like how you look away when you’re lying or how you always like standing on their right side. They know your triggers, but don’t use it against you. They know your secrets, but keep them in confidence. They know your vices, and don’t judge you for it. They know when to show the fuck up when something is wrong, even if they are angry and you’ve been fighting.

The one who pulls you in close and you can feel it in every inch of your body, even if you don’t know what that it is. And you know it’s always going to be there.

That’s what you’ve been looking for in everyone else.

When they are someone who has learned your past because they’ve lived with you through it. Someone who has seen every version of who you’ve become up to this point. Someone who knows you because they made you who you are.

That first look. That first kiss. That first touch. That first I love you. That moment you realized you could trust them with everything. Even your heart.

That moment someone you cared about asked you to choose between them and you. And you would have walked had they let you. And in the back of your mind, you thought how dare anyone ask that of you because that person never would make you choose. That’s when you know they are the right choice.

No one can take the history you have with someone away. No one can rewrite it. And even if they forget some parts, it’s okay to always remember.

That pain you feel guilty for because “you didn’t date,” is just an indication of how much you loved them. How much you were willing to sacrifice.

People spend their entire lives looking to love someone that much. And when you’re lucky. When you’re really lucky, they choose to love you back.

But someone choosing us is never within our control.

Sometimes we find ourselves in these stories where the love is there but someone says goodbye because they realize they can’t be what you need or deserve. Even if you still think they can. That isn’t up to you to decide.

We can spend our entire lives hoping and praying someone can turn out to be who we know in our hearts they are. But waiting for someone like that is a prison sentence with no end in sight.

Sometimes the people we love say goodbye because they are ridding you of that waiting. They know you would have never quit them. You already proved that. And them quitting you is just a testament of them loving you the best way they can by letting you go.

By letting you be with someone who deserves you more than they do and can be what they weren’t able to.

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She Wants Someone Who Makes Her Feel Safe.

She’s guarded for a lot of good reasons.

A lot of people she let close to her hurt her.

A lot of people she loved didn’t love her back the way she needed.

They took what she had to give with a thank you and a nod and went on their way.

Making themselves feel whole while leaving her to fix herself. But not even knowing where to start.

She learned to trust herself.

She learned to look out for herself.

She learned to watch her steps.

And protect her heart

She learned to not believe the words of boys in the dark. The one whose kiss tastes like alcohol.

She’s learned a lot of them leave.

She’s learned a lot of them backtrack.

Telling her what she wanted to hear until her ears became mute. Her eyes saw everyone jaded. Her touch was everything they needed, but she, herself, the last thing they really wanted. Learning to play this role that left her numb, replacing emotional connections with physical connections, still not understanding how you can feel so close to someone, yet so far away. How someone can learn every curve to your body, but still not know you.

She needs to feel safe.

She needs you to be the one to grab her hand first in public. Because everyone pulled away. There was a time and place for affection, but never where people could see it.

She needs a love that doesn’t leave.

She needs consistency.

She needs someone who will listen to the things she doesn’t say.

Someone who takes the time to learn her.

She needs someone to teach her needing someone does not make you weak because she’s been standing strong alone.

She needs someone who will be patient.

Patient enough to follow her lead.

Patient enough to not pressure her.

Patient enough to wait when she takes off.

But smart enough to know she’s testing you to see if you’ll come after her.

The way she did with so many others.

She needs the same effort she put into everyone else who wasn’t worth it.

She needs someone to be the one to tell her meet me here this time and this day.

She needs you to be the one waiting, even if that means showing up 30 minutes early.

She needs to hear I love you without the word ‘but’ following it.

She needs arms that will hold her when she wakes up in the night.

Someone who needs her too.

Someone to show her vulnerability is not a sign of weakness.

But more than that she needs someone who will stay.

Someone who will make her feel safe again.

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Living With Dermatillomania.

It’s as ugly as a word as it is a habit. Dermatillomania. A form of compulsive skin picking. A skin picking disorder. It’s the constant picking at pieces of skin, no normal person would even notice. But to me, the moment I realize there’s something there, I dig into my skin. The moment a cut begins to heal I reopen it.

The most common is the skin around my fingers but more obvious than that which I do when people aren’t watching is picking my lips.

It’s something I’ve lived with my entire life. The common phrase sounds like a parrot to everyone who knows me, “stop picking Carla.” If only it were that easy. But I’ve been doing it since I was four.

