It was the end of 2005. I was working for Brooks Brothers in the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. I’ve been home for a year after leaving the Suffolk County newspaper that I worked for, a year after leaving a man, who would be my last boyfriend until this time today. I was sitting before my computer, dabbling in fan fiction based on one of my favorite tv shows, Without A Trace when something changed. I wasn’t afraid anymore. I wasn’t afraid to write about my life, and I found myself standing before an open door. But if I write about the monsters that I faced, moments in time that will forever haunt me, what would people think of me? Would they think me foolish for opening the door on such private things, or would they think me brave for shedding light on the darkest corners of my life? From 2005 into now, I began to step forward, first gingerly writing about bitter times and now breaking forth into waves of non-fiction.
I don’t trust the internet. With that said, I have found home on websites such as Triggerstreet, Authors Den, and Associated Content. I have had the fortune of meeting great minds and talent, fueling my inspiration. My writing and poetry have surfed through the web, being published by various online ezines and literary magazines. I made a friend, who now talks with me over long distance every Sunday night. When it comes to dating, though, I don’t trust the internet.
I’ve been alone for a long time. I walked out on him in the summer of 2004. He said that he loved me and that he wouldn’t let me go, and for a couple years or so after, he chased my every step, following me across the web. But he didn’t have my best interests at heart, and I was tired of playing the mind games. We barely knew each other, and I was the one that talked him into sharing an apartment with me. And I know that I was being selfish, and I paid for that mistake. But he had to let me go, and I needed to be set free. With him, I was being suffocated, and I didn’t know who I was with him. Alone, I now know who I am and why I am this way.
Relationships have been the hardest thing for me in this life. It all started on Moore Avenue with Paul. I was only a child, and he destroyed a part of me. Over time, I would meet men, pieces of him, and the vicious cycle would start again. The man I left was another fragment, and I am tired of having my heart and soul crushed, leaving me in pieces to piece myself back together again. I built a wall, a wall that my acting coach is telling me to tear down, and I wish that it was that damn easy. But it’s not, and the concept of dating refused to register until last year.
I was visiting with my brother and sister-in-law in Brooklyn. They asked me how long will I go on alone, how long will I hide my heart. I merely shrugged, but that was not good enough for them. They were a product of an online dating site, happily married, and that gave them hope for me. But I didn’t share in that. I wanted no part of any dating site, but we went ahead, making my first profile. But I still did not trust the internet to bring love home to me.
I must have tried, at least four sites. When it comes to making a profile for myself, what is it that I am supposed to write? Does the guy really want to know my horror stories, and what if he turns out to be some sort of psycho killer? Yes, I’m being harsh because we all play games on the internet. Are we who say we are, and who the hell knows the truth anyway? So, I was honest, stating that past relationships for me were nothing short of a train wreck. Needless to say, I wasn’t surprised when nobody was interested, so those profiles were terminated. And I moved on and away.
There were some guys, though that were interested. A knot would turn and twist in my stomach when I saw their winks or messages. I stared hard at their pictures, trying to see their flaws. I used to love surprises, but not anymore. I’ve come to realize that men could be two different people, one that will hold and love you and the other to tear you apart. I don’t want to be surprised anymore, and if that knot tightens while looking at their pictures, then I’m not interested. I’m not interested in being torn apart.
I’m done playing games. If they can’t show a picture or real picture, then I want no part of them. If they want to play the field, they can play elsewhere. If they can’t be honest, then they can save their sweet lies for someone willing to listen, but not me. I’m done, but for some reason, I’m still trying another website.
Valentine’s Day is coming. I hate this holiday. Red, red roses are seen held tightly across beating hearts, and love shines brilliantly in eyes like stars. Commercials tell the story of happiness, but happiness does not live here. To escape this holiday is to hide under a rock or jump into a relationship, hoping to swim than sink, but I’m not desperate. I realized that cruising through so many dating websites. I’m not ready to jump head first and just hope to land on my feet. Alone, I’m strong, but would I remain so with him? Would I still know who I am, or would I be lost again? At least, I’m not being torn apart.
Five years has gone by. I’m not afraid anymore. I’m not afraid of my life or writing my horror stories. My past relationships have been nothing short of a train wreck, and I barely survived some. It took a long time to heal, but I can still feel my scars stretching across my skin. I can still taste the bitter taste of tears, and I can’t cry anymore. The fire of my dreams, my passion keeps me warm at night, keeps me going, and I’m not standing still anymore. My acting coach says to make a plan, and I have one. But will I get to where I want to go alone? I don’t know. Do I want to love? Of course, I do, but I don’t want to pay its price. So, I keep my heart close, and I close this door behind me, stepping forward into a new year. Maybe love will find me there, or maybe it won’t. But it will give me something to write home about.