A behavior associated with anxiety, OCD, boredom and weirdly pleasure. There’s a strange comfort in pulling a piece of skin you think is a blemish. But it goes from bad to worse when that small piece of skin turns into a scab.

“Does it hurt even anymore?,” my friend said. As we drove in the car heading to college watching me as I looked at the window picking my lips. He knew me my whole life and with that came knowing, accepting, and failing to help me want to change this habit. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.

“Eventually you get used to it,” I replied.

Self-inflicted pain isn’t something you should get used to.

“It’s a form of self-harm,” a therapist told me.

“You can’t honestly tell me picking skin can compare to someone cutting themselves. You can’t even compare those two things, that’s ridiculous.” I yell.

But I learned self-harm didn’t have to be that extreme. Self-harm was only causing yourself pain on purpose when it’s within your control.

“You strive for perfection. That’s why you pick at any blemish…A form of control when you feel there are other things in your life you can’t.”

A lot of people pick their skin, you can’t tell me they all have issues, can’t anything just be a habit?

At four years old was there psychology behind it or just a habit? Was it foreshadowing the anxious person I’d become as an adult or the struggle in balancing a healthy relationship with myself? There was no way anyone could make that correlation or prediction at such a young age.

When I was a kid my grandmother let me wear her lipstick in hopes that covering my lips would prevent me from stopping.

My mother would smother my lips in vaseline at night, that I resented and the first chance I got I’d wipe it off.

I’d wake up with dried blood on my hands screaming for my dad in the morning and he’d take me into the bathroom. Wipe the blood off. “My poor angel.” Then tell me it’s okay.

Teachers would pull me aside in grade school asking why I did it.

All I could come up with was it was a habit I never really had an intention of breaking.

In the house, my mom always made sure I had band-aids.

I could go from fine to my fingers covered in blood in minutes without realizing. That was the thing, it became such a bad habit I didn’t realize I was even doing it most the time.

Most girls in high school went for manicures and I hated to because the alcohol hurt my cuts and I’d get another lecture from some stranger how I shouldn’t pick.

My boyfriend in college sat with me as we watched a movie. He grabbed my hand. “You’re digging into your skin, Carla. Stop.” He grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let it go until the end of the movie.

I sat on a bus heading to my job in New York. We were stuck in traffic. I was bored. I anxiously looked at my watch over and over again. Without realizing I was picking my lips until I could taste the blood. The stranger next to me handed me a napkin, “Stop. It will be okay.” He said.

In a meeting with my boss, I hid my finger that was bleeding as I picked listening to him speak.

Having coffee with a friend, he grabs my hand. “Your fingers look good.” As if it was a sign I was emotionally healthy… at least for now.

At 44 it’s still something I do. It’s still something I struggle with. But I live with it even if it’s not proudly.

I look at my fingers almost looking for something, anything that’s not there. Any reason I can pick. Any scab I hate. I wake up and before I even open my eyes I’m pulling the skin off my lips until they are bleeding and hurting and there’s nothing left.

Lip gloss burns in the morning as I apply it to the open wounds.

Skin begins to heal every 12 hours and that’s when I start picking again. It’s kind of sick that I know that.

It annoys me how much it controls me, but it doesn’t annoy me enough to stop.

There isn’t a day in my life I haven’t picked at my lips of pulled at my cuticles. And I can’t imagine a day there will be.

Accepting this is the only way I’ve learned to live with it. And learning when I do it and why it’s still something I’m learning about myself.

“You can get really sick or get an infection,” doctors tell me every visit.

I know.

The human body continues to amaze me because no matter how many times I cause myself pain, my body heals it.

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Slowly Learning.

I’m slowly learning that goodbye doesn’t have to hurt. But what hurts is clinging to the past.

I’m slowly learning to let go of the things I need to. The people no longer meant for me.

I’m slowly learning to stand still when someone walks away instead of chasing them. That the right people will, in fact, be the ones that stay.

I’m learning to not analyze my reflection, thinking maybe there was something I lacked. Or something I did wrong. But rather understanding the difference between being good enough for someone and being right enough for them.

I’m slowly learning to stop revisiting my past because I can’t change anything that happened there. And sometimes I won’t ever get the answers of why things happened as they did.

I’m slowly learning to not stare at my phone hoping maybe this will be the day I hear from you. That maybe you changed your mind.

I’m slowly learning there are some mistakes I can’t change. Some people who might not forgive me. But that shouldn’t influence me forgiving myself and trying to move forward. That sometimes the best thing to do is learn.

I’m slowly learning to not waste any more time then I have.

I’m slowly learning to take responsibility for my happiness.

I’m slowly learning to wake up and start my day on a good foot even if it still hurts sometimes.

Even if they still meet me in dreams that feel like nightmares.

I’m slowly learning to not let other people’s actions control how I’m feeling. Because yes, it sucks it’s over but I can’t change it.

I’m learning to not focus so much on the things I don’t have, but rather appreciate what I do.

That one person might be gone, but so many others aren’t.

To stop putting my happiness in the hands of someone else. Because I did that and they left.

I’m slowly learning what it’s like to really live alone and try to be happy with it.

And knowing that it’s okay when there are some days I’m not there yet.

I’m slowly learning to not rely on someone so much.

I’m slowly learning what it’s like to sleep alone at night even when I’m used to someone next to me.

I’m slowly learning what it feels like to wake up to silence and not hear or read on a scream, “good morning beautiful.”

I’m learning to cheer for myself when something good happens.

And learning what it’s like to be the one to pick myself up when I’ve fallen.

I’m slowly learning what it feels like to walk into a room alone confidently.

That I don’t need a plus one.

I’m slowly finding again the things I like to do even if it means doing them alone.

I’m learning to find comfort in silence.

Company when I’m alone.

And happiness looking back at me in the mirror.

I’m slowly learning that letting go doesn’t mean I’m weak when it’s someone who brings me to my knees.

I’m learning what it’s like to be alone.

And I’m learning that I like it.

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Learning To Let Go Of People Who Aren’t Sure Of Me.

When I’m with you, I’m happy or at least I was.

But when I’m not with you, I’m sitting there flustered wondering how you’re feeling. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to want to be confident in someone. I’m looking at a phone and a text I know you read, but you’re choosing not to answer. And even when you do, I wonder what you’re feeling towards me.

Is it just a conversation when you’re bored? Am I someone you actually think of throughout the day? When you do something wrong are you saying sorry because you know you know you’re supposed to or out of genuine guilt for hurting me?

I want to believe in you. Maybe too much that I look past every red flag flying in my direction. I want to be right about you. Maybe too much because I only pay attention to the things that justify that and back it up. But I ignore everything else.

I hate being the one to try too hard. The one who is constantly left waiting. The one starting every conversation and saying goodbye because you haven’t answered in an hour.

I want to believe this isn’t just another thing to write off, as I add your name to a long list of those who have hurt me. I don’t want you to be on that list.

But I can’t make you care. I can’t change the way you may or may not feel about me.

I can play every game I’m supposed to. I can ignore your texts like you do me. Keep you on the edge. And keep you wondering. Not answer when it gets too late and put you in the shoes of wondering where I am and who I’m with. I can walk by you in a room like we’re strangers, if that’s the game you want to play.

But I don’t want to play that game.

And maybe I come on too strong. I answer too quickly. I show you exactly how I feel and maybe that deems me as less attractive. Play hard to get is what they say.

But I don’t want to have to play some game to get you or keep you interested. That’s too much work.

And maybe that’s what you’re used to. That’s what everyone is used to these days. Playing games and fucking with each other’s head and pretending not to care, even when you do.

If it’s a battle of who can care less and make the other person feel worse, that’s a game I don’t want to participate in. So if that means I’m going to lose, then so be it. I’d rather lose someone being myself, then change who I am to seem appealing. If I have to pretend to not give a shit about you to get you to like me or fuck with you like you’re some pawn, then everything everyone has ever done to me in the past will be the effect to their cause.

So if it’s unattractive and unappealing to you to admit I care and I’m not afraid to show that, maybe you aren’t who I thought you were.

Because it isn’t just about you, this is to every person who gets caught up in what dating is today even though it doesn’t make sense to any of us. Even though we all swear we hate it, we keep playing.

But I’m taking myself out of this game because it’s not one I’ve ever liked.

So I’m walking away not because I don’t care but because trying to prove to you, you should and that I’m worth your time is compromising my self-respect. And the more time I spend waiting for you to figure out how you feel as I decipher texts at 2AM, is time I’m wasting that could be invested in someone who is right there with me and tired of this shit.

I like you. But not this much.

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